Both Sonos Play 1 and Bose Soundtouch 10 are advertised as small yet powerful speakers. But how do consumers know which to choose? To help you make sure your money is going to the right one for enhanced sound, our experts have pitted them against each other in this Sonos Play 1 VS Bose Soundtouch 10 comparison.
Sonos Play 1 or Bose Soundtouch 10?
Features of Sonos Play 1 and Bose Soundtouch 10
Neither the Bose nor the Play 1 speaker have advanced audio features. They can both provide room-filling sound to decently sized rooms and can elevate your music.
The Sonos Play 1, at 4.69×4.69×6.36 inches, is a great fit for any room and can even deliver simulated surround sound with two speakers together. To get stereo sound, you can use two of the Play 1’s in tandem with your existing system to create an entire home theater system.
Sonos also has the Play 3 and 5, which are larger and capable of more expansive sound. However, don’t underestimate the abilities of the Sonos 1. It can be built into an entire audio system to permeate your space.
Our audio team has tested the Play 1 in our Sonos Play 1 vs Bose Soundtouch 10 comparison in multiple settings with different content and found that it has exceeded our expectations time and time again. Especially with the mid-woofer, the Play 1 brings balanced audio to your ears.
The Play 1 is truly a multi-room speaker that can even perform in your bathroom, thanks to the humidity-resistant housing.
On the other side of the coin, the Soundtouch 10 Bose is the larger speaker, consistent with other Soundtouch models like 20 and 30, though not by much, and can also deliver room-filling audio. It can be integrated into a Bose home audio system to bring the cinematic experience right in your living room.
Bose is really a household name already for high quality sound, so it’s only natural to expect this from the Soundtouch 10. The amazing speaker has 4 drivers, 2 opposing drivers, and even a passive radiation system.
This passive system will prevent audio distortion at higher volumes to bring crystal clear and accurate sound to listeners. However, our experts have found that when pitted against the Sonos speaker, the Bose speaker doesn’t quite compare. Our team played the same content used to assess the Play 1 vs Bose Soundtouch 10 and realized the former delivers a more multi-layered sound.
The Bose Soundtouch 10 also has a weaker bass because it is in essence just a mono speaker. The only thing that is adjustable with the Bose Soundtouch 10 is the bass, but it didn’t really help the overall listening experience by much.
Sonos Play 1 and Bose Soundtouch 10 Performance
The Sonos Play 1 and the Bose Soundtouch 10 have amazing sound quality at standard decibels, but when our team cranked up the volume control, the Bose Soundtouch 10 speakers started to crackle a bit. If you are someone who likes to play music at high audio levels, then the Play 1 is the better choice.
We then moved each speaker from room to room to test their performance in different acoustic settings. In the bathroom, the sound from both the Soundtouch 10 and Sonos Play 1 speakers bounced off the walls and enveloped the listener. But because of the humidity-resistant housing on the Sonos Play 1, it’s a better choice for moist environments.
In all other rooms around the house, both speakers were pretty much neck and neck.
Each speaker allows you to connect wirelessly to play music, but the connections they offer differ slightly. The Sonos Play 1 works on Wi-Fi and once connected, the speaker will create its very own wireless network — SonosNet.
Our experts believe this is a pro because the SonosNet is independent of your home Wi-Fi system used for smart home devices. Because of this, the Sonos speakers will not slow down your home wireless network system. This network is only used by the Play 1 to connect to other speakers in your house to play music.
All in all, the audio sources on the Play 1 sound pretty convenient and intelligent, but it does lack flexibility without Bluetooth.
The Soundtouch 10 offers both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to stream music. You can also hook up two speakers wirelessly to enjoy multi-room sound quality. The Bose speakers will use Wi-Fi for the majority of the time to communicate with other devices around the house such as an Amazon Alexa device, but Bluetooth is also available to stream music.
Unfortunately, the Soundtouch 10 no longer offers Apple Airplay, but the Bose Soundtouch App does give you the option to use streaming services from your iOS device .
As for wired connections, the Play1 does not have a 3.5 mm aux input, but the headphone jack is found on the Bose speaker. So if you are looking to connect your speaker via AUX input connections, the Bose device is the one to go with.
Both sound systems can be connected to create a multi-room speaker system, and they both offer an ethernet port connection to make sure the wireless streaming is stable.
(If you are looking for other models from the same brand, we have the Bose Soundlink Revolve+ II review here)
Mobile App Compatibility
In a day and age where technology has made our lives infinitely easier, it’s to be expected that both speakers have a compatible app for control. The Sonos App, also known as the Sonos Controller App and the Bose Soundtouch App have very similar interfaces.
They can do the bare minimum, which is to allow users to control the speakers through the app. You can customize your listening experience by streaming sound through all speakers or each one individually.
On the Bose App, it allows you to program internet radio stations directly to the buttons on the speaker surface. This way, future programming is as easy as a click of a button. Absolutely all programming for sound streaming and settings for better sound can be done through the app alone without the need for a remote control.
You can also input basic commands from the remote control bar with buttons such as the play/pause button, and volume level control buttons.
The Sonos App is similar, by offering you the ability to set up, program and build your system. Sonos also gives us TruePlay, which is technology that will utilize microphones on your device to find the optimal calibration for your room. It is best used when optimizing Sonos home theater systems such as Sonos 5.1. This is only available on iOS devices.
The integration of the Sonos Controller App and Apple devices is near-seamless. Sonos also supports Apple Music for your favorite tunes. However, to use other streaming services such as Spotify Music, you will need to pay the premium cost for the app.
The Bose app gives users a giant step up by not having to pay the premium cost because of the built-in Bluetooth. However, without the app, you will only be able to stream music through one speaker at a time.
For users who like a large music streaming system with multiple gadgets and support for music services such as Amazon Music and more, we would suggest going with the Sonos option.
Setup of the Sonos Play 1 and Bose Soundtouch 10
Both the speakers can work with Alexa devices. Alexa will have control over your home audio system and can aid in supporting streaming from apps such as Apple Music, and comply with hands-free voice commands.
For other Sonos devices, you can check out how we setup Sonos Play 5 here.
Sonos Play 1 and Bose Soundtouch 10 Extra Features
Both the speakers can work with Alexa devices. Alexa will have control over your smart home audio system and can aid in supporting streaming from apps such as Apple Music, and comply with hands-free voice commands.
Price of the Sonos Play 1 and Bose Soundtouch 10
The price of the Sonos Play 1 and the Bose Soundtouch 10 are not far off each other. The Soundtouch 10 is more expensive vs the Sonos device, which could be a deciding factor for many.
Both speakers have a high-quality build and come in black or white to blend with any interior decor. The Bose does offer more variety in connections and compatibility, but the Sonos has the best sound at higher volumes.
Whichever one you decide to get, they won’t be putting a big hole in your pocket. Our experts can say with confidence that the price reflects the value of both devices.
Is Bose better than Sonos?
No, Bose is not better than Sonos. It depends on what the user wants in their devices. Both brands deliver high-quality products for your home with some of the best audio output capabilities our team has heard.
Is the Sonos Play 1 worth it?
Yes, the Sonos Play 1 is worth it. The Sonos speakers are beautifully designed and compact, a great fit for a smaller home. Yes, it does lack Bluetooth but it more than makes up for it in the sound quality, convenient setup and compatibility for devices.
What is the difference between Bose SoundTouch 10 and 20?
The difference between the Bose Soundtouch 10 and 20 is the audio output. The Soundtouch 10 delivers mono format while the 20 is in stereo. However, you can enjoy close to stereo sound if you hook up a pair.
Is Bose SoundTouch 10 a stereo?
No, the Bose Soundtouch 10 is not a stereo speaker. It delivers audio in a mono format but pairing two Soundtouch 10 speakers together can simulate close to the same output as true stereo speakers.
Overall Winner: Sonos Play1
After an in-detail comparison of the Sonos Play 1 VS Bose Soundtouch 10, our expert team has landed on Play 1 as the winner. The Sonos Play 1 allows you to control everything from the app and can produce impressive and expansive audio when two speakers are paired together.
The speaker offers a variety of ways to enjoy your music in your home from your device wirelessly and build the system with Wi-Fi to integrate other speakers for the best audio experience. Two other important things the Sonos device offers is an easy setup and a small profile to fit into tighter spaces.
Check out how we Sonos Play 1 against Play 3 here.