Bose SoundTouch 30 vs Sonos 5, which one’s better?
With an under $500 budget, I encountered the same dilemma. So, I tried both. Want to know what I found?
Truth is, the distinction in sound is negligible. Yet, as you’ll find out, depending on what you want, one will better suit your needs.
Which one is right for you? Read on to discover whether the Bose SoundTouch 30 or the Sonos 5 deserves your attention.
Pros and Cons
|Bose SoundTouch 30||Easy setupWi-Fi streamingBig sound with bold bass responseSix preset buttons to save favorite playlistsIntegrated with Amazon Alexa||No mute buttonProduct discontinuedDistortion at max volume|
|Sonos 5||Easy setupWi-Fi streamingBright balanced soundIntegrated with Amazon AlexaSix integrated speakers||No RemoteNo BlueToothCompressed at high volumes|
Both the Bose SoundTouch 30 and Sonos 5 are easy to set up. Each has its unique app. But even if you’ve little tech knowledge, you’ll find setting up a breeze.
Start by connecting to the mains, simple right?
With a SoundTouch 30, you’ll need to download the app titled Bose SoundTouch. From here, you can connect to your Wi-Fi.
When it’s connected, the Wi-Fi symbol on the home entertainment system will turn from amber to white.
With the Sonos 5. Download the Sonos app, go to settings and press add player.
The app will search for Wi-Fi. When searching, you’ll find the Wi-Fi symbol on the Sonos 5 flashes green before turning white when connected.
Each app is compatible with streaming platforms, such as Amazon Music, Apple, Deezer, and Spotify.
Which app is better? They’re both user-friendly, so that’s a tough call. Let’s say the Sonos app is more modern while the SoundTouch app is easier to navigate.
Design & Look
Home entertainment systems should be easy on the eye. They’ll be a standout feature of your home.
Available in either black or white, both the SoundTouch 30 and Sonos 5 are stylish-looking systems.
The SoundTouch 30 has ten rubber buttons on the top. These are power, volume up, volume down, Aux/Bluetooth, and the six presets.
With an OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) screen, track names appear on the front alongside a symbol of the connected streaming service.
A tasteful grille covers the speaker. Which color grille depends on which base color you pick.
So how does the Sonos 5 appear to the naked eye? With rounded edges and subtle buttons, it’s minimalist and sleeker than the SoundTouch 30.
Although there are three buttons, there’s no limit to functionality.
These three buttons play, pause, skip, replay, adjust the volume, and more.
It’s legit to ask, how can you do so many functions with three buttons?
While play, pause, and volume controls are actionable by a simple press, other actions such as skipping tracks need you to slide your finger from right to left. The controls navigate similarly to a touch screen.
For more information on what to expect with the Sonos controls, check this guide. Some find the button functions great, but less tech-savvy users find them complicated.
Guaranteed to last, Sonos have meticulous quality control that’ll ensure your system will blast music for decades.
Truth is, both designs are great, but I sway towards the Sonos 5 with its more contemporary look.
That said, if you want no hassle functions, the SoundTouch controls harken back to an old-school radio but with modern playback options.
Both the SoundTouch 30 and Sonos 5 produce sound quality that’ll appease an audiophile.
The Bose SoundTouch 30 has more oomph at the bottom end. Whereas the Sonos 5 offers a brighter listening experience.
Ever wondered about the inner workings of a Sonos 5?
There are six separate fine-tuned amps powering six speakers. Yes, you heard it right… six!
The Sonos 5 has one tweeter to project straight out of the system. While they position the adjacent two tweeters at an angle to ensure there are no quiet spots in the room.
Sitting underneath the tweeters are three woofers. Offering powerful bass, they combine with the tweeters for an all-encompassing listening experience.
On the other hand, the SoundTouch 30 has three speakers. Don’t let that put you off, they’re potent. Bose angle the two tweeters for room-filling sound while the woofer brings the bass.
As a recording musician, I understand the importance of a room when mixing songs. All speakers sound different depending on room shape, size, and dampening of furnishings.
The Sonos App has an innovative feature that’ll fine-tune the speakers to your room. If you have iOS, the app will guide you and customize the EQ settings to suit the room.
You’ll find the SoundTouch 30 gets a little distorted at high volumes. But, it excels for deep bass genres like hip-hop, rap, and pop, you’ll feel the bass.
That said, for me, the Sonos 5 edges it on sound quality. While at high volumes, elements become compressed, with the ability to fine-tune the system to a room, it offers a touch more.
It’s a close call because both offer powerful high-definition music listening.
There are many crossovers with the SoundTouch 30 and Sonos 5.
Both are compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. So your favorite playlists trigger with a simple voice command.
On each device, there’s a 3.5mm connection. So you can link to a turntable.
If you’re considering a turntable setup. You’re in luck. It’s one of our fortes. Have a look at the Best Turntables Under $500 for inspiration.
For streaming, each has an ethernet cable for reliable playback. You can still stream through Wi-Fi, though.
Talking of Wi-Fi streaming, it’s handy. Bluetooth connection only lasts a certain range, you won’t have this issue. So if you’re entertaining, the party won’t stop if you step outside with your phone.
That said, if you want BlueTooth, the SoundTouch 30 has this feature while the Sonos doesn’t. On that note, it also has a remote, whereas the Sonos 5 relies solely on the control buttons or mobile app.
A unique selling point of the SoundTouch 30 is the six presets. You can assign different streaming platforms and internet radio stations to each preset for easy access.
Each system allows you to grow your setup with multi-room compatibility and subwoofer integration.
However, the Sonos 5 has a unique feature. What’s better than one Sonos 5? Two!
When paired with another Sonos 5, you can achieve amazing stereo separation. By turning the speaker vertically, they automatically configure as a stereo pair.
Consider your needs. If you love the comfort of BlueTooth connection, then the SoundTouch 30 is a sound choice.
But if you’re looking to grow your system, while possible with the SoundTouch 30, a pair of Sonos 5 offers serious audiophile quality with an awe-inspiring wide soundscape.
|Bose SoundTouch 30||Sonos 5|
|Driver Configuration||1 x 4.4” Woofers2 x 2.0” Tweeters||3 x 4” Woofers2 x 3/4” Tweeters1 x 1” Tweeter|
|Connection||Wi-Fi, Ethernet, Bluetooth, 3.5mm Aux||Wifi, Ethernet, 3.5mm Aux|
|Dimensions||17.1”(W) x 9.7”(H) x 7.1”(D)||14.3”(W) x 8.0”(H) x 6.1(D)|
|Weight||18.5 lbs||14 lbs|
So which do you pick, the Bose SoundTouch 30 or the Sonos 5?
Both are under $500, so the price won’t decide. However, Bose has discontinued the SoundTouch 30. So, you can find some fluctuations in price.
The difference in sound is negligible. That said, if you like bass prominent music, the Bose SoundTouch has pronounced low end. On the other hand, for brighter listening, the Sonos is where it’s at.
Both have Wi-Fi connections allowing for streaming. But, for quick-fire access, the six presents on the SoundTouch offer one-touch access to your favorite playlists.
With turntable access through the 3.5mm connection, an analog setup is achievable on both.
I can imagine each design alongside a U-Turn Orbit turntable. That’d look the part. But looks aside, it’s a setup that’ll sound killer too.
Of course, the SoundTouch 30 and Sonos 5 aren’t the only speakers available. You can explore different speaker types with the Best Speakers Under $500.
But these are leading home entertainment systems. For more traditional functions, I’d sway towards the SoundTouch 30. Even a technophobe can handle the onboard controls.
But the Sonos is modern and sleek. So if you’re a forward thinker who enjoys innovative tech, consider the Sonos 5.
Whichever way you decide, you can have confidence in craftsmanship, build quality, and sound quality.
So take your pick, go through the easy setup and enjoy the music.