In one corner we have the hulking giant named Sonos, the wireless audio market leader for quite a while now.

They have essentially become the Apple of the audio world to say the least! But that hasn’t stopped Heos from stepping into the ring and throwing some major punches at Sonos. Will Heos land a few hits on Sonos? Let’s find out!

Sonos vs Heos
(Image credit ABT youtube channel)

Sonos

Sonos App
(Image credit Indiana Lang)

Sonos plays the game well, sometimes too well, and by that I mean they can isolate some customers while lacking certain features and options to really enable someone to get the most from their system. However, these small drawbacks mean little in the big picture and Sonos is and has always been easy to set up and use. It may be not cheap, but it sounds fantastic and works great. Below are punches Sonos can throw as well as hits it takes from Heos.

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The Good

  • Excellent plug and play, got it up and running in minutes without issue
  • App is very simple and easy to use, can add new Sonos items with ease
  • Audio quality is fantastic!
  • Wi-Fi based, however using a BOOST can be a lifesaver
  • Full line of products, everything one could need

The Bad

  • Expensive
  • App lacks more advanced features that Heos offers
  • No Bluetooth

Score

  • Audio quality – 82/100
  • Ease of use – 95/100
  • Looks – 75/100
  • The app – 64/100
  • Value – 86/100

Overall Sonos Score And Final Thoughts

80/100 – Sonos has a rock-solid system of products, awesome audio quality and is very easy to use. I feel that more features and components should be added that Heos currently has.

Heos

Heos App(Image credit Indiana Lang)

Heos is new to the ring, but not without teeth of its own. Heos is finds weakness in its opponent by throwing left hooks into a few areas. Heos offers better room control than Sonos, has the ability to group rooms, and control what is played in each, far better than Sonos does. The Heos app is clean and easy to use, but not without flaws. It took me about 25 minutes to set it up on a brand new Luxul-based network. It didn’t like to stay connected and Bluetooth was sketchy with the iPhone 6 Plus. I would like to note that I also tried it on a Pakedge-based network and it remained connected more reliably. Those problems aside, Heos, in my opinion, sounds a tiny bit better than its Sonos PLAY 1 counterpart. It came across a bit tighter and was made more of the lower bass frequencies. Heos also offers products that Sonos doesn’t, like the Drive and Go packs, both of which offer unique solutions for homeowners and custom installers alike. Below are the jabs and hooks Heos gets in and the hits it has to endure.

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The Good

  • App has great features that Sonos lacks
  • Audio quality is amazing!
  • Cheaper street price than Sonos
  • Better products for the custom user wanting more
  • Bluetooth
  • The Heos 1 GO and Drive packs are brilliant!

The Bad

  • Plug and play is poor. Had issues with Bluetooth as well.
  • App can be confusing, I don’t like how it handles playlists
  • Some parts are expensive, like the DRIVE and Heos 7.

Score

  • Audio quality – 84/100
  • Ease of use – 61/100
  • Looks – 81/100
  • The app – 68/100
  • Value – 75/100

Overall Heos Score And Final Thoughts

73/100 – The Heos product line sounds as good as it looks. App features are impressive and the extra options over Sonos are nice. It loses ground in ease of setup and has a few technical bugs.

The Bottom Line

Sonos takes the showdown and the crown, but only by seven points. Heos is still looking good but some bugs pull it down. I would say for someone looking for a system that is easy to use in every way, and sounds great, Sonos is the way to go. If you are looking for more options and something that looks and feels a bit different with even more features and audio quality, Heos is a fantastic option.

  • Denis

    A little puzzled by the rating system.
    How do you discern a 2 point difference in sound quality (out of 100) for a small speaker?
    This is not taste, like red wine scoring where experts routinely know they assign a 90 point vs a 91 point score.
    And how do you assign a 34 point difference for ease of use (95 vs 61).
    If you use a simpler 10 or 5 point scale, the 2 products look to achieve the same composit result.
    Very puzzling scoring system which perhaps undermines the subject review.

  • Indiana Lang

    Hi Denis,

    After listening to both speakers for hours at my desk, A/Bing them, they were just so close in sound quality that I felt the small 2 point difference was really the true difference I heard. So that’s why I assigned a 2 point difference.

    As for the ease of use, have you ever setup a Heos and Sonos system before? The Heos is far more difficult to do than Sonos. From start to finish it took over 45min to setup the Heos one (WiFi issues on 2 different networks). When on the other hand the Sonos system only took me about 10min on to setup on same 2 networks. In addition, Heos audio dropped out over a dozen times, while Sonos has only once.