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Bleusound Pulse 2 or Sonos Play 5 (New 2015 Release) ??

realtanu

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Nov 6, 2015
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I am looking to start building up a wifi system for my multi-room apartment. From what I can tell (I don't have opportunity to listen to either of them in person):

- No bloggers have compared these two units, but from 2 limited conversations
- Sound Quality: Comparable!! [I can't believe this is true]
- High resolution: Bluesound can play 24bit, but there is no 24-bit streaming service in US [I am aware of]
- TV Integration: Sonos has a sound bar, BlueSound does not
- WiFi Network: Sonos "mesh" is helpful, but if your router is in a closet, this is not helpful.
- Inputs: BlueSound has USB and Apt-X (Bluetooth streaming) inputs

If BlueSound had the better constructed speaker, that would have won it for me. But some are now saying Sonos Play5 is as good. If that's the case, then it seems that the comparison is BlueSound gives you more inputs/High Res capability, and Sonos gives you a SoundBar/TV functionality and an alternative to WiFi.

I have no idea what to do. I'm not sure what I value more as this is my first WiFi music system. If Sonos had a new Sound Bar that was highly rated as well, that could swing things in favor of Sonos, or if Sonos "mesh network" didn't need an plug-into router. Or if Sonos had the inputs.

I feel like I value BlueSound's inputs, some perception of higher quality since it can play 24 bit.. but I like Sonos's greater product suite (TV sound bar being the main draw) .

I'm over analyzing and I have no music to listen to do while I do this!
Any thoughts?
 

bigboss

Moderator
Sonos released an update few months ago. You no longer have to connect any Sonos product to the router via ethernet. I don't know about Bluesound, but I am confident that Sonos will remain even after 10 years while some of the competition have ceased to exist and new ones emerged.
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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It will be difficult to compare the latest Play 5 with anything yet. The Sonos display stands in my local John Lewis and my local hi-fi specialist both have a "coming soon" cardboard picture of it in place of the real thing.
 

The_Lhc

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Oct 16, 2008
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realtanu said:
I am looking to start building up a wifi system for my multi-room apartment. From what I can tell (I don't have opportunity to listen to either of them in person):

- No bloggers have compared these two units, but from 2 limited conversations- Sound Quality: Comparable!! [I can't believe this is true]-
You're not exactly entering into this with an open mind are you?
 

realtanu

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Nov 6, 2015
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chebby said:
It will be difficult to compare the latest Play 5 with anything yet. The Sonos display stands in my local John Lewis and my local hi-fi specialist both have a "coming soon" cardboard picture of it in place of the real thing.
Folks at Crutchfield said they demoed the new Play 5 and they are authorized Bluesound dealers as well. They are my only source for now saying the sound is comparable. And a lot of reviews are out on the new Play 5 as well, enthusiastic about sound upgrades.
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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realtanu said:
Folks at Crutchfield said they demoed the new Play 5 and they are authorized Bluesound dealers as well.
Excellent you can get along there and have a listen and compare.

Given that you seem to be in the USA it would be logical that the new Play 5s will appear sooner than they will here.
 

realtanu

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The_Lhc said:
You're not exactly entering into this with an open mind are you?
If you have additional facts to add to the matter at hand, that you think I'm missing, I'd love to hear them!
 

The_Lhc

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realtanu said:
The_Lhc said:
You're not exactly entering into this with an open mind are you?
If you have additional facts to add to the matter at hand, that you think I'm missing, I'd love to hear them!
What have facts got to do with anything? If you want to know which sounds best listen to them but don't go into a comparison having already convinced yourself that one can't possibly be as good as the other, it's just daft.
 

realtanu

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Nov 6, 2015
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The_Lhc said:
What have facts got to do with anything? If you want to know which sounds best listen to them but don't go into a comparison having already convinced yourself that one can't possibly be as good as the other, it's just daft.
You should re-read the original post or please stop replying
 

The_Lhc

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realtanu said:
The_Lhc said:
What have facts got to do with anything? If you want to know which sounds best listen to them but don't go into a comparison having already convinced yourself that one can't possibly be as good as the other, it's just daft.
?

You should re-read the original post or please stop replying
You said you can't believe the sound quality could be comparable, what part of that am I missing?
 

realtanu

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Nov 6, 2015
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The_Lhc said:
You said you can't believe the sound quality could be comparable
Since you (i) have successfully hijacked my thread, (ii) refuse to go away:

1) The original post started with the premise Sonos Play 5 (2015 generation) was equivalent to Bluesound
2) That was generous, as there are a dozen reviews, from bloggers, magazines, YouTubers who all UNEQUIVOCALLY think the Sonos product sounds average at best and BlueSound is a MUCH higher quality speaker than Sonos. Said another way: Bluesound has equivocally better sound than Sonos products currently on the market today, and is recommended as a great alternative to Sonos if you care about how things sound. As WhatFi forum won't allow me to copy/paste links, I'm sure you will be "daft" and "smart" enough to not google for independent research. Below are some keyword searches you can do on Google:
"Bluesound is WhatHifi Product of the year"
"Chris Voss youtube bluesuond pulse sonos play5" <== please take the time to watch this (not that you will)
"Top ten reasons this geek dad loves his bluesound"
"computer audiophile bluesound pulse is much better than all the sonos products I've used over the years"
"Bluesound pulse sounds much better than Sonos"
"sonos sound quality is below average dull bland low quality amateurs"
"Bluesound alternative to sonos if you want quality sound"
 

bigboss

Moderator
Realtanu, just to let you know that The_Lhc is the best person to answer your question here. He is one of the most experienced members on the forum (including technically) when it comes to Sonos and related music streamers.
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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realtanu said:
The_Lhc said:
You said you can't believe the sound quality could be comparable
Since you (i) have successfully hijacked my thread, (ii) refuse to go away:

... there are a dozen reviews, from bloggers, magazines, YouTubers who all UNEQUIVOCALLY think the Sonos product sounds average at best and BlueSound is a MUCH higher quality speaker than Sonos.

Said another way: Bluesound has equivocally better sound than Sonos products currently on the market today, and is recommended as a great alternative to Sonos if you care about how things sound.

Below are some keyword searches you can do on Google: "Bluesound is WhatHifi Product of the year"

"Chris Voss youtube bluesuond pulse sonos play5" <== please take the time to watch this (not that you will)"

Top ten reasons this geek dad loves his bluesound"

"computer audiophile bluesound pulse is much better than all the sonos products I've used over the years"

"Bluesound pulse sounds much better than Sonos"

"sonos sound quality is below average dull bland low quality amateurs"

"Bluesound alternative to sonos if you want quality sound"
Actually listening to the Bluesound would seem utterly superfluous after that! I'm suprised you've waited this long to buy one.

What do you need to know from us? (Especially as - I pointed out earlier - I doubt any ordinary UK customer has had the opportunity to hear the new Play 5 yet, let-alone find any shops where both brands are stocked to allow a comparison.)
 

bigboss

Moderator
Most of what you've read is the old Play:5. The newer Play:5 is supposed to be significantly better, and has Trueplay feature.

Check this review:

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/11/sonos-play5-review-the-best-sounding-wireless-speaker-system-weve-ever-used/1/
 

Andy Clough

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Apr 27, 2004
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chebby said:
It will be difficult to compare the latest Play 5 with anything yet. The Sonos display stands in my local John Lewis and my local hi-fi specialist both have a "coming soon" cardboard picture of it in place of the real thing.
We have tested the new Sonos Play:5 as you can read here (but it's not on sale in the UK until Nov 25th):

http://www.whathifi.com/sonos/play5-2015/review

However, as it only arrived very recently, and not in time for our 2015 Awards judging, we have not yet had time to do a thorough comparison with the Bluesound system. However, if you aren't that bothered about high-res capability (which Bluesound has but Sonos doesn't), the Sonos is really very good, and of course the Play:5 can be used as a stereo pair.
 

jimbofisher

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2007
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chebby said:
What do you need to know from us? (Especially as - I pointed out earlier - I doubt any ordinary UK customer has had the opportunity to hear the new Play 5 yet, let-alone find any shops where both brands are stocked to allow a comparison.)
Play 5 not out yet, but when it is shouldn't be too difficult to compare the 2 as Sevenoaks stock both. I realise the OP is not in UK though.
 

realtanu

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Nov 6, 2015
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Thank you all for the posts. I am comfortable trusting the various reviews that the new gen Sonos Play 5 is comparable to the BlueSound Pulse. At this point I am just going to wait till more reviews come out. To me, I'm planning on getting a soundbase even if I go Sonos Play 5 route as I didn't like the sound of it (admittedly in a poor audition setting: a local best buy). So that eliminates the TV holy grail. Given the Pulse 2 also has upgraded wifi, I'm leaning towards the Pulse. I like the idea of higher quality smaller speaker options to add to my home network, bluetooth and battery-pack functionality. I like the idea of Sonos being more targeted to TV/Music products over the long-term, and the sonosnet option vs. relying on home wifi network. For me, its ultimately boiling down to that sonosnet option vs. the higher quality smaller speaker options from BlueSound. I'm struggling on that basis.
 
Jan 21, 2016
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This may help shed a little more info intot he mix of replies.

I have just purchased the Pulse 2 after deciding the Naim Mu-So was just too expensive but I'm really glad I did because the sound is superb.

What I don't have is any Sonos speakers but I've always been put off by Sonos because they seem a bit bereft of clarify and sound a little muffled whereas the Bluesound come across as clearer and brighter.

To make an honest opinion, they'd have to be side-by-side playing the same track but I've not done that.
The one thing that is interesting is that first impressions last and my first impression of Sonos was not bad but also not good enough to make me want to go back to try again.

I have some "proper" hi-fi speakers and amplifier and those can't be replaced by the Bluesound but boy, the Pulse 2 makes for very pleasant listening and it handles most music very well and it sounds good at low volume. The Pulse 2 also goes pretty darn loud without going purple in the face... but this is helped a lot by a well produced track. Enigma, which I really enjoy listening to, sounds quite rubbish compared to my hi-fi but Take That's "These Days" sounds spot on and I'm far, far from a Take That fan (daughter is though).

Grace Jones' "Par" is wonderfully deep and bassy without thumping, Empire of the Sun's "We are the people" sounded crystal clear and Leonard Cohen, Frank Zappa, Hawkwind, Dido, Madonna all sounded very pleasing indeed.

The speaker is very solidly built with a good solid power connector at the back. There are some touch controls on the top of the unit and a sturdy, easy carry handle molded into the flat top making it easy to carry around.

Bluesound don't make a dedicated sound bar, but they don't need to because you can connect your Pulse 2 to your TV giving you a £600 sound bar without having to fork out for another speaker type.

Buy two speakers by Bluesound and you can pair them so they become stereo speakers; something I'm itching to try but can't currently afford.

The negative for Bluesound is the software. It works very well on an iPad and iPhone but it's klunky on my Mac - and annoying. Sonos, from what I understand, is much better in this area but sonically, I think Bluesound has more than an edge.

The fact that I can use the software to stream music from Spotify, Tidal (to name just a few) and tune into, what I assume to be almost any radio station in the world, now means I can begin to enjoy my music.

I can listen to L.A radio one day, BBC the next, Bangkok radio on another day or stream my favourite songs from my NAS device or the streaming services. All from my iPhone or iPad.

The Pulse 2 is not cheap but once you've spent the money you'll not be sitting there wondering whether you should have bought something else. You will certainly have made the right choice and this is the deciding factor really: regret; for there won't be any here.
 

The_Lhc

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David Tudor said:
The Bluesound can be stereo paired too.

If Sound quality is your aim, Bluesound is the way to go but if ease of use through the software is more important, go Sonos.

 
You said that already but in their recent multi-test WHF gave the prize to the Sonos Play:5 because they said it edged the bluesound on sound quality, so...
 
Aug 15, 2016
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can you please let us know with the new play 5 having rave reviews does it still make sense to shell out $200 more for pulse 2?

and where does bose soundtouch 30 stand in all of this? Bluesound does have the high res advantage for sure but let's say i don't listen to high res would bluesound still sound better than play 5 or soundtouch 30. i purchased the play 5 but the one feature i really miss was the bluetooth because i dont have subscriptions to most music streaming services and so im thinking of returning play 5 and getting either the soundtouch or pulse 2.

Also can bluesound / bose speakers pair up when playing music through bluetooth or does it play on one speaker at a time?

and lastly pulse 2 vs bluesound duo? how do they compare against each other?
 

jjbomber

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Dec 22, 2006
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Idris Baxamusa said:
can you please let us know with the new play 5 having rave reviews does it still make sense to shell out $200 more for pulse 2?
Oppo are releasing their version soon. If you're not in a hurry, I would wait and listen to their offering before committing.
 

bigboss

Moderator
jjbomber said:
Idris Baxamusa said:
can you please let us know with the new play 5 having rave reviews does it still make sense to shell out $200 more for pulse 2?
Oppo are releasing their version soon. If you're not in a hurry, I would wait and listen to their offering before committing.
Now this is very interesting!!!

https://www.oppodigital.com/sonica/
 

jjbomber

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Dec 22, 2006
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bigboss said:
Now this is very interesting!!!

https://www.oppodigital.com/sonica/
That's the one. It is out in America but not on the UK website yet, so I couldn't find it when I needed it. If it's anything like their other products then start queueing! I'm sure David will let us know more in due course.
 

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