Have you ever wondered what the key differences between Sonos, Airplay and Bluetooth speakers were?
What the differences actually mean to you?
As a rule Airplay and Bluetooth speakers stream music from a connected smartphone or tablet that may be playing music directly from the phone, or streaming music from the internet from the phone. Airplay or Bluetooth speaker owners will know it’s an all too common experience to have their listening interrupted by incoming notifications from their smartphones. The casual listener might not mind. If you are answering the phone then how can you be listening to music.
It becomes a different proposition when it’s not just you listening to the music. At home listening casually it’s not the end of the world to have the occasional interruption, but on social occasions like dinner parties, or even if you have a few friends over for drinks, a Snapchat ping, txt or message notification over the speakers can spoil the mood of the evening.
Bluetooth speaker owners also face the prospect of having calls broadcast on the speakers when answeing a call. AirPlay handles mobile phone calls more discretely by cancelling the audio to the sound system until the phone call is finished. Still not ideal.
Sonos for parties
Sonos on the other hand, does all the heavy lifting when streaming music. Your phone is unburdened by the overhead of maintaining a Bluetooth connection with the speaker, or the constant demands of streaming packets of music data over the wi-fi network to an AirPlay speaker. This is good news for the battery life of your phone. It’s likely your phone will spend less time attached to the charger during the day too. It can spend more time being your phone.
Sonos also has great multi-room functionality — every room can play the same song in sync. Try doing that with two or more AirPlay or Bluetooth speakers.
Together but separate
The music keeps playing with Sonos with, or without your phone present. Select your playlist and hit play. The playlist now resides within the Sonos system. You can take a walk and the music goes on. Unlike Bluetooth streaming which needs to have a phone streaming to the speaker in the same room. AirPlay streaming capability is an improvement using the wi-fi coverage of your house. But your phone still needs to stay connected to the AirPlay speaker all the time in order to provide uninterrupted service.
More Sonos for parties
When it comes managing music at parties, having Sonos makes life so much easier. You can play phone roulette with impatient party people wanting to pair their phone to the Bluetooth speaker, or battle with everyone elses phone vying for the next spot on the AirPlay speaker music queue.
Let everyone download the Sonos app to their phone, and then they can add their selection to the playlist. There are important differences between Sonos, Airplay and Bluetooth speakers, but most importantly the key difference is how smooth and social the Sonos experience is. Your music will flow like the rivers of Babylon.