Comparison of Roku/Apple TV vs. Sonos for Playing Music in Residential Systems

By: Lisa Marie

When considering the use of Roku or Apple TV compared to a Sonos system for playing music in a residential setup, several key factors come into play.

Sound Quality:

  • Sonos: Known for its high-quality sound output and dedicated speakers designed for optimal audio performance.
  • Roku/Apple TV: While both devices can stream music, They may not be known for their audio quality and yet we have found they sound quite good. We are looking for your feedback here.

Ease of Use and Integration:

  • Sonos: Renowned for its user-friendly interface and seamless integration with music streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and more.However reauthenticating services is tiresome, along with switching apps for full features.
  • Roku/Apple TV: Primarily designed for video streaming, they may not provide the same level of convenience and integration specifically tailored for music playback as Sonos does. However, for the lowest common denominator of users, the onscreen display is about as easy as it gets and works with a basic tacktile clicker. Also, from a pricing stand point it’s only $79 - $149 price point. If you have a video distribution system you have your audio extraction or in some cases Dante streams.

Multi-Room Setup:

  • Sonos: Excels in multi-room audio setups, allowing users to synchronize music playback across different rooms effortlessly.
  • Roku/Apple TV: While possible to achieve multi-room audio with these devices, it may require additional setup and third-party apps compared to the seamless experience offered by Sonos. Runway’s Aviator solves this problem with Grouping of not just audio but management of your video as well as Automations building, and scheduling.

Cost Considerations:

  • Sonos: Generally considered a premium brand with higher-priced products but offers superior sound quality and dedicated features for music enthusiasts.
  • Roku/Apple TV: More budget-friendly options that can serve dual purposes of video streaming and music playback, but may not match the audio fidelity of Sonos systems.

As we conclude our exploration into the world of home audio systems, weighing the benefits of streaming devices like Roku and Apple TV against the dedicated Sonos system for music playback, we’ve navigated through various considerations from device capabilities to cost-effectiveness. This journey has illuminated the diverse preferences and needs that define our listening experiences in residential settings. Armed with these insights, the choice between embracing the versatility of streaming devices or the specialized audio quality of Sonos systems becomes a reflection of personal preference, lifestyle, and the value we place on audio experiences in our daily lives. It’s our hope that this discussion has enriched your understanding, guiding you toward making a choice that resonates with your unique auditory landscape.

Also consider personal experience as the Gold standard is to have devices that JUST WORK.