HomePod 2 HomePods or Play 5

Shmuco

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 21, 2010
32
0
Hello all!

So I have the option of getting one Play 5 or two HomePods. What are people’s thoughts?

Annoyingly I won’t be able to listen them before hand.
 

waw74

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2008
3,154
188
I've not heard the play5, but I have a decent collection of ones, play1s and a beam.
I'm not a "shake the walls with my music" kinda person, but a friend is, and he loves his play:1s

the ones and play1s have the same speaker setup, the newer "one" just adds a mic and airplay 2
They ones have really good bass, not quite as much as the HomePod, but close
They sound really amazing, and I'm sure going up in size only makes them sound better.
I've never heard the 5s in person.

they both have airplay 2 so no difference there.

For me, the sonos system is much better,
-you're not limited to Apple Music for local playback on the speaker.
-Control is easier, just launch the sonos app (Mac, iOS, windows, or android) (You can also use Alexa/google if you get a compatible sonos speaker, or you can also control any sonos from stand alone Alexa/google devices)
(for HomePod, you have to use iOS or siri to choose music, and it's a little fiddly to choose playback on phone and then airplay to HomePod, or playing directly on hompod)​
-the 5 has a line in jack, so if you ever expand your sonos system, you can send that audio to any of the other speakers.


HomePod
-Siri (not sure if that's a pro or con, she can be annoyingly not helpful)
- homekit hub (if you have homekit devices, it will allow access when you're away from home, nothing changes when you're in your house, and an appleTV, or iPad can also do the same thing)

I've seen people having issues with stereo home pods, more so with airplay, but haven't really looked too closely, since I'm not going to be getting another. so something you should research.


If this is something you're buying, you can get 3 Play:1s for the same price (or 2 play:1 and a One)
a couple things to note.
Stereo pairs must be same type (play1 & play1 or One & One)
if you have a One you can airplay to that speaker and connect all your other sonos speakers to that one, even if they don't support airplay directly.
 

robjulo

macrumors 65816
Jul 16, 2010
1,240
1,919
Personally....I'd get two Sonos Ones vs the play5 and put them in a stereo pair. Great sound, airplay2 and a much greater variety of music and radio services.
 

bbednarz

macrumors 65816
Nov 16, 2017
1,158
2,697
Chicago
Do you use Siri and/or HomeKit? If you do I would recommend the HomePod. Either way you're going to be getting a great sounding speaker(s). Something else to consider is how your room is setup and where you want to put the speaker(s). In my office I don't really have anywhere for the Play 5 to fit, but my HomePod fits nicely on my desk. I also have their "5.1" setup using a Beam, 2 Ones, and their Subwoofer. I can't say a bad thing about them, they work great. I have a HomePod stereo setup in my kitchen and it sounds fantastic. I'd say just get whatever fits best in your space. I don't think you'll be disappointed in either of them.
 

NTXiOS

macrumors newbie
Jan 23, 2019
5
0
I have the SONOS Play 5 Generation 2, SONOS Beam, SONOS ONE, Gen 1 and several Play 1's. I also have two HomePods for my office. Without question the Play 5 beats anything two HomePods can produce as far as sound quality. Even the SONOS Beam has better sound than my HomePods. I would personally choose a pair of SONOS One's, gen 1 or 2, over one HomePod if I had to choose as another option to the expensive Play 5. SONOS is getting more integration functionality and will now play Apple Music on voice commands. Keep in mind the Play 5 is not a smart speaker on its own. Don't get me wrong, I love my HomePods as a stereo pair in my office, but SONOS is the best in this market space right now....its all they do and they do it well.
 

James Craner

macrumors 68000
Sep 13, 2002
1,707
170
Bristol, UK
Slightly old thread, but compared to the previous poster, I thought a different view may be of interest. I had a play 5 1st Gen, and 3 play 1’s, before Apple launched HomePod. Clearly this is subjective as the previous poster feels different, but I felt based on my experience that one HomePod sounds better than a single play 1. One play 5 sounds better than one HomePod, but two linked Homepods blow a single Play 5 out of the water. I sold all 4 Sonos, and bought 4 Homepods to replace them.

However Homepods only make sense if you subscribe to Apple Music, if not Sonos would be a more sensible choice.
 
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Jar Jar Abrams

macrumors member
Feb 4, 2018
31
8
Play:5 Gen2 sound great I own 4, 2 homepods will sound better than 1x Play5, two play5 sound more directional that two home pods for sure but I think the home pods in stereo (no stereo mac support!!!) maybe envelop the room more, two play5 with SUB and no contest, in late August there is a Sonos update across the non- voice assistant line and that'll include Play:5 soon to become Play Five so I'd hold off for a week buying, homepods are awesome competitors to Sonos and I used to think the bonus with sonos was the great app but HomePod is getting better and I'm torn whether I'll hang on to my Play5's now, I have 3 homepods...
 

kicksology

macrumors newbie
Sep 5, 2019
2
0
Hello all!

So I have the option of getting one Play 5 or two HomePods. What are people’s thoughts?

Annoyingly I won’t be able to listen them before hand.
I own two HomePods that are configured as a stereo pair and, based on in-store comparisons to the various Sonos offerings, I'd agree with much of what's already been said. In other words, my ears tell me that two HomePods in a stereo pair sound better than one Play:5.

I've been really, really impressed by the audio quality of the HomePods in stereo and love their diminutive size. I've also become a big-time user of HomeKit, and "Hey Siri" is a million times better via the HomePods as compared to my iPhone.

That said, I'm really close to biting the bullet and transitioning over to a Sonos-based system. The reason being that the HomePods are just too limiting. If you know that you're only ever going to play music via digital sources, and don't expect to ever move away from iOS and Apple Music, HomePods are perfect. But, in my case, I'd very much like to be able to play vinyl through my HomePods and, short of dedicating a Mac to this purpose, there's no way to achieve this today.

By contrast, Sonos offers multiple products that would enable me to do exactly what I want to do. Plus, Sonos would give me the flexibility to build up a system over time. For example, I could start with one Play:5, but then, down the road, add a second Play:5, a Sub, a Beam in our TV room, which could then be expanded to a 5.1 system, etc. Of course, I'd end up paying a lot more for this Sonos system, but it's the difference between actually being able to do what I want to do and having to live within the narrow constraints set out by Apple for HomePod.

To me, the bottom line is, if HomePod meets your needs today and you don't expect those needs to change much over time, I believe HomePods are actually a fantastic value for people who care about audio quality, but don't want to deal with wiring and the complexity of conventional audio systems. But, if you think your needs might evolve over time, Sonos is a much better choice because it gives you the flexibility to deliver against a wide range of use-cases.

Hope this helps!