Sonos Move vs Bose 500 (2020): Which Wireless Speaker Should You Buy?

The Sonos Move and Bose Home Speaker 500 are from two of the best manufacturers in the audio industry. In short, you can’t really go wrong in picking either one of them as your go-to wireless speaker. Still, each one has some unique features that set them apart, and we’re here to help you decide which one will suit your needs best.

Sonos Move vs Bose 500 Comparison Chart

ModelSonos MoveBose Home Speaker 500
Sonos Move - Battery-powered Smart Speaker, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with Alexa built-in -...Bose 795345-1100 Home Speaker 500 with Alexa Voice Control Built-in, Black
PriceCheck Price on AmazonCheck Price on Amazon
Dimensions (W x H x D)6.29″ x 9.44″ x 4.96″6.7″ x 8″ x 4.3″
Weight6.61 lbs4.65 lbs
Transducers1 Mid-woofer, 1 Down-firing Tweeter2 Full-range Drivers
Amplifiers2 Class-D Digital AmplifiersIntegrated
Microphones4 Far-field Microphone Array8 Microphone Array
Microphone Mute ButtonYesYes
Battery PoweredYesNo
ControlsVoice, Touch-capacitive Buttons, Sonos AppVoice, Touch-capacitive Buttons, Bose Music App
Voice AssistantBuilt-in Amazon Alexa, Google AssistantBuilt-in Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
Apple AirPlayYesYes
Wi-FiYesYes
BluetoothYesYes
Water ResistanceIP56No
LCD DisplayNoYes
Audio InputNo3.5mm Aux
Year of Release20192018
ColorsBlackTriple Black, Luxe Silver

Design

The two have that premium look, but the Bose Home Speaker 500 stands out with its seamless anodized aluminum body.

Sonos Move vs Bose 500 Design
Neither the Sonos Move (left) nor the Bose Home Speaker 500 (right) feel or look cheap.

Unsurprisingly, the Sonos Move and Bose Home Speaker 500 are a sight for sore eyes. Both are on the high-end range, after all, but by the same token, they come with premium price tags.

Sonos fitted the Move with a shock-resistant casing, meaning you won’t have to worry too much about drops or bumps. While that typically means that aesthetics are eschewed in favor of practically, the company didn’t sacrifice anything here, making a speaker that’s not only sleek but also durable.

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That said, the Sonos Move boasts a black finish with a black grille to match. It’s also designed to be easy to carry around, thanks to its ergonomic handle, but despite that, it’s not exactly the lightest out there, weighing 6.61 lbs.

Meanwhile, the Bose Home Speaker 500 is built with anodized aluminum that’s so seamless that it can add an elegant touch to just about any room.

The Sonos Move comes in only black, while the Bose Home Speaker 500 is available in more fancy-sounding colors: Triple Black and Luxe Silver.

Sound Quality

Both the Sonos Move and Bose Home Speaker 500 can produce premium sound.

Sonos Move vs Bose 500 Sound Quality
The Bose Home Speaker 500 (in photo) is touted to produce “wall-to-wall stereo sound” with only one speaker.

The Sonos Move can deliver excellent sound quality that doesn’t deteriorate even when you crank up the volume. That’s made possible due in part to its mid-woofer and down-firing tweeter paired with two class-D digital amplifiers, allowing it to reproduce a deep bass and clear high frequencies with an excellent and even dispersion.

Backed by Sonos’ proprietary automatic Trueplay technology, the Move also adapts to your environment and what music you’re playing, using its microphones to make tuning adjustments on the fly.

On the other hand, the Bose Home Speaker 500 relies on two full-range drivers to produce a rich sound with just the right amount of bass, playing each and every note with clarity.

According to Bose, the Home Speaker 500 features “wall-to-wall stereo sound.” From what can be heard, it can produce a “stereo effect,” even though it’s only one speaker, and fill an entire room with music. In other words, it lives up to Bose’s claim.

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Features

The difference between the Sonos Move and Bose Home Speaker 500 become clearer when it comes to their features.

Sonos Move vs Bose 500 Features
As far as distinctions go, the Sonos Move (left) is IP56 rated and battery powered, while the Bose Home Speaker 500 (right) sports an LCD display.

The Bose Home Speaker 500 has an LCD screen that’ll display what music it’s playing and other info such as the name of the radio station and even album covers, among other things. It also has a 3.5mm aux input to boot.

One of the arguable weak points of the Bose Home Speaker 500 is that it doesn’t play nice with older Bose speakers, meaning it’s harder than it has to be to incorporate it into a multi-speaker system, unless you have the newer models. Nevertheless, it does get the job done as a single speaker and then some.

Made to be enjoyed not only inside but also outside, the Sonos Move has a water and dust resistance rating of IP56. That makes it capable of withstanding spills and the like, but it likely won’t survive, say, hours outside during heavy rain. The Move is Sonos’ first foray into the portable Bluetooth speaker game, so that means its functionality isn’t limited to your Wi-Fi’s range.

As mentioned earlier, the Sonos Move is portable, and one benefit to that is you can easily move it around your home. That also means there’s no need for you to invest in a speaker for every room in your house since you can take it pretty much anywhere you go. It’s powered by a 2,420 to 2,500 mAh battery that’s rated to last up to 10 hours, and it can be charged via its USB-C port or charging base so you won’t have to keep plugging it in again and again. The charging base isn’t water resistant, mind you.

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Just like the Bose Home Speaker 500, the Sonos Move isn’t exactly the best at working together with other speakers. That’s only because it can’t beam what it’s playing to others in Bluetooth mode.

Controls

The Sonos Move and Bose Home Speaker 500 support Apple AirPlay 2 and have Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built in.

Sonos Move vs Bose 500 Controls
The Bose Home Speaker 500 (in photo) features six preset buttons alongside its touch-capacitive controls.

Connectivity-wise, the Sonos Move and Bose Home Speaker 500 support Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, as well as Apple AirPlay 2, so there’s no shortage of options here.

Physical and voice controls are simple and straightforward because of their capacitive-touch buttons and built-in Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Speaking of virtual assistants, they both have a microphone array that can pick up your voice commands even while they’re playing music. When you’re in need of a little privacy, you can disable their microphones at a tap of a button, and to make sure you always know whether they’re on or off, they both have indicators at the top.

In the Sonos app, you can configure and control the Move and other connected speakers and tune in to a number of stations via Sonos Radio and streaming services. The Bose Music app can do just about the same things, including adjusting bass and treble levels. When it comes to managing multiple speakers, though, Sonos’ app feels more intuitive compared to Bose’s.

One clear advantage the Bose Home Speaker 500 has over the Sonos Move is its six customizable preset buttons that make accessing your favorite songs or radio station more convenient.

Verdict

The Bose Home Speaker 500 delivers more in terms of sound quality.

It wasn’t an easy pick, but the Bose Home Speaker 500 is the winner here because of its audio quality. After weighing the factors, it just provides more overall than the Sonos Move. In fact, there’s almost nothing to complain about it, except for its somewhat unintuitive app and limited integration capabilities with other speakers.

The Sonos Move shouldn’t be cast aside just like that, though. It’s still worth considering because of its portability, more-than-decent sound quality, and other nifty features such as its IP56 rating, charging base, and Trueplay technology.

Last update on 2020-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Vincent Lanaria
Vincent Lanaria