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Recommendations for Bluetooth Speaker: Sonos vs JBL vs Devialet

voidfel

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Hi everyone,

I'd like to buy a Bluetooth speaker. As I'm based out of Dubai, I’m leaning towards brands like Sonos, JBL and Devialet for local warranty and support.

The models I am thinking of:
-Sonos Move 2 (around $570 in Dubai)
-JBL Authentics 300 Smart (around $600 in Dubai)

There are no test models to try before purchasing. Here are a few key factors to consider:

1. Sound quality is top priority.
2. The speaker must be battery-powered as I plan on using it in my garden where there's no access to power. However, the size and portability of the speaker aren't major concerns for me.
3. I mainly use Apple devices, so a speaker with AirPlay 2 support would be a bonus, but it's not a necessity.
4. Budget around $600.

So which is better, the Sonos Move 2, or JBL Authentics 300 Smart, or something else I did not consider?

Final note, I also found the Devialet Mania in a local store, around $850 in Dubai, but it is so expensive, what's so special about it? Should I reconsider the budget?

Thanks in advance for your help!
 

HeadDoc12

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I think you are on the right track here. All of the speakers you mention - including the Devialet - have Wi-fi built in, in addition to Bluetooth. (A fourth option would be the Bang and Olufsen Beosound A5, which may not be easy to find where you are and - in any case - is even more expensive than the Devialet.) Wi-fi means you can feed lossless sound to your speakers when they are connected to the network, as opposed to Bluetooth which (at least today) cannot do lossless, and has to compress the sound before it reaches the speakers. The Devialet is expensive because that brand tends to price themselves high, AND they will do bigger, louder, lower bass than the others (depending on your music, space, etc., this might not even be preferable). JBL also makes a couple of other portable speakers with Wi-Fi - the Charge 5 Wi-Fi and the Boombox 3 Wi-Fi (make sure they have wi-fi in the name, as these are otherwise identical to similar, cheaper models lacking wi-fi). The Charge is much cheaper, while the Boombox costs more than the 300. Those speakers are more durable and completely waterproof, so more designed to be in places they can get dirty and/or wet (they can literally be dropped in a pool and be fine). I really like JBL as a brand, but have not heard either speaker you are considering. The Sonos offers some water and dust protection, while the JBL 300 offers none. It might come down to things like wanting a handle, looks, size, etc.
 
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voidfel

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Thanks for the response. I did find the B&O model that you mentioned, that store is popular here, but that’s even more expensive, almost $1,350.

If the Sonos Move 2 audio is decent enough then there is no need to pay that much more, unless there is a big step up in quality.

For the JBL, I haven’t managed to find any decent reviews. It’s not a popular device it seems.

So is the conclusion that the Sonos are the safest option, good value for money and decent audio?
 

ahofer

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I just bought the new(ish) Sonos 5 for my kitchen. It has an automatic DSP calibration, which helps with boominess (esp. since they are often shoved against boundaries and in corners). I wouldn't call it 'transparent' relative to my main setups, but it is not fatiguing, which is a major gripe I have in this class.
 

Timcognito

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HeadDoc12

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Thanks for the response. I did find the B&O model that you mentioned, that store is popular here, but that’s even more expensive, almost $1,350.

If the Sonos Move 2 audio is decent enough then there is no need to pay that much more, unless there is a big step up in quality.

For the JBL, I haven’t managed to find any decent reviews. It’s not a popular device it seems.

So is the conclusion that the Sonos are the safest option, good value for money and decent audio?
I think you will likely be happy with the Sonos. The main reason the 300 reviews are hard to find is that it is brand-new, so most reviewers have not had a chance to be in a room with it yet.
 

staticV3

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So which is better, the Sonos Move 2, or JBL Authentics 300 Smart, or something else I did not consider?
Take a look at Alan Ross Reviews on YouTube. He reviewed the JBL 300 a few weeks ago.

Some other speakers worth considering are the JBL Boombox 3 WiFi, Harman Kardon Go+ Play 3, and HK Onxy.

Final note, I also found the Devialet Mania in a local store, around $850 in Dubai, but it is so expensive, what's so special about it?
It is comparatively tiny, but plays extremely deep bass.
If you value compactness and sound quality, and have the budget for it, then Devialet may well be worth the price.
 

HeadDoc12

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Take a look at Alan Ross Reviews on YouTube. He reviewed the JBL 300 a few weeks ago.

Some other speakers worth considering are the JBL Boombox 3 WiFi, Harman Kardon Go+ Play 3, and HK Onxy.


It is comparatively tiny, but plays extremely deep bass.
If you value compactness and sound quality, and have the budget for it, then Devialet may well be worth the price.
The Harman Kardon speakers don't do Airplay, just FYI. Bluetooth only.
 
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voidfel

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I’m actually starting to consider the JBL Boombox 3 WiFi after watching some reviews. The audio on that might be better than the Sonos Move 2. Thanks for the suggestion.
 

AM88

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I heard the new devialet. I didn’t like the sound of it compared to the phantoms. It sounded like it was processed so heavily for either fancy dispersion or some sort of surround effect. I am not exactly sure but if the Apple HomePod mini or Google nest audio can be played via a usbc powerbank, it might be something worth considering. A bit of a hodge podge solution but I have both and think they are ok. The google is a Bluetooth capable speaker and the HomePod mini can play via airplay without internet if I am not mistaken….
 

mmi

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Original Sonos Move measurements here. I have one and love it. If you get two you basically have a high quality portable bookshelf system with motion activated room correction.

I’m biased towards Sonos, once you enter the ecosystem it’s addictive. I have a pair of Fives for main speakers plus a Move, Roam and Port (which I run my desktop Genelec 8010s through). I only recently got the Fives (retired a pair of One SLs), they measure solid down to about 32hz in my room and due to the sealed cabinet are still going down into the 20s, it’s kind of crazy.

All your choices are all good, but if SQ is highest priority personally id go Sonos.
 
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voidfel

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Check out this clip:


Doesn’t the Authentics 300 actually sound way better in that clip? It’s much more comfortable and full. The boombox sounded too sharp, harsh, and just limited. Yet Alan concludes afterwards that the boombox is a better listen. He says Authentics is narrower. I don’t understand.
 
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Roms

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Hello,

I have exactly the same research since 2 months, and I still struggle to choose. I am looking for the "best" portable speaker with theses points :

- Sound quality is also my priority number one.
- Loud enought for a 40m² living room.
- 600$ budget max.
- ALexa compatibilty is a big plus.
- I am an android user, if that matters.

About battery, it is a big plus but not an obligation, as I just plan to moove it in the house.

I hesitate between :

- Authentics 300 : it is my first choice (love the design, Alexa + Google), but mixed reviews make me hesitate : some find it awesome, with a big and high quality sound, and some find it "average", acting like mono speaker and with volume level problem when it is on battery. So at this price I have some doubts about the sound quality (for the rest, it check all my needs).

- Sonos move 2 : it could fit my search, but as it is more for an outdoor use, maybe the sound quality is not "that good" and loud, and it is not the best suitable for indoor use ? Like for the JBL, at this price I don't want to go wrong.

I also think about the Authentics 500, the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin, and Sonos Era 300, they have no battery (but is is still possible to moove them), but if the sound difference is way better, I could choose them. Same, I have also think about a pair of Era 100. I had also think about HK gp 3, but no wifi and only sbc bluetooth made me forget about it, is is a pity because the hardware seems very good, but you can play high quality sources (only with jack ...), same thing with wifi should be awesome ...

About Boombox 3, I don't want to go with something to outdoor / rugged looking, as it is for inside the ouse, it have to be a little more refined.

I really don't know what to do ...
 

staticV3

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@Roms I'd buy the HK Go+ Play 3.
You could add WiFi streaming and Alexa support to it using a WiiM Mini, which you could perhaps even power from the HK's own charge port for a tether-free package.
 

Roms

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Thank you a lot for your help, but for the price I prefer to choose a system where all is included. I think to forget the Move 2 and the B&W, so my final choice will be between :

- A pair of Era 100 (but is it enough for a 40m² ? I don't listen at to high volumes, but I like that it fill the room).
- An Era 300.
- An Authentics 300

But I don't know wich solution have the best sound quality.
 

Palladium

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Granted this was on SBC Bluetooth and noisy spacious showroom environment, but I listened and found the JBL Authentics entire lineup to sound pretty bad. I like the Sonos Move 1 a lot more in the same conditions.
 
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