The Sonos Five is a wired mid-size speaker that can be used horizontally or vertically. It has a bright sound profile that delivers a thumpy, punchy bass. While it doesn't have a more comprehensive EQ to help tweak its sound, its companion app offers bass and treble sliders. However, it only supports Wi-Fi and Apple AirPlay. It also has a lot of compression at max volume and doesn't offer voice assistant on its own. That said, it's a suitable choice for users looking to incorporate a sleek-looking speaker into their Apple ecosystem.
The Sonos Five is good for music. It has a bright sound profile with punchy, thumpy bass suitable for a variety of audio content. Its companion app offers bass and treble adjustment sliders and it has a good soundstage. However, while it can get loud, there's a lot of compression at max volume.
The Sonos Five is mediocre for videos and movies. It has a thumpy, punchy sound profile that's well-suited for sound effects and a good stereo soundstage. However, there's a lot of compression at max volume. You can only stream your audio via Wi-Fi or Apple AirPlay, which is a little limiting. Luckily, it has low audio latency.
The Sonos Five is mediocre for podcasts. It has a balanced mid-range, which helps reproduce clear and detailed dialogue. You can also share your podcast across several Sonos speakers across your home. However, it's not very portable, and it doesn't support Bluetooth or multi-device pairing.
The Sonos Five isn't suitable for voice assistant. While it doesn't support voice assistants on its own, it can be controlled with either Alexa or Google Assistant when it's connected to a voice-enabled device over Wi-Fi.
The Sonos Five isn't recommended for outdoor use as it has a wired design.
The Sonos 5 is a sleek mid-size speaker with a simple, rectangular design. It has a matte coating and a graphite grille. You can either use this speaker horizontally, which gives you stereo audio, or use it vertically for mono audio. There's a small status light next to the play/pause button that can be turned off via the app if you prefer. This speaker is also available in a black finish.
The Sonos Five isn't very portable. It's larger than the Sonos Move and needs to be plugged into a wall outlet if you want to use it. Since it's meant to be used wired, it doesn't have a one-hand carry.
The Sonos Five has a mediocre build quality. It feels sturdy and solid, but it isn't designed to be used in or around water. However, the manufacturer states that it can withstand high-humidity like in a bathroom with a running shower.
This speaker has a decent control scheme. It has a set of touch-sensitive control on its top side. Two four-dotted buttons can be tapped to adjust the volume or swiped to skip tracks. There's also a button between both dotted buttons that you can press and hold to play/pause audio or add the music that's playing in another room. It also has a physical join button, which allows you to reset the speaker or connect it to your wider Sonos system.
The Sonos 5's frequency response accuracy is great. It has a thumpy, punchy bass, but is fairly bright overall. That said, its neutral mid-range is well-suited for vocal-centric content. If you prefer a different sound, you can tweak its sound profile using the bass and treble adjustment features within its companion app.
Note: We tested this speaker after running Sonos' Trueplay feature on the Sonos S2 companion app. This feature automatically tunes the speaker to your room by measuring how sound reflects off of your walls and other surfaces around it.
Its soundstage is good. When used in its horizontal position, it can play stereo content, but its directivity is somewhat narrow. However, it's still impressive for a speaker that doesn't have a 360-degree design.
This speaker has a disappointing dynamics performance. While it can get pretty loud, there's a lot of pumping and compression artifacts at max volume, so it's not recommended to push this speaker to its max volume.
This speaker doesn't have a battery.
The Sonos 5 doesn't have any voice assistants. However, the manufacturer advertises that this speaker can be controlled with Alexa or Google Assistant when the speaker is connected to a voice-enabled device over Wi-Fi.
The Sonos S2 app is outstanding. While it lacks an EQ, it has bass and treble sliders to help you customize its sound. You can also pair two Sonos speakers together to create a stereo pair. You can connect multiple speakers in separate rooms together to play the same audio throughout your home wirelessly, too.
This speaker can only be used wired. It has an analog in-line with a 3.5mm jack so that you can play audio from devices like older smartphones. It also has an Ethernet port so you can connect it to your home network.
This speaker doesn't support Bluetooth.
The Sonos 5 has good Wi-Fi compatibility. While it doesn't support 5Ghz Wi-Fi, you can stream your favorite audio to the speaker using Apple AirPlay, and it has very low latency, too. However, it doesn't support Chromecast built-in.
The Sonos 5 comes in two color variants: 'Black' and 'White'. We tested the 'White' variant, and you can see its label here. We expect the 'Black' color variant to perform similarly to our test unit.
If you come across another variant, please let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.
The Sonos Five is a wired mid-size speaker. Unlike the Sonos Move, it's only meant to be used within the home and can be placed horizontally or vertically, depending on your preference. It has a bright but thumpy and punchy sound profile and you can stream your favorite audio to the speaker using Wi-Fi or Apple AirPlay. However, it doesn't support voice assistants on its own.
The Google Home Max and the Sonos Five are two mid-size speakers with different strengths and depending on your needs, you may prefer one over the other. The Google has better controls and has an excellent performing Google Assistant built-in. It also supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Google Chromecast. However, the Sonos can produce more low-bass and has a better-balanced sound profile, which makes it better suited for music. It also supports Apple AirPlay.
The Sonos Five is a better overall speaker than the Sonos One SL. The Five is capable of reproducing a lot more low-bass, which is great for genres like EDM or hip-hop, and it can play stereo content without downmixing it into mono. However, some may prefer the One SL's smaller size. You can also add it to a Sonos-compatible soundbar setup if you want surround speakers.
The Apple HomePod and the Sonos Five are two speakers with different strengths, and you may prefer one over the other, depending on your needs. The Apple has a better soundstage and performs better at its max volume. It also has Siri built-in, which can be voice-activated and can hear you from quite a distance. However, the Sonos is better for music since it can produce more low-bass and its sound profile is better balanced. It also has a bass and treble slider via its companion app.
The Sonos Move and the Sonos Five have different strengths. The Move is better suited for outdoor use as it's battery-powered and has an IP56 rating for dust and water resistance, although we don't currently test for this. It also has outstanding voice assistant capabilities, and you can wirelessly stream audio to the device using Bluetooth. However, the Five is better suited for music as it can produce more low-bass, and it can be used in stereo or mono mode, depending on how it's placed.
The Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM is a better speaker overall than the Sonos Five. The Ultimate Ears is battery-powered, so it's more portable and can be used outdoors. It's better-built, and it gets louder with fewer compression artifacts at max volume. Some listeners may prefer its graphic EQ over the Sonos' bass and treble adjustments, too. However, the Sonos reproduces more low-bass out-of-the-box, and its default sound profile is more neutral and balanced.
The Google Nest Audio and the Sonos Five have different strengths and depending on your usage, you may prefer one over the other. The Google speaker is better suited for voice assistants, as it has Google Assistant built-in. It also supports Bluetooth. While the Sonos doesn't support voice assistants at all, it's better for movies and music as it has a better-balanced sound profile with a thumpy low-bass. It can also be used in a stereo or mono mode, depending on how it's placed.