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Nakamichi vs Sonos: Which Audio Equipment Brand Is Better?

Nakamichi vs. Sonos

Nakamichi vs Sonos: Which Audio Equipment Brand Is Better?

Key Points

  • Nakamichi and Sonos are both highly-rated audio equipment brands known for their premium quality and high prices.
  • Nakamichi tends to be more expensive than Sonos, but their devices are state-of-the-art and luxurious.
  • Sonos is more affordable and popular, with a clear aesthetic formula that appeals to customers.
  • Nakamichi is designed for gamers with impressive sound systems, while Sonos is known for streaming and entertaining.
  • Both Nakamichi and Sonos produce exceptional sound quality, but Nakamichi focuses on creating an immersive experience for gamers.

“Good” quality audio will vary drastically between individuals. Some people have very specific preferences, whereas others are more flexible when it comes to picking audio gear. 

Several important, key factors will determine the “better” option for you.

Still, the brands Nakamichi and Sonos are among the highest-rated on the market, and they have plenty of differences between them that might make or break your purchase decision. Both of these brands are premium-tier in terms of quality. Their audio systems can cost upwards of $2,000, depending on what you’re looking at. Let us start comparing the two and see which one is better for you.

technology, music, audio, amazon, speaker, corporation
The Sonos Beam in all of its glory — worthy opponent to equipment from Nakamichi.

Nakamichi vs. Sonos: Side-By-Side Comparison

NakamichiSonos
Founded19482002
Based InJapanCalifornia
IndustryHi-fi equipmentConsumer electronics
Areas ServedWorldwideWorldwide
Most Famous ProductDragonAtmos

Nakamichi vs. Sonos: What’s The Difference?

These two companies provide tough competition for each other. Neither has a bad reputation or a history of sacrificing quality in their products to produce more on-trend tech within a year. Instead, both companies are respected forces in the tech world, drawing huge audiences of audiophiles worldwide. 

Out of all the companies we’ve compared, these are arguably the closest in merit. They are both very impressive, and the brand that’s better for you and your space will differentiate more on the specs of each item versus the brand itself.

However, if you are searching to be a brand loyalist, a few core values might help make your decision a bit easier or more clear.

Best for Large Rooms
Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4
$1,497.99
  • Four 2-way rear speakers
  • 10" wireless subwoofers
  • Spatial Surround Elevation SSE Technology
  • 3 advanced audio processing engines
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/02/2024 01:19 pm GMT

Price

Nakamichi is going to be more expensive a lot of the time. For example, their popular Shockwafe model is going to cost you around $2,000 no matter what. Meanwhile, the Sonos Sub costs closer to $1,000.

The prices that Nakamichi charges are not for nothing, though. These devices are state-of-the-art in terms of quality, and their hefty price tags reflect the design choices that are made to improve the user’s experience with the product.

Most people will turn down an amazing product if the budget is unrealistic, that’s completely normal. Thankfully, some Nakamichi products are less exorbitantly priced, but many of the popular ones are. It’s important to understand this before you begin shopping the brand as it could turn you away from it entirely. These are luxury sound systems, and their prices are luxurious, too. 

Sonos, however, rivals Nakamichi’s quality control efforts by selling similar products at half the cost. Personal budgets will be the highest determining factor going towards which brand you prefer.

Reasons to buy Nakamichi Dragon 11.4.6
The Nakamichi Dragon 11.4.6 claims to be the first wireless surround sound system in the world.

Design

Both companies don’t skimp out on design choices. Their aesthetic appeal will please the harshest critics, but truthfully, Sonos is the winner in this category. Nakamichi designs are nice, presentable, and aesthetically pleasing but Sonos takes the cake still.

Sonos is admittedly a more popular brand, by consumer standards. This is largely due to their commitment to making their products nice to look at. Remember, customers are going to buy with their eyes first. Many people aren’t inclined to look at each device’s specs, picking through details to find the perfect fit.

While both brands make sure their products look nice, Sonos has a clear aesthetic formula that they follow. Their sound systems will likely look sleeker on your desktop, depending on what you’re going for.

Use

This is one of the biggest differentiators between Nakamichi and Sonos. Aside from your budget and what your eyes gravitate towards, the way you intend to use your speaker can make or break your experience with it. Gamers love Nakamichi units because they are quite literally designed for them. These impressive sound systems intend to give gamers the most immersive experience possible. 

This is largely because Nakamichi units are designed with more inputs, making them compatible with several different devices and setups. The orientation of these devices is incredibly impressive, even for beginners. Though they ooze luxury from every inch of the product, you won’t experience an intense learning curve with these advanced systems.

However, if you’re looking for something to stream your favorite songs, Sonos will probably be your best bet. They are well-known for their Bluetooth speakers and USB soundbars, like the popular Arc model

Nakamichi’s Shockwafe system, however, is an amazing example of the brand’s affinity for gamers. The stationary nature of the system is perfect for PC gaming. 

If you’re not an avid gamer, you can still benefit from Nakamichi’s products — if you’re willing to pay the price for them. Most people will find that they fare better with Sonos models for regular streaming and entertaining.

Quality

Sound quality is many people’s most important determining factor when they are purchasing a new sound system for some obvious reasons. You want your system’s sound quality to be worth its weight in gold, and then some. Thankfully, both Sonos and Nakamichi’s products tend to go above and beyond in terms of sound quality.

Nakamichi is concerned about creating an immersive experience for their users. They want their audience, primarily composed of gamers and PC enthusiasts, to be able to feel like they are in the game they are playing.

As a result, the sound quality of their products is incomparable to that of Sonos. Their competitor does, however, produce high-quality sound time and time again. It’s simply on another level since these devices tend to be used for different reasons. 

If you want to entertain on a grand scale or commit more to your gaming hobby, go with Nakamichi. If you’re looking to host house guests and need a better device to stream music, Sonos will be your best bet.

Sonos Roam
Sonos makes small audio equipment too, like this portable speaker.

Nakamichi vs. Sonos: 8 Must-Know Facts 

Nakamichi:

  • The brand became extremely popular in the 1970s for bringing high-quality audio systems to Japan.
  • They created the world’s first three-head cassette deck.
  • Initially, the company intended to focus on research within electronics and optics, but they eventually branched out.
  • Their cassette decks helped the world pivot away from reel-to-reel recordings, making music listening a portable experience.

Sonos:

  • The founders of Sonos wanted to create a wireless service before they developed any of the products they’re known for today.
  • Their first products were launched to mass markets in 2002, after some delays.
  • They opened a studio and art gallery in Los Angeles (May 2012) to display their products entertainingly.
  • The brand has had successful collaborations with others, notably working with IKEA in 2017.

Nakamichi vs. Sonos: Short History and Comparision

Nakamichi was established in 1948, while Sonos was established in 2002, making it a much younger company. However, that hasn’t stopped Sonos from creating groundbreaking, state-of-the-art tech.

Sonos tends to be more affordable than Nakamichi, but there are still some high-ticket items in their catalog. They are also more well-known for creating portable devices, versus Nakamichi’s famous stationary speaker systems.

Sonos is more focused on consumer electronics, so you may be more familiar with their name than Nakamichi. Both competitors are very established in their niche, but they market their products significantly differently. These days, Nakamichi tends to have a very apparent target audience, with many of its products being geared towards pro gamers who need an elevated sound setup to get an immersive experience.

There are many different Sonos speakers that you could take with you to the beach, but fewer Nakamichi ones exist. They are both excellent quality speakers, but the bang you get out of your buck will really vary based on how you intend to use it. 

Either way, the main thing to note is that owning a Nakamichi or Sonos speaker will change your mind about audio tech forever. The caliber of the quality that both brands produce is exceptional. Even if you’re just looking for a casual upgrade to what you currently own, you will be amazed by most models from each brand.

Our Pick
Sonos Era 100
$249.00
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and USB connectivity
  • Compatible with Apple AirPlay 2
  • 47% faster processor and 25% larger midwoofer
  • Features Sonos Radio
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/02/2024 01:25 pm GMT

Nakamichi vs. Sonos: Which One Is Better? Which Should You Use?

These two competitors make it difficult to determine which is better since both are great on their own. Comparatively, it narrows down to personal needs, expectations, and budgets when you’re trying to pick between them.

For example, if you just want to entertain yourself and others — Sonos is your jam. Conversely, if you’re trying to become a more serious gamer, try investing a grand or two in a Nakamichi system

It may seem like a big purchase for many, but you’ll likely realize that it was worth it. Both of these systems will last you nearly a decade, or over a decade with proper care.

Simply put, Nakamichi is great for gamers, and Sonos would be perfect for everyone else.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Sonos or Nakamichi better?

Both Sonos and Nakamichi are great brands that provide high-quality products to their customers. Neither tends to fault in terms of quality, but Sonos is more popular among consumers. Nakamichi is a great brand for gamers, or aspiring gamers, and they market their products in that realm most of the time. Sonos, however, is known for its speakers and portable soundbars.

Should I get a Sonos or Nakamichi speaker?

The speaker you get will vary based on a number of factors, but primarily your intended use and realistic estimated budget. For example, Nakamichi products can cost thousands of dollars–but most Sonos products will only set you back a few hundred, which is considerable for the average consumer. If you really want to get serious about your gaming setup, though, consider saving up for a Nakamichi speaker–they are truly out of this world.

Where can I get Sonos and Nakamichi speakers?

Sonos has some storefronts across the United States, but they are also sold in other retailers like Best Buy if you would like to try the products out before you buy one. Both brands also have their own websites that allow you to buy the speaker directly from the company. Otherwise, several Sonos and Nakamichi products are available on Amazon, and they are put on sale for a fraction of the cost frequently.

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