When it comes to producing quality smart speakers, Sonos has been in the game for quite some time. They have produced a large line of well-respected products that provide excellent audio quality and useful smart features, and that sort of dominance has attracted the attention of other brands. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but Sonos’ competitor Denon takes that imitation to a whole new extreme.
In addition to copying the same sort of naming mechanism with the addition of their HEOS 3, HEOS 5 and HEOS 7 speakers, they also mirrored Sonos’ strategy of offering different sizes of speakers for different types of situations.
It’s clear that Sonos didn’t appreciate the “flattery”, as they’ve responded to Denon’s imitation with a lawsuit that Denon is still trying to fight. However, rather than adjusting their strategy, Denon has doubled down on their imitation by continuing to expand their product line at an impressive pace. In just two years, the brand has managed to introduce four stand-alone speakers, a soundbar/subwoofer combo, two different wireless receivers, a wireless range extender, and more. Recently, the company also revamped pretty much every single product in their lineup in order to add Bluetooth and hi-res audio support with a designation known as HS2 (make sure you’re looking for that label to find the newest models!)
Sonos, on the other hand, has taken a much more conservative approach to expansion with just one new product and the introduction of the Trueplay feature that allows you to tweak EQ settings using a smartphone mic.
Is this a situation where the imitation will surpass the original? Sonos at this point remains the top dog, but the gap continues to grow smaller and smaller.