Ultimate Guide to Bose Soundbars: Are They Worth the Investment

Updated on: October 24, 2023

Are you considering a new soundbar? The plethora of options can be overwhelming, but let’s focus on Bose soundbars, a renowned name in audio technology. Known for their sleek design and advanced technology, they stand out as a tempting option for any home theater setup. Yet, the pivotal question remains: does their performance live up to the high price tag? To delve into Bose’s pricing, you can check out our detailed article.

Is it truly a worthwhile investment?

Weighing the design against performance is crucial, and we’re here to guide you through it. So, settle in, and let’s explore together.

Key Features of a Bose Soundbar

Bose soundbars stand out for their regular updates, sleek design, and the addition of sought-after features with each new model, making them a favorite for theater enthusiasts. They strive to offer top-notch soundbars, but like any technology, they have their drawbacks, such as harsh highs, insufficient low bass, and expensive upgrades. For a comprehensive brand comparison, see our JBL vs. Bose guide.

Now, let’s delve into these crucial features to better assess their value.

bose design
(image credit: digitaltrends)
  • Next-level design: If you’re seeking a stylish and high-quality soundbar, Bose is a top choice. Their soundbars are not only slim and elegant, but also boast stunning designs in their latest models, featuring a glass top, metal grille, and a touch-sensitive area, “replacing physical buttons with a touch-sensitive area. They come in various colors to suit your room’s aesthetic, and include a microfiber cleaning cloth for maintenance. However, the remote is bulky and doesn’t match the soundbar’s premium appearance.
  • Room Size: A soundbar that complements your room and TV size is a smart investment. Bose soundbars are typically 2.5 inches tall and about 50 inches long, fitting well with modern TVs and can be placed under your TV seamlessly. You can wall-mount the soundbar, though you might need to purchase an additional bracket.
  • Affordability: While Bose soundbars are pricier, they offer significant audio quality enhancement, though achieving a full surround sound experience requires additional speakers and a subwoofer.
  • Compatibility: Ensure your TV is compatible with the Bose soundbar before purchasing. They can be connected via HDMI ARC, optical cable, or Bluetooth, with HDMI ARC being the recommended method.
  • Connectivity: Bose soundbars offer a variety of connectivity options including HDMI eARC, IR trigger, optical ethernet, USB socket, subwoofer port, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi, supporting various streaming services and voice assistants. While Bose soundbars offer a variety of connectivity options, some users might find the single HDMI port limiting.
  • Voice Assistance: Bose soundbars feature robust voice assistants, allowing for easy control of your home theater with voice commands. Keep in mind that features vary between models, so checking the specs before purchasing is crucial.
  • LED Light Strip: The multi-color LED strip on Bose soundbars provides visual feedback for voice commands and operations, adding a charming touch to your setup.
  • Upgradability: Bose soundbars are easily upgradable with additional speakers and subwoofers for enhanced audio quality. However, enhancing your audio setup with these additional components can significantly increase the overall cost.
  • Bose Music App: The Bose Music app provides easy control and setup of your soundbar, but it is essential for accessing all features, requiring your smartphone to be kept updated with the app.
  • Dolby Atmos: Newer Bose soundbar models feature Dolby Atmos for an immersive audio experience, though they may lack in bass output and have harsh highs.
  • Remote Control: The Bose remote control offers backlit buttons for easy use in the dark and syncs with the Bose Music app for seamless control. However, the design may not appeal to everyone, and features vary between models.
  • Audio Output: Bose soundbars deliver immersive audio quality with clear dialogue and adjustable settings via the Bose Music app. However, for optimal bass, pairing with a subwoofer is recommended, and it’s worth noting that not all models support Dolby Atmos content.
  • Source Libraries: Bose soundbars allow for easy streaming from various music apps directly from your mobile phone, with additional streaming options available through the Bose Music app. However, control is limited to one device at a time.

User Opinions on Bose Soundbars: Are They Worth It?

Bose soundbars have been a topic of discussion across various platforms, with users sharing their experiences and opinions. Here’s a comprehensive look at what users are saying about different Bose soundbar models.

Bose 500 / 700 Soundbar

The Bose 500 and 700 soundbars have received mixed reviews. Users appreciate the sound quality, especially with the 700 model, noting its compatibility with OLED LG TVs. However, there are concerns about the necessity of a subwoofer, with some users strongly recommending it for enhanced audio quality. The absence of eARC and Dolby Atmos has been pointed out, but some users believe the sound quality is sufficient without these features. Comparisons with other brands like Sonos Beam 2 have been made, with users suggesting checking out reviews and testing the products in-store before making a decision.

Bose 700 Soundbar

The Bose 700 soundbar is praised for its sound quality and sleek design that fits well under TVs. However, users are divided on whether it justifies its high price tag, especially without Dolby Atmos support. Some users recommend considering refurbished units for a more affordable option. The soundbar is deemed excellent for console gaming, but users suggest looking into other brands and models for a more comprehensive audio setup.

Bose Soundbar 900

With the introduction of the Bose Soundbar 900, users have shared their experiences, highlighting its impressive sound quality, especially when paired with a high-end TV like the LG C1 OLED. The soundbar’s ability to enhance audio playback and create a 5.1 system-like experience is noted. However, users suggest that the soundbar’s performance is significantly improved with the addition of a subwoofer and rear speakers. Some users have experienced firmware issues, leading to connectivity problems.

Bose Smart Soundbar 600

The Bose Smart Soundbar 600 has garnered positive feedback for its spatial audio capabilities and affordability. Users who have purchased it at a discounted price find it to be an excellent deal. However, there is a consensus that adding rear speakers and a dedicated subwoofer would elevate the audio experience. Users recommend considering the Surround 700 for a more immersive sound, especially if the speakers are placed further away.

Final thoughts

When it comes to style and competitive excellence, Bose soundbars are definitely at the top of their game. Plus, with the addition of Dolby Atmos, they’re even better. But, if you’re looking to future-proof your system, you might want to consider other options.

As a heads-up, not all Bose soundbars come with all the features discussed here. So, make sure to read the specs carefully and choose the one that’s right for you. But overall, if you want a great home theatre experience, a Bose soundbar is definitely worth it.

I’m Shaun Conroy, an audiophile & founder of HiFi Audios. Holding a Bachelor’s in Sound Engineering, I bring deep expertise in audio devices and offer insights & recommendations to fellow enthusiasts.

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