Bose Soundbar 700 vs Sonos Playbar

Bose Soundbar 700 vs Sonos Playbar – Which is Better?

In Buyer's Guides, Soundbarby Jonah MatthesLeave a Comment

Both Bose and Sonos are world-renowned brands. Having built their reputations on producing quality products with modern technologies in sleek packages – is it any wonder these brands produce some of the best soundbars on the market today? However, if you are trying to decide which brand’s soundbar you want to purchase, simple spec reviews may make them seem interchangeable. This is not entirely true. 

So what are the major differences between the Bose Soundbar 700 and Sonos Playbar? The Bose Soundbar 700 delivers cinematic surround sound and includes Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Bluetooth technologies. Sonos Playbar, on the other hand, offers “Speech Enhancement” functionality not included in the Bose Soundbar 700 and has a well-balanced sound profile. 

Both soundbars have a lot to offer consumers; each goes above and beyond quality expectations. But which one is truly the king when it comes to high-end soundbars? Keep reading to find out more. 

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Spec Comparison

Bose Soundbar 700Sonos Playbar
Built-in Audio Channels3.03.0
Speaker Drivers4 Midrange Cones and 1 Tweeter6 Midrange Drivers and 3 Tweeters
Separate SubwooferOptional – Wireless Bose Bass Module 700 (on Amazon)Optional – Wireless Sonos Sub (on Amazon)
Audio InputsHDMI (ARC) and Digital Optical (TOSLINK) Digital Optical (TOSLINK)
Device ConnectivityWi-Fi and BluetoothWi-Fi
Voice ControlAlexa and Google Assistant Built-inAlexa and Google Assistant Optional
Surround Sound Decoding5.1 Channels5.1 Channels
Surround Sound SpeakersOptional – Wireless Bose Surround Speakers (on Amazon)Optional – Wireless Sonos One (on Amazon)
Soundbar Dimensions38.5” x 2.25” x 4.25”35.5″ x 5.6″ x 3.4″
Soundbar Weight10.5 lbs11.9 lbs

Bose Soundbar 700 Pros and Cons List

Bose Soundbar 700 - Smaller
Image provided by Bose.

The Bose Soundbar 700 is quite an investment. At a glance, however, the pros list greatly outweighs any cons that may detract from the value of this soundbar. 

Pros:

  • Features include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
  • The Bose Music app provides users with complete control.
  • Built-in Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa gives even more control and includes the full spectrum of services provided by both. 
  • Well-built and designed to last.
  • QuietPort and PhaseGuide Technologies help ensure distortion is minimized and sound rings true. 
  • Supports a wide array of sound technologies, including Dolby and DTS.
  • Easily upgrades from a 2.0 channel soundbar to a 5.1 channel surround sound system.

Cons:

  • Large soundstage may diffuse the sound in some situations.
  • Does not come with a subwoofer and lacks a sub-bass feature.
  • Does not include full HDMI input ports.
  • Wall mount must be purchased separately.

Sonos Playbar Pros and Cons List

Sonos Playbar

The Sonos Playbar is no less of an investment. However, it remains one of the industry standards when it comes to soundbar technology. The pros and cons of this help explain why at a glance. 

Pros:

  • Well-built design to ensure longevity.
  • Sound profile is well balanced.
  • Sonos App gives users plenty of control.
  • Dialogue is precise thanks to exceptional center speaker performance.
  • Automatic tuning and “Speech Enhancement” help ensure sound remains crystal clear no matter the size of the room or the action occurring in the background. 
  • Easily upgrades from a 2.0 channel soundbar to a 5.1 channel surround sound system.

Cons:

  • Does not include a subwoofer with the purchase and lacks a sub-bass feature.
  • Does not include full HDMI input ports, DTS support, or Bluetooth capabilities. 
  • Wall mount must be purchased separately.
  • Some may consider this technology outdated with limited input/output ports. 

Features: What Makes Each Stand Out?

Bose Soundbar 700

But what features truly distinguishes each of these soundbars? Patented technologies, modern designs, and an understanding of cinematic audio by each of these renowned brands may be the answer. 

Bose Soundbar 700 Features:

Bose incorporated their patented “PhaseGuide Technology” into the development of the Soundbar 700. By combining this with their QuietPort design, distortion is greatly reduced. It also widens the sound field, making on-screen dialogue crystal clear.

While the Bose Soundbar 700 is non-surround sound, the audience will never know the difference. Thanks to the incorporated technologies, sounds will seem to appear from everywhere, giving you the cinematic sound you can be proud of.

Keep in mind you are able to add surround sound speakers and a subwoofer to this soundbar to make it a complete 5.1 surround system.

Sonos Playbar Features:

The Sonos Playbar is a classic. It has been a tried and true model for years. With an understated aesthetic, the Sonos Playbar delivers on quality sound without visually distracting the audience.

Distortion is kept at a minimum so the audience hears the sounds as they should. With the “Speech Enhancement” feature, dialogue can be heard no matter what is occurring in the background.

You are also able to add a wireless subwoofer and surround speakers to this soundbar to make it a 5.1 surround sound system.

Design

Sonos Playbar in living room with subwoofer

At the end of the day, Bose and Sonos are both considered manufacturers of some of the best audio equipment available today. However, the designs each company utilizes give their products unique features consumers appreciate. Let us look at how each of these brands address the design of their unique but comparative soundbars. 

Bose Soundbar 700 Design:

The Bose designed the 700 to be one of the world’s best soundbars. The bar itself contains 4 mid-range drivers and 1 center channel driver. The proprietary drivers are custom-designed, to include low-profile transducers, in order to provide excellent clarity while still allowing for a slim profile.

Recessed ports, which Bose calls “QuietPort Technology” reduces distortion greatly. PhaseGuide Technology directs multi-directional sound, making the audience feel like sound comes from places beyond the soundbar itself.

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity allow you to stream content and control the device without the use of cables. Even when the music is blasting, an 8-microphone array built-into the end of the soundbar ensures even the faintest voice command is picked up.

If you are not sure the Bose Soundbar 700 can hear you, a light bar helps indicate the status of Alexa or your Google Assistant; lights show whether your soundbar is listening, thinking or speaking.

This soundbar was designed to work with most devices. Inputs and outputs include HDMI output with Audio Return Channel (ARC), enhanced ARC (eARC), Consumer Electronics Control (CEC), Optical TOSLink, power input and USB input.

As noted in the cons list, the Bose Soundbar 700 does not include an HDMI input port. Dolby Digital and DTS are both supported by this soundbar. Designed with ADAPTiQ audio room calibration, the Bose Soundbar 700 has optimized acoustics that fit your environment and produces the best sound possible.

Coming in both white and black, the Bose Soundbar 700 is a sleek, modern design that will integrate into any décor. Measuring 2.25-inches high, 38.5-inches wide and 4.25-inches deep, the Bose Soundbar 700 weighs in at only 10.5 pounds and can be mounted beneath a television or set atop your entertainment center. 

The Bose Soundbar 700 is a 3.0 channel bar. However, Bose designed this soundbar to be integrated with their other 700-series speakers, allowing users to expand their system to a 5.1 channel set up if desired. 

Sonos Playbar Design:

The Sonos Playbar is an older soundbar. However, it is still used today as one of the top soundbars available on the market.

With nine class D amplifiers, the matching dedicated speaker drivers ensure sound rings true anywhere in the room. With 6 of those drivers focusing on mid-range tones and the remaining 3 tweeters, the phased speaker array matches sound to visuals.

While the Sonos Playbar does not include Bluetooth technology, it does connect to your Wi-Fi network to allow streaming services. Using the Sonos App, users can enable “Speech Enhancement”, which helps clarify any dialogue, regardless of whether characters are whispering or action dilutes the sound.

Side panel buttons give you volume and playability control even without your phone or remote. LED lights provide Sonos component status and indicate whether the soundbar has been muted. 

As with the Bose Soundbar 700, the Sonos Playbar does not include an HDMI input port. It does, however, include two Ethernet ports, which can be more reliable than wireless connections in some areas. An optical audio in port is also included. Dolby Digital is supported with the Sonos Playbar; DTS, which is not as common but is often featured on Blu-rays, is not supported. 

The Sonos Playbar can be wall-mounted or placed on an entertainment center. However you position it, the Sonos Playbar automatically tunes itself, ensuring optimal sound in any environment.

Measuring 3.35-inches high, 35.43-inches wide and 5.51-inches deep when sitting on an entertainment center, the bar can be rotated flat when mounted, giving a slim projection profile of only 3.35-inches. Slightly heavier than the Bose Soundbar 700, the Sonos Playbar weighs in at just 11.9-pounds. 

The Sonos Playbar is another 3.0 channel soundbar. As with the Bose Soundbar 700, Sonos designed their Playbar to be easily upgraded to a 5.1 channel system when paired with other Sonos products. A subwoofer is also not included with this purchase. 

Set Up

Sonos_Lifestyle_RGB_Small_HT_1 - Smaller

Both Bose and Sonos understand that consumers want products that are easy to set up. In fact, Bose and Sonos both offer apps that give users complete control of their soundbars and make set up incredibly simple. 

Bose Soundbar 700 Set-Up Process:

Setting up your Bose Soundbar 700 is simple. 

  1. Bose recommends you place the soundbar in the desired location, at least 1 to 3 feet away from other wireless equipment. The soundbar can be set directly on your entertainment center. (A wall mounting kit can also be purchased if hanging the unit is preferred.)
  2. Once placed where you want, connect your television to the Soundbar 700.
  3. Connect the soundbar to a power source. The light bar will produce an amber glow once power has been successfully provided. 
  4. Once connected, download the Bose Music app from the Google Play or the Apple Store on your phone or tablet. The app will contain instructions that walk you through the final set up processes. User friendly, the instructions are clear and will have you set up in mere minutes. 

Sonos Playbar Set-Up Process:

Sonos designed the Playbar to be a plug-and-play device. As with the Bose Soundbar 700, set up is extremely easy.

  1. Place your Sonos Playbar where desired. If placing on the entertainment center, set at least 2-inches away from the television. A wall mount will need to be purchased through Sonos if that is the desired placement. 
  2. Disconnect any existing home theater or surround sound components from your television. Connect any external devices, such as a Blu-ray player or game console, directly to your television. 
  3. Connect the optical audio cable from your television’s digital audio out port to the Sonos Playbar’s digital audio in port. 
  4. Connect the power cord to the Playbar and plug it in.
  5. Download the Sonos App from the Google Play or Apple App Store on your phone. As with the Bose Soundbar 700, the app will walk you through the rest of the set up process to have you quickly up and running. 

Audio Quality: Which is Superior?

At the end of the day, after all of the inputs, spec reviews, and personal listening sessions – the winner is the Bose Soundbar 700. With a slightly more accurate response and less compression at maximum volume, the Bose Soundbar 700 has superior audio quality.

Final Thoughts

Both the Bose Soundbar 700 and the Sonos Playbar are quality products. Neither will leave you disappointed. However, Bose has an edge over the Playbar because it has newer technology and broader integration of features.

That being said, Sonos offers new models that may make for a better fit, including the Beam, which features Amazon Alexa and some smart-home functionality.

Leave a Comment