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.
|Bose Soundbar 700||Sonos Playbar|
|Built-in Audio Channels||3.0||3.0|
|Speaker Drivers||4 Midrange Cones and 1 Tweeter||6 Midrange Drivers and 3 Tweeters|
|Separate Subwoofer||Optional - Wireless Bose Bass Module 700 (on Amazon)||Optional - Wireless Sonos Sub (on Amazon)|
|Audio Inputs||HDMI (ARC) and Digital Optical (TOSLINK)||Digital Optical (TOSLINK)|
|Device Connectivity||Wi-Fi and Bluetooth||Wi-Fi|
|Voice Control||Alexa and Google Assistant Built-in||Alexa and Google Assistant Optional|
|Surround Sound Decoding||5.1 Channels||5.1 Channels|
|Surround Sound Speakers||Optional - Wireless Bose Surround Speakers (on Amazon)||Optional - Wireless Sonos One (on Amazon)|
|Soundbar Dimensions||38.5” x 2.25” x 4.25”||35.5" x 5.6" x 3.4"|
|Soundbar Weight||10.5 lbs||11.9 lbs|
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Setting up your Bose Soundbar 700 is simple.
Sonos designed the Playbar to be a plug-and-play device. As with the Bose Soundbar 700, set up is extremely easy.
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.
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.