The Bose SoundTouch 300 and the Sonos Playbar are two comparable soundbars: similar pricing, similar reviews, and similar features. But when it comes down to it, which one of these two is the one to purchase to optimize your home theater?
While the Bose SoundTouch 300 and Sonos Playbar are similar soundbars, what’s the difference between the two? The Bose SoundTouch 300 is an intuitively designed soundbar that is built to be used with the latest technology, while the Sonos Playbar is built to be a simple, high-quality soundbar. As far as technology goes, the Bose SoundTouch will likely outlast the Playbar.
The SoundTouch 300 was created to integrate with 4K TVs through HDMI ARC support, and the Sonos Playbar only has a basic HDMI output. Additionally, the sound quality is slightly different. The Bose SoundTouch 300 lacks deep bass, but it has an extremely wide sound stage. The Sonos Playbar is built with better bass, but a less wide sound stage.
The Bose SoundTouch 300 is best used with other Bose products – specifically with its wireless subs and speakers. The Sonos Playbar only works with other Sonos products. Both are created to connect with your devices over Wi-Fi. However, the Bose SoundTouch 300 also includes Bluetooth compatibility, and the Playbar does not. Not only does this feature allow for easy integration with devices, but it also allows for connections with third-party speakers. There are many pros and cons to these two soundbars, and the choice between the two really comes down to your personal preference.
When deciding which soundbar to choose, you must make sure to find one with all the bells and whistles you’re looking for, plus the wattage you need. It should complement your current (and future) home theater products, and most importantly, your TV. While both of these models are highly rated and made by trusted home theater brands, let’s see which of them is the right fit for you.
What Are The Differences Between the SoundTouch 300 and Sonos Playbar?
The Bose SoundTouch 300 and the Sonos Playbar are very similar units. They are both capable of adding a wireless subwoofer and rear surround speakers, and they are typically the same price. They both seamlessly integrate with Wi-Fi, giving music lovers the ability to stream music from popular music apps at any time. However, they come with quite a few different features, so let’s dive into them.
There are a few differences in the design of the Bose SoundTouch 300 and the Sonos Playbar. The Bose SoundTouch 300 has a highly sleek design that actually ends up being a bit of a problem. There are no buttons on the soundbar itself, so if you lose the remote, you’ll have quite a bit of trouble. On the contrary, the Sonos Playbar is equipped with touch controls on the device itself: play/pause music, skip a track, and volume controls. Additionally, the Bose SoundTouch 300 is very wide at 97.9 cm, so it’s made for 50-in+ TV screen sizes. The Sonos Playbar is 90 cm wide and works well with 42-in TVs and larger.
Each of these soundbars has different sound quality pros and cons. The Bose SoundTouch 300 is known for a super wide sound stage that sounds good whether you’re watching Monday night football or jamming out to a wide variety of music genres. The Sonos Playbar features a crisp and powerful sound from nine class-D digitally amplified speakers – six mid-range speakers and three tweeters, which give deep, rumbling lows and immersive waves of sound. The Sonos Playbar’s nine speakers help to also create a wide sound stage, and they are extremely efficient in how they distribute and consume power. The main difference is the bass: the Bose SoundTouch 300 simply doesn’t have a deep base quality, so you’ll definitely want to add a sub for the perfect sound from this system.
As far as integrating with your current TV and speakers, there are some major differences. The Bose SoundTouch 300 was built to hook up with a TV with HDMI ARC support, allowing for 4K pass-through, as well as both Dolby Digital and DTS decoding, but it does support an optical digital connection, as well. The SoundTouch 300’s 4K HDMI support is a great indicator that this soundbar will be able to be used for a long time. The SoundTouch has a 3.5mm jack to hardwire a bass module, but it will also wirelessly connect to the Acoustimass 300 wireless bass module and the Virtually Invisible 300 wireless surround speakers for deeper bass and a more expansive surround sound. It’s also compatible with the Bose SoundTouch 10 and up wireless speakers.
The Sonos Playbar hooks up to the TV with an optical audio output. The Playbar speaks Dolby Digital and stereo and is compatible with all amplified and non-amplified Sonos products.
Read on to learn more about the specifics of each of these great soundbars.
Bose SoundTouch 300 (Click for Amazon Price)
While the Bose SoundTouch 300 is an older version of the SoundTouch soundbar product line – the Soundbar 700 being the updated version, it is a bit cheaper than the updated version and is still equipped with the same high-quality sound system that the 700 has. The SoundTouch 300 is created to be best used with Bose products, like the SoundTouch multiroom system, as well as TVs that are HDMI ARC-enabled. Overall, this soundbar is capable of expansive, clear, and high-quality sound and is intuitively designed to be very attractive and integrative.
The Bose SoundTouch’s design is one of its great features, which includes a tempered glass top and a mesh front with input LEDs in the top corner. It is able to be mounted on a wall or sat upon a surface. It is a 3.0-channel soundbar that uses PhaseGuide technology to achieve a wider soundstage than you’d think a soundbar could produce. It also includes its QuietPort, which adds a bit of bass, even if you don’t add a subwoofer.
It utilizes the Bose SoundTouch Wi-Fi music system, allowing users to stream your favorite music services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora directly from the soundbar itself, helping achieve maximum sound quality. It is compatible with the SoundTouch 10 and newer speakers, but it can also be connected to any speakers via Bluetooth.
Most importantly, the Bose SoundTouch 300 comes with the highly sought after HDMI ARC-enabled output to provide 4K pass-through, as well as Dolby Digital and DTS decoding. It also comes with a limited warranty.
One of the major advantages to the Bose SoundTouch 300 is in its design, both physically and behind the scenes. In its physical design, it’s of extremely high-quality and very sleek. It is slim and great looking, yet wide enough to work for large TVs and achieve a maximum soundstage width. Behind the scenes, it supports 4K HDMI, which means you’ll be able to use this soundbar for a long time as long as you remember to turn it on and off as we’ve explained in our other guide. Whether you have a 4K TV now or are thinking of getting one in the coming years, this is a top feature.
The SoundTouch 300 is capable of connecting to other devices through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, which makes it great for hooking up non-Bose branded wireless speakers, as well as for maximum ease-of-use. It is also compatible with Amazon Alexa, so you can use your voice to do just about anything.
The sound quality is great for a soundbar, and you can trust the sound to come out clear and expansive, whether you’re watching a movie or listening to your favorite Pandora radio station. The sound quality can even be kicked up a notch with the addition of surround sound speakers and a sub.
The biggest downfall of the Bose SoundTouch 300 is the clear lack of deep bass. If you’re a fan of bass, you’ll have to make room to add a Bose sub, which is not cheap. And to achieve the maximum sound by adding surround speakers and a sub, you’re looking at an additional thousand dollars. Unfortunately, you can find a similar quality soundbar that lacks bass for a couple hundred dollars less.
Additionally, the SoundTouch 300 is lacking in controls on the soundbar itself. If you were to lose the remote, which is a common problem in any household, you are out of luck. Good luck controlling the power or volume without it. There’s also no 3.5mm input or headphone connection.
Also, the Bose SoundTouch 300’s setup is very strange. It is done through a headband device with a microphone, connected to the back of the soundbar. You have to calibrate the system by listening to various sounds throughout the room.
- Dimensions: 4.2 x 38.5 x 2.2 inches, 12.6 lbs
- Body: Black. Made with glass, metal, plastic
- Network: Bluetooth, Near Field Communication (NFC) and Wi-Fi
- Connections: HDMI input, HDMI output with ARC, SPDIF input, USB, network, subwoofer output
- Supported Audio Formats: Dolby Digital, DTS decoder
- Video Source Compatibility: HDMI and 4K pass-through
- Warranty: 1-year limited warranty
The box includes: SoundTouch 300 soundbar, universal remote, 2 AAA batteries, ADAPTiQ headset, power cord, HDMI cable, and optical cable.
Sonos Playbar (Click for Amazon Price)
The Sonos Playbar is a high-end soundbar that is intuitively built with music lovers in mind. It has a wide range of features, has great sound-quality, and can greatly enhance the home theater experience with HDTVs. It breaks the mold of the typical soundbar that doesn’t boast of great sound with multi-faceted, high-end speakers that are designed to impress.
The Sonos Playbar is equipped with nine digital amplifier speakers, including six mid-range speakers and three tweeters. These help achieve a cinematic sound that’s great for everything from movies to TV shows, music, sports, and games.
You can connect the Playbar to Amazon Echo, Dot, or any Alexa-enabled device for hands-free music listening and overall enjoyment. You can control the Playbar from your current TV remote, or you can utilize the wireless connection for controls with the Sonos app on your smartphone or smart device.
It is equipped with a simple two-cord setup – one for the power cord and one optical input for the TV. It is able to be mounted on a wall or can lie flat on a surface. It has touch controls for play/pause, skip, and volume control. It is able to be paired with two surround sound speakers and a sub for a 5.1 surround system.
The Sonos Playbar includes its Trueplay software on its Sonos app, which allows for custom speaker-tuning. It measures the room and fine-tunes sounds to fit the space optimally. It also includes speech enhancement options, as well as night mode. It is compatible with Dolby Digital and stereo.
The Sonos Playbar’s main and most impressive feature is its nine class-D digital amplifier speakers, which are extremely efficient in the way they distribute and consume power. These speakers are able to replace your TV’s built-in speakers and provide crystal clear waves of sound, including deep lows. The speakers are also designed to deliver directionality and create a wide sound stage.
The Playbar is super simple and easy to use for anyone. Use the app for complete music control, and the setup is a breeze within the app. It plays everything – cable, gaming consoles, satellite, Blu-ray, etc. If it’s connected to your TV, the Playbar can play it. Easily stream and listen to on-demand internet radio, 30+ music streaming services, podcasts, audio books, or your collection of downloads.
One of the biggest downfalls of the Sonos Playbar is its lack of HDMI ARC support, which comes with the SoundTouch 300. If you have a 4K TV or newer, you’re going to want that feature, and this feature alone shows the age on the SoundTouch 300. Since it is a little older, it may not be in the cards for those with newer TVs.
The Sonos Playbar lacks Bluetooth compatibility, which can be frustrating. If a friend comes over and wants to stream through the Playbar on their phone, they’ll need to download the app or use your device. They can’t simply connect via Bluetooth. Additionally, you cannot hook up any third-party wireless speakers through bluetooth, like the Soundtouch 300.
Lastly, the Sonos Playbar is solely compatible with amplified and non-amplified Sonos speakers. You’ll need to purchase the Sonos Sub or the Play speakers to create a 3.1 or 5.1 home theater system.
- Dimensions & body: 3.35 x 35.43 x 5.51 in, 11.9 lbs, black.
- Power: supply AC 100-240V, 50-60 Hz
- Network: Wi-Fi
- Connections: Optical input
- Supported Audio Formats: Dolby Digital and stereo
- Video Source Compatibility: HDMI
- Temperatures: Operating: 32 degrees Fahrenheit to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Storage: 4 degrees Fahrenheit to 158 degrees Fahrenheit
- Warranty: 1-year limited warranty
Package contents: Playbar, AC power cord, optical audio cable, warranty and regulatory booklet, quickstart guide
Which Should You Choose?
Between the Bose SoundTouch 300 and the Sonos Playbar, you need to choose the right one for you, so how do you decide?
First, take a look at your TV. Is your TV HDMI ARC-enabled? If you have a 4K TV, you’re likely going to want to choose the Bose SoundTouch 300 for its HDMI ARC compatibility. If not, what size is your TV? If you have a larger TV, you might lean towards the Bose SoundTouch 300 for an extra-wide design that is suitable for 50-inch+ TVs.
Additionally, the soundbar you choose will likely depend on what type of products you currently have and/or want to purchase. If you own the SoundTouch 10 speakers, the SoundTouch 300 is compatible with them, but it can also connect to any standalone speakers through its Bluetooth integration. Otherwise, it is only compatible with Bose bass modules and wireless speakers.
The Sonos Playbar is compatible with all amplified and non-amplified Sonos products, including the Play:3 mid-size home speakers with stereo sound and the Sonos Sub wireless subwoofer.
Is Either Worth the Money?
This is a great question. The answer, in short, is yes and no. Yes, it is worth the money if you are already into Bose or Sonos equipment. These soundbars can each add a great dimension to your already equipped Bose or Sonos home theater system, especially if you are going fully wireless. If you aren’t using either of these brands already or aren’t sure that you want to, it’s questionable.
The Bose SoundTouch 300 is the clear winner between the two, but the lack of bass quality is a big downfall. While it is a plus that it’s compatible with speakers outside of the Bose line via Bluetooth, unlike the Sonos Playbar, there are other cheaper soundbars that have pretty much all of the same qualities and run a couple hundred dollars less.
Check out our complete soundbar buyer’s guide! This guide goes over exactly what to look for when purchasing a soundbar and it also offers various recommendations for different soundbars.
Does the Bose SoundTouch 300 support Dolby Atmos? No. The Bose SoundTouch 300 only supports Dolby Digital and DTS at this time. The Sonos Playbar also does not.
Will Sonos work with other speakers? The Sonos Playbar only works with other Sonos speakers. It allows for two rear Sonos speakers and a Sonos subwoofer, including all amplified and non-amplified Sonos products. Unlike the Bose SoundTouch 300, it cannot connect to third-party speakers via Bluetooth.