Sonos Playbar vs Bose SoundTouch 700 Soundbar Comparison

One can say with certainty that Bose has the most complete package with the Sound Touch 700. It offers impressive audio quality and a wide range of connectivity options that the Sonos Playbar lacks. So between the Bose Soundbar vs Sonos, the Bose Sound Touch 700 is an instant choice.

ProductBrandNamePrice
BoseBose Soundbar 700 with Alexa voice control built-in, BlackCheck Price on Amazon
BoseBose 767520-1100 SoundTouch 300 Soundbar, works with Alexa,BlackCheck Price on Amazon
SonosSonos Playbase - Sleek Soundbase for TV, Movies, Music, and More - BlackCheck Price on Amazon
SonosSonos BeamCheck Price on Amazon
SonosSonos - Playbar Soundbar Wireless Speaker - BlackCheck Price on Amazon
BoseBose Soundbar 500 with Alexa voice control built-in, BlackCheck Price on Amazon

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While television speakers have improved a great deal over the past few decades, they still cannot replicate proper speakers that offer surround sound experience. So the solution may seem like getting a pair of additional speakers to improve the experience. But if you’re looking to truly take things to the next level in terms of your television audio performance, the best place to start is with a soundbar. However, given the number of options available out there, you may be spoilt for choice.

These are horizontally shaped speakers that can be paired with your television or other compatible devices using wireless technologies like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. As you are probably aware, there are plenty of options for soundbars available in the market today. However, two brands that stand out amidst the crowd are Sonos and Bose. The two companies have made audio products for a while, with the latter being around significantly longer in the market.

Given that soundbars are a relatively new concept, the experience in the audio segment doesn’t matter, as several manufacturers have proven. Speaking of soundbars, Sonos has multiple products in the category, though the one that stands out is the Sonos Playbar. Some of its legacy speakers are no longer available for purchase, however, although the company recently updated the model to keep in line with its competition.

As for Bose, the company has multiple products in a similar range, including the Bose 300 Sound Touch, and the 500, while the Bose Soundbar 700 is the top of the line offering.

Well, If you’re in the market for the best soundbar for your 4K TV or as part of your home audio system, the Sonos Playbar and the Bose Soundbar 700 are two offerings you should consider.

The primary benefit of a soundbar over a traditional home theatre audio system is its compact size. Soundbars can also be connected to the internet for smooth music streaming. Companies like Sonos and Bose make it possible to effortlessly add a dedicated subwoofer or a pair of rear speakers for even better sound quality, so it’s always compatible with the changing hardware and connectivity options.

Bose Soundbar 700 vs Sonos Playbar

Bose Soundbar 700 vs Sonos Playbar Design

The Sonos Playbar measures 5.51 x 35.43 x 3.33 inches. It has a durable cloth cover over the front drivers and a perforated metal grille over the drivers on the sides. An elegant metal strip decorates the bottom of the speaker and also runs along the back. On the right side are two buttons: one button is for volume control and the other allows you to play or pause the music playback. The same buttons are used to establish a wireless connection with your smartphone or tablet. The Playbar, however, is quite bulky at 11.9 pounds.

The best part about the Playbar is that while it’s capable of completely blending in with your TV, it has design elements that make it stand out on your home entertainment system or television.

On the back are two Ethernet ports, an optical port, and a connection for the included power adapter. The Playbar also has an integrated infrared repeater, which captures the signal from your TV remote with a sensor on the front and transmits the signal with an infrared transmitter on the back. Thanks to the infrared repeater, even if your Playbar obstructs the infrared sensor on your TV, your TV remote will work just fine.

The Bose Soundbar 700 measures 2.25 x 38.5 x 4.25 inches, so it’s bigger than the Sonos Playbar. The top of the speaker is covered with a single piece of glass, and both the front and the sides are wrapped in a single piece of extruded aluminium. Despite using premium materials on the Sound Touch 700, Bose has managed to keep the weight down to 10.5 pounds.

Toward the top-left corner of the speaker are useful LED indicator lights. These include a Wi-Fi indicator, a TV indicator, a Bluetooth indicator, and others. Bose also offers a context-sensitive universal remote to help you control the Soundbar 700.

Thanks to Bose’s QuietPort design, sound distortion is significantly decreased in comparison with the older models, while the widened sound field makes speech and other dialogues on your TV much clearer to hear. The company also talks about the inclusion of PhaseGuide technology which makes it seem like the sound is coming from beyond the soundbar, offering the best surround sound experience (without actually offering it).

On the back of the speaker are an HDMI input (with HDMI ARC) and output connectors, an optical input, a power input, an Ethernet port, a micro USB port for service, and several proprietary expansion connectors. Both manufacturers require customers to purchase a separate kit to mount their playbars on the wall.

While both look modern and premium in their way, the Bose Sound Touch 700 has an advantage since its newer on the market and has some subtle hardware distinctions.

Bose Soundbar 700 vs Sonos Playbar Controls

The Soundbar 700 doesn’t have too many buttons on top, with a dedicated action button and a mute button included. These buttons are touch-sensitive, so users need to be careful not to accidentally press them while operating the soundbar. The LED strip on the Sound Touch 700 lights up when you interact with Alexa or Google Assistant, which is a neat feature. Despite the minimalism on offer, we would have much rather liked to see more buttons, particularly for those who like to control the aspects of a TV soundbar manually.

Thankfully, Bose makes up for this with its comprehensive universal remote control. This offers the ability to control practically any of your devices including the home entertainment system or even your gaming console.

While the Sonos Playbar may be lacking in some areas, it comes with more control buttons than the Bose speaker. The physical buttons on the device are located on the side panel which includes play, pause, as well as volume control buttons. There are no touch-sensitive buttons here, which may appeal to the users we mentioned above. However, the sacrifice here is that Sonos doesn’t offer a universal remote control for its customers, which can limit your options to some degree. However, users can purchase third-party universal remotes that are compatible with Sonos players.

Bose Soundbar 700 vs Sonos Playbar Features

Right off the bat, it’s worth mentioning that neither soundbars come with true surround sound capabilities. However, customers are always free to add more speakers or a woofer to bring in true 5.1 surround sound performance. Given that neither soundbar has the feature, we can’t hold it against either manufacturer.

The Bose Sound Bar 700 and the Sonos Playbar rely on manual calibration for sound optimization, but each soundbar uses an entirely different calibration process. Bose’s ADAPTiQ audio calibration uses your room’s acoustics to customize the sound, and the calibration itself is done in several steps. This process ensures that the speakers are automatically calibrated to the environment it’s in, offering optimum sound quality depending on the room you’ve placed it in. The Sonos Playbar, however, can only be calibrated only with an iOS device.

The company’s Trueplay technology uses the microphone in an iPhone or iPad to measure how sound reflects off walls, furnishings, and other surfaces in your living room to provide an illusion of surround sound. It then automatically calibrates the soundbar, with the entire process taking approximately 3 minutes from start to finish. But even without calibration, both soundbars are designed to sound great right out of the box and offer impressive surround sound with bass provided you have additional speakers or a woofer.

Both Bose and Sonos have created polished smartphone apps for their soundbars. The Bose Music app lets you take total control of your listening experience, allowing you to browse popular music services, internet radio stations, audio books or instantly stream music to the Soundbar 700 using your phone. Bose recently renamed its app to Bose Music.

The Sonos S2 app does mostly the same, but it also comes with an alarm feature, which the Bose app lacks. With it, you can set up music to greet you in the morning and lull you to sleep each night. This app brings pretty much all your content under one app, including music, podcasts, audio books, as well as radio.

One of the crucial omissions on the Sonos Playbar as compared to the Bose Soundbar 700 is the HDMI port. This allows for more freedom with regards to connectivity, with the Bose offering also supporting HDMI ARC. This feature offers the ability to establish upstream and downstream signals between your TV and the device. The best part is that HDMI ARC works with any standard cable produced after 2010 or so.

The Soundbar 700 also comes with Apple AirPlay 2 support by default, making it compatible with a wide range of existing 4K televisions as well as

Because Sonos is looking to serve a different audience, the omission is not a surprise. However, in terms of connectivity and features, it’s clear that the Bose Soundbar 700 has a clear advantage over the Sonos Playbar.

Regardless of whether you purchase the Bose Soundbar 700 or the Sonos Playbar, you can buy additional speakers to kick the audio performance up a notch. Again, the two companies offer very similar products at similar prices.

Bose Soundbar 700 vs Sonos Playbar Sound/Audio Quality

Both soundbars hide an array of fine-tuned midrange speakers and tweeters. All soundbars must be placed in front of an obstacle, typically a wall, against which they can bounce the soundwaves coming from them and create the sensation of side surround speakers without requiring additional speakers.

In this regard, the Bose Soundbar 700 fares better than the Sono Playbar. The difference isn’t dramatic, but it’s the surround sound sensation is noticeably more believable. Of course, this advantage of the Bose Soundbar 700 fades away when you purchase dedicated rear speakers for the Playbar.

While Bose mentions the inclusion of Dolby Digital among the supported formats, there’s no mention of Dolby Atmos tuning on the company’s site. However, it can provide excellent bass and overall audio quality even without a subwoofer. The Sonos Playbar does offer decent bass performance on its own thanks to the acoustics as well as the fabric finish. Additionally, Sonos makes it easy to add additional speakers or woofers to the Playbar.

Apart from this, the two soundbars sound very similar. The bass isn’t overpowering although you may need to purchase a dedicated subwoofer for that. However, they can accurately represent mids and highs and faithfully position all instruments and sounds around you on a virtual sound stage. Regardless of whether you’re listening to music or watching movies, the sound here is truly captivating.

Regardless of how great your TV sounds like, both soundbars are guaranteed to take your listening experience to the next level, and you don’t even need to ruin the look of your living room by running speaker wires everywhere. A single elegant soundbar under your TV is enough.

The Playbar uses a total of three tweeters and six mid-range drivers with two of them placed in a 45-degree angle to expand the reach of the audio in all directions. Thanks to this adjustment, bass quality is impressive, and regardless of whether you’re watching a movie or just listening to music, the sound will come through very clearly. Overall, this is an excellent single-speaker setup for your television.

On the other hand, the Bose Sound Bar 700 comes with one tweeter and three mid-range drivers, so it’s not as tightly packed as the Sonos offering.

Dolby Digital and Dolby Atmos

Standards like Dolby Atmos and Dolby Digital are relatively newer in the marketplace and enhance sound quality a great deal. Though the features are not present on the Sonos Playbar or the Bose Soundbar 700, both manufacturers are been wise enough to offer the feature on subsequent models of their smart home soundbars.

The newer iteration of the Sonos Playbar doesn’t directly support Dolby Atmos or Dolby Digital, some users have pointed out that the Sonos Playbar can support it in some way if your television supports Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound throughput. However, on its own, the Sonos Playbar doesn’t support either standard.

By contrast, the Bose Soundbar 700 can offer surround sound encoded in Dolby Digital and DTS formats. The SoundBar 700 doesn’t have Dolby Atmos, though it’s a feature likely to be included with the next upgrade as Sonos did with the Sonos Arc recently.

Since neither speaker has Dolby Digital or Dolby Atmos, it’s safe to say that the two soundbars are tied in this regard.

Bose Soundbar 700 vs Sonos Playbar Setup Process

To start with the Bose Soundbar 700, the setup is fairly straightforward. All you have to do is place the Soundbar 700 next to your television or media centre, though the company recommends keeping a distance of at least 1 to 3 feet from wireless devices that you’re looking to pair. After you’ve placed the soundbar where you want it, it’s as simple as plugging it into a power source. You can alternatively make the pairing process more comfortable by using the Bose Music app available for free for Android and iOS.

The pairing or setup process for the Sonos Playbar is not too different, although the steps must be followed correctly. For the best sound quality, Sonos recommends placing the Playbar at least 2 inches away from the television. To get started with the pairing, users simply have to connect an optical cable from the Playbar onto the television’s digital audio out port. Be advised that you are required to remove all existing home theatre or surround sound speaker connections from the TV before the setup process. It is recommended to plug-in gaming consoles or Blu-Ray players directly to the television.

After this, the process is as simple as downloading the Sonos app known as the S2 from your iPhone or Android device. The Sonos app will also allow you to sign in to music subscriptions or cloud-based audiobooks, giving access to all content from one location. The remote control offered with the Sonos Playbar can be automatically detected by the system as well, which further simplifies the process.

Bose Soundbar 700 vs Sonos Playbar Colors

Customers can get the Bose Soundbar 700 in either Black or White colors, whereas the Sonos Playbar is only available in Black given that it’s nearing the end of life status. However, both speakers look pretty decent in either color, although Bose provides some flexibility in line with your living room decor.

What’s missing on the Sonos Playbar?

As most are probably aware at this point, the Sonos Player is an older device, meant specifically for devices compatible with Apple devices. This effectively means the pairing process is limited to owning an Apple-made device like the iPhone, iPad or just plugging in the optical cable onto your device manually.

Unfortunately, the Sonos Playbar also misses out on Apple AirPlay 2 support, while newer models have been upgraded with the necessary hardware. To make things easier for users of older hardware, Sonos has mentioned that AirPlay 2 can be enabled by simply pairing a compatible Sonos speaker in your home. With this, the older hardware will be compatible with Apple’s dedicated audio and video casting feature.

This lack of compatibility with other services has severely restricted the Sonos Playbar’s reach, though it has certainly managed to find thousands of fans over the years. There’s no HDMI port onboard either, though newer versions of Sonos speakers have rectified this to a great extent.

Customers will also like to know that The Playbar doesn’t come with wall-mounting equipment, so it needs to be purchased separately. Truthfully, this is widely the norm among soundbars, and not really a significant omission but worth considering if you’re looking to place the soundbar on the wall.

The Sonos Playbar also lacks a subwoofer, though the audio performance of the default speakers are pretty decent on their own. Reviews indicate that the center speaker placement hits the right spots and can effectively offer crystal clear audio. However, if you’re expecting a room thumping bass experience, think otherwise.

Given that the Sonos Playbar belongs to an older segment of soundbars, it lacks features like Dolby Digital or Dolby Atmos, something that are commonly found on the newer playbars that you may find in the market. Unfortunately, there’s no built-in Alexa on the Playbar, which may irk some newer customers. However, the Playbar can pair with existing Alexa devices like the Echo or the Echo Dot. Google Assistant voice control, also misses out on the Sonos Playbar. This somewhat limits the feature set of the Sonos Playbar feature set, particularly with regard to voice control.

What’s missing on the Bose Soundbar 700?

Though the Bose Soundbar 700 is undoubtedly one of the best soundbars out there, it’s not without its inadequacies. While Bose offers an HDMI ARC port with the Soundbar 700, there’s no dedicated HDMI input port on this soundbar.

Users will also notice that the Soundbar 700 doesn’t have a sub-bass feature, which is not a massive miss, though noticeable during music playback. As many users will say, the Sound Touch 700 does have an impressive bass performance on its own.

Thankfully, the soundbar comes with connectivity options like Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth, allowing users to pair practically any device, including smartphones. As we’ve briefly pointed out above, the Soundbar 700 is compatible with wall-mounting, though the company doesn’t provide the necessary equipment for it. However, customers can look for third-party wall-mounting tools that can be found online, like this one.

Bose Soundbar 700 vs Sonos Playbar Verdict

Sonos may have pioneered soundbars, but Bose had taken the lead with the Soundbar 700. It’s hard to pick a clear winner because the differences between the two soundbars are so small, especially in terms of their features. It’s also safe to say that both speakers perform exceptionally well, which makes the choice even harder.

Moreover, apps by Sonos and Bose perform perfectly well with mobile devices, while the Sonos app appears to cover more services, Bose’s app offers compatibility with a wider range of devices, including over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. By contrast, the Playbar doesn’t have Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and the connectivity options are limited.

When it comes to sound quality, however, the Bose Soundbar 700 does a much better job creating a believable surround sound sensation than the Playbar. This advantage disappears when you add additional speakers to the Playbar, but on its own, the Bose Soundbar 700 the winner of this comparison.

We also love the fact that voice control is a much easier process on the Soundbar 700 given that it comes with support for Google Assistant as well as built-in Alexa. In addition to offering the best sound in the market, the Soundbar 700 is also widely compatible with woofers or subwoofers that you can find in the market thanks to the long list of connectivity options. This can help a great deal if you’re unimpressed by the default bass performance and want something extra.

But that’s not to say the Playbar is not good enough. It’s worth mentioning here that the Sonos Playbar offers an excellent sound profile coupled with the fact that it’s significantly cheaper than the Soundbar 700. This serves as a superb mid-range soundbar if you don’t have a big budget.

Other models by the brands worth checking out

Plus, the Sonos Playbar has been in the market a lot longer than the Bose Soundbar 700, which doesn’t happen unless it’s an excellent product. This is perhaps why Sonos has not discontinued the Playbar despite newer models hitting the shelves, like the Sonos Arc that we spoke about as well as the Sonos Beam, which is a cost-effective alternative to the Bose 300 Soundbar or the Soundbar 700 and makes up for some of the missing features on the Sonos Playbar.

While the Arc is a more complete package on par with the Bose Sound Touch 700, the Sonos Beam is a more affordable offering. Both are fairly impressive in their own right and are excellent alternatives to the Playbar, particularly if you’re looking for newer features. We also recommend the Sonos Playbase which is available in an attractive White color.

The company also offers attractive combos consisting of products like the Sonos Sub and the Sonos One SL home speaker, effectively turning your home entertainment setup into a 5.1 channel surround sound system with most of them working wirelessly.

If you like the Bose offering but are held back by the pricing, you may also want to consider the smaller Bose Sound Touch 300. The Soundbar 700 is more expensive given the presence of premium features underneath including a better set of speakers.

We also like the Bose SoundBar 500 for a decent mid-range performance, though it is placed below the Sound Touch 700 on the company’s list. Entry-level customers can consider the Bose Soundtouch 300, which won’t be as advanced as the Soundbar 500 or 700, but it may be used as a living room or bedroom television. Bose offers a universal remote with all variants, something that Sonos is yet to pick up on.

The best part about all three Bose soundbars is that they come with the same connectivity and software features including built-in Alexa support and compatibility with Google Assistant for enhanced voice control.

The company recommends adding accessories like the Bose Bass Module and Bose Surround Speakers that can be purchased separately. Bose’s accessories or add-on equipment are also somewhat cheaper as compared to Sonos’ offerings like the Sonos Sub.

The best thing about getting a soundbar is that not only do you get the best audio quality out there, but it’s also extremely easy to customize. As we’ve briefly touched on above, Sonos offers compatibility with features like AirPlay 2 even on older devices as long as you have a Sonos device that supports the new standard. Bose, meanwhile, is known for its unparalleled audio quality as well, and the inclusion of the aforementioned Surround Speakers or the Bass Module can significantly ramp up audio quality.

ProductBrandNamePrice
BoseBose Soundbar 700 with Alexa voice control built-in, BlackCheck Price on Amazon
BoseBose 767520-1100 SoundTouch 300 Soundbar, works with Alexa,BlackCheck Price on Amazon
SonosSonos Playbase - Sleek Soundbase for TV, Movies, Music, and More - BlackCheck Price on Amazon
SonosSonos BeamCheck Price on Amazon
SonosSonos - Playbar Soundbar Wireless Speaker - BlackCheck Price on Amazon
BoseBose Soundbar 500 with Alexa voice control built-in, BlackCheck Price on Amazon

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