We've currently tested eight Bose soundbars. Bose is an audio-centric brand that focuses on creating premium-feeling, well-built products that are just as sturdy as they are sleek-looking. While they may lack in audio customization, their balanced and neutral sound reproduction makes their soundbars relatively easy to use. Although we've only tested some of these soundbars on their own, we plan to retest them with their full setups.
The best Bose soundbar that we've tested is the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 with Speakers + Bass Module. This 5.1.2 setup uses Bose's PhaseGuide technology to beam sound throughout your room, resulting in an amazingly wide, immersive-sounding soundstage. There's an ADAPTiQ room correction feature that automatically optimizes audio reproduction based on your room's unique acoustics. With this feature on, it has a very neutral sound profile suitable for listening to many different types of audio content. It's also a great choice for movies, and its dedicated satellites help immerse you in surround sound. Unlike the Bose Smart Soundbar 700, it also supports Dolby Atmos content.
Unfortunately, this setup doesn't support DTS content. There's no Full HDMI In port, so you can't use it as a hub between different devices. Also, compared to other premium soundbars, it lacks some sound enhancement features. There's no EQ to help you customize its sound. That said, there are still bass and treble adjustments to give you some control over its sound.
If you prefer a standalone soundbar, the best Bose soundbar we've tested is the Bose Smart Soundbar 900. This premium-looking bar uses PhaseGuide technology to beam sound throughout your room, resulting in a wide soundstage without the need for dedicated satellite speakers. It also comes with an ADAPTiQ room correction feature, and with this feature on, it has a pretty neutral sound profile with a touch of extra boom in the bass range that's suitable for lots of different types of audio content. There are two up-firing drivers built into the bar that ricochet sound off your ceiling to create the illusion of height when watching Dolby Atmos content.
Unfortunately, without a dedicated subwoofer, this setup struggles to reproduce the deep, rumbling low-bass found in bass-heavy music and action-packed movies. Its surround performance isn't as impressive as the full setup since the lack of discrete satellites means that surround objects don't seem as clear or real in the soundstage. That said, if you're low on space, it's still a solid choice. After all, you can always upgrade it with the sub and satellites down the line.
The best small Bose soundbar that we've tested is the Bose TV Speaker. This compact 2.0 setup is sturdy and well-built, and it can easily fit between the legs of most TVs. It has Optical and HDMI ARC ports that make it easy to connect this soundbar to your TV, and you can also stream content to the bar from your phone or tablet using a Bluetooth connection. Its sound profile is neutral, and its balanced mid-range helps to reproduce dialogue and vocals clearly and accurately. There's even a dialogue enhancement feature to help make voices in your favorite podcasts and TV shows sound more clear and crisp.
Unfortunately, this 2.0 soundbar doesn't support Atmos content, which may be disappointing for avid movie fans. It lacks many sound customization features, including an EQ or an auto-volume mode. It doesn't get very loud, and when it's played at max volume, there are compression artifacts, so it's not the best choice to use during a crowded party. That said, if you don't have a lot of space but still want an upgrade over your TV speakers, the Bose TV Speaker is a solid choice.
Bose makes well-built and neutral-sounding soundbars. They tend to be very straightforward to use, and some of their setups are easily upgradable. However, due to their simple design, they don't have as many sound enhancement features as other brands, and they lack HDMI In ports. That said, Bose still provides a solid sound experience right out of the box, which is great for those who don't like to tinker with their settings too much.
Dec 10, 2021: Replaced the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 with Speakers + Bass Module with the next generation Bose Smart Soundbar 900 with Speakers + Bass Module. Added the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 as 'Best Standalone'.
Aug 19, 2021: Confirmed all picks are in stock and still the best recommendations for our users.
Apr 21, 2021: Replaced the Bose Soundbar 700 with the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 with Speakers and Bass Module as the pick for 'Best Bose Soundbar'. Moved the Bose Soundbar 700 to Notable Mentions.
Bose is a well-known brand that focuses on well-built, premium-feeling audio products that can reproduce a balanced and neutral sound out-of-the-box. While their soundbars are a little lackluster, especially compared to brands that offer more of a variety of setups, they still have a sound suited for most audio content, and you can upgrade most of their setups down the line. They're a good choice for those who want something simple yet sturdy in design without sacrificing audio quality.