We've currently tested six 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 Soundbar 700 with Speakers + Bass Module. This versatile 5.1 setup is an upgraded version of the standalone Bose soundbar 700, with an added subwoofer and satellite speakers. Out-of-the-box, it has a neutral sound profile, especially in the mid-range, so dialogue is clear and present in the mix. It has bass and treble adjustments, so you can tweak its sound profile to your liking. There's a dialogue enhancement feature to help reproduce dialogue more clearly, and a room correction feature that adjusts the sound profile based on acoustic features of the room it's in. It can get very loud, making it suitable for use in large, crowded rooms, though there's some compression present at max volume. This bar also supports several playback options, so it's easy for you to connect your smart device to stream audio through the bar.
However, it lacks a Full HDMI In port, so you can't use it as a hub between different devices. Also, it doesn't support Dolby Atmos content, which is an object-based surround sound format. That said, If you're looking for a well-built soundbar with a balanced sound profile, this is a solid choice.
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 quite 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 also lacks a lot of 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.
Apr 21, 2021: Replaced the Bose Soundbar 700 with the Bose 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 most of their setups can be upgraded down the line. They're a good choice for those who want something simple yet sturdy in design without sacrificing audio quality.