Bose Smart Soundbar 300 Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Updated Oct 04, 2021 at 12:56 pm
Bose Smart Soundbar 300 Picture
6.8
Mixed Usage
7.3
Dialogue/TV Shows
7.3
Music
6.2
Movies
Channels
3.0

The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is a small 3.0 setup from 2020. It has an excited V-shaped sound profile that's suitable for a variety of audio content. While it lacks thump and rumble in its low-bass, there's a bass adjustment feature to help tweak its sound to your liking. However, there's no EQ or room correction feature, which is a little disappointing. The bar also doesn't support Atmos. On the upside, you can expand this setup down the line as the manufacturer sells a bass module subwoofer and satellites separately.

Our Verdict

6.8 Mixed Usage

The Bose Soundbar 300 is okay for mixed use. This bar has an excited V-shaped sound profile that's suitable for rock or pop music. Unfortunately, it lacks low-bass, so you don't feel the deep thump and rumble in bass-heavy music or action-packed movies. It also doesn't support Dolby Atmos, and its surrounds performance is poor. That said, it still offers a decent performance with dialogue-centric content like TV shows.

Pros
  • Outstanding wireless connectivity options.
  • Bass adjustment feature available.
  • Can get loud with minimal compression artifacts.
Cons
  • No EQ or room correction.
  • Lacks low bass.
  • Doesn't support Atmos.
7.3 Dialogue/TV Shows

The Bose Soundbar 300 is decent for dialogue-centric content like TV shows. This 3.0 setup comes with a discrete center channel that helps to accurately localize dialogue within the sound image. Its balanced mid-range reproduces voices clearly and with detail, and there's even a dialogue enhancement mode to make them more crisp. Unfortunately, it lacks an auto-volume mode, disappointing for those who like to watch TV at night.

Pros
  • Dialogue enhancement feature available.
  • Outstanding wireless connectivity options.
Cons
  • No EQ or room correction.
  • No auto-volume feature.
7.3 Music

The Bose Soundbar 300 is decent for music. It has an excited V-shaped sound profile that's well-suited for pop or rock genres. However, it lacks quite a bit of low bass. While it doesn't come with an EQ, it has a bass adjustment feature so that you can tweak its sound a bit. The bar can also get loud with minimal thumping and compression artifacts. You can also stream your favorite music using Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or Apple AirPlay 2.

Pros
  • Bass adjustment feature available.
  • Can get loud with minimal compression artifacts.
Cons
  • No EQ or room correction.
  • Lacks low bass.
6.2 Movies

The Bose Soundbar 300 is acceptable for movies. It doesn't support Atmos, and although it has an excited V-shaped sound profile, it lacks a thumpy low bass, which impacts the immersiveness of sound effects. There's no EQ either, which is a little disappointing. Luckily, you can adjust the bass. It can also get loud enough to fill a large or crowded room.

Pros
  • Bass adjustment feature available.
  • Can get loud with minimal compression artifacts.
Cons
  • Lacks low bass.
  • Doesn't support Atmos.
  • 6.8 Mixed Usage
  • 7.3 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 7.3 Music
  • 6.2 Movies
  1. Updated Feb 24, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.
  2. Updated Jan 13, 2021: Due to a change in our methodology, we updated DTS and DD+ support via ARC to 'No'.
  3. Updated Oct 23, 2020: Review published.
  4. Updated Oct 16, 2020: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is a 3.0 setup from Bose's 2020 lineup. It's a small model that you can expand down the line. Unlike the Bose TV Speaker, which is also from the same 2020 lineup, you can connect to the bar using Apple AirPlay 2 and use the Bose Music companion app with it. It also has a Wall EQ setting that's advertised to improve the bar's sound when wall-mounted. Its main competitors are the Bose Soundbar 500, the Bose Soundbar 700, and the Sonos Beam.

Design
Design
Style - Bar

The Bose Soundbar 300 is a small model with a black plastic top. It has a metal grille that covers its front and sides to help protect its speakers.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

The Bose Smart 300 soundbar doesn't have a subwoofer in this setup. However, you can purchase the Bose Bass Module 500 separately, which is a small subwoofer that connects wirelessly to the bar.

Design
Style - Satellites

This setup doesn't have any satellites. However, you can purchase Bose Surround Speakers separately, which wirelessly connect to the bar.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Width 27.4" (69.5 cm)
Height 2.2" (5.6 cm)
Depth 4.1" (10.5 cm)

While it's not as small as the Bose TV Speaker, this bar can easily fit between the legs of a 55 inch TV. It's not very tall either, so it shouldn't obscure your TV unless the screen sits flush to the table.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Width N/A
Height N/A
Depth N/A
Design
Dimensions - Satellites
Width N/A
Height N/A
Depth N/A
Design
Back - Bar
Bar Mounting
Proprietary

The back of this soundbar has one opening for the power cable and inputs. There are also holes so that you can mount it to your wall. However, you need to purchase a Bose Soundbar Wall Bracket to wall-mount it.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
No Subwoofer
Design
Back - Satellites
Mounting
No
8.0
Design
Build Quality

The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 has a great build quality. It's partially made of plastic, which feels sturdy and durable. There's also a metal grille covering its front and sides to protect its speakers.

Design
In The Box
HDMI Cable Length
N/A
Digital Optical Cable Length
1.5 m (4.9 ft)

  • Manual
  • Optical cable
  • Remote with battery
  • Power cable

Sound
7.1
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
No Preset
Slope
-0.25
Std. Err.
3.34 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
54.2 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

The Bose Soundbar 300 has a decent stereo frequency response. It has a slightly V-shaped sound profile that adds a little extra punch in the bass range while making vocals and lead instruments bright and sparkling. Unfortunately, it lacks some low-bass, so you don't feel the deep thump and rumble in bass-heavy music and action-packed movies. There are also bass and treble adjustments available if you want to customize its sound.

7.3
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
No Preset
Suggested Bass Setting
-30
Suggested Treble Setting
-20
Slope
-0.21
Std. Err.
2.31 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
55.0 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.6 kHz

The Bose Soundbar 300 has a satisfactory stereo frequency response with calibration. With its bass set to '-30' and its treble set to '-20', it has a neutral, balanced sound profile that's suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content. Unfortunately, it still struggles to reproduce a thumpy low-bass, so it isn't ideal for bass-heavy music.

7.5
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
1.95 dB

The Bose Soundbar 300 has a good stereo soundstage performance. Its soundstage is perceived to be wider than the bar itself, which is pretty impressive given its small size. Unfortunately, its focus isn't very good, so sound objects like voices seem to come from a more general area rather than a pinpoint location.

7.6
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
93.1 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
2.03 dB

The Bose Smart Soundbar 300's stereo dynamics are good. The bar can get loud, making it suitable for a large or crowded room. However, when pushed to max volume, there's a little bit of thumping and compression, particularly in the bass range. It shouldn't be too noticeable to most users, though.

8.0
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.36
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.19

The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 has a great THD performance. At a normal listening volume, the THD falls within good limits. If you push this bar to its max volume, there's a small jump in THD, particularly in the high-mids, but it can be hard to hear with real-life content.

8.3
Sound
Center
Localization
Discrete
Slope
-0.19
Std. Err.
3.27 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
93.3 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.40
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.15

The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 has a great center channel performance. Thanks to its 3.0 setup, this soundbar has a discrete center channel that helps to pinpoint voices to an accurate location within the sound image. Its frequency response is also neutral, especially in the mid-range, where most voices are reproduced. As a result, dialogue is clear and detailed.

3.9
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Stereo (Downmix)
Slope
-0.97
Std. Err.
3.62 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
88.9 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.70
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.72
7.1 Rears
No

The Bose Soundbar 300 has a poor surrounds performance. It has to downmix surround content into stereo to play it, which doesn't sound as immersive as a discrete setup. Audio seems like it's coming from in front of you rather than from speakers placed all around you. Its frequency response is also a bit bass-heavy, which some listeners may find overwhelming.

0
Sound
Height (Atmos)
Localization
Not Supported
Slope
N/A
Std. Err.
N/A
SPL @ Max Volume
N/A
Weighted THD @ 80dB
N/A
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
N/A
2.6
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
No
Dialogue Enhancement
Yes
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
No
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
No
Bass Adjustment
Yes
Treble Adjustment
Yes
EQ
No
Surround Level Adjustment
No
Rear Level Adjustment
No
Height Level Adjustment
No
Virtual Surround
No

The Bose Soundbar 300 has a bad selection of sound enhancement features. If you want to customize its sound, there are bass and treble adjustments available, but it lacks an EQ or preset modes. There's an extra feature called Wall EQ advertised to optimize audio quality when the bar is mounted on the wall, but we don't consider this to be an EQ. It lacks room correction, too, so it may sound different depending on the room you're listening in.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Physical Inputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
1
HDMI ARC
1
HDMI Out
No
Full HDMI In
No
Analog Audio In 3.5mm (Aux)
No
RCA In
No
USB for Files
No
Ethernet
No

The Bose Soundbar 300 has a couple of physical inputs. There's an HDMI ARC port so that you can connect it to your TV. While there's a micro-USB port, it's only for servicing the bar. This bar also has an IR port so that you can connect an IR emitter as well as a BASS port so that you can add on a Bose Bass module.

6.1
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - ARC
eARC
No
Dolby Atmos
No
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
No
DTS
No
DTS:X (eARC only)
No
Dolby TrueHD (eARC only)
No
DTS-HD MA (eARC only)
No
5.1 PCM (eARC only)
No

Update 01/13/2021: We re-evaluated our methodology for ARC support and concluded that DTS and Dolby Digital+ support should be reported the same over an ARC connection as over an HDMI IN and Optical connection, so we updated our results from "Yes" to "No". Some TVs, like the one we initially used for testing, may convert this content, but other TV brands may not. Ultimately, your experience may vary depending on your TV.

The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 has mediocre audio format support via its HDMI ARC port. It supports some very common formats, like Dolby Digital, but it has to downmix this content into stereo to play it. It doesn't support eARC or Dolby Atmos.

0
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Full HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
No
DTS:X
No
Dolby Digital
No
Dolby Digital Plus
No
DTS
No
Dolby TrueHD
No
DTS-HD MA
No
5.1 PCM
No

Unlike the Denon Home Sound Bar 550, the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 doesn't have a Full HDMI In port.

6.0
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Optical
Dolby Digital
Yes
DTS
No

This soundbar only supports Dolby Digital via its Optical In port. This format is commonly found on Blu-ray discs as well as streaming platforms.

8.5
Connectivity
Latency
ARC
47 ms
Optical
45 ms
Full HDMI In
N/A

The Bose Soundbar 300 has an excellent latency performance. Over its ARC and Optical ports, latency falls within good limits, so you shouldn't notice a delay between the audio you hear and the video you see. As a result, it's suitable for watching videos and movies over these connections. That said, some apps and TVs can compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience may vary.

9.0
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
Yes
Chromecast built-in
No
Apple AirPlay
Yes

The Bose Soundbar 300 has incredible wireless playback support. You can wirelessly stream audio from your phone or tablet to the bar via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Apple AirPlay 2.

Connectivity
Other Input Specifications
4k @ 60 Hz Passthrough
No
4k @ 60 Hz @ 10 bit Passthrough
No
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 Passthrough
No
HDR10 Passthrough
No
Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
No
Connectivity
Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless
No
Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
No

The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 has a simple interface. There's a small light under the microphone icon to let you know whether the microphone and voice assistant is enabled or disabled. There's another light underneath the 'Active' button. This light changes colors depending on the bar's functions, including whether you're in setup mode, recovery mode, or if there's no internet connection available.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

This bar has two touch-sensitive buttons located on the top left of the bar. There's a button to turn the microphone on/off and an 'Action' button that activates voice assistant and stops alarms or timers.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
No

This soundbar has a straightforward remote. You can control most of the bar's features, but if you want to use the dialogue enhancement feature, Wall EQ, or bass adjustment, you need to use its companion app.

Additional Features
Voice Assistants Support
Amazon Alexa
Yes (Built-in)
Google Assistant
Yes (Built-in)
Apple Siri
No

The Bose Soundbar 300 has built-in support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. According to the manual, you can access the voice assistants even when the bar is turned off. You can also mute the microphone if you don't want them to listen to you.

Additional Features
App
App Name Bose Music
iOS Yes
Android Yes
Acts As A Remote
Yes
Controls Soundbar's Settings
All
Casts Device Files
Yes

This soundbar is compatible with the Bose Music app. It offers a bit more functionality than the remote, as you can access a few features that aren't found on the remote. You can set up voice assistant, adjust bass, switch sources, and even access a dialogue mode.

Additional Features
Other Features
Power Saving
Standby
HDMI CEC (TV Remote Control)
Yes

This soundbar goes into standby mode after 20 minutes of inactivity. You can turn this feature off by using the app or wake up the bar by sending a sound signal via its Optical In port. You can also use your TV remote to control the basic functions of the bar.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Bose Soundbar 300 comes in one color variant: Black. You can see the label for the model we tested here.

If you come across another version of this soundbar that's different from ours, please let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Soundbars

The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is a 3.0 setup from this manufacturer's 2020 lineup. You can expand this small soundbar down the line with a separate bass module and satellites. Unfortunately, unlike the Bose Soundbar 500, it doesn't have any EQ presets.

If you're looking for more soundbars, check out our recommendations for the best Bose soundbars, the best small soundbars, and the best soundbars for dialogue.

Sonos Beam

The Sonos Beam is a better soundbar than the Bose Smart Soundbar 300. The Sonos has a more balanced sound profile and comes with a room correction feature as well as an auto-volume feature. However, the Bose is smaller, it can support more audio formats via its HDMI ARC port, and it has more wireless playback options. 

Bose TV Speaker

The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is better for mixed use than the Bose TV Speaker. The 300 has a better center and surround performance. It also offers treble adjustment, as well as more wireless playback options like Apple AirPlay 2. It also connects to the Bose Music app that gives you a bit more functionality.

Bose Soundbar 500

The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is a better 3.0 setup than the Bose Soundbar 500. The 300 is smaller and able to deliver a better-balanced sound profile. It can get louder with fewer compression artifacts, and it supports more audio formats via its HDMI ARC port. However, the 500's surround performance is better and offers room correction and EQ presets.

Bose Smart Soundbar 700

The Bose Smart Soundbar 700 is a better soundbar than the Bose Smart Soundbar 300. The 700 feels better built, it supports eARC, and it has room correction as well as EQ presets. It can also get louder with fewer compression artifacts present at max volume, and it has a better surround performance.

Sonos Arc

The Sonos Arc is a better soundbar than the Bose Smart Soundbar 300. The Sonos is a 5.0.2 setup with a more extended bass and more sound enhancement features. It also has better surround and soundstage performances, and it supports Dolby Atmos content. It can even be upgraded as the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers. However, the 3.0 Bose offers more wireless playback support.

Samsung HW-Q600A

The Samsung HW-Q600A is better than the Bose Smart Soundbar 300. The Samsung supports Dolby Atmos content, and it reproduces a more extended low-bass. It also comes with more sound enhancement features like a graphic EQ and auto-volume mode. That said, the Bose has more wireless playback options and built-in voice assistant support. It also has a better stereo soundstage.

JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam

The JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam is a better soundbar than the Bose Smart Soundbar 300. The JBL is a 5.0 setup with a better surrounds performance and Atmos support. It comes with a room correction feature, EQ presets, and a Full HDMI In port, too. That said, the 3.0 Bose has a better soundstage performance.

Bose Smart Soundbar 700 with Speakers + Bass Module

The Bose Smart Soundbar 700 with Speakers + Bass Module is a better soundbar than the Bose Smart Soundbar 300. The Soundbar 700 is better built, and it comes with a dedicated sub and satellite speakers. It reproduces a more extended low-bass, and it has better soundstage and surround performances. Also, it comes with a room correction feature.

Yamaha YAS-209

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 or the Yamaha YAS-209. The Bose is a 3.0 setup with better center channel and soundstage performances. It's better-built, with more wireless playback options, and it gets louder. That said, the Yamaha reproduces a more extended low-bass, so you feel more thump and rumble in bass-heavy music and action-packed movies.

Bose Smart Soundbar 900

The Bose Smart Soundbar 900 is better than the Bose Smart Soundbar 300. The 900 is a 5.0.2 setup that's better built. It has better soundstage and surround performances, and unlike the 300, it supports Dolby Atmos content.

Sony HT-G700

The Sony HT-G700 is better than the Bose Smart Soundbar 300. The Sony supports Dolby Atmos content, and it has a better surround performance. Unlike the Bose, it has a Full HDMI In port. However, the Bose is better-built with built-in voice assistant support. It also has a better soundstage and more wireless playback options.

JBL Bar 5.1 Surround

The JBL Bar 5.1 Surround is better than the Bose Smart Soundbar 300. The JBL is a 5.1 setup with a dedicated sub that helps reproduce a more extended low-bass. It has a better surrounds performance, and it comes with a room correction feature and EQ presets. Also, it supports Chromecast built-in. That said, the 3.0 Bose has a better soundstage and built-in voice assistant support.

Samsung HW-Q60T

The Samsung HW-Q60T is better than the Bose Smart Soundbar 300. The Samsung is a 5.1 setup with a dedicated sub that reproduces a more extended low-bass. It has more sound enhancement features, including a graphic EQ, and a Full HDMI In port for high quality passthrough. However, the 3.0 Bose has a better soundstage, more wireless playback options, and built-in voice assistant support.

Samsung HW-S60A

The 5.0 Samsung HW-S60A is a better soundbar than the 3.0 Bose Smart Soundbar 300. The Samsung has two side-firing speakers, so it offers a better surrounds performance. Also, it comes with more sound enhancement features, including a graphic EQ, presets, and an auto-volume mode.

Samsung HW-Q700A

The Samsung HW-Q700A is better than the Bose Smart Soundbar 300. The Samsung comes with two up-firing drivers that support Dolby Atmos content, and it has a better surround performance. It also reproduces a more extended low-bass, and it comes with a graphic EQ and presets for sound customization. However, the Bose has built-in voice assistant support, whereas the Samsung requires a third-party device to access Amazon Alexa.

Sony HT-X8500

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 or the Sony HT-X8500. The Bose is a 3.0 setup that's better-built and comes with built-in voice assistant support. It offers better soundstage and center channel performances, and it supports more wireless playback options. However, the Sony supports Dolby Atmos content, unlike the Bose. It also comes with a few more sound enhancement features, including auto-volume mode and EQ presets, and it has a Full HDMI In port.

Samsung HW-Q800A

The Samsung HW-Q800A is better than the Bose Smart Soundbar 300. The Samsung comes with a dedicated sub that helps reproduce a more extended low-bass. It supports Dolby Atmos content, and it has a better surrounds performance. It also comes with more sound enhancement features such as a graphic EQ and presets.

Bose Solo 5

The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is a better soundbar than the Bose Solo 5. The Smart Soundbar 300 is better-built, and it comes with an ARC port and more wireless playback options. It has better soundstage and surround performances, and it gets louder. Also, it has built-in voice assistant support. That said, some listeners may prefer the Solo 5's more compact design.

JBL Bar 9.1

The JBL Bar 9.1 is better than the Bose Smart Soundbar 300. The JBL supports Dolby Atmos content, and it has more sound enhancement features like room correction and EQ presets. Its subwoofer helps reproduce a more extended low-bass, and its satellites help create a better surround performance. It also has a better soundstage. That said, only the Bose has built-in voice assistant capabilities.

Sony HT-Z9F

The Sony HT-Z9F is better than the Bose Smart Soundbar 300. The Sony supports Dolby Atmos content, and it comes with more sound enhancement features like auto-volume and EQ presets. That said, the Bose has a better soundstage performance, and it supports voice assistants.

Denon Home Sound Bar 550

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 or the Denon Home Sound Bar 550. The Bose is a 3.0 soundbar with a better soundstage performance and a discrete center channel. It gets louder than the Denon, too. However, the Denon supports Atmos content and comes with more sound enhancement features, including EQ presets and auto-volume mode. Also, it has a Full HDMI In port.

Yamaha YAS-109

The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is better than the Yamaha YAS-109. The Bose is a 3.0 setup that's better built. It also has better soundstage and center performances. That said, only the 2.0 Yamaha has a Full HDMI In port for high quality passthrough. Some users may also prefer that it has EQ presets for sound customization.

Sonos Playbar

The Sonos Playbar and the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 are both 3.0 setups but the Bose is slightly better performing overall. The Bose has a better-balanced sound profile, more physical inputs including an HDMI ARC port, and it offers more wireless playback options. However, the Sonos has room correction as well as auto-volume/night more. It also has a better surround performance, even though it downmixes this content into stereo to play it.

Samsung HW-Q70T

The Samsung HW-Q70T is better than the Bose Smart Soundbar 300. The Samsung supports Dolby Atmos content, and it comes with a graphic EQ and presets for sound customization. Also, its dedicated sub helps reproduce a more extended low-bass. That said, the Bose has a better soundstage and built-in voice assistant support.

Samsung HW-Q800T

The Samsung HW-Q800T is better than the Bose Smart Soundbar 300. The Samsung reproduces a more extended low-bass, and it supports Dolby Atmos content. It gets louder, has a better soundstage, and comes with a Full HDMI In port. Also, its graphic EQ is handy for sound customization. However, the Bose supports Apple AirPlay connectivity, unlike the Samsung.

Samsung HW-A450

The Samsung HW-A450 is a bit better for mixed usage than the Bose Smart Soundbar 300. The Samsung comes with a dedicated sub, so it can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It also comes with more sound enhancement features, like a graphic EQ and presets. That said, the Bose is better built with better soundstage and center performance. It also has built-in voice assistant support, unlike the Samsung.

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