Bose Soundbar 700 Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Updated Sep 30, 2019 at 09:00 am
Bose Soundbar 700 Picture
7.3
Mixed Usage
7.8
Dialogue/TV Shows
7.7
Music
6.8
Movies
Channels
3.0

The Bose Soundbar 700 is a decent 3.0 soundbar. It performs noticeably better than the similar Bose Soundbar 500 thanks to a better frequency response and a more neutral sound profile. Also, this bar has side-firing speakers which make the sounds bounce off your walls, giving you an impressive soundstage. It also gets loud enough for most uses and doesn’t compress at max volume, which is great and is something the Soundbar 500 has trouble with.

Our Verdict

7.3 Mixed Usage

Decent for mixed usage. The Bose Soundbar 700 has a decent stereo frequency response that's fairly well-balanced and neutral, which is great for a wide variety of music genres and voice-oriented content like audiobooks and podcasts. This bar gets loud enough for most content and has a unique and very wide soundstage thanks to their side-firing speakers. However, some may feel it lacks bass, although this can be improved by getting a separate subwoofer. It also doesn’t give the most immersive listening experience with movies, but this setup can easily be upgraded to do so.

Pros
  • Very well-built design.
  • Decent audio reproduction.
  • Very wide soundstage.
  • Easily upgradable setup.
Cons
  • Diffused sound due to large soundstage.
  • Lacks sub-bass.
  • Lacks Full HDMI In ports.
7.8 Dialogue/TV Shows

Good for dialog. The Bose 700 has good voice reproduction thanks to its well-balanced and neutral sound profile. It also gets loud enough for most voice-oriented content like audiobooks and podcasts, which you’re easily going to be able to stream wirelessly to the bar. It also has a dialog enhancement feature to make voices and dialog even clearer, especially at a lower volume, which is very useful.

7.7 Music

Good for music. The Bose 700 has a decent stereo frequency response that's well-balanced and suitable for a wide variety of music genres. Some may feel like it lacks a bit of sub-bass, but you can also get the separate subwoofer, which should help with the bass performance. The bar also has a great soundstage thanks to the side-firing speakers. This soundbar also has a room correction feature to make it sound better in your room. You can get the bar to play at a pretty loud level, and it won’t compress too much, which is great.

6.8 Movies

Decent for movies. The Bose Soundbar 700 doesn’t support Atmos and doesn't offer a good overall surround experience with the bar itself. On the upside, its soundstage is very wide thanks to the side-firing speakers, which make sounds seem like they’re coming from the walls. You’ll be able to watch movies at a loud volume too, and the bar won’t compress too much. It'll be a good option for dialog in movies.

  • 7.3 Mixed Usage
  • 7.8 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 7.7 Music
  • 6.8 Movies

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Soundbar 700 is one of the most recent high-end models from Bose, but came out in 2018. It's slightly bigger and performs better than the Bose Soundbar 500 from the same year. When fully set up with a sub and back satellites, the Bose 700's main competitors are the Bose 500, the Samsung HW-N950, the Sony HT-Z9F with satellites, the 5.1 Sonos Beam setup with a sub and satellites, and the Sonos Playbar.

Design
Design
Style - Bar

The Bose Soundbar 700 has a unique style with a glass top and a metal grill that covers the front and the sides. The bar gives off a premium feel.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

This setup has no subwoofer.

Design
Style - Satellites

There are no satellites on this setup.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Bar Width 38.4" (97.5 cm)
Bar Height 2.2" (5.7 cm)
Bar Depth 4.2" (10.7 cm)

The bar is fairly large and unlikely to fit between the legs of a 55" TV stand. On the upside, it's not too tall, so if you place it in front of the TV, it won't block the bottom of your screen or mess with the IR reception usually found on the bottom edge of TVs.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Sub Width N/A
Sub Height N/A
Sub Depth N/A

There is no sub in this setup.

Design
Dimensions - Satellites
Sat Width N/A
Sat Height N/A
Sat Depth N/A

This setup has no satellites.

Design
Back - Bar
Bar Mounting Type
Universal (holes on underside)

The back of the bar has two ports, one on each side for the speakers, and two openings: one for the power and one for the inputs.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
N/A

The Bose Soundbar 700 has no subwoofer.

Design
Back - Satellites
Sat Mounting Type
N/A

This bar doesn't have satellites.

8.5
Design
Build Quality

The build quality is excellent. The entire setup is very robust and gives off a premium feel, and the entire design is unique. The glass on the bar can collect dust and attract fingerprints.

Design
In The Box
HDMI Cable Length
4.9 ft (1.5 m)
Digital Optical Cable Length
5.0 ft (1.5 m)

  • Manuals
  • Remote & batteries
  • HDMI cable
  • Optical cable
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Bose ADAPTiQ headset (used for room calibration)

Sound
7.1
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
ST Slope
0.35
ST Std. Err.
1.92 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
55.8 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
18.5 kHz

The stereo frequency response of the Bose Soundbar 700 is decent and better than the similar Bose Soundbar 500. Unfortunately, the bar by itself doesn’t have a very low low-frequency extension, which can be improved if you get the separate sub. This means it'll have a bit of trouble reproducing the deep thump and rumble from movies and bass-heavy music genres. On the upside, the sound profile of the Soundbar 700 is well-balanced and neutral.

Note: This soundbar was tested with the bar only, but we plan to test it with a full setup (sub and satellites) in the future.

Sound
Stereo Raw Frequency Response
8.0
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
1.59 dB

When listening to the Bose Soundbar 700, the soundstage is great. Due to the side-firing speakers, the bar projects the noise at the walls, which reflect it back at the listener. This results in a soundstage that feels wider than tower speakers from a home theater setup. Unfortunately, this feels a bit unnatural and overdone and sounds don’t seem to be coming from an accurate pinpoint location.

8.2
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
ST SPL @ Max Volume
95.9 dB SPL
ST DRC @ Max Volume
1.32 dB

The dynamic performance of the Bose Soundbar 700 is way better than the Bose Soundbar 500. It can get pretty loud and doesn’t compress content too much, even at max volume. This is great for a large room or a crowded environment where you need to push the bar to its maximum capacities.

7.8
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
ST Weighted THD @ 80
0.37
ST Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.08

The THD performance of the Bose 700 is good. The amount of THD at a normal listening volume is within good limits and there’s no big jump in THD at max volume, resulting in an overall clean and pure sound coming from this bar.

8.9
Sound
Center
C Localization
Discrete
C Slope
0.43
C Std. Err.
1.93 dB
C SPL @ Max Volume
95.2 dB SPL
C Weighted THD @ 80
0.36
C Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.67

The Bose Soundbar 700 by itself is a 3.0 setup that has great performance in the center channel. Due to its configuration, the Bose 700 has a dedicated center speaker, which results in a clearer and more accurate audio reproduction of the dialog in movies.

5.1
Sound
Surrounds
Sr Localization
Stereo (Downmix)
Rears
N/A
Sr Slope
-0.50
Sr Std. Err.
2.88 dB
Sr SPL @ Max Volume
96.0 dB SPL
Sr Weighted THD @ 80
0.47
Sr Weighted THD @ Max Volume
3.52

Just like the Bose 500, the Bose Soundbar 700 has sub-par surround performance. Due to its 3.0 system configuration, the bar alone downmixes surround content which won’t make an accurate and clear representation of surround objects. This means the result isn’t very immersive and the objects are perceived to come from the front instead of the sides or behind you. On the upside, the sound profile is still fairly accurate and well-balanced.

0
Sound
Height (Atmos)
H Localization
N/A
H Slope
N/A
H Std. Err.
N/A
H SPL @ Max Volume
N/A
H Weighted THD @ 80
N/A
H Weighted THD @ Max Volume
N/A

The Bose Soundbar 700 doesn’t support Atmos.

7.1
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
Yes
Dialogue Enhancement
Yes
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
No
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
N/A
Bass Adjustment
Yes
Treble Adjustment
Yes
EQ
Presets
Surround Level Adjustment
N/A
Rear Level Adjustment
N/A
Height Level Adjustment
N/A
Virtual Surround
No

The Bose 700 has the same decent sound enhancement features as the Soundbar 500. It has a room correction feature that you set up using the Bose ADAPTiQ headset and it will apply sound correction depending on your room. It also has a Dialog Enhancement feature, which will help make dialog in movies a bit clearer, even at a lower volume. On the downside, unlike the Sony HW-S60T, it doesn’t have a graphic EQ to help you customize the sound to your personal liking. However, there are presets available.

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
USB for Files
No
Ethernet
1

The Bose Soundbar 700 has limited wired connectivity. You can't use it as a hub as it lacks a Full HDMI In port and there is no Analog Audio In that can be helpful with older devices. There's an 'IR' input that you can use to connect an infrared transmitter so the bar can relay the infrared signal it receives. There's also a 'BASS' port for connecting to an external subwoofer, a 'DATA' port for firmware upgrades, and the 'ADAPTiQ' port for the headset that's included to help with room calibration.

8.2
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - ARC
eARC
Yes
Dolby Atmos
No
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
No
DTS
Yes
DTS:X (eARC only)
No
Dolby TrueHD (eARC only)
No
DTS-HD MA (eARC only)
No

Just like the Bose Soundbar 500, this bar also supports eARC. Unfortunately, it can only downmix surround sound encoded in the Dolby Digital and DTS formats to 3.0 due to the bar's speaker configuration. Dolby Digital is widely available on streaming platforms, whereas DTS is usually the fallback of the higher quality DTS-HD MA format. This bar can't offer you a more immersive sound experience as it lacks support for object-based surround sound formats, like 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

The lack of Full HDMI In ports doesn't allow this bar to serve as a hub between your external devices and your TV.

10
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Optical
Dolby Digital
Yes
DTS
Yes

The Bose Soundbar 700 can decode surround sound encoded either in Dolby Digital or DTS formats through Optical. It will, however, downmix it to 3.0. Dolby Digital is common in streaming platforms and Blu-rays, while the DTS format isn't widely available on its own, but rather as a fallback of the DTS-HD MA found regularly on Blu-ray discs.

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

Excellent wireless playback support. You can seamlessly play music from your phone or tablet using the Bluetooth connection, which can't be done with the Sonos Arc. This bar will also connect to your Wi-Fi network so that you can cast to it, or you can use Apple AirPlay if you have a compatible device.

Connectivity
Other Input Specifications
4k @ 60 Hz Passthrough
N/A
4k @ 60 Hz @ 10 bit Passthrough
N/A
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 Passthrough
N/A
HDR10 Passthrough
N/A

The Bose Soundbar 700 doesn't have a Full HDMI In and can't relay a video signal from an external source.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
N/A

There is no subwoofer in this setup.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless
N/A

There are no satellites on this setup.

Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
No

The interface is identical to the Bose Soundbar 500. It consists of a light that behaves differently according to your actions. Although it looks nice, it requires a lot of learning to get used to it.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

The Bose Soundbar 700 has just two buttons: An 'action button' and a 'microphone off'. The action button manually activates voice assistants and can also be used to silence alarms or timers. The 'microphone off' completely disables voice assistants and you have to unmute the mic to re-activate them.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
Yes

The remote that accompanies this bar can control all functions of the bar but is fairly large. This is probably because it can also act as a universal remote to control other devices in your household.

Additional Features
App
App Name Bose Music
iOS Yes
Android Yes
Acts as the Remote
Limited Support
Controls Soundbar's Settings
All
Casts Device Files
No

This bar pairs with the Bose Music App, just like the Bose 500. This app integrates the Tune In service, which has a multitude of internet radio stations and podcasts that you can listen to on the soundbar. Unfortunately, the app can't cast music or completely replace the remote as it can't switch inputs in certain cases.

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

The bar enters standby mode after 20 minutes of inactivity. Thanks to HDMI ARC and HDMI CEC support, you can use the TVs remote to control basic features of the bar.

Compared to other soundbars

Like the Bose Soundbar 500, the Bose Soundbar 700 can easily be upgraded with a wireless sub and satellites, but we tested it with the bar only. By itself, the bar has a decent performance and one of the widest soundstages thanks to the side-firing speakers. It has a great neutral sound profile. It's also one of the better-built soundbars and has a very unique and sleek style with a glass panel. See our recommendations for the best soundbars, the best Dolby Atmos soundbars, and the best soundbars with a subwoofer.

Sonos Playbar
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Bose Soundbar 700 is better than the Sonos Playbar. It has a slightly more accurate stereo frequency response and compresses less than the Playbar at max volume. The Soundbar 700 also has more inputs, although neither soundbar has an HDMI In port. The Bose 700 also has a sleeker design with a glass panel on the top. Both soundbars perform fairly similarly sound-wise, and both can be upgraded easily with a sub and satellites.

Sonos Beam
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

When comparing the bars by themselves, the Bose Soundbar 700 is slightly better than the Sonos Beam. It performs slightly better at max volume without as much compression as the Beam. It has a better overall design with a nice glass panel and feels better-made. On the other hand, the Sonos is smaller and is easier to fit in your home theater setup. The Bose 700 has more inputs, supports DTS, and can play content wirelessly via Bluetooth as well as Wi-Fi.

Samsung HW-Q90R
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Samsung HW-Q90R is a better soundbar system than the Bose Soundbar 700, although we didn't test it with the complete setup with a sub and satellites. With the bar by itself, the Bose 700 falls short to the Q90R. The Samsung soundbar system gets louder, has better overall performance, and supports Atmos, on top of having better connectivity options since the Bose 700 doesn't have any full HDMI In inputs. On the other hand, the Bose 700 can easily be upgraded, and the bar itself has a great stereo soundstage and feels premium and better-built.

Sony HT-ST5000
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Bose Soundbar 700, by itself, doesn't perform as well as the Sony HT-ST5000 soundbar setup. Since the Sony comes with a subwoofer, it has a lot more bass than the Bose. It doesn't sound as clear and detailed, though, and has troubles with compression and distortion at max volume. However, the Bose lacks input options compared to the Sony, and doesn't support as many audio format options.

Sonos Arc
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Bose Soundbar 700 is a slightly better option than the Sonos Arc. Overall, the Arc isn't as well-built, but it supports Atmos, which is great for a more immersive movie listening experience. On the other hand, the sound profile of the Bose 700 is a bit more balanced for stereo content, and it allows for Bluetooth playback, which is convenient. Both setups can be upgraded easily but can get quite expensive. 

Bose Soundbar 500
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Bose Soundbar 700 is better than the Bose Soundbar 500. It has a better overall audio quality and can get louder, on top of having less compression at max volume. It also supports more audio formats and is slightly better-built and sleeker-looking thanks to the glass panel on top of it.

Sony HT-Z9F
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Sony HT-Z9F is a better soundbar than the Bose Soundbar 700. It has a slightly lower LFE, thanks to its dedicated wireless subwoofer, and has significantly better connectivity options. It also supports Atmos, but due to its lack of upwards firing or rear speakers, doesn't create the most immersive Atmos experience. On the other hand, the Bose feels even more premium and well-made and has better center-channel performance.

Samsung HW-Q80R
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Samsung HW-Q80R is better than the Bose Soundbar 700 by itself, but the Bose can easily be upgraded with a sub too. The Q80R comes with the sub and has a better overall bass performance, on top of being able to play louder. It also supports Atmos thanks to the two up-firing speakers. On the other hand, the Bose 700's soundstage is one of the widest, although a bit diffused. It also doesn't have any Full HDMI In ports, unlike the Samsung.

Samsung HW-Q70R
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Samsung HW-Q70R is better than the Bose Soundbar 700. The Samsung has much better bass performance due to its dedicated subwoofer, and it has up-firing speakers to simulate height in Dolby Atmos content. On the other hand, the Bose has a better center channel performance for dialogue-heavy content and a much better build quality, but it doesn't have as many input options as the Samsung.

JBL Link Bar
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Bose Soundbar 700 is a better soundbar than the JBL Link Bar. It's easily upgradable, but even the bar itself performs better. It has a dedicated center channel, has a better sound quality and offers more sound enhancement features like a room correct. Its soundstage is also very wide due to the speakers' positioning and reflects the sounds off the walls to the listeners. On the other hand, the JBL Lik Bar has a bit more ports and connectivity options. It has three full HDMI In ports and an audio jack for an AUX cable, which the Bose lacks. However, it isn't as well-built as the Bose 700.

Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar
Unavailable
Amazon.com

The Bose Soundbar 700 is slightly better than the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar. The Sennheiser sounds pretty bad without its AMBEO mode, and the Bose 700 has a good neutral sound profile. The soundstage is also great and quite wide. On the other hand, the AMBEO mode of the Sennheiser bar is impressive and very immersive with surround content. However, you can easily add a sub and satellites to the Soundbar 700 to enhance your listening experience.

Klipsch Bar 48
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Although we didn't test the Bose Soundbar 700 with a sub and satellites, it performs noticeably better than the Klipsch Bar 48, which has a subwoofer. The Bose 700 has a great and wider soundstage and a better stereo frequency response. The Bar 48 lacks sub-bass even with a dedicated subwoofer, which is disappointing. The Bose 700 can also be upgraded easily, which will more than likely help its overall performance.

Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2Ch
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2Ch and the Bose Soundbar 700 are often compared. However, since we only tested the Bose with the bar alone, results between a 9.2.4 setup and a 3.0 soundbar aren't very comparable. On the other hand, with stereo content, the Bose does much better and has a wider soundstage due to the side-firing speakers. The Nakamichi can get louder and thanks to the additional speakers it has, it offers an amazing surround experience.

Samsung HW-Q60R
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Samsung HW-Q60R and the Bose Soundbar 700 have similar performance in mixed usage. The Samsung comes with a dedicated subwoofer, while the Bose is a standalone soundbar. Build quality is much better on the Bose, but the Samsung has more input selection and better sound enhancement features, including a graphic EQ. Both support Bluetooth, but the Bose supports AirPlay, while the Samsung doesn't.

Sony HT-CT800
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Bose Soundbar 700 is a noticeably better sounding bar than the Sony HT-CT800. It has a better stereo performance with a noticeably larger soundstage as well. The Bose 700 can get louder and doesn't compress at max volume, like CT800 does. It also has a dedicated center channel which makes dialog in movies easier to understand and can easily be upgraded with a sub and satellites. However, if you're looking to use your soundbar as a hub for your devices, the Bose 700 doesn't have any Full HDMI In ports, while the CT800 has plenty.

AmazonBasics 2.1 Channel Bluetooth
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The 3.0 channel Bose Soundbar 700 is much better than the AmazonBasics 2.1 Channel Bluetooth soundbar. The Bose sounds much better-balanced with a wider soundstage, has more sound enhancement features, including room correction, and also supports DTS surround content. It's a pretty long soundbar though, so the AmazonBasics might be a better option if you're tight on space.

Insignia NS-HSB318 2.0
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Bose Soundbar 700 is much better than the Insignia NS-HSB318 2.0. The 3.0-channel Bose has a more balanced sound profile with stereo content, and it can downmix a few different surround formats. It has a dedicated center channel for clearer voices and dialogue in movies and TV shows, and its stereo soundstage is quite impressive as well. The Insignia sounds boxier, doesn't have very many sound enhancement features, and doesn't support any surround sound formats. It does have a more compact design, however, which some people may prefer.

Sony HT-S200F
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Bose Soundbar 700 is noticeably better than the Sony HT-S200F. The audio reproduction of the Bose is accurate and it also provides one of the widest soundstages we've tested. The bar is sleek and very well-made. It also gets louder than the Sony and performs quite better with surround content as well. Also, the Bose 700 can be upgraded with a sub and satellites, which will help its overall sound performance as well.

Samsung HW-S60T
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Bose Soundbar 700 is a better overall performing soundbar than the Samsung HW-S60T. The Bose is a 3.0 channel soundbar with a very balanced mid range and a slightly bright sound profile. It can get pretty loud with a minimal amount of compression artifacts, its discrete center channel is exceptionally well-balanced for clear and accurate vocal reproduction, and it even supports eARC. However, the Samsung has a better app that you can also use as a remote, and the bar itself is less wide, so it should fit better between the legs of a 55" TV.

TaoTronics TT-SK023
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The 3.0 channel Bose Soundbar 700 is much better than the 2.0 TaoTronics TT-SK023. The Bose can play both Dolby Digital and DTS surround formats over HDMI ARC, has a center channel for clearer voices and dialogue, a much wider soundstage, and a better-balanced sound. The TaoTronics is much more compact, though, which you may prefer if you're tight on space.

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