Bose Soundbar 700
Inputs and Features9.0/10
Price / Quality9.0/10
- Excellent performance
- Premium build quality
- Can expand to a full 5.1 system
- Great remote
- Expensive for just a soundbar
- Virtual surround tech is absent
- Setup and calibration needs some work
- Uses a different app from previous Bose products
Cheapest Places to Buy :
Bose is a company that has connected their name with quality audio products over the years so reviewing one of their latest soundbars was something that we were very anxiously expecting. Bose is no stranger in the soundbars segment but we are entering an era where voice controlled, smart soundbars are starting to become the norm and as such the American company released a few months ago a couple of new soundbars that include smart, voice-control functionality among all the other supported functions.
In today’s Bose Soundbar 700 review we will be looking at their flagship model and determine if it’s premium look and capabilities reflect upon it’s high price especially when there are so many other capable soundbars that cost much less. Does Bose managed to keep their high quality standards that we are used to see in their products one more time? Continue reading to find out.
Design, Inputs and Features
The Bose Soundbar 700 is a 3.0 channels soundbar as there is no subwoofer or surround speakers included in the main package. It measures 2.3 in (5.72 cm) X 38.5 in (97.8 cm) X 4.3 in (10.8 cm) and with a weight of 10.49 lbs (4.76 kg) the Soundbar 700 is not the biggest one we have seen but comes at a size that can sit comfortably under any 50″ flat TV. But we liked that the design is such that even in smaller sizes it would not look completely out of place.
Being the flagship soundbar from Bose means that build quality would be definitely on the high side and we were not disappointed in this regard. The top is covered in tempered glass while at the front and sides Bose have used a single perforated aluminum grill while on the back we get all the ports grouped together. The general look of the soundbar looks and feels very premium and is typical for a brand like Bose.
Continuing with it’s premium characteristics the Soundbar 700 provides the user with only a couple of buttons on it’s top. One of them is an action button while the other is for turning the built-in microphones array on and off, an interesting function that we hadn’t seen in other voice controlled soundbars before but a nice one if you don’t want a device to hear your room all the time if not in use.
At the front, between the perforated grill and the top buttons, we get a LED light bar that depending on it’s activity and color indicates it’s current status that includes WiFi and Bluetooth connections, Alexa functions as well as updating and error procedures. Although it’s a bit hard to remember every single light function and something that made us look at the manual a couple of times to find out what the soundbar was actually doing we liked it’s inclusion as it gives a really high end feel to it.
The Soundbar 700 has a pretty low profile making it easy to place it under almost all TVs but in case you want to wall mount it Bose is also selling appropriate wall brackets that unfortunately you will have to buy separately. The wall mounting position is the same as is when placing it on a furniture due to the way the drivers are pointing under the grill so it may extrude a bit more than what we would like especially if you have a very thin TV that will make this even more noticeable. A minor problem but one that we should mention especially when there are soundbars that offer different furniture and wall mounting positions.
Under the aluminum grill we get a 3 channels setup and while not a lot of details are provided Bose has used custom-designed low profile transducers for the center channel that provide clear vocals while maintaining the low profile of the soundbar. For the left and right channels Bose used what they call PhaseGuide technology that is using small transducers to direct beams of multi-directional sound in order to create a more expansive soundstage. Whether this technology actually works or not we will discuss a bit further down in our performance section.
At the back of the unit we get recessed ports at the far end of both sides that Bose calls QuietPort technology and helps improve bass performance while in the middle there are 2 specially designed recesses that house the connection ports. In one of them Bose has placed the power connector and 4 3.5mm jacks for Data, Bass, IR and AdaptIQ while on the other recess we find an optical digital audio input, an Ethernet port for wired connection to the Internet, a service USB port and a HDMI port with added ARC functionality.
The Soundbar 700 also has wireless capabilities with built-in WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity supported. With such an expensive unit we would like to have a few more ports available but it’s clear that the unit is more aimed to be used through it’s wireless capabilities in order to keep wires at a minimum which may limit your options concerning how you will connect this unit.
Controlling the soundbar is done with 3 ways. The most obvious one is with the included remote and in all honesty the one provided is one of the most interesting designs we have seen in any audio device and not because of it’s aesthetics but because of how it works. When you first look at it the only visible buttons are the power, menu navigation buttons and volume controls. It is when you pick it up that more buttons light up due to it’s built-in sensors. But the interesting part is that not all buttons will illuminate as only the buttons associated with the selected source will appear making it hard to press some wrong button by accident. Ingenious design and one we would definitely like to see in other audio equipment.
But the remote is only one way to control the unit as Bose has also created the Bose music app which you can download to your smartphone and make this your means of control. Unfortunately if you were using the previous Bose SoundTouch app with some of the Bose products you will not be able to use that here as it doesn’t support this new lineup of soundbars. The new Bose music app is very good with a nice interface and easy to use and while it doesn’t support the Bose SoundTouch series the app offers full control over Bose’s new wireless smart speakers.
The third way and the most advertised one is with voice control through Amazon’s Alexa. The Soundbar 700 comes with a custom designed 8 microphones array in order for Alexa to pick up your voice even with loud sound. We put that to the test and the results were pretty good with Alexa detecting our voice even when there was loud sound in the room which was really surprising to see and it really shows how much things have improved in voice detection technology. Also when talking to Alexa the LED light bar indicates it’s status like listening, thinking, or speaking. Control with Alexa is not limited to the actual unit as playing music services, news, and weather forecasts can now be done with just a voice command.
Soundbar 700 supports the usual Dolby Digital and DTS formats but since there is no upfiring speakers it does not support the latest Dolby Atmos or DTS:X. Also it’s a bit disappointing that there is no virtual surround features support and while having tried these in some other soundbars with mixed results having no real surround speakers such a feature could be useful in some situations.
The Soundbar 700 also include many streaming services with Amazon Music, Deezer, Pandora, SiriusXM internet radio, Spotify, TuneIn and iHeartRadio available. There is also Apple’s Airplay support for streaming audio through Apple devices while recently Bose added Airplay 2 support through a firmware update which is Apple’s solution to a multi-room environment.
And while the main package only includes the soundbar, you have the ability to expand it’s capabilities by adding both a wireless subwoofer like the Bose Bass Module 700 and Bose Surround Speakers. This way you can create various audio setups that expand the basic 3.0 system’s performance. As such you can go for a 3.1 system that includes the subwoofer, a 5.0 setup that includes the surround speakers or go for a full 5.1 surround setup that has the soundbar, subwoofer and surround speakers work all together. This way the soundbar can fit in any kind of situation and according to the user’s needs.
When the Soundbar 700 was initially released Bose promised that further functionality will be added with future updates and it seems that they have kept their word on that as recently an update added Airplay 2 support. Similarly Bose has said that another update that will release in Spring 2019 will include Google Assistant support expanding even further the voice-control capabilities of the unit. It remains to be seen when this update will be released as of the time of writing this review no news of it’s release has been revealed.
Just to make it clear we tested the soundbar without the subwoofer or the surround speakers in order to determine the performance of just the main unit. It is a given that adding these additional speakers would dramatically improve our experience but we wanted to see how the unit could do without adding anything extra on it. After all you pay a premium price for this and it’s good to know what to expect for it’s core experience.
Setup of the unit is not particularly hard for someone with even the slightest of experience but we suspect that for some people it may take a bit more time that what they would like. If you are not very tech savvy or it’s your first time you go through such a setup make sure to download in your smartphone the Bose Music App and follow the instructions in order to complete it without problems.
After connecting the soundbar to our TV and downloading the Bose Music App to our smartphone we powered up the unit and went through a series of steps to connect to our WiFi and Amazon account. When finishing this part you can go through the AdaptIQ calibration which is a neat process and it involves wearing a special headset that measures sound in various positions. During calibration just make sure to stay still and silent otherwise the system will not be able to make correct measurements. It’s the first we see a headset instead of the usual microphone and while we cannot say which way is better the AdaptIQ system is certainly unique.
Upon finishing the calibration we saw that the Soundbar’s LED light was sliding sideways which meant that the unit was downloading and installing an update that we suspect was the one that enabled Airplay 2 to the unit that Bose had promised some time ago. Upon finishing the update the unit was ready for use and through the Bose Music App we had the ability to further calibrate the unit as Bass and Treble controls are provided in order to change them to your liking.
Moving on to our movie testing we picked up the 4K UHD version of Saving Private Ryan that comes with a fantastic Dolby Atmos track and although the soundbar doesn’t support this object-oriented track we were curious to see how faithfully it will be able to reproduce such an encompassing and immersive film as this.
The Soundbar 700 is at it’s basis a 3.0 system and we tried the opening scene of the film with the landing on Omaha beach as we had seen this part numerous times with various setups and we pretty much knew how the audio can be with a full blown surround setup. The first thing that becomes immediately apparent is the precision and clarity of sound the unit was able to deliver. Dialogue even in all this mayhem was very distinguishable and easy to hear and there was no overlapping with the other sound effects.
The second thing we observed was how wide the front stage was with sounds extending to the far sides of the soundbar that go beyond the physical limits of the speakers. It really felt like sound were coming from the right and left sides of our testing area and it made us turn our heads more than once to see where the sound was coming from. Bose made a very good job on this part.
Bass was ok but the omission of a subwoofer is really hurting it’s overall performance. The soundbar is able to go low by itself and for casual viewing it can be more than enough but if you want to elevate your cinematic experience you really need to buy the separate unit as it will help the unit go so much more low.
Lastly we need to mention it’s surround performance. Not having any surround speakers it’s a weakness that all soundbars have and although in recent years we have seen manufacturers trying to rectify this by adding various virtual technologies to improve on this, surround immersion is still the thing they lack the most. That’s why we see so many models nowadays offer modular designs that allow to buy surround speakers separately. And this is the case here also. The basic experience although good lacks any depth behind us as most of the action could be heard only from the front. When the German machine guns are ripping through the allied soldiers you could hear the bullets fly all over the room, an effect that was audible only at the front here.
As with the bass we would have to say the same thing for the surround experience also. If you want to have the best performance possible then adding a couple of surround speakers is the way to go. If your budget allows for that and you have enough space to place them, then you will not regret it. But even if you can’t get them the basic unit manages to improve on your TV’s performance tenfold by not only offering superior audio quality but also by expanding the front soundstage much more than the limited boundaries of your TV screen.
We also tested a few music tracks to see how the soundbar performs with music and the Soundbar 700 really amazed us with it’s performance. Here the omission of surround speakers is not so much evident, although we are still missing the subwoofer as the bass was a bit on the light side. But once again we were amazed by the clarity of the sound provided. Vocals and musical instruments were clearly separated with the unit being able to deliver a very good mid-range while the high frequencies were the highlight of the unit.
If it’s music you will mostly be using this soundbar for the the Bose Soundbar 700 is an ideal choice delivering quality that only a few soundbars can. If you can pair it at least with the subwoofer you can expect music that will be amazing across all frequencies.
Closing this review we have to admit that although we are strong supporters of dedicated audio setups wherever possible, the Soundbar 700 really left us with very good impressions. Bose has created a soundbar that feels and looks premium, has a performance that really goes beyond what most soundbars can offer in term of audio quality while it also provides enough features, control options and connectivity to support most needs. It’s modular design is an extra plus as you can tailor the unit any way you want. Special mention must be made on the remote as it’s buttons light in a way that we had never seen before in most standard audio equipment remotes.
In the downsides we have to mention that if you are using the previous Bose app you are out of luck as the new Bose music app will need to be used with this soundbar. Also setup and calibration may be a little difficult for those that are not very experienced and you need to carefully follow instructions in order to complete everything with success. Another low point is that if you decide to only buy the basic unit without the subwoofer or the surround speakers you are loosing a lot on what the soundbar can really offer. It still sounds good for what it is but bass will be on the light side while you will also loose a lot of depth behind you as the soundbar by itself fails to give you a realistic surround immersion.
The unit is not cheap and for just a soundbar there are many cheaper options you can consider. But if you want quality both aesthetically and acoustically then the Bose Soundbar 700 is a great choice. We would definitely recommend adding the Bose Bass Module 700 as it will elevate the quality of the low frequencies so much more while the Bose Surround Speakers will give you the full surround immersion. In the end you pay a premium for a Bose product and if your budget can afford it then we definitely recommend it.
For more reviews you can check our dedicated Single Soundbar reviews list or even look at our Product Reviews Table where you can find the brand and specific product you are looking for.
Also don’t lose the chance to subscribe to our Newsletter and gain exclusive privileges.
Cheapest Places to Buy :
- Design Features : Tempered glass top
- Integrated Components : 8 microphones array
- Amplification Type : Active
- Output Features : PhaseGuide, QuietPort
- Audio Amplifier : Integrated
- Built-in Decoders : DTS decoder, Dolby Digital
- Connectivity Technology : Wired, wireless
- Connectivity Interfaces : Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
- Internet Streaming Services : Amazon Music, Deezer, Pandora, SiriusXM internet radio, Spotify, TuneIn, iHeartRadio
- Features support : Airplay, Amazon Alexa
- Connections : HDMI output, Infrared input, calibration, data input, digital audio input (optical), subwoofer output
- Connector Type : 19 pin HDMI Type A, TOSLINK, mini-phone 3.5 mm
- Dimensions (H X W X D) : 2.3 in (5.72 cm) X 38.5 in (97.8 cm) X 4.3 in (10.8 cm)
- Weight : 10.49 lbs (4.76 kg)
27 thoughts on “Bose Soundbar 700 Review (3.0 CH Soundbar)”
My husband wants a sound bar really bad! We are moving into a new house soon and he has plans to make the basement a theater room. I think for Father’s Day I will surprise him with a sound bar. I’m really impressed with how thorough this review is and I think it looks awesome! I’m not quite sure what a subwoofer is (clearly this is not my area of knowledge) so do you think we should just go with the sound bar on it’s own and see, or would it be a good idea to add the subwoofer right away? Thank you!
Hello Holly. If your budget can afford it then I would definitely recommend buying the soundbar together with the subwoofer as it will elevate the performance of the soundbar so much more. And your husband will definitely appreciate it!!
Great review here! Bose is definitely one of my favorite products when it comes to sound, so I found this post very insightful and helpful. I really like how you provided a high-quality image of the product as well as a clear review visually. Cheapest places to buy is always a helpful link for shoppers. This post is very well written and formatted nicely. I have bookmarked your post and will be referring back to it when it’s time to upgrade my sound system, which will be very soon!
I am glad you liked our article. If you need any more help when you decide to buy then let me know.
I’ve been looking into getting a soundbar the last couple of weeks but my son keeps on adding ‘must have’s’ to the process and I’m getting more than a little confused.
After reading your review I see that the Bose 700 ticks most of the boxes, and it’s obviously from a great audio company. The one thing I need to know is in regards to the streaming features – can you actually add your own streaming apps to it? (as well as what it comes with)
Hello Chris. The soundbar doesn’t have an online store that you can download more streaming services. The ones available is what you get unless Bose adds more with some future update.
Hi. I found Your review of the Bose 700 soundbar extreme informative and packed with high quality detail.
I have always loved the quality sound Bose speakers deliver. Crisp and clear with no noticeable interference.
From your review of this sound bar I can tell that this product will be no different.
The price for this seem rather high for me.
Do you think it’s so expensive because they know they have their brand name behind the product?
Technology is moving so fast these days I do wonder if the speakers and sound bars they are making will continue to get smaller and louder, so that we can eventually carry them in the palm of our hand.
Thanks for sharing and I look forward to what product you will review next
Bose was always offering premium products so the price is naturally higher than the average. It’s the same as with other products when it involves a brands that is considered to sell premium products.
Check our website soon as the next review is coming…
This is a very informative and exhaustive review! I appreciate the summary you presented at the end of the article. Helps to have a better overall idea. I will be looking to upgrade my entertainment audio devices in the future soon. I have always liked Bose. I will definitely bookmark this for future reference! Is there a cheaper option you would recommend?
Hello Sherry. You can check our speakers section where we have reviewed many soundbars lately. But if you need more specific suggestions then you will have to give me a few more information about your needs.
Hello Stratos, I have read your comments on Bose 700 sound bar and module. It’s very useful, however I need some advice from you.
Currently I have Bose 700 soundbar, 700 module and 300 surround speakers connected to my Sony AF9 television. Sound quality is amazing, but surround is very low. Do you recommend AV receiver to boost surround?
Hello Kadem. You mean that surround sound is too low? Have you tried running the ADAPTiQ audio calibration system with your surrounds enabled?
Hi Stratos, loved the article for the detailed review. Iam currently making up my mind to buy a unit, but not sure if it should be Soundtouch 30 series or Soundbar 700, am stuck between the two. As of now Bose is the only brand that iam contemplating to go for unless any other suggestions pop up. I have mangesh to create the budget for the same as well. My requirement started from having a good unit to play music through my music library/playlist (I hope it still is my priority), but then looking at the way Bose is promoting its new Smart Speaker series with newer upgrades and new features as compared to the Soundtouch line of speakers I feel it would be better to invest in SB700. For sure I do not have the immediate budget to buy the sub woofer along with the base unit.
Would need your perspective if it would be good to buy SB700 or ST30(iii).
Also, advise if my TV has only RCA port as out, will it give me apt output or do I need to get some converters.
Thanks again for the informative article and looking forward to your friendly advice.
Hello Vipin. I can understand your problem as both the Soundbar 700 and Soundtouch 300 are very similar indeed. Performance wise there is no difference as both units use the same type of drivers and have the same power. What is different is that the Soundbar 700 has built-in voice control while with the Soundtouch 300 you will need an Alexa speaker like an Echo dot in order to control it. Other than this the SB700 uses a Bluetooth remote and needs the newer Boss Music App for mobile devices while the ST300 uses a simpler IR remote and needs the older SoundTouch app.
So it all comes down to if these differences are important to you. If you have an Alexa device or you have other Soundtouch products so you need to use the older Soundtouch App then go for ST300 as it will be more practical for you instead of having to use two apps. If you don’t and the price is not very different between the two then go for the SB700 as you get these few extras that may be handy.
Lastly in order to connect your TV to either of these soundbars you will need an HDMI IN port with ARC or a digital optical output. If your TV has none of them then you will not be able to connect it so make sure about this.
If you need any further help let me know. Cheers!
Thanks for honest and detailed reviews.
Which is the best suitable sound bar for my LG C9 tv.
Bose 700 with base module or Sony htst 5000?
Kindly suggest suitable one.
Hello Ravi. Between the two you suggest I would probably go for the Sony HT-ST5000. Now when you combine the Bose soundbar with the bass module its price goes even higher than the Sony but when you compare the two Sony offers more in terms of features. Sound quality wise the differences are not so big but overall I would give a slight edge to the Sony one.
Many thanks Stratos for the quick reply.?
Bose is known for the long life. Hope the Sony’s durability also good.
Hi Stratos ,
Do you suggest any other sound bar suitable to LG C9 55 TV Apart from Bose SB700 with base module & Sony HT-ST5000.
Hey Ravi. It depends. What is your maximum budget? And do you care for any specific features like surround sound?
LG C9 TV supports many advanced sound features like HDMI 2.1..But the built in sound quality is disappointing. I am looking for a decent sound bar which can match with my TV visual experience.
Good surround sound ( rears can be optional). Atmos is preferable but can be compromised if the sound quality is exceptional.
Many sound bars are not available in India. There are few sound bars lined up for the launch and few are delayed due to COVID 19. Could you please suggest few sound bars in the performance order so that I can check in the market for the availability.
My budget is around $ 1200-1500. But flexible for the good experience.
Except from the two that we already mentioned you can also check the Sonos Playbar with the optional subwoofer and the Harman Kardon Enchant 1300 with the optional subwoofer. If you can also find Vizio they have some very nice Dolby Atmos soundbars with dedicated surround speakers.
Many thanks Stratos.
I have gone through many reviews in the last one month. Many of them are confusing. You do them passionately.
Thank you Ravi. Comments like your is the best reward for us. We try very much to write detailed, honest and easy to read reviews so when we see our readers enjoy our articles it means that we do a good job.
If you need any other help don’t hesitate to write us in the comments.
Samsung has just launched new sound bars HW Q900T & Q950T.
Could you please compare them with Sony HT-ST5000 for LG C9 TV. Currently my place is under lockdown and the shops may open in the next month.
Hey Ravi. We will keep an eye on the new Samsung soundbars and if we can get our hands on any of them I will make sure to post a review. Keep checking back for updates.
Hi Stratos – I have the Bose Soundtouch 130 Cinemate which has a first generation soundtouch soundbar and acousimass subwoofer (which looks much smaller than than Subwoofer 700). I’m thinking of upgrading to the SB700 with Bass Module. Can you explain if the sound (particularly for music is really a big improvement over the Soundtouch 130, particularly for music – the extra box modules isn’t a problem for me as the unit is set up without any clutter). Is there a better stereo soundstage than the 130? The 130 Soundbar does sound very good, although there is no real stereo soundstage and the bass, while a good improvement over the soundbar, does not drive so deep musically with sustainable tone but does well for Jazz, voices, acoustic music and most music recorded in mono. My set up is in an 8’W x 12’D Den with two walls on either side of the soundbar – so any reflective sound to the side might be optimal in this space. The Soundtouch 130 lies flat on a stereo cabinet below a 55″ Samsung, but the speakers appear to face up and not directionally toward me, although the AdpaptIQ appears to compensate nicely. I can’t tell what the driver system differences are in the 130 vs 700 but any discussion you can provide is welcome. Many thanks for your good review and comments to other inquiries.
Some comparison points –
I really do love the soundtouch 130 sound and it meets all of my needs for streaming SiriusXM, Tunein radio, and bluetooth for my Apple Music library (which Sonos cannot do!). It has lots of HDMI ports, but most inputs can be routed through my Samsung Onebox (DVD, Apple TV). The 130 does have a Coaxial Digital input which I do use directly for a NAD 5-disc carousel CD player (which does have a fuller sound as well as one set of L-R RCA connectors for turntable if desired) which appears to be a drawback and inability to connect on the Soundbar 700. The remote is not as sleek, but I can see the volume control on the input box although it isn’t optimal for adjusting bass and volume as you have to select items 5 and 6 for bass and treble by scrolling through a menu – i.e. not much different than getting up to turn knobs on an old fashioned amplifier/receiver but still not as easy.
Hello Paul. Unfortunately as far as audio quality is concerned I cannot give you a clear answer as I have not tested the Bose Soundtouch 130 myself. But in terms of inputs the Bose Soundtouch 130 has the upper hand compared to any kind of soundbar as it uses an input box. You are not going to find something similar on a standalone soundbar, even on some of the top tier flagships. I don’t remember the last time I saw a coaxial digital input in a soundbar as almost all of them use optical ports instead.
But if you want me to recommend you a top tier system that most likely would be the Harman Kardon Enchant 1300 with the optional subwoofer. There are no Atmos drivers or dedicated surround speakers in this but for a soundbar-subwoofer combo the Enchant 1300 is one of the best I have heard in my reviews. You can find my review on it in the appropriate section.