Today we are putting two heavyweights of the soundbar world in the ring in the Bose Soundbar 700 and the Sonos Arc. These are two fantastic soundbars and I have to say right off the bat that these are two of the best higher-end soundbars that are on the market right now. These are not exactly the most “affordable” soundbars that we have looked at here on the sight. If you have come here by accident and want a soundbar that is more modestly priced, check out our Best Soundbars With Subwoofer Under $200 that features some great soundbar deals. Now, if you want the best of the best, keep on reading to see which one of these soundbars I feel is the best!
Both of these are expensive so let’s just get that out of the way right now. These soundbars are not made for those who just want better sound than what their TV speakers are offering. These are made for people who want as close to cinema-quality sound as possible and are not worried about paying for it!
Bose Soundbar 700: This as of writing is the flagship soundbar that the good folks at Bose offers. In my experience, Bose does not make cheap stuff and with that in mind, the $799.99 asking price should not be a shock. While that price is what you would pay if you were to buy the Bose Soundbar 700 from somewhere like Amazon. It is worth noting that I have seen this for as much as 150 bucks cheaper on eBay so be sure to shop around.
Sonos Arc: Next up we have the Sonos Arc which as I write this is the most recent soundbar on the market from Sonos. Brand new, you are looking at $799.99 so it is going head to head with the offering from Bose. I did a little digging around and there is not a ton of wiggle room in the price, to be honest. On eBay, a few sellers had this in the 750 to 780 bucks range and you can save more if you get a pre-owned one. However, as this is relatively new (as of writing) there is not much in the way of deals for this just yet.
The Verdict: Well as they both cost $799.99 brand new, I do not think it is fair to say either one is a winner. Due to the fact that the Bose is around a year older, I do think there are more deals to be found on places like eBay, but there is not much in it between these two at all. However, you do get far more in the box (which we will talk about later) with the Bose!
If you are spending this much money on a soundbar, you need it to look good. A soundbar is usually out on display either under your TV or hanging on the wall, which I am not a huge fan of, to be honest. Both of these have a cool design, but there is one that I feel is better looking than the other! I want to add that the Bose Soundbar 700 is also available in white and the Sonos Arc is also available in silver, but we are just looking at the black designs here.
Bose Soundbar 700: The dimensions for the Bose Soundbar 700 are 38.5” x 2.25” x 4.25” which makes this the largest (currently) soundbar that Bose offer. I have to say that I love the design of this soundbar and I so far have not found one that I like better! This thing is just so sleek and sexy looking! It has this very cool black metal grille that wraps around the front, the back is made from plastic, but the top is made from glass. This glass top looks fantastic, even though it does attract fingerprints! My nephew was around watching Minions and felt the need to get his grubby fingerprints all over it! So, it looks great, but it does need cleaning regularly.
Round the back of the soundbar, we have a nice selection of ports with the obvious power one. This features both an HDMI Arc and optical port. There is also a connection for a subwoofer, speaking of which this soundbar is designed to be best buddies with the awesome, Bose Base Module 700. There is also an ethernet port and a handy USB port which is there in case the soundbar needs to be updated. I hand on heart cannot think of anything else that Bose could have done on the back of this to make it better.
Sonos Arc: The Sonos Arc is a bit bigger as it comes in at 3.4” x 45” x 4.5”. At 45 inches long this is a rather large soundbar and you will certainly need to make sure your TV unit can handle this as you do not want it hanging off the sides, that would look terrible! I think this has a cool design, it is mainly made from plastic, but I do love the black mesh grille that is on the front. There is also a grille on the side (a plastic one) that gives the soundbar a bit more personality to. I do wish the Sonos logo was on the top and not the front. Still, I love how this has a rather curvy design and think that it would look great under any TV.
On the back of the soundbar, you of course have your power input. There is only an HDMI Arc on the back of here, no optical! Before you freak out, we will address this later and it is not as big of a deal as you may think. Now, this does also have mounting holes (as does the 700) but Sonos has their own unique mounting brackets and they do not come with this so you will need to buy them if you plan on mounting this.
The Verdict: Look, I have to say that the Sonos Arc looks great, it has many things that I love about the design, but I have to give this category to the Bose Soundbar 700. I know that glass top is going to attract fingerprints, pet hair, and dust, but as long as you keep it clean it looks like a million bucks.
I have tested these with a ton of movies, TV shows, and video games. However, I made sure to use some of the same “media” on these so I could see if there was any difference. The three things I used were o is Captain Marvel for a movie, Resident Evil Village for a game, and The Office for a TV show.
Bose Soundbar 700: The Bose Soundbar 700 is a 3.0 soundbar with a center speaker and two accompanying side speakers. Look, we have looked at other more higher-priced soundbars in our best soundbars under $600 article, but this (and the Sonos) are something else. Bose wanted to make you feel like you were in the cinema with this soundbar and I think that they did a great job. I can tell you that this is one of the best sounding soundbars I have ever had the pleasure to use. You may wonder how a 3.0 setup can truly rock you, but this one can and it does it with style. When watching a movie that has a lot of action going on, this thing really comes into its own. Even though it does not have a subwoofer, the sound has a real power to it that I love.
While it does not give you surround sound like many soundbars claim they do. What this does do is truly fill the room with sound. I have this currently in my living room and my living room is rather large and this thing truly does fill the room with sound. I love watching movies with this and I always make sure to crank the sound up, well as loud as my wife will let me. We watched, The Collector’s Edition of Event Horizon and I got in big trouble for having it too loud!
The Bose Soundbar 700 is also great for when you are watching something that is very dialogue-heavy. The clarity here is outstanding, even at quieter volumes, you are able to clearly hear what the characters are saying. This also has Bluetooth connectivity, so you can connect your phone to this and use it to stream your favorite music too.
Sonos Arc: I was very excited to get the chance to try out the Sonos Arc and there was a huge reason for this. While the Bose Soundbar 700 is 3.0 what we have here is 5.1 and I could not wait to get this all hooked up to my TV and see what those extra two speakers would give me.
To start with, this thing can get very loud, we watched a ton of movies on it and I was floored in particular when we watched Saving Private Ryan as the gunfire and yells of people were coming from all the speakers and were following the action on the screen. It was very impressive and there was no loss of clarity at louder volumes too.
Just like the Bose, the Sonos Arc is able to fill the room with sound. Sitting in the middle of the room, this monster truly slaps you in the face with its sound. What is also great is that movies and TV shows which are not all about action also sound great. I was watching a few episodes of Breaking Bad and the vocal clarity was some of the best I have experienced from a soundbar.
For movies, TV shows, and video games this is going toe to toe with the Bose, but there is one strange thing about this and that is there is no Bluetooth connectivity! That means you cannot connect your phone to this and stream your music of things like Spotify! That is a real shame as I am sure music would have sounded amazing coming through this!
The Verdict: Man, this is really tough as they are both great, you may think that the 5.1 of the Sonos Arc would make it a clear winner, but that is not the case. I actually think I have to give this one to the Bose Soundbar 700. The sound just had a more “fuller” kind of vibe to me, plus I was able to stream my music from my phone through it too. This is a feature my wife actually uses a lot so that right there would make the 700 a winner for my household.
The Remote Control
I have a feeling that we are living in a day and age where if most tech companies had their way remote controls would be a thing of the past. I am not saying you will be using your mind, but rather some kind of app on your phone. Anyway, enough of my crackpot theories let’s look at how you control these things!
Bose Soundbar 700: In my full Bose Soundbar 700 review I went into great detail about how amazing the remote control for this thing was and I stand by that. This remote control is just awesome and has a lot of features. It lets you switch between presets and gives you more control over the soundbar than any other remote that Bose has put out. What is really cool is the way it lights up. This is not just a “gimmick” when you have a certain setting activated. The buttons that relate to that setting will light up! You can also use Google Assistant and Alexa with this remote too. Bose do also have an app that you can download if you wish.
Sonos Arc: What the heck? Remember my crackpot theory about how people want to do away with remote controls? Well, guess what the Sonos Arc does not come with a remote. You have to use the app. Do not get me wrong, this app is great. It is very easy to use, it gives you complete control over the soundbar including tinkering with the sound in specific ways and just selecting a preset. The thing is for me personally, I like to put my phone upstairs in the evening and not be tempted to scroll on Facebook or be disturbed, with this that would not be an option.
The Verdict: There is only one winner here and that is the Bose Soundbar 700. You can download an app here if you want, but it does also come with one of the most awesome remote controls that I have ever used. The app for the Sonos Arc is great it really is, but as someone who does not like to have their phone on them all the time, it would not be great for me.
What Is In The Box?
Here we are looking at what you will be getting in the actual box. By the way, The Box is an awesome and underrated sci-fi thriller that I highly recommend that you check out! Anyway, back on topic, let’s see exactly what is awaiting you in the giant boxes that these soundbars come in!
Bose Soundbar 700: Inside the box, you have your soundbar and power cable which you would expect and probably be pretty made if these were not in here! The Bose Soundbar 700 comes with both an HDMI and an optical cable so no matter what your setup is, you are ready to go with this thing right out of the box. It also has the Bose ADAPTiQ headset which is there to make calibrating this to the scale of your room perfectly. This is more of a novelty if you ask me, but it is cool that it is in there. Also, they throw in a little cleaning cloth that will help keep that glass top looking stylish and sexy.
Sonos Arc: As you would expect the actual Sonos Arc Soundbar is inside the box along with its power cable. As this does not have an optical port on the back, you do not get an optical cable. However, you do get an HDMI to optical cable so if your TV does have an optical port, you can still use this. To my knowledge, you cannot get Dolby Atmos with this cable though. They do also give you a standard HDMI cable as well though so you should be good to go right out of the box.
The Verdict: While you do get more inside the box of the Bose Soundbar 700. The fact of the matter is these both come with all you need to get started. I will say that as the Sonos Arc requires a propriety set of brackets for all mounting, I feel that at this price they could have thrown these in, especially as they have saved money by not having a remote. So, with that being said I would have to say that the winner in this category is the Bose.
What Is The Better Soundbar?
I can hand on heart say that both the Bose Soundbar 700 and the Sonos Arc are amazing soundbars. I can see why someone would pick one over the other. There is a very fine line we are walking here as in my opinion they do offer a very similar sound. truth be told, you could not go wrong with either one of these. Yet, I must pick one, and the one that I feel is the best is the Bose Soundbar 700. To start with the sound quality is truly amazing, the way the room just gets filled with sound is awesome stuff and the best you can do without buying a surround sound setup. Also, the fact that it is gorgeous to look at and it does also come with that fantastic remote really put this one over the top. You might also be keen to check out the Bose Soundbar 300 vs 500 vs 700.