I love the Bose Soundbar 700 which was clarified in my Bose Soundbar 700 review so be sure to check that out if you want all of the nitty-gritty. Anyway, today we are having some fun by having a match so epic it should be held in the confines of a 15 feet high steel cage! We are looking at the Bose Soundbar 700 vs Sonos Playbar. These are two very popular and high-end soundbars and I have had an awesome time putting them both through their paces. No matter if you want better sound for your movies, video games, or TV shows, you are going to be very happy with what these are offering.
It is worth stating that these are very expensive soundbars! Do not worry though, if you are on a tighter budget or just plain do not want to spend this kind of money. I highly recommend that you check out our 6 Best Soundbars Under $300 article and our slightly more thrifty, 5 Best Soundbars With Subwoofer article.
The Price: Bose Soundbar 700 vs Sonos Playbar
I do not know about you, but no matter what I am looking to buy, my eyes always first of all look at the price! It must be the tightfisted Scotsman (hey, that is not offensive, I am Scottish) that I am. Speaking of which be sure to check out my favorite character, Groundskeeper Willie in The Simpsons Movie . Anyway, back on topic, the point of this category is to look at the prices of these and see which one is arguably offering the best bang for your buck.
Bose Soundbar 700: I know that $799.99 is a lot of money and actually the Bose Soundbar 700 is the most expensive soundbar Bose currently offers. However, this is one of those rare occasions where I do think that this is worth the asking price. Bose could not have made this any higher quality in my opinion. That $799.99 is the RRP of this by the way so be sure to shop around. I found a few stores on eBay selling these brand new for a few bucks less. Plus, you could always buy a refurbished one and save well over 100 bucks if you are comfortable doing that.
Sonos Playbar: Hmm, the Sonos Playbar as far as its pricing goes appears to be far more flexible. Well, as of writing it does. To give you an example of this, on Amazon as of writing they have this listed at 943 bucks for a new one! That is way too much if I am being honest, but over at Walmart, they are offering this for $769 so be sure to shop around. I had a little look on eBay and noticed that there were some great deals I even found one brand new, with the mountain bracket for under 600 bucks!
The Verdict: I will always say that the Bose Soundbar 700 is fantastic value for money and worth every bit of the 800 bucks they are asking for it. However, there is no denying that if you look around online there are far better deals for the Sonos Playbar, it can be as much as 200 bucks cheaper at some places!
The Design: Bose Soundbar 700 Vs Sonos Playbar
Both of these have a really cool style to them. What I like about this comparison we are doing today is that these are very different looking in their designs. I would have to say that for definite to say one is better than the other would be very hard as at the end of the day this category is more about your own personal preference or what fits with the other stuff in your room.
Bose Soundbar 700: I want to suggest that you check out this Bose Soundbar 700 Setup And Review video that I found so you can really see just how great this thing looks. This does take up a fair amount of space as it is 38.5” x 2.25” x 4.25”. While I would always have my soundbar sitting on the table/unit under my TV, you can also mount this on the wall if you like. This is one of the coolest-looking soundbars on the market right now. It just looks so cool and elegant that I feel it would easily blend into any room. If you want a soundbar that looks good as well as sounds good, this is tough to beat. On the front, we have a black metal grille that Bose uses for all their soundbars and this does wrap around the sides too. The top though is what really sets this apart as it is glass! Sure, it attracts fingerprints like crazy, but man it is worth it!
The back of the soundbar is made from plastic and here you have all the ports that you need to get this thing working. You have both an HDMI Arc and an optical port on the back. There is also a port for a subwoofer (I recommend checking out the Bose Base Module 700) and you of course have your power cable too. There is also an ethernet port on the back and a micro-USB port that is there in case you ever need to update the soundbar. This is by far the best-looking soundbar that Bose has on the market right now!
Sonos Playbar: There is not a huge difference in the size of these two as the Sonos Playbar comes in at 35.5” x 3.3” x 5.4”. This has a very different look to its brother the Sonos Arc. The thing that really captures your attention is that this does not have plastic on the top or even a metal grille. This has a fabric that wraps around it all. I think this gives it a very interesting look. This is broken up with a grey/silver-looking plastic along the top with the Sonos logo. I think this has a very smart look, but you do have to wonder just how easy this fabric could rip? I know for a fact, my kids when they were younger would have loved to have poked their fingers through it so that might be something to watch.
On the sides are metal grilles which I like. On the rear of the soundbar, you have your various hookups. There is an optical port and two ethernet ports. That is right, there is no HDMI arc on this soundbar! Also, this could be wall mounted if that was more convenient for you, but you will have to buy a special mount which adds over 20 bucks to the overall price.
The Verdict: Ok, so this is a personal opinion, but for me, it has to be the Bose Soundbar 700 which is probably my favorite looking soundbar I have ever had the pleasure of checking out. I know that there is the fingerprint issue, but I can live with that. When you look at it, you just know that you are looking at a high-quality piece of tech! The Sonos Playbar has a very cool style all of its own, but I do worry about that fabric getting damaged, but it is more the lack of the ports and the requirement of a propriety mount if you want to put it on the wall that let the design down for me.
The Sound: Bose Soundbar 700 Vs Sonos Playbar
Oh yeah, here we go! While a soundbar looking good is very important, the most important aspect of any soundbar has to be the sound it produces. They are getting better and better at filling a room with sound and these are two of the best at just doing that. I actually had a Harry Potter marathon switching between these two (By the way, Goblet of Fire is the best movie!) but I did test them with many other things such as games and TV shows.
Bose Soundbar 700: With its 3.0 setup, the Bose Soundbar 700 does a great job of filling the room with sound. Even though we have a very awesome best soundbars under $600 guide, I do feel that the sound quality here is actually above those. For years companies have tried to bring the cinema experience home and people these days do not want a massive set of speakers all over the room to do it. I feel that with this Bose has managed to offer some of the most “cinema” like sound that you will ever hear from a soundbar. I love to sit dead on to this and just be blown away by it. Some people may wonder just how this can be so powerful as it only has three speakers, but trust me this will knock you out like Rocky did Drago in Rocky 4!
Bose like many other companies that make soundbars like to use the term “surround sound” when describing this. While the sound clearly cannot come from behind you, it does still manage to fill the room with sound and the way that the sound hits from all angles is something that I found very impressive. It was so impressive, that I had it cranked all the way up for many of the things that I was testing.
While it is so easy to just focus on the power of this soundbar, I do also have to tell you that vocal clarity through this is fantastic. So, movies and TV shows offer you crystal clear talking. This does also offer Bluetooth connectivity so if you like to listen to music on your phone via Spotify as I do, you can connect it to this and stream music. This is something that my wife has done more than me and she is very happy with the way it sounds.
Sonos Playbar: I had already used the Bose Soundbar 700 for a while before I was able to test the Sonos Playbar, but I did watch many reviews such as this short Sonos Playbar review video right there. I have also tested the Sonos Arc, so I had a good idea of what to expect with this. This is your standard 3.0 setup and I was very interested to see if the fabric they used made any difference to the sound. One movie in particular that sounded amazing piped through this was Avatar which really did give me that “cinema” sound quality I am always looking for with a soundbar.
As is the case with any soundbar or speakers that I test out even ones that are more modestly priced such as ones that feature on our Avatar article, is to crank that volume up and see how they hold out at higher volumes. Look, no one is going to be using this at the highest volume, but I did notice just a tiny wee bit of distortion during some action-heavy scenes where there is a lot of noise going on.
At general “normal” sound levels, the Sonos Playbar holds its own. It manages to really fill the room with music and I ended up watching a few episodes of Parks and Recreation and was impressed at how clear people talking even at lower volumes was. Like the Arc, this does not have Bluetooth so you cannot connect your phone to it and stream music which is a bit of a downer if I am being honest. To me, any soundbar that costs over 400 bucks should allow you to stream music through it.
The Verdict: I am pretty sure you know where this one is going. I have to say the Bose Soundbar 700 wins this category. Not only is it very easy on the eyes, but it is also very easy on the ears, well unless you have it turned up too loud and your wife hits you of course. The Playbar is fine and does a solid job, I just feel that the 700 offers you a more complete sound and it certainly gets closer to the cinema-quality sound that I am always looking for.
The Remote Control: Bose Soundbar 700 Vs Sonos Playbar
I still think that a remote control is a major part of any tech device! That is why I do consider this to be an important category as we look for a winner in our Bose Soundbar 700 vs Sonos Playbar that we are looking at today. Being able to control your soundbar is a pretty damn important part of it if you ask me.
Bose Soundbar 700: I love and I mean love the remote control that comes with the Bose Soundbar 700. I have tested so many speakers, receivers, stereos, and more and I would put this remote control neat the top of the heap or pretty damn close to it. I went into great detail in my Bose Soundbar 700 review where I take a closer look at the remote. This remote has all the functions you need and it is awesome. The way it likes up makes it appear like a remote control that would be used in a movie like Tron which is an awesome movie by the way. I say this because of the way it will light up. The lights are not random, if you have a certain setting activated, only the buttons that relate to that setting will be on.
Sonos Playbar: If you have already checked out my Bose Soundbar 700 vs Sonos Arc article, you probably know where I am about to go with this! Like the Sonos Arc, the Sonos Playbar does not come with a remote control! The idea here is that you use the Sonos app on your phone, tablet, or whatever. To be fair, the app is great, it gives you complete control of your soundbar and it works great. However, just like the Arc, I feel that this needed to come with a remote considering the asking price of it. There is a way you can make it so it can work with your TV’s infrared remote, but man, it is a lot of hassle.
The Verdict: There is a clear winner here and that is the Bose Soundbar 700. Not just because the Sonos Playbar does not come with a remote, but because the 700’s remote is truly like something from the future. There is no debate with this one, the 700 stands tall and proud! It is also worth noting that if you are tech-savvy enough, you can actually use that awesome remote the 700 comes with as a sort of universal remote for other devices.
What Is In The Box? (Bose Soundbar 700 Vs Sonos Playbar)
If you need to know what you can expect when one of these bad boys arrives on your doorstep, here we are going to find out. Just make sure you have a bunch of movies and TV shows on stand by ready to go so you can break one of these in when it arrives.
Bose Soundbar 700: In addition to the soundbar and the power cable to actually get the thing to work. The Bose Soundbar 700 has all you need to get started inside the box. That awesome remote even comes with some batteries, hardly anything gives you batteries these days! Also inside the box is an HDMI cable along with an optical cable so no matter your TV-style, you can use this right away. While I only messed around with this, the 700 also comes with a Bose ADAPTiQ headset which is mean to make calibrating your soundbar easier.
A nice little bonus inside the box here is a little cleaning cloth that is there to take care of the glass top of the soundbar. I found this short video unboxing that will give you a better idea of what is going on here.
Sonos Playbar: The contents of the Sonos Playbar box are very similar to what you get in the Sonos Arc box. Check out this Sonos Playbar unboxing video where you can see someone unbox it if you want a better idea.
Anyway, inside the box you get your soundbar and the power cable obviously. You also get an optical cable and an ethernet cable too. So, it is pretty basic, but in terms of what this soundbar can do, they do give you all that you need inside the box.
The Verdict: Much like the case with the remote, the Bose Soundbar 700 is the clear winner here. To be fair, Sonos does give you everything that you need inside the box, but I just feel that you get that extra bit more with the 700. The fact they throw in the batteries for the remote and give you that little cleaning cloth is great and a very welcomed bonus. Both give you what you need at the end of the day, but the Bose Soundbar 700 just gives you that little bit more which helps add to the whole “premium” thing that the soundbar has going on.
What Is The Better Soundbar: Bose Soundbar 700 or the Sonos Playbar?
I feel a bit bad for the Sonos Playbar in this review. I have to start by saying that the Sonos Playbar is a great soundbar. You could buy this and be completely happy with your purchase and be very impressed with the sound quality. It is great for action movies like Predator and more dialogue-heavy stuff like The Shawshank Redemption it sounds great. I would have to say that between that and the Arc, I do feel the Arc is slightly better, but it is not the Arc this is going against it is the Bose Soundbar 700.
Right now, in my living room, I have a Bose Soundbar 700 under my TV. I have tested tons of other soundbars and no other ones have managed to tempt me to replace my 700. I love this soundbar, it just does everything perfectly. Even without a subwoofer, this has some serious kick and if you put it head-to-head with the Playbar, I just feel that the 700 tops it in pretty much every category. The Playbar is great, but when it goes head to head with the 700, I have to say that there is a clear winner here.