I know at first glance this Bose Soundbar 700 vs Sonos Beam article may seem a bit harsh. After all the Bose Soundbar 700 is the most premium offering from Bose. The Sonos Beam on the other hand is a more compact and “affordable” soundbar offering from Sonos. Recently I made an article looking at the Bose Soundbar 700 vs Sonos Playbar and I thought it was only fair to see how the more compact Beam stands up against the might of the 700. I know there is a lot of choice in the soundbar market these days, but I personally think that these two are great and well worth considering.
The Price: Bose Soundbar 700 Vs Sonos Beam
We are starting off with the price! It is 99/100 the first thing I will look at when I am interested in buying anything. Right off the bat, I have to tell you that there is one hell of a price difference between these two soundbars. At the end of the day, you have to just take all of the information and decide for yourself if one is worth the extra asking price.
Bose Soundbar 700: As of me writing this the Bose Soundbar 700 is the flagship soundbar that the good folks at Bose offers. The brand spanking new, recommended retail price for this bad boy is $799.99. It is the most expensive soundbar that Bose has on the market right now and it is premium in every way. Just have a quick look at this Bose Soundbar trailer and you can see why it is their premium soundbar offering. It is worth noting that if you look around, especially on eBay, you can find this for as much as 150 bucks cheaper.
Sonos Beam: On the flip side of this we have the Sonos Beam. I have looked at many of the soundbars Sonos offers and this one is quite special. They like to say that the Sonos Beam is the smallest and smartest soundbar they offer. At this more compact size, you get a much lower price than what the 700 offers. Currently, this is priced at around the 400 bucks mark, but it can be found for a bit less if you shop around. The cheapest I have seen this brand new is $330 on eBay.
The Verdict: This is a really hard one to compare. Truth be told the Bose Soundbar 300 would have been a fairer comparison, but hey, this is where we are. At the end of the day, the Bose is around double the price of the Sonos and that is a lot of money! Heck, you could buy a TV for that extra 400 bucks! At the end of the day, for me personally, the Bose is worth the money, but that is my heart talking, my head (or is it my wife?) is telling me I am insane to spend double the money!
The Design: Bose Soundbar 700 Vs Sonos Beam
As we are talking about soundbars that cost more than a few hundred bucks you need them to look good. Actually, even if you look at our Best Soundbars With Subwoofer Below $200 article, you will notice that I am always a stickler for a good-looking piece of tech, even at the lower end of the pricing spectrum! Still, both of these I am very happy to say have a lot of personality and style when it comes to the design. By the way, the Bose Soundbar 700 can also be purchased in white, but for this comparison, I am just looking at the black version.
Bose Soundbar 700: Bose as of me writing this does not offer a larger soundbar than the Bose Soundbar 700. It comes in at 38.5” x 2.25” x 4.25” so you will need to make sure that your TV unit (unless you are wall mounting it) can handle this soundbar. The design is just second to none, I have looked at the Bose Soundbar 700 on its own and I go into great detail there about this thing, but I still stand by this as the best-looking soundbar I have ever seen. What makes this such an eye-catching soundbar is the top. The top is made from rather thick and cool-looking glass that just gives this thing a real sense of style that no other soundbar can match in my opinion. Granted, this thing is a magnet for fingerprints and kids just seem to love to touch it, but as long as you keep it clean, you will love having this in your home.
The front and sides of the soundbar are covered with this cool looking black mesh metal type finish that gives the speakers some much needed protection all the while looking awesome in the process. The back of the soundbar is where you will find your various ports such as the power jack. There is also an HDMI Arc and optical port for you to hook it up with. You also have a jack for a subwoofer too.
This is there with the intent of being used with the Bose Base Module 700, but other subwoofers are more than welcome. There is also an ethernet port along with a micro-USB port for updates if needed.
Sonos Beam: In terms of length the Sonos Beam is considerably smaller. The vital statistics for this are 25.6” x 2.6” x 4.0” so it takes up very little space and if you have a smaller TV let’s say something like this Sony 32 Inch Smart TV or even a slightly larger, Toshiba 42 Inch Smart TV you will find it looks great under a TV of these sizes. I do think it may look a bit strange under a larger TV, but that is just my personal preference. In terms of the actual style of the Sonos Beam, I think it looks good, but it is rather unassuming. It sort of blends in no matter where you have it and that is cool.
It is mainly made from plastic, but like its bigger brothers the Playbar and the Arc, this has that fabric style grille that wraps around the side. I do like this and if you check out this video unboxing you can get an idea of how it looks. On the back of the soundbar you have your power input, but there is also the HDMI Arc output too which is the only connectivity option this has. Before you start freaking out, they do give you an HDMI to optical cable converter in the box so if your TV only has optical, you can still use this.
The Verdict: Look, the Sonos Beam is a smart looking smaller soundbar that I do like the design of. I think the black grille looks cool and the way it can just blend in is great. However, I feel I could have a soundbar designed by Michelangelo (or one of the other Ninja Turtles) and I would still pick the 700 from Bose. So far, no other soundbar has wowed me like that one does, but I do look forward to the day where it happens.
The Sound: Bose Soundbar 700 Vs Sonos Beam
Of course, the sound is the most important thing about a soundbar and before we get into it, I have to say that these both sound great and will be an upgrade on your TV’s speakers. I made sure to put these through their paces and I actually had a lot of fun as I watched the Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga on 4K and these movies looked great in 4K and thanks to these soundbars, they sounded amazing too!
Bose Soundbar 700: I recently wrote an article called, Bose Soundbar 700 vs Sonos Arc which was a lot of fun, and most of what I wrote there I stand by here! This is a 3.0 setup so that means you have two side speakers and then a center one. It is lacking a subwoofer, but I would wager many people would not even notice. The sound quality of the Bose Soundbar 700 is truly outstanding. Getting “cinema sound” with just a soundbar is tough, but I feel that Bose has come as close to doing this with a soundbar as any other company I have checked out. Even though this is a 3.0 soundbar, it manages to fill the room with sound. It is a fantastic effect and if you are watching an action movie that also has a lot of dialogue like Zack Snyder’s Justice League, for example, the effect is truly amazing.
The way that your room is filled with sound is great and it is not just for movies either. Anything that you have on your TV be it a video game, TV show, or whatever is going to sound great. My wife who normally does not really care about stuff like this even said how good the sound was! Trust me if my wife is commenting that the sound is good, you know that this is great. I actually have this soundbar under my TV right now and my wife will always use it. We have had soundbars before and 99/100 she would not even bother turning them on.
One other feature that this has going for it is the fact that it offers you Bluetooth connectivity. This means that you can stream music from your phone via Spotify (or whatever it is you use) and rock out with it through this! I played a lot of Motley Crue through this when I first got it to test it out and the musical clarity is fantastic!
Sonos Beam: With its smaller stature, you may be thinking that the Sonos Beam is lacking in the sound department, but that is not the case at all. For a smaller soundbar, this thing packs one hell of a punch. Like the 700, this is a 3.0 soundbar and it manages to really give what you are watching a lot of power. The first thing I actually tested this out with was Star Wars: Episode 1: The Phantom Menace on 4K. Say what you will about the movie, but the Duel of the Fates scene is great and through this, as I had it up very loud, I was blown away. It more than held its own and I could honestly see anyone with a smaller room and smaller TV being completely over the moon with the sound quality that this produces.
Movies that are not all action are great too as dialogue clarity is something that Sonos does very well and this has continued the trend of the Sonos Arc and the Sonos Playbar by having fantastic vocal clarity. I will admit that I do not quite think it can hang fully with the Bose Soundbar 700, but at the end of the day, there is a close to 400 bucks price difference here! While I am a sound snob and nerd (which is what my wife says) I have to be honest and say that the average Joe would probably not notice a difference that is worth 400 bucks.
Unfortunately, as is the case with the other Sonos soundbars that I have looked at before. There is no Bluetooth connectivity with this. I think this is a real oversight from Sonos, I mean at the end of the day would it have cost that much more to make this thing be able to stream music from phones?
The Verdict: When I started writing this section I was 99 percent sure that the Bose Soundbar 700 was going to smash the Sonos Beam just like Rocky did to Drago! However, I do have to say that the 400 bucks price difference is playing on my mind way more than I thought it would. For me personally, the 700 wins this hands down, I can 100 percent notice the difference, especially when the volume is cranked up. However, for most people, I just do not think they will feel that the 400 bucks were better spent.
The Remote Control: Bose Soundbar 700 Vs Sonos Beam
Being able to actually control your soundbar is a pretty important aspect of it. There is this awesome 90s comedy called, Stay Tuned where there is this funky remote that ends up putting them into the TV. I am not saying that either of these are going to do that, but we still need to take a look at how you operate these soundbars!
Bose Soundbar 700: The Bose Soundbar 700 has the best remote of any soundbar that I have ever had the pleasure to use. The remote is just as high-quality as the rest of the soundbar and even though I have used it many times, I always marvel at how great it is. To start with, you have a bunch of presets that you can choose from, but you do also have more control over the sound than any other Bose soundbars. It has these fancy lights too which only light up depending on the settings you are currently using which is just awesome. You can also use this soundbar with Google Assistant and Alexa if you want.
Sonos Beam: Sonos, what are you guys doing! If you look at Home Theatre on the Sonos website and browse their awesome range of soundbars one thing becomes very clear. That is Sonos has done away with the remote! Instead, you can program it so you can use your TV remote to control the volume. I get that they were going for convenience here, but that is pretty lame. Sonos does also have an app, but that is another step too far in my opinion.
The Verdict: Well as the Sonos Beam does not have a remote the Bose Soundbar 700 wins by default, right? Well, yes it does, but I think it would have won no matter what. Not only is it the only soundbar out of these two that has a remote, the remote just so happens to be one of the best remotes I have ever used. I hand on heart cannot think of any way that they could have made the 700 remote any better. The only way this could be achieved is if it could produce a little alarm to stop my kids flipping it or if they could give it an alarm bell so it can sound off when one of the kids loses it down the side of the sofa!
What Is In The Box?
If you want to know what you can expect in the box for these bad boys, this is the section for you. Both of these (especially the Bose) are expensive so it is only right that you should know exactly what you are getting for your money! Here you will find what you can expect to greet you when you crack the box open.
Bose Soundbar 700: Now, clearly you know that inside the box you have your soundbar, remote control, and also your power cable, but Bose has more goodies for you. They give you both an HDMI and an optical cable inside the box! This means that it will be able to be used right out of the box, no matter what your TV connections are. Also inside here is the Bose ADAPTiQ headset which I feel is more of a toy (I actually sold mine for a few bucks on eBay) that is there to help you calibrate the soundbar. The Bose Soundbar 700 also comes with a cleaning cloth that is there to keep all the sticky fingerprints the kids leave on the glass top at bay! Just make sure you have plenty of glass cleaning solution and you will be fine.
Sonos Playbar: I was actually surprised at how compact the box for the Sonos Playbar was. Anyway, inside the box you have your soundbar and the power cable as expected. They give you an HDMI cable, but they do also give you an HDMI to optical cable so you can use this even if your TV only has an optical input for sound. They also give you a CD that has the drivers for the soundbar on it which is super weird if you ask me. One thing I do wish they included was a wall mount. Sonos have their own propriety wall mount that costs over 50 bucks! With the Bose, you can just use any cheap mount, but Sonos has their own kind. Thankfully, you can get a Soundbar Wall Mount that is compatible with this on Amazon for 20 bucks. I am not thrilled about having to buy a special mount, but 20 bucks is way better than what the official one costs.
The Verdict: This one is a bit unfair, apart from the wall mount, I must say that even though it looks far less impressive than the Bose Soundbar 700, the Sonos Playbar still has all you need inside of the box. The 700 though, I feel well and truly goes above and beyond, yes it costs around 800 bucks, but I feel they could not have given you any more than what they actually do.
Which Is The Better Soundbar: Bose Soundbar 700 or Sonos Beam?
I have said that this is a bit of an unfair comparison and that still is true. At the end of the day, there is no contest here the Bose Soundbar 700 is the better soundbar. It sounds amazing, gives you as close to a cinema sound experience as you can get with a soundbar. It looks amazing and it has that awesome remote control that gives you phenomenal control of the soundbar.
Yet on the flip side of this, we have the Sonos Beam which is a damn fine soundbar in its own right. It also costs around half the price (maybe even less if you shop around) than the 700. That is a lot of money, you cannot ignore 400 bucks. Just think of what else you could buy with 400 bucks. You could buy a new TV, a games console, a 4K Blu Ray player, or just a ton of movies! While I personally think that the 700 is the better soundbar. At the end of the day, you need to decide if you are cool spending double the amount of money on it over the Beam!