Today we are having an epic match as we look at the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 vs Sonos Beam! A little while back we had a look at the Bose Soundbar 700 vs Sonos Beam which due to the price difference was a bit of an unfair match up if I am being honest with you guys. That is why I thought this was a much better and fairer match up of two rather similar soundbars that are aimed at pretty much the same audience! We have many different categories to put these through their paces with and by the end, we will try and pick a winner!
Price is a very important factor when buying a new soundbar, well unless you are as rich as Scrooge McDuck, which if you are more power to you and can I borrow 50 bucks? If you look at one of our past articles such as The Best Soundbars Under $400 or even check out a video like this best Soundbars under $100 video, you can see that no matter your budget there is a lot of choice!
Bose Smart Soundbar 300:
The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is where we are going to start. As of me writing this article, Bose are asking $399.99 for this soundbar. I think that is more than a fair price for a soundbar of this quality. This whole range from Bose is all about being as high end and getting as close to cinema quality sound as possible and this is one of their lower priced soundbars! I do not think the asking price for this is out of line at all, but I do want to give you a little heads up. If you shop around on places like eBay instead of going to Bose directly, you can find this thing a bit closer to $300.
The Sonos Beam is all about the best clarity possible and I think that what they are asking for this is not too outrageous at all. They have some much more expensive soundbar offerings for you such as the Sonos Arc which we looked at in our Bose Lifestyle 650 vs Sonos Arc article. I had a little look on eBay and I found some great deals for the Sonos Beam with the cheapest one being $290! So, there are deals to be had if you are willing to shop around and be patient.
The Verdict: It is really hard to pick a winner between these two. You see at first glance they are the same price and offering a similar kind of “thing”. However, as we get deeper into our Bose Smart Soundbar 300 vs Sonos Beam epic match up, you will realize why I do have to say that I feel you get more bang for your buck with the Bose Smart Soundbar 300!
I am a very visual kind of guy and that is why I think that the design of a soundbar is very important. It is extra important when you are paying 400 bucks! Thankfully, these two are both very stylish so we have no worries. If a soundbar is going to be on display, you want it to look cool and both of these I can tell you right off the bat look very cool indeed!
Bose Smart Soundbar 300: I love the design of all the Bose soundbars and the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 100 percent has that signature Bose look that really does make it stand out and make you say wow! The dimensions of this are 2.21″ H x 26.58″ W x 4.02″ so it is much more compact than its bigger brothers and it also means it takes up very little space. It is made of black plastic (there is a white version available too) and I love the way the grille wraps around the front, it gives this a stylish, but also badass kind of look to it. Check out this video guide from Bose themselves that does a great job in showing this thing off.
The kind of person that I feel the design of the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is perfect for is someone who does not have a massive TV. As this is much smaller in its stature, it would look very smart under something like this SAMSUNG QN32Q50RAFXZA Flat 32″ QLED 4K 32Q50 Series Smart TV.
If you do not have a massive TV unit, the last thing you want is a soundbar that is hanging off the edges! To start with it looks horrible, but if you have kids or pets, it is very easy for it to be knocked off the unit!
Round the back of the soundbar, you have your various connection options. You can use HDMI Arc and optical with this soundbar which is neat. There is also a port for a subwoofer and this is designed to go hand in hand with the also awesome Bose Bass Module 500. There is also a micro-USB port which is there to keep the firmware up to date.
Sonos Beam: The size of the Sonos Beam is very comparable to the Bose. There is not actually much in it at all, but they do have their own distinct style. This comes in at 25.6” x 2.6” x 4.0” so it is nice and compact in its design which I really do like. This has a much more curvy kind of look to it than what Bose offers.
Check out this Introducing Sonos Beam: The smart, compact soundbar for your TV video which Sonos put out and you can see why so many people love the style that Sonos offer with their products.
Like I said about the Bose Smart Soundbar 300, the Sonos Beam is the ideal soundbar if you have a smaller TV. Even something that is 42 inches such as this All-New Toshiba 43-inch 43C350KU C350 Series LED 4K UHD Smart Fire TV would look really cool with the Beam sitting proudly underneath it. I really like the whole flow of this and while the majority of this is black plastic (there is a white version available. It has a fabric grille on the front which looks very, very cool. I get that some may be worried about the kids poking their fingers through this or it attracting dust, but it does have a great style to it.
On the back of the Sonos Beam, we have our connectivity options. As you would expect, you have your power, but there is also an HDMI Arc port and that is the only connectivity port on here. To be fair, Sonos does give you an HDMI to optical cable which you can use if you want to connect this via an optical cable.
The Verdict: I felt that these deserved their own special article which is why I did not include them in my Best Soundbars Under $400 article. These both have a very distinct kind of style and I like them both. It is not for me to say what one is definitively better if I am being honest with you. From my personal point of view, I do have to say that I like the design of the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 slightly better, but there really is not much in it at all.
Round 3 is arguably the most important round in our Bose Smart Soundbar 300 vs Sonos Beam street fight! Let’s face it modern TV’s thanks to being so thin tend to struggle with sound. I have the latest LG 4K TV that was released in 2021 and even that does not have all that great speakers! The point of a soundbar is to give you better sound and these will blow any TV speakers out of the water that I can tell you right away.
Bose Smart Soundbar 300: The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is a 3.1 soundbar and in terms of pure power when looking at the price, it is one of the best on the market right now.
Just recently (well as of me writing this) the new Spider-Man: No Way Home dropped so that inspired me to watch Spider-Man: Far From Home through this and it was fantastic. I sat pretty much right in front of this and it more than delivered the kind of cinema sound that Bose likes to say they offer.
You get some truly fantastic stereo sound with this and it is incredible just how much punch this offers considering its rather small size. It does not have a subwoofer, but it still offers a real kick in the teeth when it comes to the bass and it was far more impressive than I thought it would be. If you are watching a movie with a lot of action and gunfire like The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, for example, you will feel like you are in the firing line and that Samuel L. Jackson is calling you an MFer from the other side of the room!
I played around with not just movies, but music, video games, and sporting events too and was impressed all around. It has a nice and clear vocal clarity and I just do not see anyone being disappointed in what this offers. This does offer Bluetooth so you can stream music via something like Spotify from your phone.
Sonos Beam: I have never been disappointed when it comes to the sound that Sonos offer. Granted this is not going to offer what its big brother the Sonos Arc is offering.
However, for smaller and more affordable soundbars, the Sonos Beam is one of the best on the market right now This like the Bose is a 3.1 where you have a center and a left and right speaker. I watched The Lost World: Jurassic Park on this just the other night to put it through its paces and I was very, very impressed. What I liked was that even when I had the sound cranked up, vocal clarity and ambient sounds were still nice, clear, and precise.
Sonos take a great deal of pride when it comes to vocal clarity and while I did mess around with the settings on the app (more on that later) I would say that even if you just kept it all as is, you will be impressed with the vocal clarity that this is offering. One area that really did impress me was sports.
There is a great video called, Sonos Beam – The Best Sound Experience for your Football Games on their YouTube channel that shows off just why the Sonos Beam is so great for live sport. I watched Tottenham Hotspur play Manchester City with this and it was very impressive. It even made my wife yell at me from upstairs to turn it down!
One area that is a real bummer with the Sonos Beam is music! Not because the sound quality is bad, far from it. This does not give you Bluetooth connectivity! Sure, music played off something like MTV (do MTV even still play music?) will sound great, but you cannot stream music from your phone through this.
The Verdict: Let me say that there is nothing wrong at all with the sound quality the Sonos Beam is offering. I just think that with the lack of Bluetooth connectivity the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is giving you more bang for your buck. These both sound great and truth be told, I think that your average Joe would probably not be able to tell the difference between the two. However, with that “extra” offering of Bluetooth connectivity, I do have to give this category to Bose!
The Remote Control
Hey, this may seem like a silly category to have in our Bose Smart Soundbar 300 vs Sonos Beam article, but I think it is way more important than many people think At the end of the day, being able to control your soundbar is pretty damn important so let’s take a look at how these two soundbars let you do that!
Bose Smart Soundbar 300: If you check out my review of the Bose Soundbar 700 Review, you will notice that I am pretty much in love with that remote control! As this is much lower priced, the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 comes with a much more basic kind of remote control. It is similar in size and design to an Amazon Fire TV Stick. It gives you the basic controls and it has Alexa and Google Assistant support which is pretty neat. While it gives you the basic controls, you do need to download the Bose app to get full access to what this soundbar offers. One of the main features is dialogue enhancement and you cannot get that (as far as I can tell) with the remote control!
If you watch any Sonos Beam like this one, you will notice one thing. Sonos does not give you a remote control! Even their more expensive soundbars no longer give remotes. Is the way of the future no remote controls? That kind of sucks if you ask me! Anyway, you can program the Sonos Beam so that your TV remote can control the volume, but that does not give you full access to the features. Like Bose, Sonos has an app that gives you access to all of the features. I get that this is supposed to be handier for people, but I would much prefer a remote control!
The Verdict: I have to be honest and say that the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 wins this one by default as it at least has a remote control even if it is very basic. However, the fact of the matter is if you want to make use of the feature that these offer, you need to download and use the app.
What Is In The Box?
Here we are looking at what you can expect to find in the boxes of these soundbars. I have to say that both of them have one thing in common and that is some hard as rock foam protective stuff that keeps your sandbar safe, but also takes up nearly all the space in your garbage can!
Bose Smart Soundbar 300:
Have a quick look at this video unboxing that was put out by Bose themselves if you want to see firsthand what to expect. In the box you get the soundbar, you also get a remote control and the power cable. Bose also gives you an optical cable as well. However, they do not give you an HDMI cable which is not cool. How much would it have cost them to throw an HDMI cable in the box?
Sonos Beam: Inside the box of the Sonos Beam you will find your power cable and your Sonos Beam soundbar. They also give you an HDMI cable (take note Bose) and an HDMI to optical cable so no matter what your setup is, this is ready to go out of the box. They also give you a CD that has the drivers for this on there. It comes with all you need inside the box.
The Verdict: I have to give this one to the Sonos Beam. The fact that the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 does not come with an HDMI cable is crazy to me! It could mean that you open this up and if your TV does not have an optical jack, you will have to go and get an HDMI cable. I know most people these days have multiple HDMI cables in their homes, but it is the principle of the thing! At least Sonos has made sure thanks to that HDMI to optical cable this is ready for any modern TV out of the box.
What Is The Best Soundbar?
Having a look at the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 vs Sonos Beam has been a great deal of fun. I can tell you right now that both of these are great and do what they do very well. Truth be told there is very, very little in this. I found that they had a very similar sound to each other and they are very similarly priced and even are of a similar size! I really do think that the Sonos Beam is a fantastic soundbar and offers amazing sound at a price I think is more than fair. Yet, if I had to pick one of these to have under a TV in my house as my full time soundbar I think I would have to go for the Bose Smart Soundbar 300. There is not much in this at all, but I do prefer the overall design of the Bose just a little bit more.
At the end of the day, you cannot go wrong with either of these in terms of the sound quality or the price. I would suggest that you go for which one you feel looks the best and will fit in with your décor best.