Sony HT-Z9F vs Bose Soundbar 700 which is better?

Sony HT-Z9F vs Bose Soundbar 700 which is better?

To say that this Sony HT-Z9F vs Bose Soundbar 700 is going to be hard for me is an understatement. For a while, the Bose Soundbar 700 was my favorite soundbar and the soundbar that I had in my home theatre for quite some time. However, as I have had the pleasure to check out more and more soundbars (a perk of the job) I have to be honest and say that I have had my head and well truly turned. That is why putting the 700 up against the Sony HT-Z9F is going to be very interesting and if you have read any of my other articles about the 700 including my Bose Soundbar 300 Vs 500 Vs 700 Which Is Better? battle, you may find the result here a bit surprising.

The Price

We are starting our Sony HT-Z9F vs Bose Soundbar contest in the same place I always like to start these things and that is with the price. Now, if you are new to the world of soundbars, you need to know right now that these are not cheap. If your experience with soundbars is the 100 bucks and under selection, they have at Walmart, you may be shocked to hear that these are closer to a grand than 100 bucks!

Sony HT-Z9F:

My grandfather once said to me that he likes Sony, but their stuff is always expensive. While I may not agree with “always” I will admit that Sony products do tend to be a bit more on the expensive side than many other companies. What we have here with the Sony HT-Z9F  is one of the premier offerings from Sony in terms of soundbars. It has that Sony quality that I have been a fan of since I came home from school in 1987 and saw my dad setting up our new Sony stereo. The asking price for this (as of writing) on Amazon is $898 which I think is pretty fair. I did look around on eBay and it seems to be similarly priced on there, but I did find a few 100 bucks or so lower so be sure to shop around.

Bose Soundbar 700:

I have to say that before the Bose Soundbar 900 was released I would have said that the $799.99 asking price the Bose Soundbar 700 has is more than fair, considering how high-quality the soundbar is. For a while, this was the flagship soundbar that Bose offered and it was in line with what the other companies such as Sony and Sonos were asking for their top-of-the-line soundbars. I did have a look over at the old Edward Bay and found that there are some great deals on there! I found many of these in the 500 to 650 bucks’ range which is a huge saving. With the 900 being released, many sellers are trying to get rid of this while it still commands a decent price. I know that 650 bucks is not cheap, but it is a hell of a saving from 800!

The Verdict: I have to say that I feel you are getting more bang for your buck with the Sony HT-Z9F. the Bose Soundbar 700 is great, but it has been surpassed by the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 which is only 100 bucks more! I feel that the fact the Sony comes with a subwoofer and the fact that it also supports Dolby Atmos makes that the winner here.  Before the 900 came out, I would say this would have been a much closer contest, but right now, I feel the 700 needs a couple of hundred bucks price drop.

The Design

Here we go! I am pretty excited to write this round of our Sony HT-Z9F vs Bose Soundbar 700 fight as these are two soundbars that I am well and truly in love with when it comes to the design. I have never seen a Sony product that I did not love the look of, but the Bose Soundbar is so sexy I considered leaving my wife for it!

Sony HT-Z9F:

I have to say that Sony has some great videos showing this off and I love this Sony HT-Z9F Dolby Atmos® Soundbar | Product Overview video, which is put up by the Sony Support channel and they do a great job in showing off this soundbar in terms of what it looks like as well as some of the standout features of it. This is a rather large soundbar as the dimensions of it are 44.5 x 23.7 x 9.5 inches. The Sony HT-Z9F is clearly designed with being under a large TV, I would say at the very least 55 inches TV! Something like this Sony A80J 65 Inch TV would look great with this soundbar. Overall, I love the design of this soundbar, when you hold it, it feels very solid and high-quality. While the majority of it is made from this strong and thick plastic. They have a metal grill that protects the speakers, but you can easily remove this if you should ever need to as it is held in place by magnets.

One of the more eye-catching features is the little LCD that tells you what source is currently connected to the soundbar. Speaking of “connections” the back of the soundbar has all you need to get this thing hooked up to your TV. Sony are giving you not one, but two HDMI in ports which can come in handy. There is your HDMI out, but you can connect this via an optical cable if you prefer. There is also an ethernet port and there is a USB port that is there for any updates or fixes that may need to be done.

As the Sony HT-Z9F comes with a subwoofer, we also have to take a closer look at that too. The subwoofer is a decent size as it comes in at 7.4” x 15” x 15.1” inches. It is around the size of a smaller PC, which is the best way to think about it. The body of the subwoofer is nice and strong and the same shade of black as the soundbar. The opening has a more plasticky look to it which I like, but I can tell you it is a magnet for dust and if you have kids, fingerprints!

Bose Soundbar 700:

How can you look at the Bose Soundbar 700 and not fall in love with it right away! This is one of the best looking soundbars on the market right now and the style is so awesome that Bose pretty much copied it for the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 as well. Have a look at this Bose 700 Smart SoundBar Unboxing and Testing where the dude does a great job of showing this soundbar off from all different angles. This is a decent size coming in at 38.5” x 2.25” x 4.25”, but that does mean it is a bit shorter than the Sony HT-Z9F which may come in handy depending on the size of your TV unit.

To say that the Bose Soundbar 700 is a premium product is a massive understatement This just captures your attention the moment you walk into the room and are in its presence. I do have to say that there is a white version of this, but I am talking specifically about the black version as that is the only one, I have used. The soundbar is made from strong black plastic which is exactly what you would expect. They use a very stylish looking metal grill to protect the speakers, but it is the top of the soundbar that is really amazing. Instead of just being plastic, the top has a glass covering and it looks so cool. While it looks awesome, I do have to say that this thing is a magnet for fingerprints and dust and I am speaking from personal experience here.

If we take a little stroll around the back of the soundbar we can see what kind of ports we have to play around with here. There is both an HDMI and optical port for you to connect this to your TV. There is an ethernet port, a USB port for any potential updates and there is a port for a subwoofer too. The idea here is that you would use the Bose Bass Module 500 or the more expensive Bose Bass Module 700 which are some of the best subwoofers around.

The Verdict: I have done so many of these VS style articles and I can hand on heart say that this is one of the hardest categories I have had to do. I think that these are both great looking soundbars and I would happily have either one of these in my home theatre or living room, but I have to give this one to the Bose Soundbar 700 as I feel that glass top just gives it that little bit extra personality and style which makes it more eye-catching than what Sony are offering.

The Sound

Ok, so I have to say that this is a bit of an unfair round in this Sony HT-Z9F vs Bose Soundbar 700 contest. The reason I say this is that one of these is offering Dolby Atmos and the other one is not. That makes things a bit tricky, but I am just going to give my honest opinion on these and go with how I feel!

Sony HT-Z9F: I think that once you have experienced Dolby Atmos it is hard to go back to a soundbar that does not have it. The Sony HT-Z9F is a 3.1 system and as a result, the Dolby Atmos effect is not the best. It is not bad, actually, it is very far from it and when I tested this out, I was very, very impressed. The final battle in Avengers: Endgame, when Black Panther was doing his chanting legit, gave me chills with how good it was when pumped through here. I think that certain scenes can give you that cinema sound and it happened quite a lot when I was testing this thing out.

Actually, check out this Developing Sony Z9F Soundbar with Dolby and Sony Pictures video from Sony that shows how they went above and beyond in their aim to get this as close to cinema sound as possible. Have I tested Dolby Atmos soundbars that I feel offer a better Dolby Atmos effect? I would have to say that yes I have, but this is still fantastic and if you are wanting Dolby Atmos I do not think you will be disappointed.

I love watching movies, but I am also a huge TV show fan as well and the Sony HT-Z9F is great for anything that is very dialogue heavy as the clear voice functionality that this offers is some of the best I have experienced from a soundbar. A TV show that I just adore is called Supernatural and it is one of the best fantasy/horror/sci-fi/action/comedy and every other genre you can think of shows I have ever seen, it seriously has everything. Anyway, the way that this is able to offer crystal clear vocal clarity without messing with other types of sound is very impressive.

The subwoofer that the Sony HT-Z9F is far better than you would think. I do think that there are better subwoofers out there, but for adding in extra bass and rumble it is pretty awesome. I had a lot of fun with this and cranked it all the way up and never noticed any distortion at all. I picked up this The Crazies/Pandorum Blu-Ray double pack and Pandorum was a movie I watched with the subwoofer all the way up and it was very impressive and I felt actually added a great deal to the movie. I think the subwoofer they give here does give this an overall edge.

Bose Soundbar 700: For ages the Bose Soundbar 700 was my be all and end all when it came to soundbars. This thing sounds amazing and I would put this at the top when it comes to non Dolby Atmos soundbars. Just check out this A video that shows off the sound capabilities of this really well is this Does BOSE Really SUCK? Bose SOUNDBAR 700 Review + Bose Bass Module 700 video.

I like this because they pair it with the Bass Module 700 too. I have watched so many movies through this I do not know where to start, but one that I did watch recently was Bill & Ted: Face The Music which is the third time I watched it as I am still trying to decide how I feel about it. Anyway, this was a great showcase for this as there is plenty of talking and music which this thing really does excel at.

Actually, the vocal clarity offered by the Bose Soundbar 700 is truly outstanding and the first time I ever experienced this I was truly blown away. Even though this is not Dolby Atmos soundbar, I have to say that this does manage to fill the room with sound. It is very impressive and even as I write this, this Bose Soundbar 700 is the soundbar that I have in my home theatre and I truly think that it is fantastic.

The thing is as much as I love my soundbar and the way it brings my favorite movies such as Predator to life is truly game changing. I do have to say that for this kind of price, you are better spending that little bit more and getting the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 as it offers you Dolby Atmos. You may think that you do not need Dolby Atmos, but in my opinion, when you are spending this kind of money, Dolby Atmos is now a must and it is going to become more and more prevalent in soundbars going forward.

The Verdict: Well, I have usually picked the Bose Soundbar 700 for pretty much every battle that it has been part of, but now that I have experienced the world of Dolby Atmos, I feel that I cannot go back. I think that if we were talking about the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 vs the Sony HT-Z9F we might be having a different outcome. However, overall, I have to say that the Sony HT-Z9F is the winner here. It offers you Dolby Atmos and of course, you get that extra level of bass thanks to the included subwoofer.   

The Remote Control

Here we have another round in this Sony HT-Z9F vs Bose Soundbar 700 fight that is incredibly close. I have looked at many Bose and Sony products and I am always full of praise for the remote controls they offer. Even something more basic like the Bose TV Speaker has a great remote. Anyway, let us take a look at two truly fantastic remote controls!

Sony HT-Z9F: I have always felt that Sony never does anything half-assed, well unless we count the build quality of the initial run of Sony PlayStation’s release in 1995! The remote control that comes with the Sony HT-Z9F is very impressive. This gives you complete control over the soundbar and the subwoofer. You can play around to get the best experience for you and while you can tinker yourself, there are numerous presets that you can make use of if you just want to change the style of sound with the press of a button. The remote feels great too and when you hold the remote, it feels like a very impressive piece of tech.

Bose Soundbar 700: I love and I mean love the remote control that comes with the Bose Soundbar 700. I really cannot overstate how amazing this remote control is! The remote has little lights on it and these are cool, but if you have a certain setting activated on the remote, only the buttons that relate to that setting will be highlighted. This is such a cool feature and it is certainly the first time I have come across this. You can also play around with Google Assistant or Alexa if you want to control the soundbar that way and there is the Bose app as well. For me, none of that stuff is as good as this awesome remote.

The Verdict: You have no idea how much I want to call this one a tie! I feel that both of these remote controls offer you exactly what you need. They give you complete control of your soundbar, but I think I am going to give this one to the Bose Soundbar 700, but only just. I think the way it lights up is very cool, unique and I love little things like this.

What Is In The Box?

I always have this category when I do one of these types of articles and this Sony HT-Z9F vs Bose Soundbar 900 is no different. I think when you are spending the better part of a grand, you need to know what you are getting for that money. So here you will see all of the important stuff you can expect to get in the box for both of these.

Sony HT-Z9F: Inside the box for the Sony HT-Z9F you can find your soundbar, remote, and power cable as you would expect. The subwoofer also comes in its own compartment too, so the main guy delivering this will probably be pretty mad, I know mine was! You also get your instructions and there are a set of mountain brackets too which are handy if you do decide to put this on the wall. They give you an HDMI cable, but there is no optical cable so you will need to make sure you have one if you want to connect this to your TV that way.

Bose Soundbar 700: Of course, you have the actual Bose Soundbar 700 inside here. They give you both an HDMI and an optical cable in the box which is great. They do also give you this very weird Bose ADAPTiQ headset. The idea of this is to help you calibrate the soundbar for your room. I have to be honest, I never used it and I actually sold mine for a few bucks on eBay. They do also give you this cleaning cloth so you can take care of that sexy glass top the soundbar has.

The Verdict: I know that I am not supposed to call any of these rounds a tie, but these offer you the exact same thing in terms of what they are giving you. However, I do think I have to give this one to the Bose Soundbar 700 just because it is not in a box that is quite as massive as the Sony HT-Z9F and they do give you that weird headset and a little cleaning cloth too.    

What Is Better Sony HT-Z9F or Bose Soundbar 700?

I think that you could get either one of these and be very, very happy with your purchase. I am a huge fan of the Bose Soundbar 700 and for a very long time, it was the best soundbar in my opinion. As I write this it is still my main soundbar! It is a truly fantastic soundbar and if we are talking soundbars that do not have Dolby Atmos, I do not think there is one that is better. The thing is at this price range, Dolby Atmos is a must in my opinion. Heck, Bose themselves know this as the follow up, the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 has Dolby Atmos! If you like the look of the Bose Soundbar 700, spend the extra 100 bucks and get the 900. In regards to this contest here, I have to say that the Sony HT-Z9F is the better soundbar. It offers you Dolby Atmos and it comes with a subwoofer too, giving you some awesome cinema style sound!

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