Bose Soundbar 500 vs Sony HT-X9000F which is better?

This Bose Soundbar 500 vs Sony HT-X9000F is quite an interesting matchup that we have going on today. I have looked at both the Bose Smart Soundbar 500 and the Sony HT-X9000F before. If you like Bose, I suggest you check out the Bose Soundbar 300 Vs 500 Vs 700 Which Is Better? article I put together a little while back. I would say that when it comes to soundbars, Bose and Sony are two of the best, I would actually also throw Sonos in there too as the Sonos Arc is regarded as one of the best soundbars on the market. Anyway, both of these are fantastic soundbars and I am very interested to see as I write this which one I feel is the better soundbar!

The Price:

We are starting this Bose Soundbar 500 vs Sony HT-X9000F battle with the asking price for these. Now, the Bose one has been replaced already by the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 and the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 respectively, so it can be a little harder to track down. Actually, both of these soundbars are not as readily available as you would think, but that is something we are going to look at here.

Bose Soundbar 500:

There was a time when the was the Bose Smart Soundbar 500 premier soundbar that Bose offered! The thing is Bose has moved on and as a result, this is not as easy to get as you would think. Currently, on Amazon, this has a price of $568 which I feel is a bit on the high side if I am being honest with you. The reason I say that is that this has been surpassed by other offerings from Bose and many other companies too. I had a look on eBay and found a few new ones for around the 400 bucks mark. There are a ton of pre-owned ones on there for as little as 200 bucks, but I am not sure I would recommend a pre-owned soundbar.

Sony HT-X9000F:

I have to say that the Sony HT-X9000F is fantastic value for money. You can get this on Walmart for $299.99 which for a Dolby Atmos soundbar that comes with a subwoofer truly is a great deal. I always check Amazon, but I have not actually seen this on there for quite some time. I think it has something to do with Walmart being buddies with Sony these days. I did have a look on eBay and the price for this is no better on there than it is on Walmart so I would probably recommend just getting it from Walmart. I am not an advocate of a used soundbar, but I did find one on eBay for 150 bucks!

The Verdict:

I really have to give this one to the Sony HT-X9000F I just think that in 2021, it is the much smarter purchase. It offers you Dolby Atmos, comes with a subwoofer and it is actually cheaper than what the Bose Soundbar 500 is going for. If you are dead set on a Bose soundbar, I would probably recommend you save up a little longer and get the 700 or even the 900 if you can swing that extra 100 bucks.

The Design:

When I make these vs articles, design is always a very important category for me. I am a massive fan of both Sony and Bose when it comes to their designs. No other company right now makes soundbars that look as cool as these two guys. That is why design is such an important category in this Bose Soundbar 500 vs Sony HT-X9000F fight for supremacy.

Bose Soundbar 500:

The Bose Smart Soundbar 500 has a really cool style about it. If you have a look at this Bose Soundbar 500 – Unboxing + Setup which is made by Bose themselves, you can get a much better idea of how this thing looks. This is a nice size if you do not want something that is too big, It comes in at 31.5” x 1.75” x 4.0 so if you have a TV that is not massive like this amazing value All-New Toshiba 43-inch 43C350KU C350 Series LED 4K UHD Smart Fire TV. It would look amazing sitting between its legs. Most soundbars these days at this kind of price range tend to be around the 40 inches in the length department so this could be perfect if you want something a tad more on the compact side.

The Bose Smart Soundbar 500 is a fantastic looking soundbar. You can clearly see how this inspired what would become the Bose Soundbar 700. It is made with a strong and solid plastic and I like how the front has a metal grille that wraps around the sides of the soundbar. It is a very uniform and classy kind of soundbar and I love the whole design of it. It also feels like a very solid and impressive piece of tech when you take it out of the box. I like how smooth the top is as well and the fact they have not put a ton of buttons on the top is something that I really do like.

As we move around the back of the Bose Soundbar 50 0we can see what hookups Bose has for you. I would assume most people will want to hook this up with HDMI, but there is also an optical port here for you if you prefer to hook it up that way. As this is not a Dolby Atmos soundbar, you would be fine with either. You also have an ethernet port on the back of here and a handy USB port in case of any firmware updates. There is also a port here for connecting this to a subwoofer and the intent from Bose is that you will use their Boss Bass Module 500.

Sony HT-X9000F:

I really do like this Sony HTX-9000F Dolby Atmos Soundbar setup on the Xbox one X video as the guy is setting it up on an Xbox one and with the whole PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X rivalry I got a kick out of that. Anyway, I like the design of the Sony HT-9000F soundbar. It is coming in at 43.2 x 20.4 x 9.8 so it is considerably longer than the Bose Soundbar 500. This will mean you need to make sure that your TV unit is able to handle this. I have to say that even though this only costs 300 bucks, it has a very premium feel to it when you take it out of the box. Sony uses nice and thick plastic and the whole soundbar has this very strong and premium feel even though the price is anything but premium. While the majority of the soundbar is made from plastic, the front is a nice and sleek metal grille that I really do like.

One of the most interesting aspects about the design of the Sony HT-X9000F is that it is not your typical shape. Most soundbars are boxy or they are curvy like the Bose Soundbar 500 we just looked at. With this soundbar, Sony has given it these angled edges which are a very interesting look. It certainly gives the Sony HT-X900F its own personality and it is a design that I do like. I think them not having any kind of subwoofer in here was what was allowed them to do that. Round the back of the soundbar, you have your HMDI and optical port, but it has to be HDMI you go for if you want that sweet Dolby Atmos. There is a USB port on the back of here too for any updates that the soundbar may need.

Of course, as the Sony HT-X9000F comes with a subwoofer, we have to spend a little bit of time talking about that. This is a fairly modestly sized subwoofer as its dimensions are 7.4” x 15.0” x 15.3”. Just like the soundbar though, the subwoofer has a strong and solid design and that Sony quality I am such a massive fan of. While it may not be the biggest or most powerful subwoofer Sony have on the market, it is one of the most stylish. It has this glossy look that will be a magnet for dust and fingerprints, but I do love it. They also give it this metal grille which makes it a very nice friend for the soundbar.

The Verdict:

Both of these are fantastic looking soundbars and it is really hard for me to pick a winner here. However, I do think that I am going to give this one to the Bose Smart Soundbar 500, but only just. I think that it has a more “smoother” kind of look than the Sony HT-X9000F thanks to it having more rounded edges. Still, this is exceptionally close and on another day I could have picked the Sony!

The Sound:

I know that sound is the category most people are interested in and that is why I like to give my heartfelt honest opinion on each soundbar I look at. This Bose Soundbar 500 vs Sony HT-X9000F is a bit of an unusual matchup as one is offering Dolby Atmos and the other is not. I know that to everyone has made the jump to Dolby Atmos yet, but I think a battle like this could be what sways some people.

Bose Soundbar 500:

If you want to see a quick video about how this thing produces its sound I suggest you look at this Bose Soundbar 500 SOUND TEST video. It is short, but it gives you a better idea of what you can expect here. What is most impressive about the Bose Smart Soundbar 500 is just how loud it is. Even though is a bit of an older soundbar, it is still very impressive in the power department. I do find that sitting front and center with this thing is the way to go and the sound really smacks you in the face. John Wick is a great example of this, especially that scene in the club where he is in a shootout, it sounded fantastic. It is easy to see why this was one of the best offerings from Bose when it was released and how they improved on it with their later soundbars.

The clear voice that this soundbar offers is very impressive. If you were to watch something such as the awesome TV show DC’s Legends of Tomorrow which has a lot of action, but also a lot of witty dialogue that you do not want to miss. You will be very pleased to hear that the vocal clarity this soundbar offers is fantastic. I am very pleased with this in terms of vocal clarity. When you watch something on TV these days, due to the puny speakers that many modern thin TVs have the speakers are lacking and they tend to have the music and action way too loud and the speech way too quiet. This soundbar completely eliminates that problem!

As this does not have a subwoofer it is lacking a little bit in the bass department, but to be fair that is to be expected. Bose has some of the best subwoofers on the market such as their Boss Bass Module 500 which I mentioned earlier on. Bose actually design their soundbars with being paired with these bass modules in mind. Of course, this adds hundreds and hundreds of dollars onto the price tag if you add one of these. To be honest, at that point you would be way better just paying for something like the Bose Soundbar 900.

Sony HT-X9000F:

I have read some very harsh reviews about the sound capabilities of the Sony HT-X9000F. I think for 300 bucks, this is one of the best sounding soundbars on the market right now. It gives you Dolby Atmos at a very affordable price and it is not the most amazing Dolby Atmos effect I have experienced, but it works! I think that most people will have a similar experience to what this guy had to say in this Sony HTX-9000F Dolby Atmos Soundbar Movie experience video. Look, I know that in comparison to the anime the live action Ghost in the Shell was really lacking. However, one thing the movie does have going on for it is that it looks amazing and it has an awesome Dolby Atmos track. To be fair the movie is not as bad as some people make out. Anyway, I feel that you are getting the lower end of the Dolby Atmos spectrum with this, but it is still impressive considering the price.

You are also getting some truly excellent vocal clarity with the Sony HT-X9000F. The step up you are getting from your TV speakers with this is just staggering and there really is no going back. A comedy movie that I love and I actually had not seen for many years is Old School. It is just so much fun and this was the first time I watched it with a soundbar and it was great. The way it makes the voices so clear is very impressive. While this is not my cup of tea, my wife did watch Downton Abbey and she said that it sounded great and very clear through this soundbar. I think anything that you watch which is dialogue heavy is going to be awesome when played through this soundbar.

In terms of bass, we have to take a look at what the subwoofer is offering. I decided to give Man of Steel another chance as I just got the 4K for like 4 bucks at a thrift store! Look, at 300 bucks, you know that you have to be realistic with what you are getting with this subwoofer. I think for its price it is more than fine and does a decent enough job of adding in a fair bit of bass to whatever it is you are watching. At this price point that is all, you can ask for and if you ask me it delivers. Most of the negative stuff I have come across in regards to the bass this thing provides is from people who are completely unrealistic with what they are getting.

The Verdict:

For its day the Bose Smart Soundbar 500 was great and one of the best smaller soundbars that you could get. The thing is, Bose themselves have greatly surpassed what this soundbar offers. It is still a solid soundbar to be fair, but in comparison with the Sony HT-X9000F, I really do not think there is any comparison. The X900F gives you Dolby Atmos (all be it at the bottom end of what Dolby Atmos is) and you also get a subwoofer as part of the package too. For me, the Sony is the clear winner here.

The Remote Control

Being able to control your soundbar is pretty damn important and that is why this Bose Soundbar vs Sony HT-X9000F article has a section dedicated to it. Bose and Sony are two of the best companies when it comes to making a remote control and I am very excited to talk about both of these remotes.

Bose Soundbar 500: With the Bose Smart Soundbar 500 Bose gives you a very stylish and compact remote control that is pretty cool. It has 6 different presets that you can select from, but they just have numbers instead of telling you what they are on the remote. Still, it is fun to play around and find what one you like best. It is a very basic remote, but it gives you control of the remote and I am sure most people out there will like what this is offering. I do also want to mention that Bose has one of the best mobile apps around and if you use this, you get even more control over the soundbar. I am sure the average Joe will be fine with the remote Bose provides with this, but if you want the full experience, you will need to download the app.

Sony HT-X9000F: Even though the Sony HT-X9000F is a rather modestly priced remote control, the remote they give you is fantastic. This thing features a whole bunch of buttons to make sure that you are in complete control of your soundbar and subwoofer. I like how Sony has different presets for you to use, but you can also just turn it all on and deal with volume up and down if you do not want to tinker with the sound too much. It has a very solid and high-quality feel to it as well. I have seen Sony use this same kind of design for other soundbars that is how good it is.

The Verdict: This is a bit of an unfair comparison as the Sony HT-X9000F is such a better remote control. It has a much higher-quality design and it is packed with buttons that give you full access to the soundbars abilities without the need to download an app on your phone. Both remotes are good, but Sony is the clear winner here as their remote control offers you so much more.

What Is In The Box?

When you are dropping this kind of money, you need to know what you can expect in the box! That is why here we are looking at what both Bose and Sony have for you when you bust open the box for the first time!

Bose Soundbar 500: As this is a bit more of a compact sized soundbar, it is not in a massive box. I could ask my wife to pick something like this up from the store and I would not get in trouble when she got home! Inside the box are your soundbar, power cable, remote control, and instructions. You get an HDMI cable here, but no optical cable so be sure to have one if you plan on connecting this that way. They also give you a Bose ADAPTiQ headset. I actually got one of these when I purchased the Bose Soundbar 700 a couple of years back and ended up selling it and getting a couple of movies out of it! So, I see it as a nice bonus! Of course, you could always use it to calibrate the soundbar which is the intent of it.

Sony HT-X9000F: I do feel that I need to warn you guys that the box this thing comes in is pretty damn massive. Not only that, it is a very awkwardly shaped box too. You get the soundbar and subwoofer inside the box as you would expect. You also get the power cables, remote control, batteries for the remote, and an HDMI cable. You will need to use an HDMI cable if you want Dolby Atmos. If you do want to use an optical cable, you will have to purchase one as Sony does not include one here.

The Verdict: Tough one to call here! I really like how Bose gives you that ADAPTiQ headset. It is great if you want to actually use it, but it is also great as you could flip it like I did and make 20 or so bucks out of it. The Sony comes with all you need just like the Bose does, but it comes in a massive box so that is something to consider. Apart from Bose not also throwing in an optical cable, I see this one as pretty even, to be honest with you.

What Is The Best Soundbar?

I have to say that this Bose Soundbar 500 vs Sony HT-X9000F was a little unfair in my opinion. While I think that the Bose Smart Soundbar 500 is a very good soundbar and does what it does well. As I said before, the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 and the very recent Bose Smart Soundbar 900  (well as of writing) have completely eclipsed this. The Sony HT-X9000F is the clear winner here. To start with the price is just amazing at 300 bucks from Walmart the HT-X9000F is one of the best Dolby Atmos soundbar deals around. It is not the best Dolby Atmos soundbar, but it would be a great place to start. Plus, you also get that subwoofer included which is far better than it has any right to be at this price. So yes, the Sony HT-X9000F is the winner here and as much as I love Bose, for me, this is not even close.

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