This Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar vs Bose Smart Soundbar 700 is kind of unfair if I am being honest with you guys. The Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar is one of the top-level soundbars you can get right now. The Bose Smart Soundbar 700 on the other hand has been out for a while and it is not Dolby Atmos compatible. I think the 900 is a fairer matchup. However, for a while, the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 was my soundbar of choice so I really wanted to see how it shaped up next to the Ambeo when I put them head-to-head. Be sure to check out my Sony HT-Z9F vs Bose Soundbar 700 which is better? article to see another recent take on the 700.
This is an interesting category to start our Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar vs Bose Smart Soundbar 700 contest off with. There was a time when I would have said that the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 was an expensive soundbar and it still is. However, compared to the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar it is on a whole different planet when it comes to the price!
Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar:
I am fully aware that the price of the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar puts it out of reach for the majority of us. Heck, if I had not been sent one for review, I would never have been able to test this out for myself. This has an RRP of $2,499.99, which is more than most people paid for their actual TV! Many places now have this for closer to two grand, but that is still a huge amount of money to be paying. The thing is there is a big difference between expensive and overpriced. I do not think that the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar is overpriced, but it sure as hell is expensive.
Bose Smart Soundbar 700:
The fact that the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 has managed to keep its price shows just how good and popular this soundbar is. It is still regularly going for $799.99, but if you shop around you can find some better deals on it. I have seen it closer to 500 bucks on eBay recently and that is one hell of a deal. The thing is if you asked me six months ago if I felt that this was a great price, I would have said yet. However, we have had the release Bose Smart Soundbar 900 recently. This is priced at $899.99 and I think the extra 100 bucks makes it a much more attractive prospect than the 700. I think if you shop around and can get the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 in the 500 to 600 bucks price mark it is fantastic value for money.
You may think that the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 would win this one hands down due to it being so much lower in price. However, I actually think right now that the 700 (as much as I love it) is not the best deal or value for money as the 900 is far superior and it does not cost that much more money. As crazy as this sounds, in 2021, I do actually feel that the Ambeo is better value for money, the 700 needs to be closer to $500 in my opinion.
The next category in this Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar vs Bose Smart Soundbar 700 showdown is the design. These are two very interesting looking soundbars, but one of them is a soundbar that I hold in extremely high regard as far as the way it looks go. This is going to be interesting to see how this round goes!
Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar:
We do have to start this off by me saying that the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar is one of, if not the biggest soundbar that I have ever had the pleasure to use. Have a quick look at this Sennheiser AMBEO soundbar unboxing video and you will see exactly what I am talking about. The dimensions of this soundbar are at 49.8” x 6.73” x 5.31”. Now, you may think that I am going to focus on the length, which is pretty long. So long, that chances are this is not going to fit between the legs of your TV! You will need a larger TV like this Amazon Fire TV 75″ Omni Series 4K UHD smart TV to stand any chance of that happening! It is more the height that is going to be the issue. At over six inches high, even if this does fit between the legs, chances are it will cover the bottom part of your screen. You will certainly need to think about where you are going to put this before you get it! The Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar is also pretty heavy, coming in at around the 40 pounds mark!
While this is a very big boy, I am pleased to tell you that the quality of this soundbar is fantastic. It is made with a very strong and high-quality plastic that has some real heft to it. It is not just a rectangle; the sides are angled out a bit which looks cool as well as spreads the sound around the room better. They have used a fabric grille which I have to say I am not a massive fan of. It looks cool sure, but it could be easily damaged. They do give you the ability to take it off which will make cleaning it easier, but I would be worried about damaging it. The top of the soundbar is pretty cool in that it has plastic and metal on it, it’s a smart design and it does help add to the overall high-quality feeling of the soundbar. Oh, I almost forgot to mention, like many other premium soundbars, it has a little LCD to show you what you have selected and this is done in a classier way than normal.
One of the things that really surprised me about the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar was what was waiting for me around the back. This thing is crazy with the number of connection options it gives you. There is your HDMI Arc, but there is also a further three HDMI ports on here! There is an optical port and they even give you an RCA port which really surprised me. There is also a USB and an ethernet port on the back.
Bose Smart Soundbar 700:
The Bose Smart Soundbar 700 is still the best looking soundbar I have ever seen. It looks so good that Bose pretty much copied it exactly for the Bose Smart Soundbar 900! I know this Bose Soundbar 700 review – A soundbar with Amazon Alexa built-in video is showing off the white version of the soundbar, but the design is the same as the black one that I am talking about here today. I just love the design of this soundbar, I really do! It is a decent size coming in at 38.5” x 2.25” x 4.25” this is a decent size and it should fit between the legs of most 55 inches and up TVs these days. As soon as you take this soundbar out of the box, you will see just why I and so many people are so high on the design of this soundbar. It has a very premium and high-quality feel to it!
The Bose Smart Soundbar 700 is designed to be out on display. It is the sleekest, coolest, and sexiest looking soundbar available. It is made with a strong black (and white if you get that version) plastic. They use a metal grille which is something that very few soundbars have done. I love the way this looks, but it is also much more durable and easier to look after than a fabric grille like the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar has. This grille covers the front and wraps around the sides and it truly does look awesome. The real kicker when it comes to the design of the 700 is the top. Instead of plastic or some kind of faux leather, Bose has covered the top with glass. It sounds strange I know, but it is cool and unique. Now, the glass will attract dust and also fingerprints, but it is easy to give it a wipe with a cloth every once and a while.
As we move around the back of the soundbar, we can see the various connection options that the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 gives you. You have both an HDMI and an optical port on the back of here and connecting this to your TV, either way, is ok as this soundbar does not support Dolby Atmos. Also, on the back of the soundbar, we have a USB port as well as an ethernet port. They do also have a port for connecting this to a soundbar, but we will touch on that in the section down below.
I have to give this one to the Bose Smart Soundbar 700. That is a soundbar I am just in love with in terms of its design, the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 copied it as it was a design that was already perfect. I do like what Sennheiser has done with the Ambeo, but that fabric grille is just not something I am super into. I have to say that even if it had a plastic grille, I am pretty sure I would have still picked the 700 as the winner of this round.
We come to the main event of our Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar vs Bose Smart Soundbar 700 world championship bout! I love what Bose did with the 700, but Sennheiser has something truly special so will the 700 be able to stand up and go toe to toe with the Ambeo as far as sound goes?
Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar:
The Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar right now is the best around when it comes to bringing the cinema experience home. I have said that many soundbars give you a cinema like experience, but in hearing what this offers, I may have to start being stricter with how I throw that term around. This Best ALL IN ONE Home Theater SYSTEM! Sennheiser AMBEO Sound Bar Review video goes into great detail about why this soundbar really is a gamechanger. We have to talk about the Dolby Atmos capabilities of this soundbar first and they are the best I have experienced from a soundbar so far. If you take a movie like the 2018 Halloween you can truly appreciate how this handles Dolby Atmos, it is the ambient sounds that really fill the room, and the final showdown with Laurie, her daughter, and Michael sent shivers down my spine and the sound was a huge part of that. The way that this fills the room with sound truly does give you a surround sound type experience that I have never heard before from just a soundbar. If you have a home theatre, this is exactly the kind of thing you have been looking for to truly give you that movie theatre like experience.
You may not be surprised to hear this as the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar is freaking huge! However, this has a real power behind the sound, I do not actually think you will feel the need to add a dedicated subwoofer to this as it has more than enough bass and power to really blow you away. A movie that I love and does not get enough respect is Van Helsing which stars Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale. I watched it for the first time in a few years through the Ambeo and was amazed at how loud it was, it was not just the fact that it was loud and epic, but the clarity never dropped one bit, no matter how loud I had it turned up.
We do also have to take a moment to talk about the amazing vocal clarity this offers you. I am a big sci-fi guy and one of the best sci-fi movies of the last decade to me is Arrival. This movie has quite a bit of quieter dialogue going on and it is the kind of movie where you really need to pay attention and hear everything that is being said. Well, the vocal clarity this provides makes sure you never miss anything. The sound balancing is so good that no matter what is happening, you can still clearly hear what people are saying.
Bose Smart Soundbar 700:
For a while, the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 was my go to soundbar when it came to what I would suggest to people. I still think that this is an amazing soundbar, but you do have to factor in that this can cost you as much as 800 bucks and it does not support Dolby Atmos. Even without Dolby Atmos, this soundbar is well and truly going to fill the room with sound. If you watch something like Spider-Man: Far From Home which is a movie I adore, with the Bose Smart Soundbar 700, you are going to be blown away by how loud and balanced the sound it provides is. It does manage to fill the room with sound and it comes very close to that cinema style sound. However, if you were to watch the exact same movie with the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 you will notice what a massive difference Dolby Atmos makes to a movie.
The vocal clarity that you get with this soundbar is amazing. It is one area where I feel that it and the 900 are very close. Bose really nailed this part of the sound design. If you were watching a movie that is all about the dialogue then you will be able to hear everything nice and clearly. Actually, a great example of how balanced the sound this soundbar provides is the awesome, Goodfellas. I know this may sound crazy to some, but when it comes to gangster movies, I put Goodfellas above The Godfather. Anyway, this movie sounds amazing when pumped through the 700. It is a dialogue heavy movie, but the way this handles the different pitches and so on really do showcase just how great this soundbar is, especially in comparison to your TV’s speakers.
One area that I do want to touch on is bass. The Bose Smart Soundbar 700 does not have a subwoofer, but it still provides you with some very strong and solid bass that helps give those action scenes a real kick. Now, Bose does have the Bose Bass Module 700 which is one of the best subwoofers on the market (they also have the 500 version too) they also have a set of Bose Surround Speakers 700 which when added with the 700 and the Bass Module give you an epic surround sound experience. The thing is both the subwoofer and those speakers are very expensive. If you were going down that route, you would be far better spending the extra 100 bucks and getting the Dolby Atmos compatible Bose Smart Soundbar 900. The 900 along with the bass module and the surround speakers would give the Ambeo a real run for its money. Check out this Bose 700 Soundbar Setup and Review (w/ subwoofer and surround speakers) / Top Soundbars for 2020 video which shows off the 700 along with the bass module and surround speakers.
There was a time when I thought that the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 was the be all and end all of soundbars. I thought it could not get better than that, but of course, technology is always moving forward. The fact that the 700 does not offer Dolby Atmos, especially at its price point is a bit rough. Hey, it still sounds great, however, the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar is truly next level stuff. As much as I love the 700, the Ambeo is the clear winner of this round.
The Remote Control
I remember the first Sony hi-fi my dad purchased back in the 80s, I was in love with that thing and I vividly remember the awesome remote it had. That is why looking at the remote control in this Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar vs Bose Smart Soundbar 700 battle and all the other VS articles I do is such a big deal for me! Sadly, it looks like more and more companies think that we need an app rather than a remote control these days and I am not cool with that.
Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar: One area where I feel that Sennheiser really let us down is with the remote control that comes with the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar. When I first heard about this soundbar I was sure it would come with an epic remote control. Instead, they give you this very basic remote control. Now the remote control is very stylish and has a nice feel to it. It is in its functionality that it comes apart. This only gives you the most basic control over your soundbar. You can control the volume, select a few presets and that is about it. If you want full control, you need to use the app. The app is great and easy to use, but I would much prefer to be able to use the remote to control everything!
Bose Smart Soundbar 700: Even with the release of the Bose Smart Soundbar 900, the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 has the best remote control that I have used! This thing is truly awesome! It is a great size and feels like a very high-quality and futuristic remote. It is packed with buttons so you have no need for an app! It gives you complete control over your soundbar and I love messing around with it. One feature that I do love about this remote is that it has little LED lights on it. The idea here is that if you have a specific setting activated, the buttons which relate to that setting will be lit up! You can still use the app if you want, but I do not think there is any need to at all!
The Verdict: I still think that the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 has one of the best remote controls I have ever used with a soundbar. Even the follow up, the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 does not have a remote that is as good in my opinion. This is a very easy win for Bose in this round! It is like when Thanos took on Thor and Hulk at the start of Avengers: Infinity War.
What Is In The Box?
We have come to the point in our Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar vs Bose Smart Soundbar 700 contest where we look at what you can expect when you open up these soundbars. I think knowing what you are getting for your money and how big the box is are pretty important things!
Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar: I do not think I have tested or played around with a soundbar that is as big as the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar! You know what they say about a big soundbar, it comes in a big ass box! This thing is pretty massive so take that into consideration if you are needing to pick this thing up at a store. Sennheiser does a good job of making sure you have what you need to get started. You, of course, get your soundbar, power cable, and remote control. They also give you a good quality HDMI cable too. There is also this room correction microphone included as well which is fun, but I know for a fact if I bought this, I would try and flip it on the old Edward Bay!
Bose Soundbar 700: Bose could not take care of you anymore when it comes to what is in the box for the Bose Soundbar 700. You get your soundbar and power cable, but it is the fact that they give you both an HDMI and an optical cable that I love. I could probably count on one hand the number of soundbars that actually do this! They also have a couple of bonus items in here for you too. First of all, they give you this Bose ADAPTiQ Headset which is designed to make getting the sound perfect for your room. It is fun to mess around with, but I sold mine on eBay and made enough money from it to buy a couple of Blu Rays! They also give you a cleaning cloth to take care of that sexy glass top!
The Verdict: You are getting exactly what you need in both these boxes. I applaud both Sennheiser and Bose for making sure these are ready to go out of the box. I think the fact that the Bose gives you both an optical and an HDMI cable may give them a slight edge in this one so I am raising their hand in victory here, but it was a very close fight!
What Is The Best?
Pitting together this Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar vs Bose Smart Soundbar 700 has been kind of bittersweet. I love the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 and for a while, it was the soundbar I had sitting under the TV in my living room. However, Dolby Atmos is becoming more and more prevalent and I have been swept up in it. I have to say if you like the look of the 700, spend the extra 100 or so bucks and get the Bose Smart Soundbar 900. Now in comparison to the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar , the Sennheiser is a better soundbar. It truly gives you that cinema experience at home and the Dolby Atmos is amazing. I know the asking price is kind of insane and I do prefer the remote and the design of the 700 better. However, when it comes to sound there really is no competition here in my opinion.