I am pretty shocked that it has taken me this long to put this Bose Smart Soundbar 300 and Sonos Arc together. The reason I say this was that I thought I had already put the Sonos Arc up against everything Bose had to offer! Well, not wanting it to feel left out, I decided to see how the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 stands up against the Arc. I know that this may seem like a very unfair matchup, but I think it is something that is going to be a lot of fun and we can see if the 300 is able to hold its own against the Arc.
As you have already probably guessed, there is a pretty hefty price difference between these two soundbars. While this Bose Smart Soundbar 300 and Sonos Arc is no different from my other comparison articles in that we are starting by looking at the price. When the price is as different as it is here, it really comes down to a personal thing where you have to decide if you are comfortable spending close to double the price on the “better” item or not!
Bose Smart Soundbar 300:
I have to be honest and say that I would not recommend you pay the $449 the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is currently going for on Amazon. To be fair, Bose themselves are selling this for that same price directly so it is not as if Amazon are ripping you off or anything like that. However, I do feel that this is a tad high for a soundbar offering what the 300 is offering. In 2022, the soundbar market has become so much more competitive and I think you can get a lot more bang for your buck elsewhere. Now, if you were able to find one of these in the $300 or less price range, you could be onto something! So, if you do really want the 300, shopping around is the best advice I can give you.
Even though as I write this the Sonos Arc is a few years old, it still holds its price better than perhaps any other soundbar on the market. You are looking at $799 for the Sonos Arc and for a Dolby Atmos capable soundbar of this quality, I do not think that is a bad price at all. The thing with the Sonos Arc is that you are more likely to find it for higher than its RRP! This is a very popular soundbar that I have seen go out of stock on Amazon many times and then sellers swoop in trying to get a grand or more for it. Never pay that much for it! The Sonos Arc always comes back into stock eventually so you will get one, you can shop around, but at best you are looking at saving around fifty bucks. If you really want this, you are more than likely going to have to pay the $799.
Even though the Sonos Arc is considerably more expensive than the Bose Smart Soundbar 300, I have to give this round to the Sonos Arc. I feel that Bose has much better (albeit more expensive) soundbars on the market right now. Plus, you could get a Dolby Atmos soundbar like the Sonos Beam Gen 2 for the same price as the 300 and that is a much better soundbar in my opinion.
The second round in our Bose Smart Soundbar and Sonos Arc contest is going to be looking at the design of both soundbars. These are two great looking soundbars and I think this round is going to be a lot closer than many of you guys are thinking! Bose is one of my favorite companies when it comes to soundbar design, so the Arc has a real fight on its hands here.
Bose Smart Soundbar 300:
I love the way that the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 has the same kind of style as its bigger brothers such as the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 and the Bose Smart Soundbar 900. However, this is a much more compact kind of soundbar and more suitable for those that do not have as much space or those who have a bit of a smaller TV that they do not want a massive soundbar sitting in front of. The dimensions of the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 are 26.58” x 2.21” x 4.02” which makes it a compact and solid piece of tech. The version I am talking about here is the black design, but Bose does also offer this in white, but I have never had the pleasure of checking that version out.
The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is made with a nice and solid plastic and they have a grill that is made from metal which wraps around the front and sides. Bose offers the best grill of any soundbar company out there in my opinion. A metal grill gives you a bit better protection and it looks so very cool as well. It has a very solid build quality about it and overall, I think that it has that signature Bose look of which I am a massive fan of. You know, the more I think about it, the more I think this is in the running for the best looking soundbar that is under 30 inches long!
As far as the connection options around the back of the soundbar go, you have both an HDMI Arc and an optical port, as the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 does not offer Dolby Atmos, it really does not matter which one you use so having both on here is cool. They do also give you a port for a subwoofer and like the other more expensive offerings from Bose using one of their “Bass Modules” like the Bose Bass Module 500 is what they intend for you to do here. Bose gives you a decent remote control with this, it reminds me of an Amazon Fire TV Stick remote actually. It does just give you the basic control of the soundbar so if you want to use some of the more advanced features and really play around with the sound, you will have to use the Bose app.
You know one of these days I will get my hands on the black version of the Sonos Arc! The version I have tested many, many times is the white version and I think that this is one of the most eye-catching soundbars on the market. If you do want to see the black version have a look at this Sonos ARC w DOLBY Atmos?! Unboxing and Overview video. This is a much larger soundbar than the Bose Smart Soundbar 300, the dimensions of this are 45” x 3.4” x 4.5” which makes it the better part of 20 inches longer so you will need a decent amount of space to display the Arc. What I always talk about when it comes to the design of the Sonos Arc is how curvy the soundbar is, it really does look like a contemporary piece of tech and that is a major reason why I am sure so many people have this in their homes.
The Sonos Arc has a very premium build quality about it. They have gone for a plastic grill which I do love the way it “arcs” around the front of the soundbar, but I think a premium product like this would have been made even better if they went for a metal grill. This is the kind of soundbar that is designed with being out on display in the living room or your home theatre in mind. If you do have a home theatre and then a soundbar like this is perfect for you, not just because of the sound, but because of the style and personality that it is offering as well.
You may think that just having a lone HDMI port for the connectivity to your TV is a strange choice, but it is actually not. First of all, it keeps the back from being cluttered. However, this is designed with Dolby Atmos in mind and for that, you do need to connect it to your TV with an HDMI cable. It does come with a neat little HDMI to optical cable, but if you use this you will lose your Dolby Atmos connectivity. Still, I think that it was a nice touch for them to throw this in the box. The one thing that is noticeable in its absence is the remote control. Sonos does not include any kind of remote control with the Arc and it is still something that makes me pretty mad. You will have to use the Sonos app to control this, to be fair the Sonos app is one of the better apps for soundbars, but it does mean you will always need your phone or a tablet at hand. You can also use Alexa to control this, but I am not at a point in my life where I am comfortable talking to my tech!
Man, I have to tell you guys this is a tough one to call. These are both great looking soundbars, but for my own personal preference, the shade of black and the metal grill that the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 uses makes that a more appealing soundbar to me as far as its design goes.
We have to have the sound as the main event in our Bose Smart Soundbar 300 and Sonos Arc battle! This is where we really put these things through their paces as we look at how good they are going to make your movies, TV shows, video games, and music sound!
Bose Smart Soundbar 300:
I will start by saying that I suggest you check out a few videos like this Bose Smart Soundbar 300 | Everything You Need To Know! PLUS Audio Demo video to give yourself a better idea of what the sound capabilities of the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 are. I have to say that I think the sound this provides is very, very impressive. I watched Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them and its sequel to get ready for the third movie and for such a small soundbar, it really did fill the room with sound. I do feel that you have to be sat more central to really get this thing at its best, but I do not think it is too much of a stretch to say that the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is offering cinema like sound.
In my humble opinion, if you want that 3D emulated surround sound that many soundbars go for these days, you do not quite get it here. However, for pure stereo style sound, the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is quite remarkable. The wife and I watched Armageddon for about the fiftieth time with the 300 and we were both impressed at how loud and “bassy” the sound could get even without a dedicated subwoofer being connected to it. I am not sure a larger home theatre would be ideal for what this is offering, however, it sure as hell is going to rock a normal sized living room that is for sure.
The way the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 handles dialogue is also quite impressive. If you were watching something like Arrow where you have lots of more softer spoken dialogue mixed in with shouting and loud action scenes. You really do notice how well the 300 balances sound so that you never miss a beat. Going from your TV speakers to the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is going to be one massive upgrade I can certainly promise you that.
The Sonos Arc is a tremendous sounding soundbar, I have spoken about it here on the site so many times that you would think by now I was running out of things to say about it and movies to test with it too! The majority of soundbars on the market (not the cheap ones) offer Dolby Atmos and I feel that the Sonos Arc is one of the best when it comes to Dolby Atmos performance. While the movie did not exactly do great, Snake Eyes: GI Joe Origins is a movie I thought was a lot of fun. Watching it at home thanks to the fantastic Dolby Atmos track it has was even more fun than in the theatre. I know that 800 bucks is not cheap, but I think at this price range, not many other Dolby Atmos capable soundbars can match what the Sonos Arc is offering. I have watched many, many movies that have a dedicated Dolby Atmos track, and not once have I been disappointed with how the Arc presented it.
I do also have to say that the Sonos Arc packs way more kick than you would think. There is no dedicated subwoofer here, although you could always pair it with the equally awesome Sonos Sub if you want to go that extra mile and get that movie theatre thumping bass in your home! I do have to say that even just with the Arc, the level of bass was not bad at all, and watching a movie like Conan that has a pretty booming, loud, and epic soundtrack was great and never once made me wish I had a subwoofer connected as well. Of course, a dedicated subwoofer is always going to be better, but this packs way more power than the majority of other similarly priced soundbars I have encountered do.
Overall, I have to say that the Sonos Arc pretty much does everything perfectly. The way it balances sound and fills the room has to be heard to be believed it has excellent clear dialogue too so if you are watching a movie like the amazing Hell or High Water where you really need to be able to hear what people are saying, you will not be constantly fiddling with the volume to turn it up when people are talking and then down when there are guns firing!
The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is a damn fine soundbar, but it just cannot stand up to the Sonos Arc in the sound department. I have to say that this is an easy round for the Sonos Arc!
Which Is The Better Soundbar?
We come to the end of our Bose Smart Soundbar 300 and Sonos Arc contest and I have to say this was a pretty easy one to do today. While I personally prefer the style of the Bose Smart Soundbar 300, I am sure there are many who prefer the style of the Arc. However, in terms of sound quality and general value for money, the Sonos Arc is the clear winner here today. I know it is nearly double the price, but unless you need a more compact soundbar, you are better saving up longer and getting the Arc. Dolby Atmos is the way of the future when it comes to home theatres and this is one of the best Dolby Atmos soundbars I have had the pleasure to use.