I must say that it is a close fight in all aspects when you compare the Beam to the SB 500 – from the looks, price, measurement, and overall sound quality. This makes it interesting to find out the features where one brand will outdo the other. Both soundbars feature active amplification with a similar number of channels. Checking the reviews on Amazon, it seems like the Bose 500 is getting more nods over the other, but the gap is not too wide. So let us find out what makes the other stand out over the other and if this review will contribute to the widening of the gap or not. This is going to be interesting, so let’s start the ball rolling.
However, if you’re in a hurry, I’ll give you a quick breakdown of what users love about both products:
The Beam is a wireless music system/ TV soundbar with Apple AirPlay 2, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. It has the Surround mode in terms of the virtual surround with a wireless connection for the subwoofer output but no Bluetooth connectivity. It has three physical inputs – an HDMI port, Ethernet, and power. But aside from connecting the Beam through an HDMI ARC, you can also use the HDMI to the optical adapter that it comes with. The package doesn’t include a subwoofer, which is a bit of a letdown since the speaker produces sounds that are lacking in bass but still sound terrific by all means.
On the other hand, the one from Bose the SB 500 is a soundbar powered by Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and comes with a built-in Amazon Alexa. It has the ADAPTiQ virtual surround system and a 3.5mm connection for the subwoofer output. For inputs, it has one optical and an HDMI with an audio return channel. The HDMI cable comes with the package. However, you have to buy the optical input if you prefer using this kind of connection. Its package also doesn’t include a subwoofer, but its main advantage is that it emits a good bass despite the lack of a subwoofer.
It’s surprising to find out that both soundbars won’t make you feel like you’ve been robbed. The two products have an almost similar price – $539.00 for the Sonos Beam and $510.64 for the Bose product the SB 500 on Amazon. The Sonos Beam is priced slightly higher at Walmart at $579.99 while the Bose product the SB 500 is currently not available on the said online shopping site. Okay, I know that $500 is not cheap, but compared to the more advanced soundbars, they are already more than worthy of their prices. This explains the almost similar number of five stars and rave reviews about the two soundbars. They don’t have much difference, including in their prices.
The premium soundbars will cost you higher than $2000, so it’s welcome news that you can get something that sounds premium for around $500. It’s currently available on Amazon, both the white and black variants, for $539.00. However, only the white variant is available on Walmart, and it’s selling for $579.99. It’s currently ranked at number 97 in Home Audio Soundbars on Amazon. Moreover, the reviews for both products are almost the same, with the other enjoying a fair lead, but let’s find out more about that later.
Bose Soundbar 500:
Same as the Beam, the Bose 500 is priced at around $500, still costly but way lower than the other premium soundbars. You can get it in black on Amazon for $510.64, but it is low in stocks, so you have to hurry if you want to get one or wait until they restock on this item. It’s enjoying the number 549 rating in Home Audio Soundbars at Amazon. It’s currently not available on Walmart.
As you can see, it’s hard to decide based on the product’s prices because they are almost the same. Both are also getting good reviews, with many people saying that they are worthy of their price tags. It is only that there are more stocks on sale now for the Sonos Beam on both Amazon and Walmart, so if you are buying now and can’t wait a bit longer, you may have to settle with Sonos Beam. I’m not saying that it’s a bad deal. It’s not. It’s hard to choose between the two because they are alike in many ways, including the price!
Take a Look
Here’s a video from YouTube that gives a quick comparison of the two products, including all the specs and design details.
However, it was posted in 2018, so the prices’ information is not updated. It also tackles future upgrades for both soundbars, which are mostly already available today. Check the video up to its end to listen to the sounds produced by the Sonos Beam and Bose Soundbar 500. This will help you more in deciding and settling on your choice.
The first difference you’ll notice between the two is the size. They have about the same depth, but the Bose is wider by six inches than the Sonos Beam. They are not considered big; both products look minimalist to me. But that will still depend on the space where you intend to put them. The products have almost the same materials. They also have grills with the Sonos product made of cloth and the Bose made of metal. They also have plastic cabinets with a matte finish that makes them look neat, unlike the glossy speakers that easily attract dust and obvious signs of fingerprints.
The Sonos Beam comes in black or white, and it has a nice sleek look. The entire bar is covered with mesh fabric, and it has three touch-sensitive buttons on its top. You can wall-mount the product, but you have to buy special brackets to do so. For the dimensions, it is 4 inches deep, 25.5 inches wide, and 2.5 inches high. It feels well-built, and the product is made of high-quality plastic. However, the fabric cover may be prone to getting damaged or dirty
Bose Soundbar 500:
It’s from Bose, so expect nothing but good quality in how it looks. It has a minimalist design with a black matte finish that makes it look clean. It’s considered the little brother of another terrific speaker from Bose, the SB700. This one is smaller, with 31.5 inches in width, but the rest of the design is similar to the SB700. The matte extends across the top, making the soundbar look expensive. Its grills are made of perforated aluminum covering the front and wrapping throughout the sides. It has two visible buttons on top, both touch-sensitive – one for the microphones and the other is an action button.
While both products look similar, I will award the best design to Bose. This is because of the aluminum grills that don’t attract dirt as fast as a cloth. I would have loved something with the size of the Sonos Beam because I have limited space, but if you have enough space to accommodate a little more inches and base your decision on the product’s design, I will go for Bose.
Both sound terrific. I know it’s lame to state a review, but as I have told you earlier, it’s a close fight between the two, and many people who have tried using them have nice words to say about these popular soundbars. Sound is pretty subjective, with the voices coming through clearly and the mids and highs coming strong even when the volumes are set to low.
Despite being compact, its stereo frequency response is fairly decent. It has a slightly bright and neutral sound profile. But as expected from a standalone soundbar without a subwoofer, the Sonos Beam lacks a little of low-bass. Overall, you will get a well-balanced and flat sound. However, it has side-firing speakers that help spread the sound throughout a room.
Bose Soundbar 500:
The first thing you will notice in the sound of the Bose 500 is the added bass, even without a subwoofer installed. Despite lacking the many drivers included in its big brother, the SB700, the Bose 500 still gives off clear and accurate sounds even at low volumes. You will easily distinguish the sharp vocals. The best thing about this product is that even without a subwoofer, its bass is adequate.
If you are not particular with the bass in sounds, you can choose either. But for me, with almost the same price that I have to spend on buying a soundbar, I’d go for Bose with adequate bass. This will make my mind at ease with the purchase, and I won’t think of adding more, such as subwoofers, to get the perfect audio quality.
WHICH IS THE BETTER SOUND BAR?
The two products launched almost at the same time, around 2018. At the time, Bose was priced relatively higher than the Sonos Beam. Despite the fact that it was more expensive back then, more people were still choosing Bose over the Beam for the extra handy features, including an optical input and Bluetooth connectivity. Now that the two are offered at almost similar prices, the Bose soundbar is still ahead when it comes to the number of nods from satisfied users. This may only prove that bass is crucial when it comes to soundbars. However, the Beam makes a smaller footprint and is recommended for those who already have other Sonos products in their homes.