Best Bose Soundbars

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

7 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
163 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best Bose soundbars

Last Updated December 2019

One of the most popular and regarded companies making sound technology is Bose. Founded by American engineer Amar Bose in the 1960s, this innovative company has been making high-quality products, from headphones to Bluetooth speakers, for decades. It has also brought innovative technologies like noise cancellation to the forefront. One of the more sought-after Bose items is also the centerpiece of every home entertainment system: the soundbar.

Bose soundbars are audio devices providing stereo sound of the highest quality. Soundbars are meant to complement high-end TVs, offering superior audio to all your media. Bose soundbars are long, slender pieces that are densely packed and highly durable. They may connect to smartphones or tablets through Bluetooth and WiFi and connect to TV through an HDMI cable. A soundbar is the first component of any home sound system and may pair with other Bose speakers.

Like smart TVs and other electronics, soundbars are regularly improving, with new technologies and innovations bettering previous iterations. There are a few generations of Bose soundbars available now. Let us guide you through their features so you can choose the best one for you.

Bose soundbars are compatible with many audio streaming services and virtual assistants. However, these are separate purchases that the user needs to provide.

Key considerations

Currently, Bose offers a handful of soundbars. These select soundbars may be purchased in bundles with mounts, subwoofers, and/or surround speakers from a similar series. It’s also possible to find models for resale that aren’t currently being made, or refurbished ones.

Even though your pool of choices is somewhat small, you’ll want to keep the following in mind as you shop.

Control methods

The Bose music app is available on Google Play and the Apple Store. It offers you control of all Bose speakers and sound systems. The app allows the user to create presets for different sound preferences. It caters to multiple users in case tastes differ. The app integrates music streaming services you can play directly. However, the app needs to wirelessly connect, so both the soundbar and the phone have to be on the same network in order to work.

Newer Bose soundbars models will connect with a virtual assistant, such as those offered by Google and Amazon. This allows you to go hands-free when changing the music or adjusting the volume with spoken commands. You will have to use your speaker’s name for your assistant to know what to do.

A universal remote is another control option. One should be included with your purchase. The remote can connect to your TV, too, offering added convenience. This may be easier to use than an app on a phone, which you may be using for other things. What’s more, a universal remote doesn’t have to be connected to a wireless network to function.

Sound system

The soundbar is the first and main part of any sound system. While you don’t necessarily need additional speakers, you may want to have some in order to improve your sound system.

Bose soundbars are part of series that pair perfectly with other speakers. It may be worth thinking about the monetary investment that comes with upgrading your sound system. When bought together, the price will be cheaper than it would cost to add speakers along the way.

Here’s a quick guide to the Bose options.

2.1 system: This system is simply the soundbar, which offers left and right audio channels.

3.1 system: Adding a Bose bass module drastically enhances your sound system. Bose subwoofers are compact and potent, and they connect wirelessly to the soundbar.

5.1 system: This is one of the most complete systems you can get with Bose. You can add a pair of surround speakers to complement your soundbar and bass. These small speakers deliver comprehensive sound to any room while being small enough to stay out of the way.

ADAPTiQ

Bose’s proprietary technology includes ADAPTiQ, which is an innovation to calibrate the sound needs for specific rooms. Bose speakers, including soundbars, come with an ADAPTiQ headset that will direct the calibration process to optimize acoustic performance.

This is something to employ when you first get your speakers and whenever you rearrange furniture in a room or play music in a new room.

Size

Most Bose soundbars are between 30 and 40 inches long. They don’t vary greatly in width, height, and weight, either. However, it’s important to make sure you have a place to put the soundbar, whether resting on a TV stand or a mount that can support it.

Superior voice control

Connect your virtual assistant — Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa — to control the soundbar by voice. An array of eight microphones allow distinct voice pickup through music, however loud it is. A flickering light indicates the soundbar is listening.

 

Features

Mount

You may have the option of buying a wall mount for your soundbar that is guaranteed to be compatible with your Bose purchase. A wall mount is useful if your smart TV is also mounted on a wall or if you don’t have room for a soundbar on an entertainment center.

If you have the option, a wall mount is a preferable spot for the soundbar, as it’s unencumbered and can disperse sound more evenly throughout the room.

Color

There aren’t many options, but you will likely have the choice between black and white in newer models. These are purely for aesthetic purposes and meant to complement your home décor. Newer speakers will also come in black or white, so you can create a color-coordinated sound system.

The higher the number in the name of a Bose soundbar, the newer and more advanced it is — and the more expensive, too.

Accessories

Smart TV: Samsung 65” QLED 9 Series
If you’re investing in a high-quality sound system, you’ll want a high-quality TV to complement it. Samsung’s QLED line showcases some of the most visually impressive TVs around, and their 9 series features the most up-to-date technology. This particular TV is 65 inches — an impressive size for an impressive TV.

Entertainment center: WE Furniture Farmhouse TV Stand
An entertainment center or TV stand is an essential part of any home theatre system. We love this one from WE Furniture because it features a subtle rustic look and has a spot for your TV, consoles, media, and of course, your Bose soundbar.

EXPERT TIP

Make sure to regularly check for and allow software updates. Bose is constantly working toward innovation, and new features may become available well after purchase.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Nothing should be put in front of the speaker so as not to block the sound, but note that you should keep the side clear, too. Bose soundbars have transducers emitting audio on the ends.


Staff  | BestReviews

Bose soundbar prices

Like most electronics, Bose soundbar prices correspond directly to how new the device is.

Inexpensive: For under $200, you’ll find older models of Bose soundbars that are still high in quality but may not have the fastest technology or the newest special features.

Mid-range: For between $200 and $600, you’ll find relatively new Bose soundbars with voice control features. In this price range, you will not be able to create a sound system with your soundbar, but you may be able to add a wall mount.

Expensive: For over $600, you can purchase the newest Bose soundbar offering or create a sound system with a subwoofer and speakers from a lower series.

Crystal clear audio

A wonderful counterpart to a smart TV, the Solo 5’s dialogue mode offers enhanced clarity so you can hear everything being said on screen. It balances out conversations with loud action sequences so you don’t need to constantly adjust the volume from scene to scene.

Tips

  • Clear some space. In order to get the most out of your soundbar, make sure there are no items or closures around it. The soundbar should be free to send audio without anything blocking its way.
  • Check WiFi speed. The Bose app works by connecting to your soundbar via WiFi. However, if you’ve a weaker signal at home for whatever reason, you may have trouble using the app.
  • Toggle your settings. Bose speakers are created with sound quality in mind, but they don’t know your home layout or audio preferences. Make sure you calibrate new devices to maximize potential.
  • Make your TV the media hub. Disable your TV speakers and connect to the external soundbar. Every device connected to the TV, like a console or Blu-ray player, will play audio through the soundbar.
Bose’s latest universal remote does not require a line of sight to communicate with the soundbar, instead using Bluetooth to connect.

FAQ

Q. Where should I place my soundbar?
A.
It’s best to place the soundbar above or below the TV. While you may opt to purchase additional speakers to install around a viewing room, soundbar, as the main source of audio, should be near the TV, and equidistant from walls on either side. Leave it out in the open as opposed to in a cabinet alcove in order to deliver the best sound. As the soundbar will connect to the TV via an HDMI cable, placing it near the TV is convenient as well.
 

Q. Do I need to pair my Bose soundbar with the same series of speakers?
A.
All Bose products can be used with one another, regardless of which series they belong to. Bose speakers pair wirelessly. However, the design language, which deals with hardware and software, is unique to each series. What’s more, the aesthetics within a series are meant to complement each other.

 

Q. Do I need a soundbar if I have a new smart TV?
A.
However good the sound may be on a smart TV, it does not come close to comparing with a soundbar. A smart TV focuses on creating beautiful images rather than audio. What’s more, the slender design of a smart TV doesn’t allow for quality speakers to be incorporated. If you’ve a 4K TV, for example, you’ll want a high-end audio system to match your high-end visual setup.

 

The team that worked on this review
  • Alvina
    Alvina
    Photographer
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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