Bose is one of the most recognized brands in the industry and among its star products are the Smart Soundbar 700 and Smart Soundbar 900 soundbars.
These two series offer high quality design and finishes along with smart features such as integrated voice assistants.
In this comparison, you are going to know the differences between the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 and Smart Soundbar 700 and which is the best option, according to your needs.
Both the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 as the 900 series have a slim design with a glass plate and metal grille covering the front and sides with a sleek, premium look.
In both cases we are talking about exceptional build quality with a very robust design. They are mainly made of plastic, with a metal grille surrounding the front and sides. The top is covered by a sheet of glass on which dust and fingerprints easily accumulate.
Two versions are available, one in white and one in black in both the 700 and 900 series.
At the top is a light strip that flashes in different patterns and colors, depending on the settings made. If you turn up the volume, it lights up on the right and fades to the left. If you decrease the volume, the opposite happens. Although the display is not very intuitive, you can learn the different patterns using the manual. There are two touch buttons at the top of the bar. The “Microphone off” button deactivates the voice assistants, while the “Action” button allows you to manually activate the voice assistants and deactivate the alarms and timers. The “Action” button does not activate the voice assistant if the microphone is turned off.
Bose Smart Soundbar 900 voice-assistant controls
They are quite wide so you need a wide cabinet but the good thing is that they are not very high so you can place it in front of the TV without interfering with the view of the screen. If you have a large inch TV with a 2 leg stand you can put it between them. The Soundbar 700 is about 7 centimeters less wide than the 900 series and 6 mm less high.
You can also hang it on the wall if you prefer, as there are holes but Bose mounting brackets must be purchased separately. Anyway, you have brackets that are not the official ones but they will still fit and you can buy them at a lower price.
Of course, as the manufacturer recommends, once you have it attached to the wall remember to re-run the ADAPTiQ audio calibration system to improve the listening experience.
The remote control included with each model is quite different. The 700 series comes with a much larger one but it allows you to control all functions as well as other devices. The finish is of very good quality and the keys are backlit.
Remote control included with Bose Smart Soundbar 700
For its part the remote included with the 900 series is smaller, but has a poorer quality finish and also you can not control all the functions and for some you need the app for the phone.
Bose 900 series sound bar remote control.
The Bose 700 and 900 soundbars have an ARC connector that allows you to connect it to your TV, there is an “ADAPTiQ” port for the supplied headphones, which helps calibrate the room as well as an “IR” input to which you can connect an infrared emitter, so the bar will retransmit the infrared signal it receives. There is also a “BASS” port for connecting an external subwoofer and a “DATA” port for updating the firmware.
Bose Smart Soundbar 700 Connections
The Bose Soundbar 900, supports HDMI eARC for uncompressed Dolby Atmos playback. For it to play Dolby Atmos content, it must be connected with a high-speed HDMI cable to an HDMI connection on a TV that has HDMI eARC or ARC connections. If your TV has an eARC connection, you can play uncompressed Dolby Atmos using the Dolby True HD codec, although the amount of content to date is very small. Most streaming movies through Amazon Prime Video, Netflix or Disney Plus are encoded in the Dolby Digital Plus codec, so Dolby Atmos output is with compression.
The Bose 700 soundbar series on the other hand can decode surround sound content encoded in Dolby Digital or DTS formats via the optical connection. However, you must downmix this content to 3.0 due to the speaker configuration.
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With a firmware update, support for integrated Chromecast has been added. You can press and hold the music button for ten seconds to update the firmware. You must then activate Chromecast in the Bose Music app and follow the procedure described by the manufacturer.
You can play music from your phone or tablet seamlessly via Bluetooth connection in addition to Wi-Fi and it is compatible with Apple AirPlay and Chromecast.
The Bose 900 soundbar offers incredible wireless playback support. You can stream audio wirelessly from your mobile devices to the bar through various connections. The manufacturer also claims that it is compatible with Spotify Connect.
They have Alexa and Google Assistant built in, and there’s a button to mute the microphone if you want the voice assistant to stop listening to you.
The Bose Music app acts as a remote control and allows you to control all the settings on the bar. It allows you to adjust the volume, select the input, and turn the bar on and off.
The Bose Smart Soundbar 700 has a 3.0-channel sound system that delivers excellent center channel performance. It has its own center speaker, which allows for clearer and more accurate dialogue reproduction. The midrange is also balanced, allowing dialog and vocals to be clear and present in the mix.
For its part, the Bose 900 soundbar has a 5.0.2 channel system that features two ceiling-facing speakers to deliver sounds on the vertical axis. This way when playing Dolby Atmos content you can hear sounds above your head which gives a more immersive experience. In total there are nine integrated speakers that are complemented by the patented PhaseGuide technology, which projects multidirectional sound to specific points in the room in order to create the sensation that it is coming from areas where there are no physical speakers.
Speakers Bose Smart SoundBar 700
When playing non-Dolby Atmos content, whether in stereo or 5.1, Bose TrueSpace technology replicates the vertical experience by remixing signals to mimic the height sensation to recreate the same immersive sound experience without the need for an overhead speaker.
Both models have a very good soundstage thanks to the side speakers that project the sound towards the walls and reflect it to where you are sitting… The result is an extremely wide soundstage, but one that can sound unnatural and exaggerated. Unfortunately, the sharpness is only average and objects seem to come from a general area rather than a specific, pinpointed position.
Bose Soundbar 900 soundbar with Dolby Atmos
The 700 series having a 3.0 configuration, reduces the surround content in 5.1 to stereo, which does not allow for a clear and accurate representation of surround objects. The result is a less impactful sound, as the sound objects come from the front instead of being surround.
With the 900 series, the experience is better and 5.1 content is reproduced more realistically, although the lack of the bass channel is noticeable and the effect sounds of explosions, gunshots, etc, are not very impactful.
At power level, either of the two comply in large spaces and reach a high volume. Although it is true that when taken to the maximum it has a somewhat high distortion and mid and high tones can become a little annoying. At normal listening volumes, distortion is practically absent and the result is a clean and pure sound.
They have the Room Correction feature, which can be configured with the Bose ADAPTiQ headphones and adapts the sound profile of the soundbar to the acoustics of the room in which it is placed. It also has the Dialogue Enhancement function, which makes movie dialogue clearer, even at low volume, but does not have a graphic equalizer to adapt the sound to your personal preferences.
Once calibrated, the Bose 700 soundbar has a good stereo frequency response. If the bass is set to +20 and the treble to -30, it can produce slightly louder bass. The overall sound profile is fairly neutral, making it suitable for most audio content.
If you prefer a neutral sound profile, we recommend using this soundbar with the default settings.
To improve bass reproduction you can purchase the Bass Module 700 subwoofer Which is going to add more depth to the bass. Also if you want enhanced surround sound, you can purchase the Bose 700 wireless rear speakers.
Bose Smart Soundbar 700 and 900 final evaluation
Valuing the performance of both models and the differences between them, it seems to us that the most recommended option is to buy the Soundbar 900. It has a higher price obviously, but it seems to us that in this case it is worth it due to the compatibility with Dolby Atmos and the greater number of channels that offers a much more immersive sound.
Bose Smart Soundbar 900 in-ceiling speakers
Neither incorporates an external subwoofer, so the bass isn’t very punchy. The good news, though, is that you can add the Bass Module 700 wireless subwoofer for powerful bass when watching an action movie or listening to music.
At the same time, you also have the possibility to add rear satellites to listen to sounds from the rear as well for full surround sound.
See price Bose Smart Soundbar 700
See price Bose Smart Soundbar 900
See price Bass Module 700 subwoofer
See price Bose 700 rear speakers
Are the Bose Soundbar 700 and 900 worth it? Alternatives
Bose products generally offer good sound quality and finishes, but in our opinion there are better alternatives on the market for the price that both bars are worth.
Depending on your intended use and the space you have available you may be interested in some options such as the following.
Samsung HW-Q930 and HW-Q990B
9.1.2 Samsung HW-Q930B 9.1.2 Soundbar
The soundbar Samsung HW-Q930B is a better choice than the Bose Smart Soundbar considering that the price of both is similar. The HW-Q930B gives you a wireless subwoofer and two wireless rear speakers as standard, forming a 9.1.2 channel array. It of course also offers Dolby Atmos, with the difference that not only in the bar there are two drivers oriented ceiling but also in the rear speakers.
The 8-inch subwoofer has an important size, but in return you are going to enjoy a powerful bass. The truth is that the feeling of immersion offered by this bar is exceptional and if you are a movie lover this bar is going to give you a much better performance.
This is one of our favorite soundbars and we recommend you to buy it if you don’t mind having more speakers.
If you want to go one level further you also have the HW-Q990B which is a larger model, but provides a system of no less than 11.1.4 channels with 22 speakers spread between the horn of the bar, the subwoofer and the rear speakers.
Samsung HW-Q990B Soundbar with 11.1.4 channels
If we already tell you with the HW-Q930B that you are going to have an incredible surround experience, with the HW-Q990B it goes to another level.
See price Samsung HW-Q990B
Sonos Arc Dolby Atmos sound bar
The Sonos ARC is another alternative that offers high quality, especially if you want to start with just the bar and add more speakers over time. It has a slim design with a premium aesthetic and allows you to add a subwoofer and rear speakers like the Bose by buying them separately.
The downside to this model is that it doesn’t have Bluetooth, in case you can’t use Wi-Fi.
If it is true that if you have space and you do not mind having more speakers spread around your living room, the Samsung HW-Q990B is a better option especially comparing the price of the Sonos ARC, plus the subwoofer and then the speakers.
But if you just want a bar and nothing else, the Sonos ARC provides a very good sound in a single body. In our opinion, it is better this Sonos ARC than the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 by giving you better Dolby Atmos playback and a more richly nuanced sound.