Bose Soundbar 700 sound projector review
The Bose Soundbar 700 sound projector is a smart speaker, thanks to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. However, the lack of HDMI inputs and Atmos / DTS: X support, and the glass that reflects the TV screen, aren’t that appealing at this price.
-Extensive stage picture
-Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant applications
-ADAPTiQ audio calibration
-No Atmos / DTS: X
-No HDMI input
The Bose Soundbar 700 speaker, like other models, uses QuietPort and PhaseGuide technologies. Featuring the company’s ADAPTiQ automatic audio calibration system, the speaker housing is the same as the previous 300 model. The 700 also features HDMI connectivity, eARC, Apple AirPlay 2 support, a redesigned universal remote control, and Bose Music app. Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are also built-in, making this speaker completely smart.
Unfortunately, this device does not have an HDMI input and does not support Dolby Atmos and DTS: X. These are pretty serious negatives for a speaker that falls into this rather high price range and doesn’t even have a separate subwoofer.
Bose Soundbar 700 soundbar features:
The Bose Soundbar 700 looks like a high-end speaker with an elegant speaker housing and excellent construction quality. It has a perforated, all-round aluminum grille and tempered glass, as well as a choice of bright black or white. Unfortunately, the design leaves something to be desired. From the slightest touch, fingerprints appear on the glass, and as soon as we turn on the TV, it reflects things on the screen – which is very confusing. The Soundbar 700 is only 57 mm high. So it is no problem to place it on the TV either. It’s wide enough for larger screen TVs, and an optional bracket is also available for those looking to mount it on a wall.
The design is minimalist, sleek, with just two touch-sensitive controls. One to power and the other to mute the built-in intelligent assistants. There is practically no display, just a light bar, but in order to recognize the light bar signals, you would have to be a superspy or code decoder … It would have been luckier to equip the sound projector with a readable display.
Connections and remote control
All connections to the Bose Soundbar 700 are in the two recessed areas on the underside. But unfortunately, due to another design flaw, there is limited space to connect the various cables.The manufacturer comes with at least an optical and HDMI cable for the speaker. One recess has an HDMI port, an optical digital input, an Ethernet port, and a micro-USB port, the other recess has a power cord socket and four 3.5 mm jack connectors for the subwoofer, the infrared extension and ADAPTiQ headset.
In terms of price, it’s pretty surprising that there’s no HDMI input, just a piece of output. The good news, though, is that it supports eARC, so it sends lossless sound from the TV to the soundbar. Of course, this also requires that the TV also support eARC. Wireless connections include Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands), Apple AirPlay 2 and Bluetooth. The latter is limited to the SBC codec. So for those who require the best quality audio, the first two options are a better choice.
The Bose company has equipped the soundbar with a well-designed metal universal remote control that also has motion-activated backlighting. We can pair it with many tools. For example a TV, Blu-ray player, game console, video streamer or set-top box, with a single remote control. Unfortunately, the remote control also has faults. Too large, the soft rubber buttons attract dust and lint. Nor can you see when the backlight is off, and not even when it is always backlit makes sense.
The Bose Music App is at least easy to use with an intuitive interface that allows easy navigation of settings. It allows fine-tuning such as center, bass, treble settings, and remote control access to Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, TuneIn, AirPlay, and Bluetooth as well.
The Bose Soundbar 700 boasts a number of features. Many of which focus on the capabilities of the smart speaker: After setup, you get a fully functional smart speaker to listen to the news or you can play the weather, music, radio and voice control. There are four music services to choose from – Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer and TuneIn Radio.
The speaker itself, Bose, uses its own PhaseGuide and QuietPort technology. The former can transmit sound to the sides of the speaker to provide a wider stage picture, while the latter transmit deeper, clearer and distortion-free bass.
This audio projector can decode 5.1 Dolby Digital and DTS, but does not support lossless codecs such as Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio, let alone Dolby Atmos or DTS: X.
Considering the price, this seems like a big shortage.
In our opinion, the 700 is better for TV and music than movies. If you want to improve your bass or add surround channels, you need to spend more. This means that creating a full 5.1 system will cost much more.
The Bose Soundbar 700 uses four mid-range drivers — two on each side of the center tweeter. On the far left and right are PhaseGuide technology, which aims to widen the front sound field.
Fortunately, the speaker is easy to install — just place it in front of the TV and it already works. Setup is just as simple: simply launch Bose Music and follow the instructions that guide you through the ADAPTiQ auto-calibration process. This includes the use of a microphone.
ADAPTiQ analyzes the frequency range, adjusting for distances, levels, and negative acoustic effects caused by the room. There are a total of five measurements.
Undoubtedly, the ADAPTiQ will certainly enhance the overall sound world of the 700, with a pleasant sense of balance and a vivid sound that has extensive breadth and even depth. It also has a good stereo effect, resulting in beautiful imaging. It should be noted that it is perfect acoustic treatment of the room is essential for sound. So we need some bass-absorbing panels and absorption panels with diffuser are required on the walls, ceiling and corners.
We tested it in a large room with quite a few windows and glass doors. The echo caused quite a lot of problems. We recommended acoustic curtains to the owner to help with in correcting aural problems. The 700 is certainly the best in music, ideal mid-ranges, nice high ranges characterized. The voices are well defined and the dialogues are clear and focused.
The speaker struggles with games and movies. Here the tone seemed more limited, we experienced captivating effects, surround effects, without limited bass. PhaseGuide technology widens the sound space, but does so at the expense of imaging, so effects are often less accurate. This essentially means that simpler movies sound quite good, with detailed music and dialogue, clear sound. But a more serious-sounding soundtrack loses much of its accuracy.
The same is true for games.
The lack of a separate subwoofer is also a problem. And despite QuietPort technology, this speaker is not capable of intense, percussive bass sounds. Due to the lack of low frequencies, certain sound effects do not prevail, which degrades the experience.
In our opinion, the Sonos Playbar is a better alternative because it sounds good, is incredibly easy to set up, and works well as both a TV speaker and a standalone Sonos speaker. It benefits from all the features associated with the Sonos system, including an intuitive control app, voice control via an Alexa-compliant or Google Assistant-compatible device, and multiroom and additional TV features.
If you are a movie fan or gamer, then the Samsung HW-Q70R is a much better choice. This stunning soundbar and subwoofer combination delivers immersive Atmos and DTS: X performance and has an HDMI input. It doesn’t have a built-in smart assistant, but the speaker works with Alexa, and it’s crucial that it gives a distinct deep sound.
Obviously, this sound projector is designed to compete with the Sonos, so the emphasis is on music and smart features. But the multi-room system that is one of Sonos ’main attractions is not available on the Bose Soundbar 700. It lacks multi-channel support and powerful bass, so movie fans and gamers will be disappointed.
Involving Amazon and Google assistants seems more of a glare, and if we really need a smart speaker, there are plenty of cheaper options.
Overall, this speaker is a well-designed speaker, and it usually sounds pretty good, the surround sound is also good, but it’s a compromise if we love really deep bass, accuracy.
Written by Róbert Polgár