The Sonos Beam might maintain court docket relating to budget-friendly, compact soundbars however Bose has emerged with a strong competitor that, in some ways, is among the finest soundbars you should purchase proper now. That’s no shock actually; Bose has at all times been spectacular relating to packing audio prowess into extra than simply conventional Bluetooth audio system and headphones. As such, I’d say the 300 is a fantastic selection should you’re out there for a smaller soundbar that also punches effectively above its weight.
Why you want a soundbar ought to be apparent by now. We wish to finest expertise potential once we’re streaming some content material, whether or not that’s the most effective reveals on Netflix or the most effective films on Amazon Prime. An excellent soundbar is at all times going to make these TV audio system look and sound flimsy and skinny as compared, irrespective of how good TV producers like Sony, Samsung, and LG get relating to native audio.
The Sonos Arc has utterly modified the way in which I view content material and pushed my requirements up tremendous excessive. However that’s over $1k. The Bose Sensible Soundbar 300 is just below $600 and is a beast of a performer for one thing so cheap (sure, for the soundbar market, that’s cheap).
The Bose 300 is somewhat small, which isn’t such a nasty factor should you’re retaining your TV standing on a unit. Though the black plastic high is somewhat thick, the bar can, at 2.25 inches tall, be fitted underneath most TV’s with out challenge – as lengthy they don’t have a flat stand. The steel grille wraps across the entrance and sides to guard the bar’s audio system – 2 class D amps for left and proper, and one frequency crossover amp for the tweeter. That technically makes it a 3.0 channel bar, which suggests it has to downmix denser content material into stereo sound and a slim sound subject – not best, however nonetheless spectacular all issues thought-about.
The improbable construct high quality feels sturdy however remains to be light-weight sufficient to choose up and transfer round. Not that you just’d really want to the touch this soundbar as soon as it’s arrange, however not having such a chunky system in case you progress home, or wish to transfer your TV to a different room, is a pleasant little bonus.
If you’d like a real encompass sound set-up, you’ll want to finish this bar with a Bose Bass Module 400 and a few Bose Encompass Audio system, which clearly ups the fee significantly.
Producers are clearly making an attempt to supply soundbars which can be just about plug-and-play as a result of they know the class may be somewhat overwhelming for individuals who haven’t performed round with one but. The Bose 300 couldn’t be simpler to arrange with two enter choices – HDMI ARC and optical. The previous is at all times going to deliver you higher performance, but it surely’s at all times good to have the choice of utilizing the TV’s optical audio port (and the cable is included). The third approach to make use of the soundbar is through WiFi and Bluetooth, with a powerful and dependable connection obtainable for streaming music both instantly or through your selection of voice assistant. There may be assist for Alexa or Google Assistant. Streaming can be through Apple Airplay 2, rounding out a beneficiant suite of connectivity options.
The very best factor concerning the bar is the readability and its spectacular (contemplating) sound subject. It’s wider than the bar itself, which already locations it above loads of different bars in the identical worth class. Bose has been beneficiant with the efficiency right here, though there are quite a lot of compromises.
You shouldn’t expect a real Dolby Atmos degree of efficiency right here, so the textural depth and sense of spatial audio are missing. However that’s true for just about all 2.0 soundbars, and a minimum of the 300 does a decent job with readability and intelligibility.
Dialogue is the strongest level right here. Watch a movie the place the rating is extra ahead and may in any other case obfuscate necessary bits of dialogue and also you’ll clearly hear the distinction. These decrease frequency responses are, nevertheless, going to want a subwoofer. The bar lacks that all-encompassing rattling high quality relating to the low-end, however it will be unfair to count on a 2.0 bar to have the ability to do this. As an alternative, the power is targeted across the treble, proper and vibrant which makes audio efficiency robust relating to streaming jazz, soul, and smooth rock.
It’s a lot the identical relating to movie, as you’d count on. Hit up top-of-the-line streaming providers in Australia (ideally Netflix or Disney Plus, the place many of the optimised content material is) and also you’ll get a fantastic efficiency for the upper frequencies. No object-based audio in fact, however sufficient to a minimum of get a really feel for various layers dashing at you whenever you’re within the entrance of the soundbar. Sit to the edges, and the weaknesses are apparent.
There’s little in the way in which of sound enhancement, which is basically disappointing. You’re in a position to do regulate the treble and bass, which it’s best to positively be doing, however there are equally priced opponents which characteristic extra in the way in which of customisation. You’ll be able to nonetheless fiddle round sufficient to reach at one thing nearer to that wealthy, dynamic sound you’d purchase a soundbar for, however there’s a particular ceiling impact and there’s solely a lot a $600 soundbar can do.
Not less than Bose was beneficiant with their SimpleSync characteristic, which works extremely effectively and may shift a sign seamlessly to a single pair of Bose Bluetooth headphones. That is very helpful for when the remainder of the family goes to sleep. However you would at all times simply join the headphones through your TV’s Bluetooth anyway. This simply makes it simpler and faster.
Voice4Video can be a pleasant characteristic that might be of a greater use for some individuals than it was for me. I personally don’t use voice assistants all that a lot, however those that do ought to be glad to know they will use Alexa or GA to regulate their TV or some other linked system.
Verdict & Worth
Bose has saved it easy for his or her most inexpensive soundbar, and people who simply need the fundamentals can be happy with this selection. Contemplating the following step up, the Bose Sensible Soundbar 500, is $795, you might wish to resolve how dedicated you’re to your funds earlier than you barrel into this. I haven’t had an opportunity to check the five hundred, but it surely’s well-reviewed throughout the board, with explicit regard given to the bass response. Contemplating the 300 is somewhat skinny on the low-end, it might be value forking out the additional $200, given shopping for a separate subwoofer goes so as to add up anyway.
However even in case you are settling for the 300, you possibly can a minimum of count on nice readability relating to dialogue and each mids and highs. That coupled with a easy design that couldn’t be simpler to set-up out-of-box makes this a worthwhile buy.
THREE AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Highlights: Wonderful vocal readability, moderately broad sound subject, simple to arrange, easy design and really light-weight, in a position to seamlessly shift to Bose headphones
Lowlights: Skinny on the low-end, poor object-based efficiency, lack of EQ settings.
Product provided by Bose for overview.