Great sound but lacks some features
Bose Soundbar 700 detailed review
Bose as a brand has gotten a lot of flakes from Audiofiles but there is no denying that they make some great audio products. The QC series is a sound cancellation power and SoundLink is a great portable speaker. Today we have the premium soundbar from Bose, Bose Soundbar 700. Overall, the quality of the sound output is what you expect from a premium soundbar and it also comes with some unique functions. However, the soundbar has some features that are awkward at this price point.
What’s in the box
In the box, you will find the soundbar itself with a remote control which can be doubled as a universal remote control. You will also find four AAA batteries, a clean cloth, ADAPTiQ headset, optical cable, HDMI cable and of course the power cable. Considering it a premium product, the box looks like a bundle of optical and HDMI cables. Cleaning cloth is a gift and why we will highlight in the design section. The remote control that comes with the system is very attractive and we will touch on it in the review as well.
In terms of connection options, the soundbar has an HDMI port for ARC connection, but sadly there is no HDMI pass-through option which is disappointing at this price point. There are many soundbars that offer this feature, and some JBL SB450s (read our review here) even offer 4K HDR paste through which makes it an HDMI hub under your TV. Running, the Bose Soundbar 700 has an optical input, USB input CEC and of course a port for the ADAPTiQ headset. If you want, you can connect your smartphone to the system via Bluetooth. The soundbar also supports Alexa voice control so you don’t have to find your smartphone or remote control if you want to change tracks or increase / decrease the volume.
The Bose Soundbar 700 is being set up
The more time you invest in setting up the soundbar, the better the experience. Why are you asking Okay, to get the best output from the soundbar, you’ll spend some time calibrating it in your listening position which is a very good thing. After you connect it to your TV via ARC or an optical cable, you’ll be asked to download the Bose Music app. Once the app is downloaded, you can follow the onscreen instructions, which will put a lot of pressure on you later, and you can sign in or create a Bose account. During setup, you will be asked to attach the ADAPTiQ headset and sit in 5 places in your room where you are more likely to sit and watch TV. It calibrates the soundbar to give you the best listening experience possible for the position you are sitting in. I highly recommend going through this setup as directed. It affects the listening experience.
Once you’ve followed the app’s instructions, you can calibrate the remote control included with the soundbar as a universal remote control. This will enable you to turn on / off your TV, set-top-box and even your gaming console.
Overall, it takes some time to set up the soundbar, especially when it comes to your listening position, but it’s worth the effort.
Construction and design
When it comes to soundbar design, it is available in two colors – black and white. The upper bouts featured two cutaways, for easier access to the higher frets. The lower bouts featured two cutaways, for easier access to the higher frets. That’s why Bose has included a microfiber cleaning cloth in the box. You will spend some time cleaning the soundbar. The soundbar is really long to measure a little less than 40-inches. This is ideal for a 50 or 55-inch TV and may seem irresistible under a small TV. Excellent which is hidden behind all the connection options. Above are two touch sensitive buttons – one to mute the microphone and the other an action button. Below the buttons, on the front panel of the soundbar, is a small thin white light that illuminates when you give an Alexa command or interact with a remote. Sometimes, the flickering light looks like the outside of a sci-fi movie.
The drivers themselves have a wrapped metal grille that gives the soundbar an elegant look and a premium feel. The grill is curved at the edges and wrapped very nicely around the soundbar. You have the option of wall mounting the soundbar or placing it on a table top stand.
Overall, the design of the Soundbar 700 is elegant and extremely well built.
Considering the Bose Soundbar 700 is a premium product, you expect premium performance and that’s what it delivers. One thing to note is that Bose does not list driver specifications on its website, so we do not know the Twitter, Upper specifications. While the soundbar sits at the bottom of your TV, it’s the one with the surrounding effects and channel shift, which we’ll highlight below. Even at full volume it is clear. The only downside to the performance is the absence of Dolby Atmos and DTSX, features that you would expect in a premium product.
Watch the movie and you will realize that the soundbar is for giving you the experience around you. From bike chase sequences in Mission Impossible: to shooting guns all over the Matrix, from Rogue Nation, and even in movies like A Quiet Place where after a quiet moment you hear the sounds of animals around you, channel changes and the effects of the surroundings. Incredible. If the word has to come from your left or right, it is felt. You know it’s being mimicked by the sound bouncing off the walls, but the effect is impressive considering it’s coming from a bar at the bottom of your TV and not around the speaker.
The dialogues are very clear even in the heat of battle in a movie like John Wick. A musical like La La Land will fascinate you and make you emotional through audio alone.
The music performance of the Bose Soundbar you can expect from the Bose speaker. It also depends on the type of music you listen to. So with classic rock, where the base is not necessarily irresistible, it sounds clear. Vocals can be distinguished from instruments and height is clear. In the case of Daft Punk’s electronics music, you can create a variety of synthesizer tunes. But if you prefer heavy metals, you will miss the Saber for the low quality. If it is classical where the voices are taken to the center stage, the speaker can make them quite clearly. The speaker is not distorted at high volume and although we have been playing music at full volume for some time, you do not have to go beyond the 70 percent volume mark in the average living room. Audiofiles may be their choice when it comes to audio equipment for music, but considering the soundbars we’ve tested in digital, the Bose Soundbar 700 is definitely a good all-rounder in terms of movie and music performance.
For gaming we played Weecher 3, Marvel Spider-Man, God of War and Doom. In all games, channel disconnection and surroundings have overwhelmed the game. I was hoping to miss the subwoofer in a game like Doom, and to be honest, there are a few moments where I missed it. The speakers have done a great job of mimicking the thump of a shotgun and the screams of monsters. Even in Spider-Mane, the sound of the wind and the traffic as you sway from building to building and the sound of shots rolling past you highlight the soundtrack channel disconnection.
Overall, if you’re looking for a soundbar, every bit of it is as impressive as you would expect from a boss. If you miss the extra umph, you may want to consider purchasing an optional subwoofer. Heck, you can also consider optional surround satellite speakers for a more immersive surround experience, but it will perform quite well if you want the bar alone.
The better the sound output from the speaker, the better the Alexa performance. It will recognize voice commands 70 percent of the time. Using the second genre Echo Plus on a daily basis, I know Alexa’s recognition rate is much higher than 70 percent. Soundbar recognized some commands and liked it for some. For example, when I tell my Echo Plus that it’s my birthday, it starts singing birthday wishes. Say the same thing on Bose Soundbar 700 and Alexa says she doesn’t understand the question. I thought it might be an internet problem but at the time of testing the network was working all over the house.
A physical mute button is located in the upper left corner of the soundbar
These errors can bother you if you use an Alexa-enabled speaker. You can also ‘cast’ music to speakers through your Amazon Music app or use Bluetooth if you use a competing service. The bar also supports Spotify, but the service is not available in India at the time of writing this review. I wish it had more options to choose from as a Google Assistant, but I guess I’m just tweaking. Overall, if you are accustomed to Alexa speakers, you will feel at home
The remote control bundled with the soundbar is both traditional and futuristic. In the traditional sense it has all the possible buttons imaginable and it runs on a 4 AA battery. Futuristic because buttons are not as clickable as traditional remote controls. And the best part here is that only that part of the distant light is burning based on the feature you are using. So if you are listening to music, the number pad and other TV related controls are disabled. When using it as a remote for your TV, all the appropriate functions are illuminated. This is a convenient feature because it prevents accidental press of the wrong button.
The remote control can run something like Logitech Harmony for its money, if it works every time. There were times when I wanted to turn on my TV and the soundbar with it and only the soundbar was turned on and vice versa. Also, I’ve failed to sync my PS4 Pro to Universal Remote multiple times. While the process of syncing your gadgets is as simple as navigating the app, it can take a while and be a bit frustrating.
The last row
So here is the answer to the most important question, should you buy this soundbar? For comparison, it is difficult for us to tell you the options to consider because we have not tested several of them. However, think this way. You can buy a soundbar today, add a sub later if you miss the ground vibrating thump and if you want to go to the home theater territory, you can add the surrounding speakers later. This modular nature of the soundbar makes it attractive with great audio performance. However, keep in mind that the base module of the Soundbar 700 is priced at Rs 64,500 and the satellite speaker is priced at Rs 28,240. This brings the cost of the entire setup, including the soundbar, to 1, 1,71,740 If you have the budget, you can get a kickass home theater from Get-Go. Back in the Soundbar 700, on the negative side, it lacks the current generation of technologies like Dolby Atoms and DTSX and bogies some smart and universal functions. It also has no HDMI passthrough. If all of these features are important to you, you may want to consider your options. If you are looking for a premium soundbar with good sound output, you may want to consider the Boss Soundbar 700. If you consider the Bose Soundbar 500 which is around Rs 20,000 cheaper, then keep your horses. We will be doing a review of that soon.