Bose Smart Soundbar 300 Review: Top Full Guide 2022

Bose Smart Soundbar 300 Review 2022 Top Full Guide

Bose Smart Soundbar 300 review is a sleek and powerful addition to any home theater setup. This soundbar delivers rich and detailed sound, with deep bass and clear highs. The built-in Alexa voice control makes it easy to control your music and other smart home devices. The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is a great choice for anyone looking to upgrade their home theater system.

Bose Smart Soundbar 300 Reviews: Sweet Sound for Small Rooms

Bose Smart Soundbar 300 Reviews Sweet Sound for Small Rooms

Pros

  • The sound is expansive and rich.
  • Private headphone listening with Alexa or Google Assistant AirPlay 2, Chromecast Built-in

Cons

  • Pricey for a little soundbar
  • Some music services are not available.

What’s in the box?

The Smart Soundbar 300 comes in a generally recyclable cardboard box (with a few foam inserts that you may have to throw away), a power cord, an optical cable, a remote control, and a quick-start guide.

Design

I completely agree with Bose’s soundbar design philosophy: these speakers should be heard, not seen. The Smart Soundbar 300 is almost undetectable because of its all-black shell and ultra-low-profile form.

It’ll look perfectly at home in front of almost any television I can think of.

With dimensions of 2.25 inches tall and 27.5 inches wide, it won’t hinder the bottom of your screen, and depending on the design of your TV, you may even be able to fit it between the legs.

It is, nevertheless, lovely. With its simple lines, button-free body, and wrap-around aluminum grille, it’ll look perfectly at home in front of almost any TV. The Bose’s closest competition, the $449 Sonos Beam Gen 2, is a bit thinner but also a little higher.

A tiny multi-color LED light strip in the upper left corner provides visual input regarding the speaker’s status. Two white bars represent a pause, a single blue bar represents Bluetooth, and a little red dot represents mute. It would be amazing if Bose utilized it to display the volume level, but no such luck.

An extra $40 bracket is available for wall mounting.

The connection connections are located around the rear and feature one HDMI ARC, an optical input, an Ethernet port, an infrared extension connector, and a subwoofer output. In a minute, we’ll go through how to utilize them.

Setup and connections

Setup and connections

The Smart Soundbar 300, like the Soundbar 500 and 700, is more than just a TV speaker; it’s also a smart wireless speaker that can be combined with other Bose wireless speakers to create a whole-home audio solution. As a result, configuring it (and accessing its non-TV capabilities) necessitates the use of the Bose Music app (free for iOS and Android).

Most people nowadays have a phone or tablet that can run the app, but if you don’t, you may want to try one of the several soundbar systems that don’t depend on Wi-Fi or app-based management.

The Music app simplifies the setting process. It connects the soundbar to your wifi network in minutes and provides you the option of configuring the Soundbar 300 with either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. You can skip this step (you can always do it later if you change your mind).

Connecting the speaker to your TV using the provided optical connection avoids using one of your HDMI ports, which may be limited depending on your TV.

Because the Soundbar 300 does not support sophisticated audio formats such as Dolby Atmos or DTS:X (which need HDMI ARC), an optical connection is all that is required.

Using an optical connection often means preceding the kinds of TV-control functions HDMI provides. However, owing to the infrared transmitter on the Soundbar 300, you can still use Alexa or Google Assistant to control TV functionalities without using HDMI. That’s a cool trick that the Sonos Beam cannot do.

Surprisingly, Bose suggests utilizing an HDMI cable, which it claims is more dependable than infrared. However, it does not offer one in the package since it believes that most people already have an extra HDMI cable lying about, while optical cables are more difficult to come by.

Because the Bass port for connecting a subwoofer is unique, it cannot be used with a subwoofer from another manufacturer. However, unless you like cables, it makes more sense to supplement the Soundbar 300’s low-end with Bose’s wireless subwoofers, the $400 Bass Module 500, and the $700 Bass Module 700.

If you wish to create a more immersive surround sound experience, the soundbar may be used in conjunction with the wireless $299 Bose Surround Speakers or the $500 Bose Surround Speakers 700.

Whether you have an Android or iOS device, you can stream music from the Bose Music app via Wi-Fi, albeit its skills as a music manager leave much to be desired (more on that below).

Instead, Apple fans will be most pleased with AirPlay 2, which allows any app on your phone or tablet to connect directly to the speaker over Wi-Fi. Apple and Android users may also use Chromecast Built-in, a feature enabled by Bose in February 2022. Sonos devices do not presently support Chromecast.

Spotify subscribers may connect to the speaker from any Spotify app using the Spotify Connect function. Bluetooth is also included, which is useful for ad-hoc music streaming without a Wi-Fi connection.

In terms of Bluetooth, the Soundbar 300 uses the same Bose SimpleSync technology as the more costly Soundbar 500 and 700. SimpleSync allows you to attach a pair of Bose Bluetooth headphones or a Bluetooth speaker with the soundbar and separately adjust the levels of the two devices. It may work with third-party headphones.

Hooke audio tested it with a pair of Bowers & Wilkins PX5 headphones, and it worked, although somewhat out of sync. However, your mileage may vary: the soundbar could not identify Sony’s WH-1000XM4.

Sound quality

Look no further if you want to fill a room with sound. The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 delivers, whether you want larger, better sound for movies and TV programs or to listen to your favorite music.

The speaker’s EQ is pleasingly neutral by default, giving a pleasant mix of frequencies that works well with a broad range of music genres and TV material. However, considering that soundbars are often the tool of choice for individuals looking for a simple home theater update, it’s a good thing that the Music app can drastically boost bass response.

Don’t get me wrong: the Soundbar 300 can’t generate the bone-shaking bass that a dedicated subwoofer can, but in a smaller area, such as a bedroom, it has more than enough punch to bring even the greatest blockbusters to life.

It doesn’t need to be constrained to a small location since the soundbar can become incredibly loud and does so without distortion.

It delivers a more immersive experience than the Sonos Beam.

The soundbar provides a crisp, clear vocal-heavy music or TV speech reproduction. Higher frequencies move smoothly and have structure and airiness, a unique combination even in more costly speakers.

The Soundbar 300’s soundstage was extremely impressive to me. Its slanted full-range speakers perform an excellent job of bouncing sound off your sidewalls and into the viewing/listening zone, producing an immersive experience that the Sonos Beam cannot equal.

The Beam seems warmer and has greater resonance when it comes to string instruments like bass or cello, but it’s also a more confined sound. The dispersion pattern of the Soundbar 300 is much more open.

The dialog enhancement mode is simply a one-click EQ adjustment that shifts higher frequencies to the front while pushing lower frequencies to the background. It’s not a substitute for the Zvox AV157 TV Speaker, but it makes muddled speech simpler to understand.

Multiroom Audio And Music Sources

The Bose Music app makes it simple to control numerous Bose wireless speakers around your house, including grouping them for joint or independent listening. It’s not ideal — you can’t get stereo pair speakers or use them as surrounds to supplement a soundbar like the 300 — but it’s pretty decent for most people.

However, this level of regulation does not extend very far into music streaming. Apple Music, Amazon Music, Deezer, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and SiriusXM are among the music providers supported by the app, although there is no consistency. Some services are searchable, while others are not, and each has its unique user interface.

Because the app does not allow you to create playlists, you must rely on the resources provided by each provider. Although the software only provides six presets, you can store playlists, albums, and songs as presets.

Sonos’ system is better, with universal search, infinite favorites, multi-source playlists, and compatibility for every streaming service under the sun.

Remote control

The Smart Soundbar 300 has a tiny and straightforward infrared remote. It covers the fundamentals of volume, mute, play/pause, power, and source selection (music, TV, Bluetooth). It’s simple to handle and operate because of the rubberized surface and curved back.

The sole unique feature of this remote is the option to utilize the Music app to synchronize the operation of the power button with your TV and cable box. When you do, pushing the power button toggles the soundbar and the other two devices on and off.

Voice assistants

You may choose Alexa or Google Assistant as your voice AI on the Soundbar 300, and you can change your mind at any moment, but you can’t run both simultaneously, much as on a Sonos smart speaker.

Regardless of whose AI you choose, the soundbar’s microphones are excellent at picking up wake phrases and orders.

The one you choose will decide the features you have access to – here’s a fantastic comparison of the benefits of each system. However, one important issue for people who wish to use their voice to manage their music is that the service you want to control must be supported by both the Bose Music app and your selected voice assistant. Otherwise, it will not function.

So, even though Google Assistant works well with YouTube Music, you can’t play YouTube Music songs on the Soundbar 300. (or any Bose smart speakers for the moment).

Regardless of whose AI you choose, the soundbar’s microphones are excellent at picking up wake phrases and orders from across the room – no yelling required. A simple push on the microphone button gives you total privacy. I appreciate how the LED light strip reacts when your wake phrase is uttered. The Sonos Beam can also confirm wake phrases, but it does so with an audible chirp, which I find more annoying.

Those who configure Alexa on the soundbar may use Bose‘s Voice4Video technology, extending Alexa’s command and control to your TV and cable box – even if those devices aren’t directly compatible with Alexa. Once set up, you can ask Alexa to turn on the TV and even change the station.

This feature was a little hit-or-miss for me. Basic orders such as “Alexa, turn on the TV” worked wonderfully. However, channel changes were less reliable. When I requested Alexa to change channels, I’d sometimes see “333” appear on the screen. The channel request was sometimes correct, but the channel change was not carried out. And occasionally, it just worked.

It’s conceivable that these issues were caused by my particular TV and cable box combination. Still, considering that I was using HDMI rather than optical, I would have anticipated better consistency.

How Does the Bose Smart Soundbar Sound?

You won’t be disappointed with the Bose Smart Soundbar 300’s exceptional audio quality, owing to its numerous built-in drivers. We compared the audio on our smart TV to that of the Bose, putting it to the test with everything from football games to the Grammys to other live acts, and the audible difference from the soundbar is clear from the first note on the 4K TV we tested it with.

It’s no surprise that watching live sports with the Smart Soundbar may make you feel like you’re part of the crowd for a short period – you’ll see it’s the official soundbar of the NFL (as written directly on the box when it comes). You’ll hear why: During games, announcers are audible without drowning out stadium noises like whistles and yells. You should also not have to change the volume using your remote continually.

Meanwhile, music sounds fantastic with the Smart Soundbar 300. For example, if you use Spotify, you can pick the soundbar while using the app, and your music will be played over the Bose 300’s speakers. Despite its small size, the bar readily fills the area with sound, providing a completely immersive experience. You’ll hear every rip, roar, and rumble from your favorite movie and all the little nuances from your favorite song.

While it’s a perfect match for your TV, we also enjoy a terrific all-around Bluetooth speaker for your home, whether you want to listen to playlists or stream Justice League or a Tiny Desk performance from your phone.

When it comes to streaming songs, movies, and games, your display’s built-in speakers are unlikely to match Bose’s greater audio quality. We chose not to test its boundaries for fear of being booted out of our flat, but conversation and songs with many basses sounded well-balanced even at lower decibel levels.

How Do You Control the Bose Smart Soundbar?

Bose made certain that their soundbar was highly useful and simple to use in several ways, including your voice (thanks, Google), the bundled Bose remote, and even your phone. However, it may take some time to get acquainted with how it interacts with your smart TV.

For example, when we used our phone to increase the level on the bar, instead of simply the volume on the bar rising, both the smart TV and the soundbar became louder at the same time, resulting in a bizarre echo and a soundbar and TV speaker match we’d prefer avoiding.

But after a few test runs, we discovered we could maintain our TV’s volume at zero and activate the Bose’s volume using the convenient TV button on the included remote.

The remote allows you to silence your music and the soundbar with the push of a button, and it also has volume controls, an on/off switch, and a play/pause button.

We installed Google Assistant to control everything without using the remote. We may say, “Hey, Google. Pause.” During our testing, we noted an occasional lag between requesting the soundbar to play or stop a program and when it did, and we had to repeat ourselves before it worked.

We could even ask Google to rewind the broadcast or alter the volume if we missed anything a character said. We also used it for our virtual workout classes, pausing the stream when we missed a critical step for a move (or when our dog decided to take a nap on our workout mat).

We never utilized speech capabilities like this in our other smart goods, but it’s a handy tool to have incorporated into the bar (particularly when you can’t locate the remote). You can also utilize the soundbar as a hub for your smart home.

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FAQ

How Much Is the Bose Smart Soundbar?

The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is now available for $399. (It’s presently out of stock on Bose’s website, but it’s still available on Amazon.)

If you’re searching for competition under $400, Sonos fans might consider the Beam soundbar, which incorporates Amazon Alexa and can be paired with other Sonos items. When comparing Bose vs. Sonos, we discovered that the Beam had a superior connection, allowing us to link additional speakers and goods such as headphones with the Smart Soundbar 300.

For a little less expensive Bose offering, the business offers a $224 remote-controlled TV Speaker for your home theater setup. It has the same tiny form as the Smart Soundbar 300, measuring two inches tall and less than 24 inches wide, but you can’t utilize a voice assistant like Google or Alexa as you can with the Smart Soundbar 300.

How Do You Set Up the Bose Soundbar 300?

Setting up the bar for a smart TV is fast and simple, right out of the box. Bose provides an optical cable to link it to your television, but you may also use an HDMI wire if you have one on hand. Download the Bose app to your phone to connect to your wireless and navigate through the setup procedure. It’s a simple step-by-step process, and you’ll be up and running in no time, WiFi connection permitting.

What’s the Difference Between the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 vs. 500 vs. 700?

The biggest differences between Bose’s soundbars are the pricing disparities and the larger designs. On Amazon, the Bose 500 costs $549, while the Bose Soundbar 700 costs $799. Both will take up more room, 31.5 inches and 38.5 inches broad, respectively.

Is the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 Worth it?

The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is a terrific soundbar to have in your house if you want a connected speaker that makes conversation easier to hear and creates room-filling sound. It exceeds many of its rivals by providing simple connection, spacious sound, and crystal clear music in a compact and streamlined package.

Conclusion

There are many benefits to the Bose Smart Soundbar 300, including its superior sound quality, easy setup, and versatile design. The soundbar is also compatible with various devices and can be controlled with your voice. Thanks for reading this post!

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