The Sonos Arc and the Bose 700 are the two most premiere soundbars out in the market. A soundbar is an audio gadget used in the living room or the theater space. The soundbar is especially useful for individuals or families who love watching movies or playing video games as it gives a near-cinematic audio experience.
In summary, if you want a soundbar to enjoy movies and video games, then go with the Sonos Arc because of its surround-sound feature. However, if you're an audiophile and are quite particular about the technical aspects, such as the bass sounds and the audio performance, then you're probably better off with the Bose 700 with its attention to detail in terms of these aspects.
Now let’s take a closer look at them.
Features and Specifications
One of the most important parts of a soundbar is its audio features, such as surround sound capabilities. The Sonos Arc is the clear winner because certain features in the Sonos Arc are not even available with the Bose 700 soundbar. This gives Sonos Arc a huge advantage over the Bose 700 in terms of available audio features.
The Sonos Arc has a total power of over 540W and weighs around 25 pounds. The main feature that Sonos Arc boasts of is its surround sound capabilities. This is perfect for individuals or families who love watching on Netflix as it offers an audio experience akin to watching a movie in the cinema.
The Bose 700 soundbar has 770W power and is slightly lighter at a little over 10 pounds. It falls short in the audio features because it only comes with a stereo system.
Check out the User Guide for Sonos Arc on sonos.com.
Sound Quality and Performance
Let me tell you something right off the bat.
The sound quality performance you'll end up getting from a speaker will always depend on your room acoustics - particularly room dimensions and speaker positions.
The impact of the combination of these two is actually so strong that in most cases, it doesn't even make sense to utter a single word on sound quality without speaking of them.
This is also why it's not unusual to see completely different reviews of the same speaker.
In one case the speaker might be placed in a sweet spot inside the room and hence the user might be satisfied. In other cases the same speaker might be ill placed and hence user might even have returned it.
The point most people miss here is that it mostly isn't even about the engineering behind the speaker itself. It's about where you place the speaker inside which room.
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So, in order to solve this problem, I've partnered with an Acoustics and Audio Engineering PhD and created Soundton - a simple, 2D, browser accessible online speaker placement calculator.
With Soundton, now there's a way to figure the sound quality of most speakers before you buy them.
Read more about its working principles at soundton.com.
The end colormap provides you the locations with the best (green) and worst (red) acoustics.
ASAP Science also made a video on the loudest and quietest rooms in the world. A mind blowing example of the importance of acoustics (play time adjusted video below).
Other parameters such as the age/materials of the building, the furniture & carpets in place, etc can and will, of course, have an effect on room acoustics, too. But it's much less compared to other parameters mentioned above.
Also, while you're at it, blast my Hidden Electronic Gems list to test the speakers:
With sound quality and performance, the Sonos Arc and the Bose 700 go neck-and-neck in this aspect. It is quite difficult to determine the clear winner between the two regarding sound quality and performance, so we will break it down even further.
Suppose you are buying a soundbar solely because you want to enhance your audio experience when watching movies or playing video games. In that case, the Sonos Arc is the choice for you because of its surround sound capability.
If you buy a soundbar because you want to hear the crispness of tunes for your favorite music, go for the Bose 700. It gives you excellent stereo quality balance and provides clarity. So, if you are into music more than movies, then Bose 700 should be your choice.
When it comes to bass and volume performance, we will call it a tie between the Sonos Arc and Bose 700, as both soundbars perform well in these aspects.
Bose 700 comes out victorious in Bluetooth connectivity compared to Sonos Arc simply because Sonos Arc does not have a built-in Bluetooth connection. However, you can still use both of them wirelessly via certain apps and smart assistants.
Both support Alexa and Google Assistant so that you can rely on both of them. Do note that Sonos Arc is not compatible with Android apps which can limit its user coverage.
Here is a User's Guide for Bose Smart Soundbar 700.
There is no clear winner when it comes to aesthetics because the choice depends entirely on you. If you want a futuristic techno aesthetic, then go for Sonos Arc. If you want a soundbar that has all the classic and sleek finishing, then the Bose 700 is the one for you.
As of writing these lines, the Sonos Arc is priced at $899, while the Bose 700 costs $799. Sonos Arc is priced slightly higher than Bose 700, but we want to emphasize that this is not a deal-breaker because both soundbars are reasonably priced. And truth to be told, you get value for your money for both soundbars, so the price should not be a deal-breaker.
You might also want to check out Sonos Upgrade, an exclusive program that makes it easier for our long-time listeners to get the latest Sonos experience.
In choosing the perfect soundbar for you, you can base it on your needs. If you purchase a soundbar because you want to enhance your audio experience, go for Sonos Arc. But if you want to experience music with crisp tones and clear bass, then go for Bose 700.