Bose’s $400 Soundbar 300 goes toe-to-toe with the Sonos Beam

Bose has just announced its latest soundbar, the $400 Soundbar 300, and it’s an almost feature-for-feature and dollar-for-dollar match of the $400 Sonos Beam. It’s available for pre-order now, with shipping starting on September 15.

As the most affordable option in Bose’s smart soundbar lineup, which includes the $550 Soundbar 500 and the $800 Soundbar 700, the Soundbar 300 mirrors the design of its more expensive siblings, with an understated black finish and a metal grill.

Bose Soundbar 300

Under that shell, you’ll find four full-range drivers, with two mounted directly up-front and two angled toward the sides of the room for a more enveloping sound. A single tweeter positioned in the center of the cabinet should make dialogue clear and distinct.

Connection options are modest by today’s soundbar standards, with a single HDMI ARC port for connecting the Soundbar 300 to a TV for audio, and an optical input for TVs that don’t have HDMI ARC. That’s consistent with Bose’s other soundbars and with the Sonos Beam. With AirPlay 2 and Bluetooth, you can connect a wide variety of wireless devices directly, though Bose continues to omit Chromecast functionality.

Everything can be controlled via the Bose app for iOS or Android, but a simple remote control is also included for things like volume and power.

Bose Soundbar 300

Bose gives you a choice of using Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant to control your tunes and other devices. But if you pick Alexa, Bose’s Voice4Video feature can make life a little easier by packaging individual commands together in a single request, like “Alexa, watch channel 802.” This will power on your TV and soundbar, and switch your cable box to the appropriate channel if you’re using HDMI ARC as the connection to your TV.

The Soundbar 300 also supports Bose SimpleSync, which lets you pair a set of Bluetooth headphones or a wireless speaker as a second device for receiving TV audio — handy for those times when your bedmate is trying to sleep or you simply want to keep things quiet in your home.

You can expand the sound of the Soundbar 300 in two ways: A wired subwoofer output lets you connect a Bose Subwoofer for a simple way to give yourself better low-end bass, or you can use Bose’s line of wireless accessories, like its Bass Module and Surround Speakers, for a full 5.1 home theater system.

How does the Bose Soundbar 300 compare to the Sonos Beam in terms of sound quality? We’ll let you know as soon as we get a sample in for a full review, but based on the company’s other products, we expect it will sound very good.

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