We all know Bose makes expensive products. So whenever they take a dive in the mid-range, it induces a sense of curiosity in us. The device that has successfully done it this time is the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 – a USD 400 bar. It is a lower midrange product with some features derived from its pricier siblings, such as the Soundbar 700 and the Soundbar 500.
The Bose soundbar is a compact, upgradable bar with no attached subwoofer as part of the package. Even though it comes at a lower price tag, many questions surround the performance and the questionable choices that Bose has made for it.
Click to buy Bose Smart Soundbar 300 from Bestbuy.com.
Does Bose Smart Soundbar 300 punch over its spec sheet and price tag? We help you find out.
This is our Bose Smart Soundbar 300 review.
List of specifications
|Product Dimensions||27.4 x 2.2 x 4.1|
|Wireless Audio Protocol||BluetoothWi-Fi|
|Audio Decoding Codecs||DTS Digital |
Dolby Digital Plus
|Subwoofer Type||Can be bought separately|
|Connectivity||1 x HDMI ARC |
1 x Optical Audio In
1 x micro USB (updates only)
1 x IR port
- Minimalist at heart
- V-shaped sound profile
- Good loudness with minimal distortion
- Sub-bass is missing
- Lacks Atmos and room correction
What’s in the box?
- Bose Smart Soundbar 300
- 5’ AC Power Cord
- 5’ Optical Digital Cable
- Remote Control
- Safety Guide
- Quick Start Guide
Design and build
There is not much for us to talk about the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 in the design department. That is how most people would like their soundbar to be, minimalistic and uncluttered. The Bose bar doesn’t come with a subwoofer in the package. As for the bar, it is a small model with excellent quality black plastic cover on it. The company has added a metal grille at the front and sides to add an extra layer of protection.
The bar stretches 27.4 x 2.2 x 4.1 inches and weighs a shade over 4 kg. It is a compact bar that fits easily between your 32-inches. It is not even tall, so it is easy to place it under your TV unless it sits flush to the table.
The front and sides of the bar are minimalistic. On the back, you have an opening for the cable and input ports. You will find holds on the left and right corners for wall mounting the device. But you will have to shell out some extra dollars, as Bose doesn’t include the bracket in the package.
There are no separate subwoofers included in the package. But Bose has added an option to upgrade the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 by purchasing the Bose Bass Module 500 sold separately.
As we mentioned before, the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is all about minimalism. It shows in the controls section too. It doesn’t come with a display, which we have seen in even cheaper offerings from other companies.
The soundbar looks like a black slab for the onlookers with only two small lights. The first one is under the microphone icon and informs whether it and the voice assistant are enabled. The second one is multi-colored and placed underneath the Active button. It changes color depending on the functionality in play.
The Bose bar has two touch-sensitive buttons at the top left of the bar. The first one is to toggle the microphone on/off. The other one is an Action button to activate Google Assistant or to stop alarms or timers.
Also part of the package is a small remote for managing the bar. It houses all the settings you would need to toggle. The buttons feel responsive, and the build quality is Bose-like. The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 also comes equipped with support for a companion app – Bose Music. It is available both on Google Play Store and iOS.
Unlike most other companion apps, it houses additional functionalities that the physical remote, such as setting up voice assistants, switching sources, adjusting bass, and a dialogue mode. The soundbar also houses a Power Saving Mode, which puts the device on standby after twenty minutes of inactivity. It also supports HDMI CEC, allowing you to control its primary functions via a universal remote.
Connectivity is not Bose Smart Soundbar 300’s forte. You get an HDMI ARC to connect it to your TV, but there is no eARC here. There are two unusual ports here – one for IR and the other for BASS (to connect the subwoofer). There is a micro-USB port, but it is only for servicing purposes. It has an Optical In too but lacks the traditional 3.5mm jack.
As for wireless connectivity, it has both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi onboard to let you stream your favorite content wirelessly. It misses out on Chromecast support but gets AirPlay instead.
The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 has a decent buffet of audio formats.
It doesn’t have Atmos but gets DTS, Dolby Digital, and Dolby Digital Plus. Even though it doesn’t have the required configuration to make the most of it, downmixing those into stereo somewhat reduces the disappointment.
The Bose soundbar doesn’t have an HDMI In port, which means no 4K Passthrough support.
Overall, the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is a mixed bag in terms of connectivity. It has excellent wireless support but has below-average physical input ports. Its support for audio codecs is also limited, and it can deter some of its potential buyers.
The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is a 3.0Ch soundbar without a subwoofer. It misses out on sub-bass and isn’t the best choice for action and hip hop lovers. The dialogue has a dedicated center channel and a dialogue enhancement feature to help reproduce voice with clarity. It follows a unique V-shaped sound profile with good stereo frequency response.
The treble is a bit brighter out-of-the-box, but the mid-range is kept intact and balanced for most scenarios. Another surprising omission is the lack of EQ presets in the software.
We agree they have tried their best to keep it all barebones, but a few presets would not have hurt their case.
Surprisingly, the Bose soundbar can create a better soundstage than the bar itself. But given the hardware limitations, the sound appears diffused, and we had a hard time pointing out the exact location from where the sound came.
It has a decent loudness (we don’t know the exact figure) and can cater to large rooms or crowded spaces well. When you up the volume, you can experience bass creaking, but it should not bother most users.
The bar’s surround sound performance is nothing to boast of, but the configuration already hinted at us. As for sound enhancement features, it again fares poorly. It misses out on room correction (not that we were expecting it) and doesn’t have any preset EQ. You can manually adjust the bass, treble, and center channels.
Overall, the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is a definite upgrade from your TV speakers, but for those looking for versatility, it may be a hard nut to crack.
Expandability is not an issue with the Bose Smart Soundbar 300, but what comes in the package leaves a lot to be desired. The soundbar is good for overall usage, but the competition is stiff. Let us have a look at where it stands –
Both the Sonos Beam and the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 are 3.0Ch setups and perform similarly. It is the extras where both go different ways. The Sonos soundbar gets room correction and auto-volume, whereas the Bose bar has HDMI ARC and generous wireless connectivity support. It is also the more compact of the two.
Bose Soundbar 500
Another 3.0Ch setup from Bose, the Soundbar 500 offers visible upgrades over the Soundbar 300. It has room correction and better surround sound performance. It also comes packed with some EQ presets, which the latter lacks. The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 claws back by better handling higher volume levels and delivering an overall likable sound profile for most users.
The Bose Soundbar 300 is a product worth considering for the compact lovers
The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is worth buying if you like the signature Bose sound and are willing to overlook the sacrifices made. It has excellent center channel performance and a likable V-shaped sound signature. It offers Alexa and Google Assistant integration and several tweaks to adjust the output.
It is one of the most compact bars available in the market and fits below most TVs well. The HDMI ARC support means you can seamlessly connect it to your television, but Atmos’ omission can be a significant factor for many. Overall, the Bose Smart Soundbar 300 offers decent value for money and is worth your money if you are merely looking to get something to upgrade your TV speakers.
Are you interested in knowing more about the product? Here is the Bose Smart Soundbar 300’s Bestbuy product page link for you to explore.