“Filled with options and top-notch sound, it is an funding you will not remorse.”

Expansive and wealthy sound

Alternative of Alexa or Google Assistant

Elegant, minimalist design

Non-public headphone listening

AirPlay 2

Costly for a small soundbar

Some music companies not supported

No Chromecast choice for Android

Bose has been regularly increasing its good soundbar portfolio, and its $400 Good Soundbar 300 is the most recent addition. It’s the smallest and least costly of the vary, but it possesses many of the options of its dearer siblings, the $550 Soundbar 500 and the $800 Soundbar 700.

It might be the right selection for these with smaller rooms (or just smaller budgets). Is it best for you? Let’s test it out.

What’s within the field?

Packed in a largely recyclable cardboard field (with just a few foam inserts that you’ll have to throw away) you get the Good Soundbar 300, an influence cable, an optical cable, a distant management, and a quick-start information.

Design

Simon Cohen / Digital Tendencies

Bose’s soundbar design philosophy is one which I totally endorse: These audio system ought to be heard, not seen. With its all-matte-black enclosure and ultra-low-profile form, the Good Soundbar 300 is as near invisible because it will get.

It’s going to look proper at dwelling sitting in entrance of just about any TV I can consider.

At solely 2.25 inches tall and 27.5 inches vast, it gained’t impede the underside of your display screen, and (relying on the design of your TV) you may even have the ability to place it below the display screen between the legs.

But it surely’s additionally elegant. With clear strains, a button-free exterior, and a wrap-around steel grille, it’s going to look proper at dwelling sitting in entrance of just about any TV I can consider. The $400 Sonos Beam — the Bose’s closest competitor — is a bit of narrower, however it’s additionally a bit of taller.

Within the prime left nook, a small multi-color LED gentle strip provides you visible suggestions in regards to the speaker’s state. Two white bars point out pause, a single blue bar alerts Bluetooth, and a small crimson dot means mute. It could be cool if Bose used it to point out quantity stage, however alas, no such luck.

If you wish to wall-mount it, an elective $40 bracket is on the market.

Across the again, you’ll discover the connection ports, which embody one HDMI ARC, an optical enter, an Ethernet port, an infrared extension port, and a subwoofer output. We’ll talk about how these can be utilized in a second.

Setup and connections

Simon Cohen / Digital Tendencies

As with the Soundbar 500 and 700, the Good Soundbar 300 isn’t only a TV speaker — it’s additionally a wi-fi good speaker that may be added to different Bose wi-fi audio system for a whole-home audio answer. Due to that, setting it up (and utilizing its non-TV options) requires the Bose Music app (free for iOS and Android). Today, most individuals in all probability have a telephone or pill that can be utilized to run the app, however in case you don’t, it’s possible you’ll need to take into account one of many many soundbar methods that don’t depend on Wi-Fi or app-based management.

The Music app makes the setup easy. In only a few minutes, it will get the soundbar linked to your wi-fi community and offers you the selection to configure the Soundbar 300 with both Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, or you possibly can merely skip this step (you possibly can at all times do it later in case you change your thoughts).

Connecting the speaker to your TV with the included optical cable has the benefit of not occupying one in every of your HDMI ports, which will be briefly provide relying in your TV. Because the Soundbar 300 isn’t appropriate with superior audio codecs like Dolby Atmos or DTS:X (which require HDMI ARC), an optical connection is de facto all you want.

Usually, utilizing an optical connection signifies that you miss out on the sort of TV-control options that HDMI allows. However due to the Soundbar 300’s infrared emitter, you possibly can nonetheless use Alexa or Google Assistant to function TV capabilities with out HDMI. That’s a neat trick and it’s one thing the Sonos Beam can’t do.

Curiously, Bose truly recommends utilizing an HDMI cable, which it says is extra dependable than utilizing infrared. But it surely doesn’t embody one within the field as a result of it reckons most folk have already got an additional HDMI cable mendacity round, whereas optical cables are typically tougher to come back by.

The Bass port for wiring a subwoofer is proprietary, so there’s no means to make use of it with a sub from one other firm. However until you’re a fan of wires, it makes extra sense to increase the Soundbar 300’s low-end with Bose’s wi-fi subwoofers, the $400 Bass Module 500, and the $700 Bass Module 700. If you wish to create a extra immersive encompass sound vibe, the soundbar can be appropriate with the wi-fi $299 Bose Encompass Audio system or $500 Bose Encompass Audio system 700.

Streaming music from the Bose Music app over Wi-Fi goes to supply Android customers one of the best sound high quality, however it’s not a incredible app for music administration (extra on that beneath). As a substitute, Apple customers are going to be happiest utilizing AirPlay 2 which provides any app in your telephone or pill a direct Wi-Fi connection to the speaker. Spotify subscribers can use the Spotify Join function to hook up with the speaker from any Spotify app. There’s additionally Bluetooth on board which goes to be the most suitable choice for Android customers.

Talking of Bluetooth, the Soundbar 300 options the identical Bose SimpleSync tech that we’ve tried on the dearer Soundbar 500 and 700. SimpleSync permits you to pair a set of Bose Bluetooth headphones or a Bluetooth speaker with the soundbar and management the volumes for the 2 gadgets independently. It might work with third-party headphones — I attempted it with a set of Bowers and Wilkins PX5 headphones and it labored, albeit barely out of sync. However your mileage might fluctuate: Sony’s WH-1000XM4 weren’t acknowledged by the soundbar.

Sound high quality

Simon Cohen / Digital Tendencies

In the event you’re searching for room-filling sound, look no additional. The Bose Good Soundbar 300 delivers the products, whether or not it’s larger, higher sound for films and TV exhibits, or just for listening to your favourite tunes.

By default, the speaker’s EQ is pleasingly impartial, offering a pleasant stability of frequencies that works nicely with all kinds of music genres and TV content material. However provided that soundbars are typically the software of selection for individuals who desire a easy dwelling theater improve, it’s factor that you may dramatically improve the bass response utilizing the Music app.

Don’t get me incorrect, the Soundbar 300 can’t ship the sort of bone-shaking bass that a devoted subwoofer can present, however in a smaller room, like a bed room, it’s obtained greater than sufficient oomph to convey even the largest blockbusters to life.

Not that it must be confined to a small area — the soundbar can get actually loud and manages to take action with none distortion.

It creates an immersive feeling that the Sonos Beam can’t fairly match.

For vocal-heavy music or TV dialog, the soundbar provides a pristine, clear rendition. Greater frequencies function freely and possess each construction and airiness — an uncommon combo even in dearer audio system.

I used to be particularly taken by the Soundbar 300’s breadth of soundstage. Its angled full-range drivers do a powerful job of bouncing pontificate of your aspect partitions towards the viewing/listening zone, creating an immersive feeling that the Sonos Beam can’t fairly match. The Beam feels hotter and possesses extra resonance in relation to string devices like bass or cello, however it’s additionally a extra contained sound. The Soundbar 300’s dispersion sample feels much more open.

The dialog enhancement mode is actually a one-click EQ adjustment that rebalances greater frequencies to the foreground whereas forcing different bands to take a again seat. It’s not a alternative for one thing as particular because the Zvox AV157 TV Speaker, however it goes an extended solution to making muddied speech simpler to make out.

Multiroom audio and music sources

Bose Good Soundbar 300 (entrance) and Sonos Beam Simon Cohen / Digital Tendencies

Bose Good Soundbar 300 (proper) and Sonos Beam Simon Cohen / Digital Tendencies

Bose Good Soundbar 300 (proper) and Sonos Beam Simon Cohen / Digital Tendencies

The Bose Music app offers a straightforward solution to handle a number of Bose wi-fi audio system round your own home, together with the flexibility to group them for joint or separate playback. It’s not good — you possibly can’t stereo pair audio system or use them as surrounds to reinforce a soundbar just like the 300 — however for most folk, it gives excellent management.

However that management doesn’t lengthen very far into music streaming. The app helps an honest number of music companies together with Apple Music, Amazon Music, Deezer, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and SiriusXM, however there’s no consistency. Some companies are searchable, some aren’t and every has its personal interface. There’s no solution to construct playlists utilizing the app, so that you’re reliant on every service’s personal instruments. It can save you playlists, albums, and tracks as presets, however the app solely provides you six presets to work with.

Sonos’ system isn’t simply higher, it’s orders of magnitude higher, with common search, limitless favorites, multi-source playlists, and assist for each streaming service below the solar.

Distant management

Simon Cohen / Digital Tendencies

The Good Soundbar 300 comes with a small and easy infrared distant. It covers the fundamentals: Quantity, mute, play/pause, energy, and supply choice (music, TV, Bluetooth). The rubberized floor and curved again make it straightforward to carry and use.

The one uncommon facet of this distant is the flexibility to make use of the Music app to synchronize the ability button’s operate along with your TV and/or cable field. Whenever you do, urgent the ability button activates/off the soundbar and these different two gadgets.

Voice assistants

Simon Cohen / Digital Tendencies

The Soundbar 300 permits you to decide Alexa or Google Assistant as your voice A.I. and you’ll change your thoughts at any time, however similar to on a Sonos good speaker, you possibly can’t run each concurrently.

No matter which A.I. you decide, the soundbar’s mics do an important job of selecting up wake phrases and instructions.

The one you decide will decide which options you get to make use of — right here’s an important take a look at some great benefits of every system. However one key consideration for individuals who need to use their voice to regulate their tunes: The service you need to management must be supported by the Bose Music app in addition to your chosen voice assistant, or it gained’t work.

So though Google Assistant performs nicely with YouTube Music, you possibly can’t summon YouTube Music tracks on the Soundbar 300 (or any Bose good audio system for the second).

No matter which A.I. you decide, the soundbar’s mics do an important job of selecting up wake phrases and instructions, even from throughout the room — no shouting wanted. A faucet on the mic button provides you full privateness. I particularly like the truth that the LED gentle strip responds to let you understand your wake phrase was heard. The Sonos Beam can affirm wake phrases too, however it makes use of an audio chirp as an alternative, which I discover extra intrusive.

Those that arrange Alexa on the soundbar can reap the benefits of Bose’s Voice4Video expertise which extends Alexa’s command and management to your TV and your cable field — even when these gadgets aren’t straight appropriate with Alexa. As soon as configured, you possibly can ask Alexa to activate the TV, and even change to a selected channel.

I discovered this function to be a bit hit or miss. Primary instructions like “Alexa, activate the TV” labored flawlessly, however channel adjustments proved extra inconsistent. Typically after I requested Alexa to change to channel 33, I’d see “333” present up on the display screen. At different occasions, the channel request could be correct, however the channel change itself wasn’t executed. And typically, it merely labored.

It’s doable these glitches had been associated to my particular TV and cable field combo, however provided that I used to be utilizing HDMI, not optical, I’d have anticipated extra consistency.

Our take

The Bose Good Soundbar 300 is an outstanding selection for music and films in small-to-medium-sized rooms, with an expansive sound and a few actually modern additional options.

Is there a greater various?

If you wish to construct a whole-home audio system, the $400 Sonos Beam is a better option. It sounds nice and its software program platform stays the easiest within the enterprise for individuals who need whole management over their music and their audio system.

However, if what you’re actually after is a soundbar that may drastically enhance your TV’s audio efficiency for films and exhibits, and do an equally good job along with your favourite music, I feel the Bose Good Soundbar 300 sounds higher.

How lengthy will it final?

The Bose Good Soundbar 300 comes with a one-year guarantee. Bose has a wonderful repute for constructing high quality merchandise and I anticipate the Soundbar 300 will final so long as you want it to.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure. The Bose Good Soundbar 300 could also be costly in comparison with many different TV audio system, however its sound high quality, customization, additional options, voice management, and expandability make it an funding you gained’t remorse.

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