Bose Soundbar 500 vs 700 – Which is Best?

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Bose is a well-known manufacturer of audio devices. From personal items like headphones to larger entertainment system items like soundbars, they’ve been making high-quality listening tools since 1964.

They’re big on sustainability and work culture, as well as engineering innovation. They’re one of the most premium sound manufacturers and most recognizable names.

Main Differences Between Bose Soundbar 500 vs Bose Soundbar 700

The main differences between Bose Soundbar 500 vs Bose Soundbar 700 are:

  • Bose Soundbar 500 has HDMI cable included, whereas Bose Soundbar 700 comes with an HDMI cable and optical audio cable too.
  • Bose Soundbar 500 does not catch dust and fingerprints easily, whereas Bose Soundbar 700 model comes with a glass feature that makes this happen.
  • Bose Soundbar 500 comes with a remote to control the soundbar, whereas Bose Soundbar 700 comes with a universal remote you can use to control your entire entertainment system setup.
  • Bose Soundbar 500 can only handle Dolby Digital, whereas Bose Soundbar 700 can decode both DTS and Dolby Digital.

Bose Soundbar 500

Bose Soundbar 500

The Bose Soundbar 500 offers great sound with plenty of upgrades. It comes with premium sound out of the box, and while it could be better, you’ll still experience a sleek, slender design that fits in with your sound system as it is.

Design

The Bose Soundbar 500 is an extremely high-end looking speaker. It has a matte black finish on the top which doesn’t show fingerprints easily. Its luxury design allows it to blend in nicely with your current entertainment system setup. It looks great with any style decor you currently have in your home.

There are two buttons on the top of the soundbar, but they’re touch-sensitive, so they’re barely visible and very unimposing. They don’t detract from the aesthetics at all. One button controls the power for the eight built-in microphones and the other is the action button.

Modern function meets sleek style, and you’ll be pleased with how unimposing the Soundbar 500 is. The speaker component is made of perforated aluminum and runs along the entire front of the soundbar and wraps around each side.

On the back, the inputs included are an HDMI port with ARC and one optical audio input. It also comes with an HDMI cable included.

Size

bose 500

This soundbar is 31.5 inches long and 1.75 inches tall. This mid-range size is adequate for a lot of spaces and is about as big as you’d want to go for a small to midsize room. It would look dwarfed in a larger room, so it’s probably not the best choice if you have a massive home theatre.

Most people will find that this size is just about perfect. It’s a great choice for those who are just starting out in the world of great sound quality but who don’t want to splurge on the large soundbar solutions. Plus, you can add extra components later without having to buy a new soundbar.

Sound

The Bose Soundbar 500 sounds great on its own, and when you don’t have anything to compare it to, you won’t notice a difference. It produces high-quality audio and fills a small to medium-sized room with plenty of full sounds.

There aren’t as many sound drivers here as there are with upgraded Bose models, but the sound is still clear and accurate at all volumes. Sharp vocals are distinguishable and mids and highs really shine. Without a subwoofer, the bass is average, but you can always add a base module to improve the bump and it makes a big difference.

Extras

The Bose Soundbar 500 includes eight built-in microphones for use with the built-in Amazon Alexa. Future updates promise Apply AirPlay 2 and Google Assistant integrations as well. This allows for a lot of flexibility of use with this particular soundbar.

It comes with a remote so you can control everything else, and there’s an app for your smartphone, too. You can control your soundbar from your phone and perform all of the same functions as with the remote. Expansions like subwoofers or wireless surround speakers so you can make the sound fuller and more enjoyable in a bigger room.

Bose Soundbar 700

bose 700

This is the most premium soundbar Bose offers. It has two different color options, upgraded sound, additional components included, and large size. It’s an excellent product, but it comes at a price.

Design

The Bose Soundbar 700 has a similar design as the 500 with a one-piece perforated aluminum grill that extends the full width and wraps around the edges. However, it has a glass piece that stretches across the top, collecting dust and fingerprints. Luckily, the device comes with a cleaning cloth that helps alleviate this problem, but it can be frustrating to have to clean it often. Other than that, it features the same upscale design and elegant lines, fitting in nicely with your current decor.

With the presence of the glass top, the touch-sensitive areas are printed on it instead of being visible on the top of the matte black speaker itself. These buttons are for powering the eight built-in microphones and for actions.

Size

bose 700

This soundbar is 38.5 inches long and 2.25 inches tall. It’s a sizable soundbar but offers premium sound to make up for it. It feels at home in a large room or a home theatre but may feel rather large in a small living room. This size boasts some of the best sounds you’ll get from a Bose soundbar. It’s at the top of the Bose soundbar selection and the sound reflects that, but it may be too bulky for some.

Sound

With more built-in drivers with the Bose Soundbar 700, you’ll experience a higher quality sound. While the Bose Soundbar 500 is an excellent soundbar, the 700 is just that much better. It provides a broader sound stage and can fill a larger room out of the box without adding any components. It makes whatever you’re watching or listening to more engaging. Vocals pop and bass is more noticeable.

There’s no built-in subwoofer, but the bass is still incredibly good, which is a noticeable upgrade from the Soundbar 500. However, if you want to add next-level experience, upgrade to Bose’s bass module 700.

This soundbar can decode Dolby Digital and DTS. While a lot of the world has moved on to better surround sound (and make no mistake, Bose is capable of that, too), Bose can also translate older surround sound technologies so you don’t lose out on those classics you love.

Even without extra speakers in the room, which is always an upgrade possibility with Bose, the Soundbar 700 does a good job of throwing the sound so it feels like you have to surround sound when you don’t.

Extras

Just as you can with the Bose Soundbar 500, you can expand the 700 as well. There are additional subwoofers and wireless speakers. This gives you a full surround setup and enhances your sound quality. You can control the Bose Soundbar 700 with the built-in Amazon Alexa and the Bose Music app. The touch buttons on the top are identical as well. However, where they differ is the included remote.

The Bose Soundbar 700 comes with a universal remote that not only controls the soundbar but can be set up to control the rest of your entertainment system as well. You can connect it to your TV, gaming system, cable box, Blu-ray player, and many more. This universal remote has the added feature of highlighting only the buttons relevant to the current source you’re on, which makes it so much easier to use than other overwhelming universal remotes with endless buttons that make it really confusing.

Also in the box are an HDMI cable and an optical cable. No matter how you choose to set up your additional devices, you have cables to get the job done. There’s an adapt IQ headset as well so you can optimize the sound coming out of your speaker in the room where you set it up.

Not only does the Bose Soundbar 700 have Amazon Alexa, but it will also support Apple AirPlay 2 and Google’s assistant with a future upgrade.

Comparison Chart

Here’s a quick reference for you when deciding how to choose the best soundbar for your entertainment system.

  Bose Soundbar 500 Bose Soundbar 700
Height 1.75” 2.25”
Width 31.5” 38.5”
Depth 4” 4.25”
Weight 7 lbs 10.5 lbs
Smartphone app Yes Yes
Remote For soundbar Universal
HDMI cable Yes Yes
Optical audio cable No Yes
Cleaning cloth No Yes
Dolby Digital Yes Yes
DTS No Yes
Bluetooth No No

FAQ

When it comes to selecting the perfect soundbar for your needs, you may have some unanswered questions. These frequently asked questions should help.

What is the difference between Bose 500 and Bose 700?

The primary difference is size. However, the Bose Soundbar 700 also has enhanced sound, comes with more extras, and supports more surround sound technology like DTS. The universal remote is a huge plus, and the additional optical cable is nice if you plan to set it up that way.

Is Bose Soundbar 500 worth the money?

Buying a soundbar is an investment. You need to keep in mind that the more you spend, the more of an investment you’re making in a quality sound system. Especially when it comes to Bose.
The Soundbar 500 has an Alexa integration, a smartphone app, and rich sound. However, many think it lacks the rumble it should have when it comes to bass. You can add upgraded subwoofers, but if the bass is your thing, then out of the box, you may be better off with something like the 700.

Which is the best Bose Soundbar?

It always depends on what you’re looking for. For the best audio, go with the premium Bose Soundbar 700. If you are fine with a middle of the road solution that doesn’t cost as much, the Bose Soundbar 500 is excellent. Budget options include the Bose Solo 5 and the Bose SoundTouch 300. If you want extra deep bass, add the Bose Bass Module 700.

Is Sonos Better than Bose?

Bose is better for people who want to expand their sound system to include additional speakers. Especially when it comes to sound quality, you’ll experience more dynamics with Bose and it’s integrations. However, Sonos has Bluetooth, and Bose doesn’t, so you may want to look into that.
Even without Bluetooth, Bose can use Alexa to listen to what you want to hear and play it when connected to your other devices, so there may be a way to experience the best of both worlds.

The Verdict

All around, Bose is an excellent manufacturer of quality sound products. If you’re looking at a top of the line soundbar, the 700 would be a logical choice for you. The extras are what make it worth the additional cost, but some may not agree. It’s a hefty price jump from the 500 to the 700, so it really depends on your budget and what you’re looking for.

The Bose Soundbar 500 is a great choice for those who don’t want to spring for the extra upgrade, and it tends to stay a bit cleaner, too, which is always a plus. If you want to start small and add a few upgrades later, it allows you to do so.

Out of the box, the Bose Soundbar 700 offers better sound, so you don’t need the additional components unless you want them, but if you don’t mind the better-than-average sound that’s not actually the best, the Bose Soundbar 500 is still an excellent choice.

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Juan Alexander

Juan is a self-professed sound-nerd and the webmaster / lead author & tester for AllSoundLab. You might literally walk into him on the street because he's tuned out to the world and tuned into his beats...

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