I have been waiting for a while to put this Bose Soundbar 900 vs Sonos Arc article together! I am a huge fan of both Bose and Sonos. A while back I looked at the main offering from Bose in my Bose Soundbar 300 Vs 500 Vs 700 Which Is Better? article. I have also put the Sonos Arc through its paces many, many times. I have been waiting for this battle for a while as it is two big Dolby Atmos soundbars going head to head to see which one is the best and I am pretty excited to see how it goes down!
As of me writing this, these are the two highest priced offerings when it comes to soundbars from both of these guys. If you know anything about soundbars then you knew coming into this Bose Soundbar 900 vs Sonos Arc battle that these were going to be soundbars that were going to cost you a lot of money. At the end of the day, I get that the price for both of these is very expensive, but if you want this kind of quality, you have to pay for it!
Bose Soundbar 900:
I was quite impressed that Bose was able to keep the asking price of the Bose Soundbar 900 under the 1000 bucks range. This is currently priced on Amazon for $899.99 which puts it 100 bucks ahead of both the Sonos Arc and also the predecessor the Bose Soundbar 700. I think that the extra 100 bucks is well worth spending to get this over the 700. The 700 is great, but the fact this is a Dolby Atmos soundbar more than makes it worth that extra 100 bucks. As of me writing this, the Bose Soundbar 900 is pretty new so there are not a ton of these on eBay, but I did find a few and they were all priced more than the 900 bucks Amazon are asking for it so it is too early to get a deal on this on Amazon.
Today when I started to write this article I went on Amazon to see what the Sonos Arc is currently going for. They were sold out, but the RRP of this soundbar (both the white and black) is $799.99 which is 100 bucks cheaper than the Bose Soundbar 900, 100 bucks is quite a difference, you could get a stack of Blu-Rays for that extra 100 bucks. For the most premium soundbar that Sonos offer, I think that their RRP is more than fair. If you were to have a look on eBay, you may be able to save a bit of money. I found a couple of these on there in the $750 to $800 range, so if you shop around and are willing to be patient, you can save a few bucks.
The Verdict: While both of these soundbars are the better part of a grand, I think that they are both excellent value for money. It is actually a hard one to call as the Bose Soundbar 900 is the new kid on the block and that is why it is more expensive. I do not think there is much in it, to be honest with you. I know that I personally would be willing to spend the extra 100 bucks, but that is something you have to decide for yourself.
When it comes to stylish looking soundbars Sonos, Bose and Sony are the three that do it best in my opinion, with Yamaha just pulling up the rear. I am very excited for this round in our Bose Soundbar 900 vs Sonos Arc boxing contents as these are two amazing looking soundbars. No matter which one of these you go for, you are going to love the way this looks when it is out on display.
Bose Soundbar 900: I loved the design of the 700 so much that I think my wife was scared to leave me alone with it! I am very happy to say that the Bose Soundbar 900 has a very similar kind of style to the 700 and I am very happy that Bose went in this direction. This comes in both black and white like the 700 and like the 700, I have used the black version. This thing is just so cool and stylish, that words do not do it justice. It comes in at 41,14” W x 2,29” H x 4,21” D which puts it in a very similar kind of sizing spectrum as the Sonos Arc, it is a few inches shorter in the width which may be better for some of you guys out there.
I highly recommend that you look at this Bose Smart Soundbar 900 Unboxing video which is a quick video, but it shows how sleek and sexy this soundbar is.
The build quality of the Bose Soundbar 900 is second to none, as soon as I took this out of the box I was like wow! It is made with very strong plastic and it just feels high-end as soon as you take it out of the box. It has that same style of metal grille on the front and around the sides of the soundbar as the 700 and I love it. There is just something high end about a soundbar that has a metal grille in my opinion. Then we have the top of the soundbar which has that glass finish which is such a cool and smart design that I am legit surprised that more companies have not ripped it off. Granted like the 700, this will be a magnet for dust and fingerprints, but as long as you make sure you keep on top of it, it will be fine.
Next up we ask the Bose Soundbar to turn around and show us its rear! Ok, I am back from HR and told I am not allowed to talk about the rear of the Bose Soundbar 900, but we do need to talk about the ports on the back. You have optical and HDMI, but as this is a Dolby Atmos soundbar, you will want to use HDMI. You also have a service USB port and a few other ports which I will touch upon later on in this review. The back is very similar in its design to what Bose did with the 700 and that to be honest is what I expected here.
Sonos Arc: The Sonos Arc is so stylish and cool looking that I do worry I cannot do it justice! With that being said, I suggest that you take a look at this Sonos Arc – Unboxing, Test, and Impressions video which gives you a much better look at how cool this is. You will need a fair bit of space to display this as its dimensions are 3.4” x 45” x 4.5” which makes this the largest soundbar that Sonos currently offer.
There is a white version of this, but the only one I have had the pleasure to play around with is the sleek black version. The first time I held the Sonos Arc when I took it out of the box I was amazed at just how high-quality this thing felt.
Instead of the fabric covering that Sonos go for with their other soundbars, this one has a much more premium feel and look thanks to that awesome curved plastic grill that they have used. It gives the Arc this very curvy and cool design that I think makes this one of the smartest looking soundbars on the market right now. Style, elegance, and coolness are what the Sonos Arc is offering you. I also like how it is black (well the black version) has a different shade of black on the sides to give it just a bit more personality which is a design choice that I really do like.
The back of the Sonos Arc has just as much attention paid to it as what is going on in the front. You have an HDMI port on the back of the Sonos Arc, but they do give you a special HMDI to optical cable to compensate for this. To be fair, as this is a Dolby Atmos soundbar, I get why they thought an optical port was not necessary here.
The Verdict: The Sonos Arc is the best looking soundbar that Sonos offer by some margin in my opinion. It truly is a fantastic and stylish looking piece of tech. However, I was already a massive fan of the way the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 looked and this has a similar style. Look, I have to give this to the 900, I just love this soundbar and think it is probably my favorite looking soundbar that is on the market.
What is so exciting about this round in our Bose Soundbar 900 vs Sonos Arc battle is that these are two Dolby Atmos soundbars that are going head to head. I will admit, I was late to the Dolby Atmos show. How good could it be? That was what I said, but to say I was blown away is a huge understatement. I can tell you right now that you would not be disappointed with either of these in the sound department, especially if you want to bring the cinema experience home.
Bose Soundbar 900: The big question here is how good is the Dolby Atmos that the Bose Soundbar 900 provides? This Bose Soundbar 900 Overview video is one you have to watch to see why I am so in love with the sound that this soundbar provides. I was very, very impressed with the Dolby Atmos that this soundbar provided. I know that some prefer the Arc and to be honest, it is very, very close, but for me, the Bose Soundbar 900 by a hair takes it.
This is the greatest sounding soundbar that Bose has ever produced. I think that there is a clear step up from what this offers in comparison to the already amazing Bose Soundbar 700. I really do think that those who want to have the best cinematic experience at home possible need to have a soundbar that offers you Dolby Atmos and this is one of the best on the market right now that provides it.
I could not give you a good reason as to why, but the first movie I watched with the Bose Soundbar 900 was The Amazing Spider-Man 2. As far as I know, the movie does not have a true Dolby Atmos track, but the sound was amazing! It truly did blow me away and my son who I was watching the movie with even commented on how loud and clear it was. One movie that did show off the Dolby Atmos capabilities amazingly well was Coco from Disney which is one of the best movies that Pixar has done in my opinion. The scenes in the land of the dead were amazing and I felt like there was sound coming from all angles. It was also this movie that greatly showcased just how clear the dialogue was going to be when pumped through the Bose Soundbar 900. Over three days, I think I had to have watched 8 movies through this when I first got it and everyone sounded better than I had ever heard it through here.
Remember before how I said I was going to talk about some of the other ports on the back of this soundbar? Well, here we go! I think that the level of bass that the soundbar provides is more than fine. The Dolby Atmos effect also makes sure that the room (even a large room) gets filled with sound from what feels like all angles. However, Bose has you covered if you want that full home theatre experience. There are ports on the back of the soundbar that are designed for things such as the amazing Bose Bass Module 700 and the Bose Surround Speakers 700 which can give you just that. Just know that these are both very, very expensive accessories, but I can hand on heart say that they will well and truly make you feel like you are in the cinema.
Sonos Arc: The first time I looked at the Sonos Arc I had a really bad attitude, to be honest with you. I think that I was very unfair as the more I have gotten to use the Sonos Arc, the more I appreciate what Sonos has done. This was one of the first Dolby Atmos soundbars I checked out and the Dolby Atmos effect this produces is outstanding. A great recommendation that really shows off the Dolby Atmos capabilities of this is the excellent Hacksaw Ridge. I know that you cannot get full surround sound from just a bar, but this is very, very close. The room was filled with sound, the way the sound moved around me was truly amazing and very cinematic which is what many of us want from a soundbar, we want that cinema experience at home and I feel that this offers you that. Without a doubt, the Sonos Arc is one of my favorite soundbars and it would be great if you want a home theatre.
There are many videos like this SONOS ARC – The Best Sound Bar I’ve Heard So Far video which loves to talk about how great this sounds. The thing is, I have not come across a single video that says they do not like this soundbar, the acclaim is pretty much universal! The way the Sonos Arc handles dialogue is amazing, it can be so easy to get caught up in the loud explosions, car chases, lightsaber battles, and so on. However, the main reason many people want a soundbar is because TV speakers struggle with dialogue. Dialogue heavy stuff such as one of my all-time favorites, The Big Lebowski sound so crystal clear through this thing there is no going back to your TV speakers.
The Sonos Arc just impressed me right across the board, while you may want to buy something like the very expensive, but awesome Sonos Sub if you want to get that movie theatre rumble. However, even without a dedicated subwoofer, I found the level of bass that the Sonos Arc offered to be very impressive and movies that have a lot of bass such as the 2005 War of the Worlds which is not as bad as people say, will really make the room shake!
The Verdict: Man, this is one of the hardest choices I have ever had to make! It takes me back to when I was a kid and I had to choose between a Super Nintendo or a Sega Genesis for Christmas of 1991! The real winner is you (classic video game reference there for you) as no matter which one of these you get, you are in for an amazing time. I legit wish I could see the look on your face when you watch that first movie through this! I think I would give this one to the Bose Soundbar 900, but it honestly could not be any closer.
The Remote Control
Next up in our Bose Soundbar 900 vs Sonos Arc, we are taking a look at how you control these things. These are two very high-tech soundbars so they must have very futuristic remote controls right…. Right?
Bose Soundbar 900: I think that the Bose Soundbar 700 has one of the greatest remote controls that has ever been included with a soundbar. So, I went into the Bose Soundbar 900 expecting them to just reuse that remote. I was even excited at the thought they might even add a few new features to it. That is not the case, instead, Bose has cut corners here as they give you a very basic remote control with this that lets you control the bare basics of what the soundbar can do! You will have to use the Bose app if you want to get access to the more advanced features that the soundbar has. Look, this remote is not terrible at all, but it is a massive and I mean a massive stepdown from the remote control that the 700 offered.
Sonos Arc: I always talk about how great the Sonos Arc is when I am asked about it or have to write about it. Sonos did so many things right with this soundbar that I cannot wait to see where they go from here. Whatever they have in store to replace this must be epic. Now, with that being said there is one area where Sonos dropped the ball and that is with the remote control. Sonos have done away with the remote control and I am not ready for that! They have a fantastic app that gives you all the things you need and makes it very easy to change the type of sound you get, but I need a remote control!
The Verdict: I have to say that the Bose Soundbar 900 wins this one by default as Bose actually gives you a remote control, all be it a very, very basic one. I have to say this round is disappointing. Sonos not giving you a remote sucks, but the real disappointment is that the remote that came with the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 was so good, I would have been cool had they just reused that here. Yamaha has been doing that with their soundbars as they nailed the design of their remote so why change it. I wish Bose would have taken that approach.
What Is In The Box?
These are two very expensive soundbars so that is why I feel you guys need to know what is going to greet you in the box. It may just be me, but spending 800 or 900 bucks on something and not knowing exactly what you are getting is kind of crazy!
Bose Soundbar 900: Well, I can tell you right away that there is no awesome remote like there is in the box for the 700! However, we need to take a closer look at what this is offering when you crack open that box. Inside the box for the Bose Soundbar 900, you will find the actual soundbar, basic remote control, power cable, and instruction booklet as well. I love Bose gives you both an HDMI and an optical cable inside the box. There are very few companies who give you both cables these days. They also give you an ADAPTIQ headset which is there to help you calibrate your soundbar. Another area where they cheeped out a little is that they did not throw in a little cleaning cloth as they did with the 700.
Sonos Arc: I like how the Sonos Arc comes with all you need to get using this soundbar right out of the box. I made my feelings about them not including a remote very clear up above. However, they give you an HDMI cable and a little adapter if you did want to connect this to your TV with an optical cable. In all, I applaud Sonos for this as it would have been very easy for them not to bother with this and sell it separately.
The Verdict: I have to give this round to the Bose Soundbar 900. Not just because it gives you a remote, but they also throw in their little headset thing as well which while not for me, is a nice bonus. Plus, you can sell it and make a few extra bucks which you can put towards adding some more movies to your collection.
What Is The Best?
I have had a lot of fun with this Bose Soundbar 900 vs Sonos Arc battle as these are the two premium soundbars that both Bose and Sonos offer right now. I can see an argument to be made for both of these and if someone looked me in the eye and said that without a doubt they think that the is the Sonos Arc better soundbar, I would not want to argue with them. Yet, I have to say that using these two back to back I have to say that I just slightly prefer the Bose Soundbar 900. It is a true upgrade from the already impressive 700 that Bose released earlier. I feel that if you want to have sound in your living room or home theatre that is as close to the cinema experience as possible, you need Dolby Atmos and you cannot go wrong with either of these!