Though not for the budget conscious, I highly recommend the Bose Soundtouch 300 Soundbar setup, especially with the subwoofer!
Hey everyone, Jimmy with JimsReviewRoom. I’m continuing to grow my reviews for Soundbars – I’ve tested Klipsch, one from Polk, Vizio, Yamaha, and I’m finally touching base on this one. You requested it; I’m reviewing it – it’s the Bose SoundTouch 300. Let me know in the comments section if there’s anything else you want me to review. If it gets a ton of recommendations, I’m sure to notice and look into it. But the Bose Soundtouch 300, I got this off of BHphoto for the retail price of $700. As always, I’ll leave my links above; click on my links and they’ll give you the most updated prices in real time. You never know when these things go on sale.
Going over what’s in the box first, you get everything shown in the picture above. If you’re wondering what the funky headband on the top left is for, some home theater systems and soundbars include a mic you would position where you are sitting, so the audio system can calibrate to your room’s orientation and your seating location. In this case, the microphone is a headband you wear during setup.
PHYSICAL FEATURES & CONNECTIONS
But taking a closer look at the sound bar, measurements are in the picture above, with my 55-inch Samsung TV in the back for your reference. It’s very compact, with an extremely low profile for a sound bar. The very top, it is super fingerprint prone from Bose using a lovely piece of tempered glass. When sitting at eye height with my TV, I don’t see any distracting reflections from the television, though, which was a huge relief. The front is solid with an aluminum grill, and then rotating to the rear is hard plastic with your bass ports on either side.
Looking into connections, the inputs for your video sources are quite limiting – very limiting, actually, for my taste. But first, going over the basics, there’s the power port and a LAN cable connection for internet. You have a port labeled ACOUSTIMASS to connect to Bose’s subwoofer, sold separately. That’s another $700 or $1329 if you buy both as a package.
On the right is one HDMI out to your TV, and the port for AdaptIQ. The only two inputs you have are optical-in, and one HDMI-in – that’s it, that’s where it’s limiting. If you have a Playstation, Xbox, Blu-ray player, maybe a PC connected, you would have to connect directly to the TV and use ARC, short for the “Audio Return Channel”. I’m confident that’s what Bose would say is the alternative, and it’s great in theory, but the fact that on some TV’s, (and many don’t know this, especially the average consumer) if it’s not a direct connection to the soundbar, the ARC technology takes your surround sound signal and brings it to a 2.0 sound experience – you essentially lose surround sound. If you have a TV that’s a few years old, that’s something you have to take into consideration if you plan on having multiple devices. If your TV is new, you might be fine – of course, check with the manufacturer.
For connections other than to a video source, if you can’t run a LAN cable, there’s built-in Wifi for audio features like Internet Radio, Tune-In for all of your news and talk radio, and services like Spotify, I Heart Radio and Amazon Music. All of these services are accessible through the Bose SoundTouch app available for both Apple and Android.
NFC, or Near field Communication pairing, is offered right on the center of the SoundBar. One touch with your phone pairs both devices nearly instantly. Bluetooth is available and from my testing, I walked 40 linear feet away from the SoundTouch 300 and my Samsung phone still retained a connection.
So, to the moment you’ve been waiting for, the audio review. In my testing, the Soundtouch 300 provides one of the cleanest and clearest audio experiences. What Bose offers is a very articulate soundbar. What get’s most people hooked the first time around is the impressively-wide ambiance and soundstage the SoundTouch offers. I would say a 140 to 150 degree field-of-view in front of you, this is where you can hear the audio separation at it’s best. Playing scenes from The Revenant, hearing rain drops or the sound of the outdoors is very, very immersive. Some scenes have actors in front of you, front and center, very straight forward… Then, hearing the sound of nature further in front of the actor, in addition to the muffled ambient air at the rear of the actor – there’s a great deal of depth.
Although this sound bar does not offer Dolby Atmos or DTS: Virtual X, for height or vertical surround sound simulation, there is a sense of audio above you and off to the side. Not as distinct, but you do get a slight-to-moderate experience without having the certified Atmos or DTS Virtual content and speakers. What is missing, and most soundbars do struggle with this, there is no distinguishable simulated rear audio. Understandable, and Bose does offer tiny rear satellites for an additional $300.
As for bass, for a soundbar that doesn’t come with a subwoofer, which is odd considering I’m paying $700 for this thing, the Soundtouch 300 is very capable of providing subtle bass that helps supplement the audio experience. For a standalone soundbar, it performs well. On the other hand, with any setup – either desktop speakers to home theater – I recommend getting a subwoofer so you can “feel” the bass.
Either or, if you only go with the Soundbar, it’s still an experience that’s very easy to listen to, very clear and balanced. The bass is decent and the SoundTouch does save itself by offering such an impressive soundfield. The only things I would say you would have to worry about is the ARC connection as mentioned earlier, and pricing. With the subwoofer, it’s not cheap, but if you have the money, I highly recommend this setup.
So I hope this review helped you in some way. Be sure to add me on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram. I’m Jimmy with Jim’s Review Room, and I’m here to help you make that purchase decision.