Having occupied space on this planet for over 73 years and enjoying listening to music for most of that time, I consider myself an avid audiophile. While a young teenager during the 50's I built Hi-Fidelity systems for family and friends to play their 78's, 45's, and 33 1/3 on custom record players. I was fascinated with quality sound reproduction. During the 60's the advent of taped music allowed me to build hi-fidelity systems using tape players, cassette, and eventually eight-track. Greatest thing about these tape players is they could be portable, and eventually found their way into automobiles, but sound distortion was terrible.. Channel separation also became popular as Stereo Hi-Fi. I could not believe my ears. Then, came the digital age in the 70's, 80's, and 90's with compact discs, CD's, DVD's, and music-data formatted files for computers, MP3's etc.. I was in musical heaven building small Stereo Hi-Fi systems for this new engineering. But the hardware to amplify the digital age was way 'behind-the-curve' - lots of big speakers, too much bass distortion, and overall poor quality. Until Bose revolutionized sound with the compact, all-in-one system - the acoustic wave® music system first introduced during the the mid-80's. It was then, I became a big fan of BOSE and their smaller speakers sound reproduction technology. BTW – I still have my1998 acoustic wave radio/CD player and it is amazing. It brought CD's to life as it filled my room with sounds previously only reproduced with much larger and more expensive systems. WooHoo!
I consider myself an 'audiophile'. So, I jumped at the opportunity to receive a complimentary Bose SoundTouch 300 Soundbar in exchange for an unbiased and comprehensive review. Bose Corporation has been around for over 50 years in reproducing quality sound and they have proven themselves to be the unequaled leader in that field.
The Bose SoundTouch 300 Soundbar comes with:
2 AAA batteries
Glass Cleaning Cloth
The universal remote is surprisingly impressive. Besides programming your TV and Soundbar to come on, It allows you to preset six, Wi-Fi, Internet, music services, radios, or selections and play them at anytime through your Wi-Fi network by touching the SoundTouch button on your remote. You can also use the free Bose Controller App, which can be downloaded from Apple App Store or Google Play, for your tablet, phone, computer, or I-Pad. This remote allows you to switch sources from different inputs after you program them in, i.e., TV, Blueray Player, CD/DVD Player, streaming movie player, etc. You can even program your TV, CD, DVD, Satellite, Cable, and all other devices to include Apple TV, X Box, Roku, etc. using this universal remote. The remote is also used to set up Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It even enables you to give a thumbs up or down using a music service, like Pandora.
Let's get right to the sound reproduction. From your TV to the Bose 300 Soundbar the amount of Bose technology to render absolute and flawless sound is spectacular. The trebles are subtle but pronounced, and the adjustable bass is impressive from such a compact unit. What really impressed me was that I could not detect any distortion in the bass even at higher levels of volume due to Bose’s new Quiet Port engineering. The other most noticeable aspect of this soundbar is that it directs sound to areas of my room as if there were other speakers there through Bose' Phase Guide Technology. It felt to my ears like the sound was coming in from my left and from my right. This is absolutely amazing sound reproduction from a front facing soundbar. At this price point the Bose SpoundTouch 300 may appear to be expensive, but it is at the top for quality, if not the best soundbar you can buy for home entertainment out of the box. The Bose 300 Soundbar is a home entertainment system and a Wi-Fi music system. Bluetooth with NFC technology enhance the overall versatility of this unit to play your personal music choices.
If you purchase this outstanding soundbar then the Acoustimass 300 wireless bass module is an option for even greater sound quality and reverberance. You can make this system truly 5.1 by adding the two optional rear speakers.
The physical appearance of this soundbar is stunning. It has a black glass top with a black matted metal grill surrounding the enclosed, dynamite speakers. The only disadvantage is that the glass top shows fingerprints readily. But, I am sure the engineers placed this glass top there for acoustical reasons, primarily. The soundbar is designed to look classy in front of your TV, in your living room, media, bedroom, or anywhere in your home.
The Bose SoundTouch 300 Soundbar supports 4K Ultra HD and HDR through HDMI, which should 'future proofs' this unit for several more years. The ADAPTiQ calibration accurately sets the audio to your unique room acoustics and requirements.
Now, for the 'nitty-gritty', considerations for you to be aware of before you purchase this awesome sounding unit:
After a whole week of enjoying and experimenting with this SoundTouch 300 Soundbar it is obvious that Bose primarily designed this unit to be directly connected to your TV using the latest HDMI, ARC connection. However, the ARC, HDMI connection is only available on the TVs produced since late 2013. If you have an ARC, HDMI you will only be able to connect one more outside source to this soundbar unless your TV has additional HDMI outside source connections. If your TV is older then you can only connect the soundbar with an legacy, optical connection. However, using the optical connection instead of the HDMI, ARC, oddly enough, allows you two more HDMI sources, i.e., you can connect a Blueray Player, X-Box, etc. to the soundbar directly.
The Bose 300 SoundTouch Soundbar is approximately 38.5 inches wide. If you have TV screen size less then 45”diagonally (39.2” in width) your soundbar will be wider then your TV, which may not be aesthetically in proportion. This soundbar is made for much bigger and newer TVs.
The SoundTouch Controller App is outdated and in reality needs to be 're-built'. I had nothing but trouble trying to connect to my Wi-Fi network using this app with my I-phone, so I tried my Android phone, also.to no avail I first had to reset the soundbar back to its factory default settings, which is highly advisable if you have any kind of issues trying to connect the soundbar to Wi-Fi. The Bose Controller App was of no use. It is supposed to outline instructions and steps for you to connect to your home network. It did not show up on any of my phone scans under Wi-Fi settings. Had to go to my home network settings displayed on my desktop PC to find the name of the soundbar on the network and its IP to finally join it. Only after 8 or 9 attempts was finally able to join my home Wi-Fi network. Once on my Wi-Fi network the app finally came to life and provided me much of what it is supposed to do. In the Owners Guide it states that you can control the bass via the settings menu in the SoundTouch App – that is not true – you can control the volume, and turn the soundbar off, but not the bass. However, the bass can be controlled using the remote. Once again, the Bose Controller App needs to be reworked specifically, for the SoundTouch 300 Soundbar.
The Wi-Fi card in the Bose 300 Soundbar is also outdated. It is not compatible with the newer routers featuring 802.11 ac, MU-MIMO. I had to reconfigure my router to finally get the soundbar connected. Strange that Bose utilizes state-of-the-art sound technology with outdated tech in its Wi-Fi? 802.11ac is the best way to allow streaming movies,without constant buffering over the same router while several other users are doing the same. Their IT folks need to 'get-with-it'. So, keep this in mind if you have an 802.11ac router or plan to replace yours anytime soon. At least this soundbar does work on dual-band routers, 802.11 a/b/g/n as long as they will be around.
At the Bose 'Support Center' you can download the Owners Guide for the SoundTouch 300 Soundbar. It is very comprehensive, detailed and includes many illustrations. If you have issues you may find the solutions there, or, in the Owners' Community Blog.
The soundbar is only compatible with DTS and Dolby Digital sound, but not with the sounds HD Dolby True HD and DTS Master Audio. The SoundTouch 300 Soundbar does not support googlecast or airplay, however you can connect devices like chromecast or Apple TV to make that work.
A couple of days ago I connected this Bose SoundTouch 300 Soundbar to my 500 watt amplifier. WoW! If you have an amp that has the appropriate connections you will be absolutely floored at how you can make this outstanding Bose system sound richer and even more vibrant. As an audiophile this is what I love to do. YooHoo!
Even though this system has some technological 'shortcomings', I still highly recommend it for the unbelievable, fantastic sound it produces. I'm giving 5 stars for sound excellence only. It is the best sound you can buy and enjoy at home with your family and loved ones.