Both the Soundbar 500 and Soundbar 700 are on the premium spectrum when it comes to soundbars. But the question is, do their performances justify their price tags? And more importantly, which one is the better option?
In this Bose Soundbar 500 vs 700 comparison, we tell you all the details.
Bose Soundbar 500 or 700?
Bose Soundbar 700 and 500
Let’s start by saying these are both stylish soundbars. The 500 and 700 have this top-end, luxurious design that gives off a modern feel. Surrounded by an aluminum grille, both are also designed with sleekness in mind.
There are a few differences, though. First off, the top of the Soundbar 700 is glass. The goal here is to reflect the TV (if it’s placed under it) or just the interior to have that seamless, blended look. On the other hand, the top of the 500 is matte.
In the end, it comes down to your preference. Note, however, that the glass top of the 700 is more prone to fingerprints and dust. It does come with one cleaning cloth, but if you don’t think you’ll like cleaning the top of the soundbar often, then maybe the 500 is a more appealing choice.
On top, you’ll find capacitive touch buttons on both soundbars, which are for mic and smart assistant controls. And like most soundbars, you’ll find the inputs on the back. The 500 and 700 both have HDMI ARC and optical audio input as well.
Overall, we find the 500 with a more practical design, as it can be annoying to have to clean off the 700’s glass top, especially if you have children at home.
Size of Bose Soundbar 500 & 700
Despite the similarity in design in both Bose soundbars, the Soundbar 700 has bigger dimensions than the 500. It’s the longer one at 38.5 inches, while the Soundbar 500 is only 31.5 inches.
The Soundbar 700 is also taller at 2.25 inches, while the 500 stands at 1.75 inches. When it comes to depth, the difference isn’t so big, with the 700 at 4.25 inches vs. the 500 at 4 inches. With these differences, the Bose Soundbar 700 is also heavier.
As such, if you have a smaller room or a smaller TV, the Bose Soundbar 500 is the better choice. If you have a larger TV or a larger space, however, the Soundbar 700 is excellent.
For this round, we’re choosing the Bose Soundbar 500 as the winner, mainly because it’s more compact and lightweight. But again, if you need the sound to fill a large space, the wider soundstage of the 700 is a more suitable fit.
Listening Experience and Sound Quality
Of course, the heart of our Bose Soundbar 500 vs. 700 comparison is the sound quality. And in our listening room, our audio experts agree that there’s one clear winner.
The Bose Soundbar 700 sounds more immersive and enveloping than the Soundbar 500, and aptly so because it has a more expensive price tag. It boasts four mid-range drivers, with two on both sides of a tweeter.
As for the Soundbar 500, Bose has included three front drivers and two side drivers. The latter factor might seem like an edge over the 700, but its overtaken by the fact that 700 comes with PhaseGuide technology.
PhaseGuide is an exclusive feature in some soundbars Bose produces. It’s an advanced audio technology that combines timing, direction, and the science behind how soundwaves work — combining everything to create surround sound even without physical speakers around the room.
In our tests, the Bose 700 produces a richer, better wall-to-wall sound compared to the 500. The vocals pop better as well, making movies and TV shows more enjoyable. As for the bass, the 700 produces deep and punchy low notes, although you could improve it by buying a separate sub.
With this broad soundstage, the Bose Soundbar 700 gives an outstanding performance in large rooms. With this Bose bar, the sound is more filling and immersive — and the 500 doesn’t match this quality when put in the same room.
Also, another shortcoming of the 500 is its incompatibility with DTS. It can decode Dolby Digital, though, but the 700 can do both .
That said, the Bose Soundbar 500 isn’t a terrible rig. It’s one of the tough competitors with other soundbars on the same playing field. It provides well-balanced highs and mids, with resonant low frequencies that make movie-watching more enjoyable.
It’s just that when compared to the 700, the 500 fails to reach the same level of audio quality. But if you’re on a budget and you’re putting the soundbar in a smaller room, then the 500 is one great choice.
Setup & Connectivity
Unlike other models like the Sonos Playbar, Bose’s soundbars have a wide range of connection options to choose from. They both have HDMI ARC, digital optical inputs, Ethernet, ADAQPTIQ inputs, and a USB port for service updates.
Plus, since both soundbars are expandable systems, they have other ports for connecting bass modules or rear speakers. It’s best to add Bose speakers, such as the Bass Module 500 and the Surround Speakers 700.
Setting up either soundbar is easy. Just connect to your TV via your chosen connection (HDMI cable or digital optical cable) and download the Bose app. The app will then walk you through the steps, but we suggest not skipping the ADAPTIQ part.
ADAPTIQ is another proprietary function by Bose. It works to optimize the sound you get by analyzing the surfaces and acoustics of the room. As such, you get sound that’s tailored to your space, further ensuring the best sound.
For this part in this Bose Soundbar 500 vs. 700 comparison, we’re declaring the latter as the winner, simply because with the Soundbar 500, some users report that only the HDMI cable comes in the package, but the digital optical cable is missing.
While the setup of both speakers is pretty much the same, they do have different remote controls. The 700 comes with a universal remote with a more modern and upscale design. It even has keypad lights that tell you which source is active, whether it’s your Blu-ray player, TV, or others.
We found these lights extremely useful, especially for beginners. Sometimes, some of us tend to press the wrong buttons or forget the setting we just made. These keypad lights prevent that from happening, making it great for total newbies.
On the other hand, the Bose Soundbar 500 has a more basic IR remote. While it’s not as fancy as the 700’s universal remote, it does the job. Just in case you want the remote that comes with the 700, it’s compatible with the 500 if you’re willing to buy it separately.
Another way you can control both soundbars is through the Bose Music App. When we used this, it’s quite intuitive and easy to figure out for beginners, so we have no complaints in this area.
However, it’s worth pointing out that depending on the model of the sound bar, Bose might have another app — like the Bose Connect and the Bose Soundtouch. This can be confusing for some. Nevertheless, the app is an excellent supplementary means of control if you’re one for always misplacing the remote.
Finally, these two soundbars have Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Airplay 2. These functions weren’t available when the 500 and 700 were first released, but they’re compatible now, thanks to Bose’s recent updates.
Price: Bose Soundbar 700 vs 500
When it comes to pricing, the Bose Soundbar 500 is a couple of hundred bucks cheaper vs. the 700. This comes down to a few things, including the number of drivers, PhaseGuide technology, the remote control, and overall sound quality.
In the end, it still comes down to what one needs. If you have a large TV, a large room, and you want serious sound performance, go for the 700 model.
On the other hand, if you want a simpler model that can provide great sound for small to medium-sized rooms, the Soundbar 500 is an excellent choice. If you don’t need the fancy bells and whistles that speakers come with, the 500 will give you value for your money.
Which is better Bose 500 or 700?
The Bose 700 is better than the Bose 500 in terms of sound quality, remote control, and overall performance. It provides a few extra features that the 500 doesn’t, including DTS compatibility and a cleaning cloth. With its broader soundstage, the 700 provides a more immersive sound for large rooms.
Overall Winner: Bose Soundbar 700
In the bout between the Bose Soundbar 500 vs. 700, the Bose Soundbar 700 wins in our tests. It offers superb sound with DTS, Dolby Digital, and PhaseGuide technology. It also has a universal remote, built-in voice assistants, ADAPTIQ, and a wide range of connectivity options.