Convince me to buy Sonos Playbar over Bose 300

  • 21 April 2017
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69 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +21
"and if the Playbar/Playbase decoded DTS then things would undoubtebly be very, very much simpler for pretty much everybody"

I just don't agree with this statement. And clearly neither do Sonos as they have stated that their research shows that the vast majority of video sources watched via Sonos do NOT have DTS or at least DTS exclusively.
For me, I used to have a Blu-Ray DVD player and now have an Xbox. Even though I do have Blu-rays I have NEVER once either wanted or needed to be able to decode a DTS soundtrack.

If the inability of the Playbar to decode DTS were a significant downward pressure on sales you can bet Sonos would address it.
Userlevel 6
Badge +13
they have stated that their research shows that the vast majority of video sources watched via Sonos do NOT have DTS or at least DTS exclusivelySelf fulfilling prophesy?? Surely it's pretty much 100%? If the system can't even play DTS what use is usage monitoring for files with DTS? While you don't agree it would make things easier for most, I'll rephrase slightly and say it would not make it any more difficult for any. Adding it can only help users.
While you haven't needed it, I'd say it's up there with the most requested feature request.
Userlevel 7
Badge +17
Yeah, that could be catch 22, people don't buy the playbar if they want DTS, or they take it back when they find out, so asking current customers will distort the answer. These customers could be a large % of future potential sales, especially as UHD discs start to take off.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Yeah, that could be catch 22, people don't buy the playbar if they want DTS, or they take it back when they find out, so asking current customers will distort the answer. These customers could be a large % of future potential sales, especially as UHD discs start to take off.

I'd be certain that Sonos ensure they don't exclusively ask their existing Playbar customers about DTS.

The point is that it's niche isn't it? Clearly those who find they want/need their Playbar to support DTS will be 100% unhappy it doesn't. I'm sure Sonos have a fairly good idea of how many products have been returned due to this particular "shortcoming" and no doubt they keep a close eye on that and also developments within the audio/visual market.
Userlevel 2
Badge +1
Maybe this :-)
Interesting development here since they partner with LeEco (Wireless, Bluetooth, DTS, ChromeCast, Google Home integration etc..)
https://www.vizio.com/sound-bars
Interesting, but I don't see that they've got other speakers that connect to the rest of my home, just speakers for the TV. Or did I not scroll enough?

Also, based on the picture of the back of the device, it looks like the surround speakers are wired, rather than wireless?

I do agree, it looks like they have HDMI connectivity.
Userlevel 2
Badge +1
Interesting, but I don't see that they've got other speakers that connect to the rest of my home, just speakers for the TV. Or did I not scroll enough?

Also, based on the picture of the back of the device, it looks like the surround speakers are wired, rather than wireless?

I do agree, it looks like they have HDMI connectivity.


They got these but look crappy compared to Sonos for now
https://www.vizio.com/multi-room-audio-overview

I have a quick read of the manual, the SUB is wireless the rear are wire but connect to the SUB via a cable so SUB and rear has to be close by

I will keep an eye on it for future development as an alternative solution
You all have helped me, thank you!

Here is where I am at....

I like the Bose. I think it just sounds better. My wife likes the Sonos. But......

What is holding me back honestly is the Bose software.
Just basic things that get reported not working.
The software was rolled out just to immature and they are scrambling to get it working besides adding meaningful new features.
I realize the moderators are doing their best to communicate between the user community and the developers but the feedback to the users is poor. The lack of real progress on the issues is disappointing.

I am a software developer and this would NOT be acceptable to me or any company I have worked for.

The Sonos is a more mature product that is mostly stable and has many more features. Sonos sounds great with True multi room sound.
My issue with them is the lack of bluetooth and HDMI. Seems limited for the future.

For now I am going to see who wants the premium sound bar market the most.
If Bose can dedicate the resources into fixing the software I am all in. Bose it is.
If Sonos comes out with a new model that has HDMI than I will be a Sonos man.

Honestly, I do think I can go wrong with either choice. Both sound fantastic.

As we get "older" it is more important to have clear dialog and not knock pictures off the wall when a car explodes.

We mostly watch movies, sports and TV. Some music but not the priority. Harmony remote and Alexa.


After a week or two with the Playbase, I am happy. I had to go through some hoops to get 5.1 via my TV (using an HDMI switch) and add a Harmony Remote, but things are working well. Sound wise it fits the bill - I needed something that would deliver clear dialog, reasonably deep bass and integrate in my current Sonos environment. After two Trueplay tunings, the Playbase sounds full and clear. I have separate HT setup with projector for bog screen movie viewing, but for most viewing, the Playbase on my 50" plasma is prefect for someone who wants a single box solution that delivers a clear, full representation of all forms of TV content.

As an aside, the support for Sonos is a factor - forums like this help facilitate a better listening experience.
I'm thinking about using the Playbase with my Pioneer Pro-111FD. I was a little concerned about it's weight (77 lbs without the speakers) and the Playbase being able to support it since that's it's max. Is your plasma about the same weight?
Userlevel 1
I have installed audio equipment professionally for many years, and I will tell you first hand the reasons to never consider buying Bose (HT products) ever again. When it comes to noise cancelling headphones, they do it better than anyone else. But HT should be left to anyone but Bose.

- Compatibility - Bose has continued to show that they are far behind in making past products work with future ones, especially as well as Sonos

- Sound - Although I agree Sonos has not shown up well in retail, I don't spend time there, I spend time in homes listening to it, and Sonos sounds far better, especially after their audio tuning SW Trueplay was released. This includes their 5.1 setups when paired with a decent TV (Sony does the best hear with 5.1 pass-through imho). I've done blind listening with folks that swear they're listening to a big theater system at a far bigger price point.

- Ease of setup/use - Sonos just works, you change inputs, fumble with remotes, or have to do anything when it comes to their Playbar over the Bose. Imagine just walking in, turning on your TV, and Sonos does the rest. Sonos is also compatible with Harmony (and any other universal remote) so you can program it in to that as well. You're wife will thank you, many have thanked me for installing Sonos over their previous HT systems (including many Bose)

- Reliability/Support - I have yet to have a single piece of Sonos not work, ever. In fact, I just had an installer I know call me and tell me (with pictures included) that a couple who's had Sonos for 12 years is still using original equipment. That's downright insane in the age of tech today. When I had a small issue with a FW update, their support guided me through simple steps to resolve WHILE ON THE JOB SITE.

- Software/App experience - This isn't even worth comparing, Bose's app is awful in every sense of the word. Also, the first versions of their wireless soundlink speakers required you to update them with a USB cable to your computer. Although it's better now, it's still no where near Sonos. You press one button to update every speaker in a home. And the selection of what you want to play and where, no one does it better in the business, and I've used them all. Also Sonos doesn't release half-baked versions of their SW like everyone else, including Bose.

- Music - Do we need to even go here? Sonos has support for every major provider of streaming music in the world (minus YouTube), your entire music library, NAS drives, Plex servers, and nearly every other option including your phone itself.

Coming from a professional in the business, get Sonos.

P.S. For anyone claiming Sonos doesn't work well, get better than a $30 router. I've installed Sonos wirelessly on even the cheaper side of WiFi routers, and it works just fine. If you want great wireless, you need good hardware in the first place. That's not Sonos' fault, it's your router providing the signal that Sonos needs. Or, get a Sonos Boost, problems solved.
Buy Bose.
Sonos just appears to stop working randomly.
Surf the net. Check other peoples forums.
But Sonos has epic software issues despite a great sound if (and it is a big IF) you can ever get it to work AND to stay working consistently.
@AudioGuru
Coming from a professional in the business, get Sonos. DISAGREE

P.S. For anyone claiming Sonos doesn't work well, get better than a $30 router. I've installed Sonos wirelessly on even the cheaper side of WiFi routers, and it works just fine. If you want great wireless, you need good hardware in the first place. That's not Sonos' fault, it's your router providing the signal that Sonos needs. Or, get a Sonos Boost, problems solved.[/quote]

I have one of the best routers in the game and am an IT professional.
The issue is not the routers or the strength of the signal, it is the poor coding that reacts badly to any and all changes and appears to randomly stop working
Userlevel 1
@AudioGuru
Coming from a professional in the business, get Sonos. DISAGREE

P.S. For anyone claiming Sonos doesn't work well, get better than a $30 router. I've installed Sonos wirelessly on even the cheaper side of WiFi routers, and it works just fine. If you want great wireless, you need good hardware in the first place. That's not Sonos' fault, it's your router providing the signal that Sonos needs. Or, get a Sonos Boost, problems solved.[/quote]

I have one of the best routers in the game and am an IT professional.
The issue is not the routers or the strength of the signal, it is the poor coding that reacts badly to any and all changes and appears to randomly stop working


Really? You sound like an IT professional who hasn't installed hundreds of wireless audio systems... Sonos' traffic is solely handled by the router, that's what a router does as you know. If you are having packet loss/drops, it's your signal (or cable if hardwired). The majority of Sonos' customers don't buy a Boost and blame Sonos for poor performance. Again, I install these systems, Sonos is the most robust and reliable wireless audio system available today. When coupled with a Boost/high-performing router, it's nearly bulletproof. I have never been able to say the same for any other brand.
Userlevel 1
Buy Bose.
Sonos just appears to stop working randomly.
Surf the net. Check other peoples forums.
But Sonos has epic software issues despite a great sound if (and it is a big IF) you can ever get it to work AND to stay working consistently.


Are you living in a high-rise/apt complex? Because it sounds like you're having network issues, not Sonos issues. Sonos not working is a rarity, and I install them often.
Userlevel 6
Badge +13
Sonos' traffic is solely handled by the routerlol.
Router speedtested at 480mbs and 2ms latency.
Sonos is the problem, not my router
The real point is that it was working OK, I have changed NOTHING and now it isn't.
I cannot, however, check the guts of Sonos programming to see what "tweaks" they have mad to "improve" performance
Userlevel 2
As a software engineer most Issues are with other people's software. Sonosnet just works faultlessly. If you can I would recommend hardwiring the first Sonos and going on from there. Powerline or other tech could be used here and feed the tv with a solid feed too. Stanard wifi issues abound are there any channel overloads, wall construction, range etc. Sonosnet is brilliant at fixing wirless notspots Added a play3 to my setup and my cr100 worked faultlessly in the bath.
I have owned Sonos products for several years now and it is absolutely bulletproof. It always does what you want it to. The idea about using PowerLine where WiFi is sketchy is a great suggestion. I have powerline for my playbar and use that ethernet for the other network connected devices there. VERY happy customer. Zero problems ever.
Badge
I'd say if you want your TV sound system to last and work with the latest DD what ever that might be, go with Bose. I know everyone says sonos is great at supporting old features and connectivity but in the end the current playbar/playbase are outdated in terms of connectivity. Anything higher than standard DD 5.1 seems to be converted down to 2.1. I'm sure or at least hope the next gen of playbar/playbase will come with a HDMI port but right now you're paying a premium for an outdated piece of equipment which should really be good for the next 5 years. Having said that, if you're only looking for 2.1 - you should be fine.
Sonos vs Bose 300. I have a recording studio in my basement. I've traveled and have been in front of a console/mixing board mixing for so many bands and on different equipment. So I'll give you my opinion and hear me out. I bought the Bose because quite frankly the technology and engineering is incredible. I get the system home and the overall sound is beyond belief....for the most part. I compare it to buying a brand new vehicle. You spend all of this money and it doesn't have Bluetooth. You are amazed because there can be no reason for NOT having a Bluetooth! Ha! The deep frequency response from the sub is everything you could want. It's thunderous and tight. The sound bar has all of this sound dispersing from everywhere and it's full of energy! After sitting the system up, my wife and I were watching everything we could in order to enjoy the full dynamic sound of the Bose 300 system. As we continued watching and listening, we both were having extreme difficulty hearing the voices with clarity. For me, it seemed like the voices were missing something from 4k-8k. In my mixes, I boost around 10-12k in order to provide some shimmering high end. Regardless, the bar was a little boxy which led my wife and I to cup our hands around our ears (like you are leaning in to hear something). We ended up taking the Bose back.

We bought the Sonos Playbar with the sub. The Sonos is much clearer than the Bose 300 bar. However, that's really the only thing better. The Bose has more energy, much better sub response, more dynamic and disperses wider than the Sonos. I spent quite a while moving the Sonos sub around to find where it sounded best. The Bose sub, I really didn't have to anything.

As far as features....It's nice to have features as these products do and you want them as well. But it really is crazy that I am sticking with a product like Sonos when in general the Bose is a great product because there isn't any way to really get that edge on the 300. I've not had any issues with the Sonos and many of the issues I read prior have been fixed with the updates. Just one guys humble opinion.
Hi IBGMiGuy,

I have both Sonos and Bose in my home for several years. For clarity and ease of use, I choose Bose hands down. I bought three Sonos Play:5 speakers in 2010 to have wireless music throughout my home. Never had to call for help but do have to reboot the computer sometimes to clear up issues. Before I bought the Bose for surround sound, I did alot of research on various sytems, including Sonos. I liked the thought of being able to use the soundbar with the rest of the Sonos system. Then I found out about not being able to get true surround sound with it and that changed my mind. I went with the Bose and am very happy with it. I hope you get it worked out.
"and if the Playbar/Playbase decoded DTS then things would undoubtebly be very, very much simpler for pretty much everybody"

I just don't agree with this statement. And clearly neither do Sonos as they have stated that their research shows that the vast majority of video sources watched via Sonos do NOT have DTS or at least DTS exclusively.
For me, I used to have a Blu-Ray DVD player and now have an Xbox. Even though I do have Blu-rays I have NEVER once either wanted or needed to be able to decode a DTS soundtrack.

If the inability of the Playbar to decode DTS were a significant downward pressure on sales you can bet Sonos would address it.


I think that Sonos not supporting DTS is a major downside. Heck, they don't even support LPCM 5.1, which wouldn't entail a licensing fee.

If I knew that getting 5.1 to work well with sonos would be a constant headache, then I would have went with a different surround system. Yes, some streaming apps like Dolby, but some now are leaning toward dolby plus, which Sonos doesn't support.

Having to get a specific and sometimes hard to identify blueray player isn't a superb solution. I know sonos has stated they don't care about non-streaming sources, but I just kind of expected it to work for the high cost. It's not like their marketing material makes the distinction.
Userlevel 5
Badge +12
I paid £50 for our Samsung Blu-ray player, no big deal in the grand scheme of things.. Found it within 30 seconds.of logging onto the "bay"..
Userlevel 5
Badge +3
Router speedtested at 480mbs and 2ms latency.
Sonos is the problem, not my router
The real point is that it was working OK, I have changed NOTHING and now it isn't.

Things good IT people don't do.

1. Confuse Internet bandwidth and LAN congestion.
2. EVER, EVER bring up the whole "I didn't change it, so there's been no changes" argument. It's irrelevant to the functionality, and you're hardly the master of all variables.