Bose 700 vs. Sonos Beam
For marriage reasons, I needed small white speakers and a white soundbar for music primarily (I know, I know) and movies second. I have a large den with an open floor plan (den opens to dining room, foyer and kitchen). Budget was $2,000. My options were basically limited to Sonos and Bose.
I purchased the Bose 700 with 700 sub and surround speakers ($1800). I also purchased two Sonos Play:1 speakers, a Sonos Beam and a Sonos Sub ($1300).
I set them up, tuned them and played some tunes through them so I could have a side by side comparison (I did not do any movie or TV testing). Sub and speaker placement was identical and I switched between apps while listening to the same song to compare. The results were eye opening.
I fully expected the Sonos Beam to be noticeably worse due to size and price point. Not the case. I had two people listen with me and both preferred the Sonos over the Bose (in tests with and without the surround speakers).
The Bose could get louder, but at the volume I typically listen, the Sonos had a more accurate reproduction of the sound. The Bose soundbar just sounded like one big mid-range speaker and you could easily sense the sound was being manipulated by the software (DAC?). Also, the Sonos Sub was just as good, if not better than the Bose. Another surprise, IMO.
The one advantage the Bose had (aside from loudness) was that the soundstage was considerably larger, which may be a bigger deal for movies and surround effects.
One other thing I will say is that the Bose set up had some glitches (as is apparently typical with Bose) while the Sonos setup was quick and flawless.
The other notable thing is that the Bose could not handle Airplay. I've read that it will handle Airplay 2 in 2019 (via software update?), but I thought that meant that only Airplay 1 features would be supported. Apparently not. The only way to play music on the Bose is through TV, optical, or their limited music service offerings in their app.
Finally, I heard that the Sonos Beam is going on sale for Black Friday for $350 and that the Sub will be $600, so I will save another $150 when I ask Best Buy to price match in a week.
I am glad I did this test because I was leaning toward Sonos (due to price) but was going to go with Bose if the sound was MUCH better. I learned that it was Sonos that was actually better. Very happy with my purchase.
Oh, and for those wondering how my system compares to a real subwoofer and speaker setup (i.e. passive, wired, etc.), you leave a lot of sound on the table by going with small wireless speakers. But with the easy to use apps, quick set up and small, white speakers that the wife approves, its a compromise I can easily live with and still enjoy my movies and music.
Hope this helps.