Wednesday , July 6 2022

Bose takes on the Sonos Arc with its first Dolby Atmos soundbar

Fresh off the announcement of its QuietComfort 45 headphones last week, Bose is shifting some attention to its home theater business. Today, the company introduced its latest flagship soundbar, the $899.95 Smart Soundbar 900. With features like Dolby Atmos — a first for Bose soundbars — HDMI eARC, multi-room Wi-Fi music playback, AirPlay 2, and support for both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, Bose’s latest soundbar seems very much intended to compete with the Sonos Arc. (It also allows for streaming audio over Bluetooth, which the Sonos does not.) It’ll be available starting September 23rd, with preorders beginning now.

Bose claims the Smart Soundbar 900 “produces a layer of realism no other speaker can duplicate” thanks to the company’s proprietary “PhaseGuide” technology that enhances positional audio. “When there’s no Dolby Atmos content, the horizontal spatial effects are just as effective, and Bose TrueSpace technology takes over for the vertical experience, remixing signals to add ‘height’ without adding a ceiling speaker,” the company said in its press release.

Image: Bose

Similar to the Sonos Arc, the Smart Soundbar 900 attaches to your TV with a single HDMI (or optical) cable; there’s no HDMI passthrough support offered here, unlike Sony’s latest premium Atmos sound systems.

The Smart Soundbar 900 will be available in black or white, with a wraparound metal grille and glass top surface that includes capacitive touch controls. You’ll also notice the upward-firing Atmos drivers cut into each side of that top glass. For an optimal surround experience, Bose’s soundbar is compatible with the company’s existing rear speakers and subwoofers, but that’ll of course drive the price of the total package up quite a bit higher. You can also enable private listening with headphones like the aforementioned QC45s.

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