I upgraded to a QLED TV a year ago, and when I did I knew a soundbar was in my future. While I did choose a soundbar that produces great sound and is much louder and clearer than the speakers on my TV, I didn’t realize at the time the significant difference between an entry-level soundbar like mine and a soundbar like the Bose Smart Soundbar 900.
The Bose Smart Soundbar 900 is a smart speaker with great sound and a lot of style. It completely separates and projects sound into different areas of the room, so you can clearly hear dialogue, sound effects, and soundtracks that make up your favourite movies and TV shows. It doesn’t include a subwoofer, but it doesn’t need one. I turned up the volume and I could actually feel the bass vibrating in the floor as I stood in front of the TV.
Here’s a look at my thoughts on the features of the Bose Smart Soundbar 900.
Appearance and features of Bose Smart Soundbar 900
While other sound bars can look like a very long speaker, the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 has a sleek, glass finish along the top. That finish adds a lot of style, as does the metal grille on the front. On the top of the sound bar are two small indicators for power and connections. Other than that, there are no buttons on the sound bar at all.
The Bose Smart Soundbar 900 measures 16.2 in (41.14 cm) W by 0.9 in (2.29 cm) H by 1.66 in (4.21 cm). It weighs 12.68 kg (28 lb). Important features include:
- Six full-range transducers including two up-firing dipole speakers, a center speaker, and speaker arrays that use Bose PhaseGuide technology to project sound around the room
- Dolby Atmos soundbar adds height to movie and TV soundtracks
- TrueSpace spatial processing upscales and upmixes signals that aren’t Dolby Atmos quality to give you 7-channel sound for everything you listen to
- TV connection via HDMI eARC and optical audio
- Music streaming via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay, or Spotify
- Voice control via Alexa and Google Assistant
- Integrated noise-rejecting microphones for privacy
- Bose music app giving you complete control of your sound bar
Setting up Bose 900
Setting up the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 couldn’t be easier. It’s not wireless so you do have to plug it into the TV, but it connects via HDMI cable to your HDMI eARC port. I recommend purchasing a high quality 4K HDMI cable to provide the best sound from your TV.
Once you plug it into power and your TV, you’ll download the Bose Music app and, if you don’t already have one, set up an account. I was able to login and add the sound bar to my account in under 2 minutes.
My TV instantly recognized there was a sound bar attached so I didn’t have to do anything special to set it up on the TV. It replaced the TV internal speakers as the audio output and I could control the volume via my TV’s remote.
If you use Spotify as your music service you will be prompted to connect your Spotify account to the sound bar. Once that’s connected you can listen to all of your Spotify playlists. If you don’t have Spotify you can also use Apple AirPlay to stream your music.
Testing Bose Smart Soundbar 900
The Bose Smart Soundbar 900 is loud, clear, and provides amazing audio. It honestly blew me away that a sound bar without an add-on subwoofer can sound like that, and it really does surround you with audio that’s projected into every corner of the room.
Room specific audio calibration via ADAPTiQ
Every room is different, and to provide the best sound the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 is shipped with a unique headset called ADAPTiQ. It lets you calibrate the audio specifically for the room you are in. To calibrate you just put on the headset, plug it into the ADAPTiQ port in the back of the sound bar, and follow the prompts on the app.
I moved around the room according to the prompts. It requested I sit in different spots we normally sit in, and the sound bar played a sound for a minute or two. You have to do this five times. Once calibrated you won’t have to re-calibrate unless you move the sound bar to another room.
Experience overhead audio with Bose 900
I’ve never had a complete home theatre speaker set up as I don’t have the space for one in my small living room, but having a sound bar like this one is one of the easiest ways to completely cover your space in sound. It mimics the feeling of having speakers on either side of the TV, in the center of the room, and above you on the ceiling.
Multi-faceted sound via Bose Smart Soundbar 900
The Bose Smart Soundbar 900 can reproduce Dolby Atmos sound, and if the content you’re watching isn’t Dolby Atmos, the sound bar uses Bose TrueSpace technology to remix your content and add ‘height’ to it. During my time listening to it, I watched a few of my favourite movies and streamed a lot of Netflix. Everything sounded louder, clearer, and was richer than I thought possible. I was very focused on what I was listening to, but it really did feel as though the sound was coming from everywhere.
Seven speakers and upfiring transducers
Under the lid of the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 are seven speakers that are positioned specifically to give you floor-to-ceiling sound. It has new upfiring transducers to give you the sense that sound is coming from your ceiling area, and it really works. I was impressed because that’s not easy in a room like mine with 12-foot ceilings. That additional height adds a completely new dimension to movies and TV shows. I feel as though I could hear parts of audio I’ve never heard before when watching movies I had already seen a few times.
The Bose Smart Soundbar 900 can actually beam sound around the room, and it layers it in a way that makes it feel as though you’re hearing distinct parts of the audio while still listening to everything at once. I could clearly hear background audio like crowd sounds or traffic noise, while at the same time hearing soundtracks and extremely clear dialogue. Dialogue is so clear, while it’s coming from the center channel, it doesn’t feel like it. It feels like it follows you.
It doesn’t matter where you’re sitting either. Thanks to Bose’s proprietary PhaseGuide technology, no matter where you’re sitting you’ll have the best seat.
I found the sound bar produced the best audio at mid-volume levels. If you really turn it up it will completely overwhelm you. I found the sweet spot for a movie in my living room was around 20 to 25, while anything over 35 was too loud to watch.
The Bose Smart Soundbar 900 can produce bass too. There is no additional subwoofer, but at 25 volume while watching a Marvel movie I could actually feel the bass from the sound bar vibrate the floor in front of the TV.
Streaming Spotify via Wi-Fi also produced crystal clear sound, and I liked listening to my playlists via the Bose Smart Soundbar 900. You can stream via AirPlay, Spotify when you choose the sound bar as your source, or use the Bose Music app.
Using the Bose Music app
The Bose Music app is an easy way to control your soundbar. You can use the included remote control or power it off and on or dial the volume up and down on the Bose Music app screen.
You can adjust your audio levels specifically to suit your taste, dialing up the center channel or turning up the bass and treble. There is a dialogue mode you can turn on to enhance all dialogue.
I didn’t realize that adding Spotify to the sound bar would mean my playlists would be available anywhere. One day while I was out I received a text from my son asking me to turn the music off. I didn’t realize I had tapped the play button in the Bose Music app and it was playing my Spotify playlists on the sound bar, even when I wasn’t home.
The sound bar has six presets on the remote control and app, and there’s a history of recently played music. I found the app was easy to use, and I reached for it more often than the remote.
Voice control of Bose Smart Soundbar 900
You can use Google Assistant or Alexa with the Bose Smart Soundbar 900. I didn’t add it but if you do you can use Alexa to take and make calls through your sound bar. All of the usual commands including power on or volume up are available via voice control. It also has integrated noise-rejecting microphones so, if you use voice control, you’re assured of privacy.
Adding other Bose speakers to your sound bar
I feel as though the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 is a standalone sound bar, meaning I think it can provide more than enough audio impact for any living room or home theatre. If you do want to add additional Bose speakers to your set up or you want to pair your sound bar to other Bose speakers to create multi-room audio, you can easily do that. This sound bar can be grouped to stream over Wi-Fi to other Bose speakers, so you can fill your entire house with fantastic audio.
Should you choose Bose Smart Soundbar 900?
Most sound bars look alike, but they definitely don’t sound alike. In my opinion, choosing a sound bar like the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 will ensure you get the absolute best experience for everything you watch at home.
I was completely taken aback by the feeling of height and complete surround you can get with the Bose 900. While you don’t feel audio coming from behind you in the same way you would if you positioned external speakers there, the right, left, center, and ceiling projection really immerse you in what you’re watching. It’s not designed to bring the bass like a subwoofer, but it had enough power to make my floor vibrate at mid-volume.
It was also my first experience enjoying the layers of audio you get from Dolby Atmos content. You don’t have to strain to hear dialogue or background sounds. Paired with the right TV, you’ll feel as though you’re in the middle of a movie theatre.
Now that I’m finished my review of the Bose Smart Soundbar 900, I really wish I had purchased this sound bar when I brought home my new TV. You can find your own Bose Smart Soundbar 900 on Best Buy right now.