Bose Soundbar 500 Review
Bose Soundbar 500 Review: Bose knows a thing or two and crafting excellent audio, and the Bose Soundbar 500 is a nice illustration. With a choice of voice assistants it is smart, but also one of the most straightforward TV speakers around — and worthy of sitting among the finest soundbars.
Regrettably, it has also been discontinued. It is still possible to buy it easily enough, at least for today, and thus don’t fully discount it if you are in the market for a mid century, all-purpose soundbar with a few incentive smart capability. Our original Bose Soundbar 500 continues below.
Bose Soundbar 500 review: Design
The first thing I noticed about the 31.5 x 4 x 1.8-inch Soundbar 500 is how slim it is — it is noticeably thinner compared to 25.6 x 3.9 x 2.7-inch Sonos Beam. However, the Soundbar 500’s size belies the strength and fullness of sound it produces.
The device has a single HDMI input, which you connect to your TV to use HDMI ARC as the sound source; that usually means you have to connect all video sources to the TV, maybe not the soundbar. If your TV does not support HDMI ARC, then you can use the optical digital audio input. You could also connect wirelessly via Wi-Fi, either Bluetooth or AirPlay 2.
Music app offers more options. Like the Sonos Beam, you can add speakers to the system, such as a wireless subwoofer and satellites.
Google Assistant and Alexa
For a voice helper, you must choose either Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa — you can’t have both busy at precisely the exact same moment. However, you can switch fans through the Bose Music app.
Both responded to my requests. I could turn on the soundbar, alter the volume and play music with voice commands, together with other typical tasks like getting the weather forecast. Neither assistant could alter the input on the soundbar, however, so keep the remote or mobile program handy.
Bose Soundbar 500 review: Performance
The Soundbar 500 excels at making dialogue clear and produces impressive bass for a small unit without a subwoofer — particularly when listening to audio. The soundbar provides a wide sound despite its small footprint.
Peter Coyote’s narration of Ken Burns’ Country Music show was clear and resonant, as was the witty banter between Peter Parker and Mary Jane in Spider-Man: Far From Home. I found I missed a different subwoofer during action scenes in Spider-Man — the speaker didn’t produce enough rattle when Spider-Man and Mysterio battled with the elemental creatures.
However, the Soundbar 500 does not lack non stop when listening to songs. It has the traditional bass-forward Bose sound. The bass and drums on Brittany Howard’s”History Repeats” thumped, while her vocals remained clear. Yola’s voice soared on”Faraway Look.” On both songs, the cymbals and snare were too sharp and bright compared with the vocals and bass, leaving a hole in the general sound.
The Soundbar 500 gets really loudly, again surprising given its size. With the volume set at 50 percent, it readily filled a medium-size room. Turned around the max, I quantified 90 decibels.
Bose Soundbar 500 review: Setup
The Soundbar 500 uses the Bose Music app for setup. It walks you through connecting to a Wi-fi system, and you can add music services such as Spotify and Amazon Music.
Bose’s Adaptiq space calibration will help you find the best sound on your space. The process is a bit awkward, as you need to put on a headset which steps sound from five places in the room (it makes Sonos’ TruePlay procedure — where you walk around your room setting your phone up and down — seem less embarrassing).
Once you’ve established your audio profile, then you can adjust the bass and treble levels, as well as the center channel volume, via the app. You might also enable Dialogue Mode, which is supposed to make voices easier to hear, but I discovered I liked the general sound better without it. There are not any other audio modes to choose from.
The Bose Soundbar 500 is easy to use and sounds great for its size — precisely what you’d expect from Bose. With the choice to add a subwoofer and satellites, it could be the basis for a strong home-theater sound system.
Though it lacks features you can get with other soundbars in the price range — notably Dolby Atmos service and HDMI inputs — it rivals the Sonos Beam for simplicity and sound. The choice between the Soundbar 500 along with the Beam boils right down to that which brand you prefer. If you already have some Bose speakers that work together with the Bose Music program, the Soundbar 500 will create an superb addition to your audio system.