The battle between Bose and Sonos is here again with people wondering which one to buy between the Bose Acoustimass 10, Lifestyle 650, and the Sonos Playbar. Before you decide, you should know that the Lifestyle 650 is also a Bose product, so there will be similarities with the Acoustimass 10.
But that’s not what you should be careful of. As you read the post, you will know that the Sonos Playbar is not a surround sound system - it’s actually just a soundbar. This means that comparing the three will be difficult since they’re different types of sound systems.
Nonetheless, if you’re deciding among the three, this will be very helpful for you to know which is which and what you should get. Hopefully, by the end of this post, you know which one you’ll pick.
Quick Comparison Table & Our Pick!
This as you would expect from us is an EPIC post so grab a coffee before you start and see how we cut through every product and review it with precision. IF YOU ARE SHORT ON TIME and just need to know the results of our reviews , CHECK THE RESULTS TABLE BELOW!
5 speakers, 1 subwoofer
5 speakers, 1 wireless subwoofer
3 tweeters, 6 mid-woofers
Wired, Bluetooth, WiFi streaming
WiFi, wired ethernet, optical cable
hardware buttons, control app
Similarities: Bose Acoustimass 10, Lifestyle 650, and Sonos Playbar
First things first, what are their similarities? The most obvious one is they’re audio devices. They don’t have a displays in the package, so you’re going to be judging here based on audio quality, features, and a few relevant aspects of the sound systems.
All sound systems are known for producing high-quality audio. They all have a focus on bass and low-frequency sounds ensuring that your listening experience is not going to leave anything out. The three devices have given considerable innovation on how they can give the best audio experience to the listener without sacrificing the design of the speakers.
There’s also the design. If there is anything that makes the three stand out from their competitors, it is the design. In spite of having high-performing audio speakers, the designs are all sleek and easy to use. If anything, they’re all compact. There are no unnecessary curves and bends and shapes that will make you wonder how they would fit in a box. Both Bose and Sonos definitely made sure their design was functional and minimalistic.
Lastly, these three audio devices can support Dolby Digital. This means that you can have a great movie experience from all of them.
Bose Acoustimass 10
Even if it was released back in 2015, the Bose Acoustimass 10 still proves to be a sound system worth purchasing. It’s a 5.1 surround system which means that you have enough speakers for a surround sound experience. Specifically, you have 5 speakers and an Acoustimass module that acts as a subwoofer. What’s great about it is that you can get that high-quality audio even for larger rooms. In fact, the Bose Acoustimass 10 has received great reviews on its ability to fill a large room with high-quality audio.
Since the Bose Acoustimass 10 was made in 2015, its wireless connections are not present. While the speakers are wireless, it does not allow for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection which is found in more modern units.
The Bose Acoustimass 10 is at $999 and this is relatively higher than similar 5.1 surround speakers from its competitors. However, take note that you aren’t just paying for the actual speakers here because you are also paying for the brand and expertise that Bose has on sound.
The Bose Acoustimass 10 has a sleek and minimalist design thanks to its Direct/Reflecting speakers. These speakers are small, compact boxes that can be mounted on the walls. Unfortunately, this audio system only comes in black, so there’s not much variety in the colors. On the brighter side, the black color will make it easier for the whole set to blend with any TV unit in the market.
The Bose Acoustimass 10 has 4 identical speakers with a weight of 1 kg each. Its dimensions are 18.95 cm in height, 8.32 cm in width, and 8.49 cm in length. Its center speaker is slightly heavier by .03 kilograms with dimensions of 8.7 cm in height, 18.68 cm in width, and 8.1 cm in length. For the Acoustimass module, it has a weight of 15.8 kg and is around 41.5 cm, 20.7, and 64.3 cm, in height, width, and length, respectively.
What is impressive with the Bose Acoustimass 10 is not just the actual design but the user experience it provides. While a lot of brands have great designs, not all are functional and user-friendly. With the Bose sound system, you have both.
- Offers surround sound for large rooms
- High-quality bass performance
- Adjustable low-frequency and volume effects
- Can be paired with HD TV
- Sleek and minimalist design
- User-friendly set up guides and wires
- Wall mounts are included
- No wireless connections like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
- Limited support for different audio formats
- Takes a while to install all speakers
- Heavy Acoustimass module
The Lifestyle 650 entertainment system is nothing short of what “lifestyle” means. With a sleek and classic design, it immediately elevates any space to make it every bit of movie theater. With 5 carefully designed speakers, console, and Acoustimass module, the Lifestyle 650 is a complete home theater in its own right.
Of course, design is not the only thing that’s notable on this audio system. Since it comes with an Acoustimass module, it can register and produce low-frequency sounds from movies and songs. The other five speakers are omnidirectional, which means that it embodies a true 360-degree capability. Wherever you place it in the room, you can still hear every part of what you’re listening to.
Other notable features of the Lifestyle 650 are its wireless connections. Music can be played over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and can be controlled through your phone, tablet, and Alexa. Yes, you’ve read that right, the Lifestyle 650 can be controlled by voice command. For controlling via phone or tablet, all you need to do is download the SoundTouch app.
The Lifestyle 650 comes with a hefty price tag of $3,999. Just like the Bose Acoustimass 10, you will also be paying for the name of Bose in this entertainment system. To add to that, the advanced and wireless features also contribute to the price.
The Lifestyle 650 was designed by 30 people with one main objective - to create an omnidirectional high-quality speaker that is compact and elegant. A closer look at the set of speakers and you know that every small detail was thought of. From the milled aluminum housing to the curved corners of each speaker, every minute design contributed to a minimalist and modern look.
The central speaker may be 21 inches long but it is thin and compact. It looks almost like a soundbar with its rectangular shape. For the front speakers, each weighs a third of a kilogram and has dimensions of 14.66 cm in height and 4.67 cm for both width and length. The rear speakers are just 0.28 kilograms light and has dimensions of 4.1 cm, 16.6 cm, and 7.8 cm in height, width, and length.
- Sleek and modern design
- Comes with a console
- Has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections
- Can be controlled from a phone and a tablet through the SoundTouch app
- Can be controlled through voice control
- Uses ADAPTiQ audio calibration to fine tune sounds
- Very expensive
- Is not compatible with Blu-Ray
- Cannot connect video wireless connections
- Difficult to set up
The Sonos Playbar is one of the most user-friendly soundbars you’ll ever encounter. It only needs two wire connections and you can easily control it through wireless connections. In spite of being a soundbar, it can automatically adjust its audio settings to fit its mount and location giving you high-quality audio across the whole room.
The Sonos Playbar is made up of nine Class-D amplifiers that are tuned to perfection in order to capture a wide range of frequencies. It also has six mid-woofers in its composition allowing it to have clear dialogue and bass sounds all throughout the movie. While these sound normal for a soundbar, the Sonos Playbar further impresses with its Speech Enhancement feature. You can adjust this feature so that you can hear dialogues a lot better on top of the sound effects.
To cap it off, the Sonos Player allows a range of Internet audio and video capabilities. Aside from constant streaming through the Internet, it also does automatic software updates online. This ensures that your TV gets the best audio quality all the time. And no, you don’t need to have an internet-connected TV for this.
The Sonos Playbar is priced at $594. This is exclusive of the mounts for the wall or the table. Fortunately, there are bundles where you can buy both the Playbar and the mounts for a more affordable price than when you buy them separately.
Just like any soundbar, the Sonos Playbar is rectangular in shape. It weighs 5.4 kgs and has dimensions of 5.51, 35.43, and 3.35 inches in height, width, and length. In spite of being heavier than other soundbars, the Sonos Playbar is easily mountable on tables, walls, and near television sets.
- High-quality audio
- Plays a full range of instruments and sound effects in music and video
- Speech Enhancement features for clear dialogues
- Easily mountable design
- User-friendly setup and installation
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection enabled
- Problems during updates
- Difficult instructions for updates
- On the pricier side of soundbars
Differences: Bose Acoustimass 10, Lifestyle 650, and Sonos Playbar
These three audio devices are very different individually because two are sound systems while one is a soundbar. To make it easier for you, comparisons will be focused on the common denominators of each which are sound quality, number of speakers, and wireless connection, and ease of setting up.
First, the sound quality. All three deliver high quality sound, but how different are they? Both the Bose Acoustimass 10 and the LIfestyle 650 use the same sound technology which delivers an all-around sound quality. They also have five speakers that can be placed around the room. Unfortunately, the Sonos Playbar’s surround sound is not as good, given that it is only placed in front of the room.
Second is the number of speakers. You would think that Sonos Playbar being a soundbar lacks the number of speakers the two Bose devices have. However, the Playbar even comes out as having more than the two’s speaker count. The Playbar has a total of nine Class-D amplifiers and six mid-woofers making it a good competitor for home theaters.
Another difference is the wireless connection. The Lifestyle 650 and the Sonos Playbar have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections, but the former only allows wireless connections for audio only. As for the Bose Acoustimass 10, it has no wireless connectivity for both audio and video.
And lastly, the ease of setting up. Naturally, surround sound systems are much more difficult to set up since they have more speakers. You will encounter more wires and connections. Of the three, the Sonos Playbar is the easiest to install while the Lifestyle 650 comes second thanks to its wireless speakers.
So which should you buy among the three? When picking audio devices, it’s best to decide using a set of considerations because there’s no right answer here. You can decide on preference, need, budget, or any other factor that you think is important.
In a nutshell, if you prefer having a surround sound, then you should go for the two Bose sound systems. They sound close to a movie theater’s audio, so it’s best for those who are looking for that experience. However, if you’re a music lover and you just love having that wide range of instruments heard, then your best bet is the Sonos Playbar.
When it comes to wireless connection, you can choose from either the Lifestyle 650 or the Sonos Playbar. If you’re looking for an easy control from any of your devices, then the Lifestyle 650 offers what you’re looking for. Compared to the other two systems, the Lifestyle 650 allows you to do voice control or smartphone control through its own app.
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