Soundbar 900 from Bose and Apple TV 4K in the test

EElectronic entertainment takes place in the living room. There you can hear music and watch films. If it is not to look like in the studio or cinema, the amount of equipment has to be reduced. For aesthetic reasons and for reasons of space, the soundbar has an advantage as an all-in-one device because it is usually narrow and small under the television. Such as the Bose Soundbar 900 for 950 euros, which is just under 6 centimeters high, 10 centimeters deep and about a meter long. There are some products of this size on the market, but we think Bose’s white version is the prettiest at the moment.

The soundbar is quickly paired with the TV. With the exception of the classic connection with the HDMI cable, the rest of the work runs via the smartphone. The Bose Music app manages all of the manufacturer’s products. What annoys us every time about the American company: Bose requires you to register before you can start. The integration then works in the usual way, with the smartphone integrating the soundbar into the home network and acting as a remote control. We like the Bose app so much that the included remote control stayed in the box. The app is tidy, stylish and offers all the functions you need. The source can be selected with a tip: TV, Bluetooth, Airplay. An equalizer is on board. Two assistants, Google and Alexa, can be set up. The soundbar has also integrated Spotify Connect.

In the depths, the sound shows weaknesses

So Bose offers everything you need to listen to music in a modern way. Also in terms of sound: As with its headphones and mini mono speakers, Bose manages to deliver a pleasing sound that is fun. The soundbar never sounds annoying or pointed, analytical and cold sound is alien to it. The bass pleasantly penetrates the living room. Sometimes he should be more reserved. Every now and then, something creeps in to undefined depths. Then you have the feeling that Bose is digitally simulating an external subwoofer with a large membrane that some soundbars have as a partner and that is usually in the corner. We wouldn’t mind if the soundbar confidently avoided going into the deepest depths. This can be done without if you watch a few action films in which it cracks and rattles. Such frequencies go more into the stomach than into the ear anyway. Nevertheless, there is a lot going on in the living room with the Bose bar when things get dull in the film.

At the moment, soundbars have to master a different art: Dolby Atmos. The format is on the way to becoming the standard, be it in the large or in the home cinema. The sound of the film comes not only from the front, back and the side, but also from above. One speaks of spatial sound. What anyone can quickly imagine, even without expert knowledge: It cannot work with a soundbar because it can only produce sound from the front. Yes, that’s right. But it’s not just the Bose engineers who have mastered all sorts of digital tricks to pretend the sound is coming from at least the front half of the room. And some of the sound actually goes upwards, as you can see on both sides, where a net covers the horizontally seated membranes. You don’t have to fool yourself: there is currently only one soundbar on the market that can simulate surround sound really well. This is the Ambeo from Sennheiser for 2500 euros. All other attempts are ambitious, but do not come close to a surround system with several speakers and subwoofer.

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