Last updated: August 10, 2021

Our method

9Products analysed

46Hours spent

10Evaluated articles

141User reviews

Tired of watching your favourite movies and shows with poor sound through your TV or PC's built-in speakers? Want to take your sound experience to the next level? Then Bose sound systems might be just what you're looking for!

In our Bose sound system review 2021 we want to take a closer look at Bose sound systems. You'll get important information about the different types, as well as the factors you should consider before buying. With the help of our test article, you should be able to find the right Bose sound system for you.




Summary

  • Bose sound systems can be divided into home theatre systems, wave systems, PA systems and car systems. They differ in terms of their respective areas of application.
  • In addition to Bose sound systems, you can also buy devices from Teufel, Sonos and Sony without hesitation. Here you will find comparable types of sound systems.
  • The following factors should play a role in your purchase decision: Room conditions, sound quality, performance and connectivity.

The Best Bose Sound System: Our Choices

Guide: Questions to ask yourself before buying a Bose sound system

Before you buy a Bose sound system, you should get some background information. We have summarised this information in the following paragraphs.

What distinguishes Bose sound systems from other manufacturers?

In the field of sound systems, the manufacturer Bose is considered one of the most successful companies with an annual turnover of more than 3.5 billion US dollars. Bose strives for a symbiosis of perfect sound quality and best performance in its products. This guiding principle has helped the company to achieve worldwide fame and success.

Bose-Soundsysteme-1

Choosing the right sound system is a science in itself. We have compiled some information for you to help you find your way through the sound system jungle.
(Image source: pixabay.com / Republica)

Bose offers a wide variety of sound systems and has the right sound system for every requirement and budget.

Bose is committed to the continuous improvement and further development of its audio products. The company expresses this outwardly through its motto "Better sound through research".

What alternatives are there to Bose sound systems?

Besides Bose, other manufacturers also offer sound systems. Other well-known and successful manufacturers in this area besides Bose are in particular:

  • Teufel
  • Sonos
  • Sony

Depending on your personal taste, you may also want to consider the products of these manufacturers when making your purchase decision. In the following, we will introduce you to the individual manufacturers in more detail.

Sound systems from Teufel

The Berlin-based speaker manufacturer Teufel caused a sensation with its "Rockster", the loudest Bluetooth speaker available on the market. In addition, Teufel offers high-class sound systems that are, on average, somewhat cheaper than comparable models from Bose.

Did you know that Teufel's loudest Bluetooth speaker can achieve a volume of more than 118 decibels?

That corresponds to the volume of a passenger aircraft. That's why the manufacturer already included legal protection insurance against disturbance of the peace with its product.

Sound systems from Sonos

Sonos has made a name for itself in particular by networking sound systems in private rooms via WLAN. If you are looking for an easy-to-use sound system for various purposes, with which you can equip your entire house, a sound system from the US manufacturer Sonos is the best choice.

Sound systems from Sony

While the other manufacturers discussed here specialise exclusively in the audio sector, Sony offers different products in the consumer electronics sector. Therefore, it may make sense for consumers who already own a Sony TV, for example, to purchase a Sony product for their sound system as well.

Decision: What types of Bose sound systems are there and which is right for you?

If you choose a Bose sound system, there are several types to choose from. Bose sound systems can be divided into the following four types:

  • Home cinema systems
  • Wave Systems
  • PA Systems
  • Car systems

Depending on the type of application, the individual types have advantages and disadvantages. In the following sections, we will tell you how the different sound systems differ from each other and which one is best for you.

What are Bose home theatre systems and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Bose home theatre systems are the best way to bring the cinema experience into your home. Together with the right TV and some popcorn, there's nothing stopping you from enjoying a movie night at home.

In addition, they impress with their extensive connectivity with WLAN, Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay and a high level of workmanship.

Advantages
  • Cinema atmosphere at home
  • Extensive connectivity
  • Good workmanship
Disadvantages
  • Most expensive product category
  • Poor voice reproduction
  • Takes up space

On the other hand, you can spend a lot of money on Bose's home cinema systems: Bose's most expensive home cinema system costs more than 4,500 euros. Despite a generally good sound, some models also show problems with the voice output.

You should also make sure that you have enough space in your home for the sound system.

What are Bose Wave systems and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Bose Wave systems deliver great sound in a relatively small space. In addition, the sound system supports many different playback sources.

Advantages
  • Space-saving
  • Multiple playback sources
  • Easy to set up and operate
Disadvantages
  • High price
  • Lack of modern connection standards
  • Cumbersome maintenance

In addition to CD playback, various digital radio formats can also be accessed. Initial set-up and operation are also easy.

The Bose Wave can be expanded with new features such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth through the Bose Sound Touch base.

However, the relatively high price of the product could be a deterrent for prospective buyers. Especially in view of the lack of modern connection standards of some models, which lack USB, Bluetooth or WLAN support, the price is more than inappropriate.

In addition, the technological sophistication of the product makes maintenance difficult in the event of a defect.

What are Bose PA systems and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Bose PA systems are designed to appeal to musicians and music lovers. They have excellent portability, so they can be used at different events and celebrations. They benefit from their high technical flexibility.

Advantages
  • Portability
  • High technical flexibility
  • Wireless
Disadvantages
  • High price
  • Insufficient for professionals
PA stands for Public Address or Power Amplifier and describes systems that are aimed at an audience.

Due to an integrated lithium-ion battery and thanks to Bluetooth, the sound system can be used wirelessly. This type of sound system is also very expensive at Bose.

This is also a problem: for amateur users, the system is too expensive; for professionals, the sound quality and features of Bose PA systems may be insufficient. Here, you should see for yourself whether it is suitable for your purpose before buying.

What are Bose car systems and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Driving comfort is becoming increasingly important for car drivers. In addition to sufficient horsepower, the car should also deliver a good sound on longer journeys. This is where Bose car systems come into play. They improve the sound output in the vehicle many times over. The wave system for the car, so to speak. That's why they have already been voted the best car audio system.

Advantages
  • Improved sound quality in the car
  • Best car audio
Disadvantages
  • Selected car makes and models only
  • High premium
  • Distracted driving

Somewhat sobering, however, is the fact that car systems from Bose are only compatible with selected car makes and model types. In addition, car manufacturers usually charge a very high surcharge for the installation of a Bose car system.

Another factor that should not be neglected is the potential for distraction in road traffic due to the powerful system. Music in the car is problematic in that, depending on the volume, traffic noises can no longer be perceived by the driver.

As a result, other road users or police and fire brigade sirens may not be heard, which can endanger road safety. This is an administrative offence.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate Bose sound systems

Bose sound systems are available in a wide variety of designs. The individual product variants can be distinguished according to the following criteria:

The following paragraphs explain what is important for each criterion.

Room conditions

The room in which the loudspeaker is used plays a central role in the propagation of sound. Besides the size, the acoustic conditions and the placement of the speakers are decisive.

With regard to the size of the room, different requirements apply to the sound system. The following table should serve as a rough guide:

Room size listening distance requirements
15m2 approx. 2 m low level sufficient.
25m2 2 to 3 m Average level and bass pressure.
45m2 4 m High level and bass pressure required.

With regard to its PA systems, Bose itself does not specify the room size in units of square metres, but refers to the number of listeners who would fit into the imaginary room. The manufacturer distinguishes between the following room sizes:

  • Rooms with up to 50 listeners
  • Rooms with up to 100 listeners
  • Rooms with up to 300 listeners
  • Rooms with up to 500 listeners

The larger the room, the more powerful the sound system must be. The tendency here is that the higher the requirements, the higher the price of the respective products.

In addition, the room's furnishings also have a great influence on the acoustics and thus on the sound quality of the systems.

With regard to the placement of the systems, you should always make sure that there is sufficient distance to the walls of the room.

Sound quality

As already mentioned, Bose advertises with the company motto "Better sound through research". This principle is particularly evident in the Wave systems.

Bose-Soundsysteme-4

With the right Bose sound system, you can bring a true cinema atmosphere into your own four walls. Almost as if you were sitting on the film set yourself.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Jakob Owens)

The relatively compact sound system creates a room-filling sound experience through an extended sound channel inside the housing.

In addition to the quality of the sound system itself, the above-mentioned room conditions and the installation of the system are of outstanding importance for the sound quality of the sound system, even if this factor is apparently often neglected by consumers.

Well-known standards for audio compression are, for example, MP3, AAC or WMA. Sound information that cannot be perceived by the human ear is filtered out. In this way, data can be stored efficiently and without perceptible loss of quality.

Another decisive influencing factor is the number of speakers used. Here, sheer pragmatism often trumps technical finesse. Especially the higher-priced home cinema systems exploit their full potential here. The same applies to the car systems, as they each sound the listener from several directions.

Decisive for the sound quality is, of course, not only the quality of the output by the sound system, but first and foremost the input. How good is the input source?

With regard to the quality of the digital signals, three different quality levels can be distinguished:

Quality level Formats Sampling rate
Compressed with loss of quality. MPEG, AAC 8 to 96 kHz
Compressed without loss of quality. AC3, DTS, Wave, Flac Apple Lossless 44.1 kHz
Without loss of quality or without compression. Dolby True HD, DTS Master Audio From 96 kHz

Performance

An important key figure with regard to the performance of a sound system is the unit Watt (W). It provides information about the coding of the alternating current into an audio signal and is therefore dependent on the respective current strength and current voltage.

Bose-Soundsysteme-5

In terms of health, the volume of sound systems should not be exaggerated. Modern devices quickly reach volumes comparable to an aircraft take-off.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Patrick Tomasso)

However, you should not make the mistake of assuming that the speakers of a loudspeaker system with a higher wattage are also the louder speakers. This is where the unit of so-called sound pressure comes into play.

The sound pressure is again given in the unit decibel. Here, assuming a distance of one metre and a power of one watt, the efficiency of the sound system is given.

Basically, the unit of watts and decibels is as follows:

value in decibels value in watts
98 dB 1 W
101 dB 2 W
104 dB 4 W
107 dB 8 W
110 dB 16 W
113 dB 32 W
116 dB 64 W
119 dB 128 W
122 dB 256 W
125 dB 512 W

As you can see from the table, doubling the power in watts corresponds to an increase in power pressure of just three units. Statements regarding loudness are thus determined solely by the sound pressure in decibels.

Connectivity

When using the different Bose sound systems, the connectivity of the respective system is important for you, so that you can also play music from your storage medium or connect speakers to the system.

Bose-Internetradio-6

Nowadays, consumers like to avoid too many cables. Systems should be as cordless as possible and easy to operate. Bluetooth is a basic requirement.
(Image source: pixabay.com / rawpixel)

In the following, we have compiled an overview of the various connections of the most popular sound system models from Bose:

Soundsystem Model Connections Extensions
Home cinema system Bose Soundbar 500/700

-eARC/ARC

-CEC

-TOSLink

-USB

-WLAN

-Bose Bass Module 500/700

-Bose Surround Speakers (700)

TV system Bose Solo 5 TV sound system

-Optical input

-Coaxial input

-AUX

Home entertainment system Lifestyle 550/600/650 home entertainment system

-ARC

-HDMI

-Optical input

-Coaxial input

-Analogue input

-Data interface

-IR repair port

-Ethernet connection

-USB

Wave System Wave system IV

-AUX

-VHF

-CD

Sound Touch Base
PA system S1 Pro system

-XLR

-AUX

-Bluetooth

-Jacks

Due to the connections offered, the sound systems can each be expanded in different ways. We have also added possible expansion options to the previous table.

The extensions are in each case:

  • Bose Bass Module 500/700: bass extension
  • Bose Surround Speakers (700): surround sound extension
  • Sound Touch base: additional connectivity features

Facts worth knowing about Bose sound systems

Now that you've gathered enough information about Bose sound systems, we'd like to share a few more facts with you. If you already own a Bose sound system, you may find some valuable tips here.

What should I do if my Bose sound system is defective?

You bought a high-quality Bose sound system, but suddenly it doesn't work anymore? That's very annoying.

In the event of a fault, we recommend that you contact either the retailer where you bought your sound system or Bose directly. For car systems, you should contact the car manufacturer.

Bose sound systems are technically highly complex devices, so we strongly advise you not to repair them yourself. This can lead to further damage or the loss of the manufacturer's warranty.

Can I install a Bose sound system in my car?

As we showed you in the decision section, there are only a handful of manufacturers who offer their cars with an integrated Bose sound system. In most cases, you'll have to pay a large premium on top of the price of the car.

Manufacturers that offer their vehicles with a Bose sound system include:

  • Nissan
  • Renault
  • Fiat
  • Cadillac
  • Chevrolet
  • Infiniti
  • Mazda
  • Alfa Romeo
  • Opel
  • Audi
  • Porsche

You should be aware that only certain models and model years are offered with a Bose sound system. If your vehicle does not offer a Bose sound system, you may be able to fit one.

If you are not a skilled hobbyist, you should visit a workshop that can carry out the installation for you.

Where can I find the owner's manual for my Bose sound system?

Your newly purchased Bose sound system usually comes with an instruction manual. However, these can often get lost. It is also important to remember that when you buy a second-hand Bose sound system, the owner's manual is often forgotten.

But don't panic! You can find the operating instructions for your sound system as a PDF file on the Bose website.

If you cannot find the owner's manual on the Bose website, we recommend that you contact Bose.

How do I set up my Bose sound system correctly?

The setup procedure varies depending on the sound system. Below we have summarised the step-by-step procedure for the most popular models:

Sound system Model Procedure
Home cinema system Bose Soundbar 500/700

1. Place the Soundbar in front of the TV, keeping a distance of at least 0.3 to 0.9 m.

2. Plug the mains cable into the POWER socket.

3. Connect the cable to the mains.

4. Download the Bose Music app and follow the instructions.

Bose Solo 5 TV sound system

1. Set up the sound bar, making sure there is sufficient distance.

2. Depending on the device, either plug the optical cable into the "OPTICAL" connection of the TV (Audio Out), alternatively: plug the coaxial cable into the "COAXIAL" connection (Audio Out).

3. Connect the other end of the cable to the corresponding connection on the sound system (either "OPTICAL" or "COAXIAL" connection).

4. Plug the power cable into the "POWER" connector.

5. Connect the cable to the mains.

Lifestyle 550/600/650 home entertainment system

1. Plug the HDMI cable into the HDMI socket of the TV.

2. Plug the other end of the cable into the "OUT TO TV" connector of the sound system.

3. Plug the mains cable into the "POWER" connection.

4. Connect the cable to the mains.

5. Switch on the sound system and the TV.

6. Select the HDMI input on the TV.

7. Follow the further instructions on the TV.

Wave System Wave system IV

1. Place the unit at a distance of at least 60 cm from the wall.

2. Plug the mains cable into the "POWER" socket.

3. Connect the cable to the mains.

PA system S1 Pro system

1. Plug the mains cable into the "POWER" connection.

2. Connect the cable to the mains.

3. Switch on the sound system.

4. Plug the instrument into the "INPUT" socket, alternatively: press and hold the Bluetooth button. Select the sound system on the smartphone.

Image source: Tihonovs/ 123rf.com

Reviews