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on December 23, 2009
My parents sent me a Bose Wave music system with SoundLink for Christmas. It arrived a bit early so I took it into my office and set it up. I listen to music while writing software into the early hours of the morning. This isn't something I would have bought for myself, but it was a well-appreciated gift as I'm listening through some small Altec Lansing speakers currently.

A couple of notes about the product below:

Aesthetics - The system looks like an oversized alarm clock. If I were frozen in the 80's to be thawed out today, I would have reason to believe that nothing had changed as far as alarm clocks go. That said, this is more than _just_ an alarm clock so this is forgiven. I was surprised to see that the SoundLink device was an external device. It seems to me that a radio receiver could easily be internalized into the main radio appliance. While the Wave music system is more than an alarm clock, you wouldn't know that much by the clock interface on the front. The big LED numbers with an AM/PM indicator and accompanying LED indicator of the source seem out of touch with the reality of a device this costly in this modern era. Compare the aesthetics of this device vs. the elegance of other devices costing the same. I think you'll agree that 'looks' were likely the last thing on the Bose technicians' minds.

Setup - This was likely one of the easiest devices I've set up in ages. I expected there to be, at the minimum, some software to install and some cumbersome UI to work through to get sound pumping from my computer to the appliance. This wasn't the case. I literally plugged the power and the SoundLink device into the appliance, plugged the USB transmitter into my computer and I was off to the races! That said, I was confused why the SoundLink device had a DC power input, but no DC power cord. Perhaps there is something I'm missing in why the input is needed but it wasn't a big deal since the system works without one.

Use - The appliance itself has no buttons on it which bothers me a bit. Perhaps Bose was trying to avoid the complete appearance that this was just an alarm-clock radio. That said, the concern is that if I lose my remote control, I'm screwed till I find a replacement. Since this device is sitting on my side desk (literally right beside me) the effect of using my remote control to use the device seems absurd. This wouldn't be so bad if Bose had thought to make the remote control dockable to the system and allow you to use the remote as a front or top panel control when docked as such. Setting the time and alarms on the system is also very archaic. This uses that same tired 'rewind/fast forward' type alarm setting that your clock radio does -- again reinforcing that this is just an expensive version of the same. Apart from that, I was happy with how easily my music just seamlessly streams from my computer to the appliance. I don't need to configure my software. I just run my normal apps (Zune Software, iTunes, etc.) and it just works!

Sound Quality - When I first plugged this in, I was quite happy with the sound. However, shortly into my first song, I started hearing frequent cracking and popping. I didn't have the device cranked. I'm at work so I couldn't possibly put it above 50% output on my computer with 30-50 on the device itself without the music starting to waft out of my office and into the hallways. That said, the cracking and popping was actually louder than the music which makes the device output more annoying than soothing. I tried listening to a variety of music from classical to heavy metal. I tried adjusting the volume. I even tried cranking it a bit higher at other times of the night when no one else is here. No matter the volume levels on the computer or the radio, the crackling and popping persists making this device practically useless for my purposes. Looking at the website, this appears to be a regularly enough occurring event that they included it in the FAQ: [...] Their solution was to 'reset' the device. I tried this and the popping persisted. Lest you think this is was just a bad unit, start searching the internet for other unhappy users and you won't have to look far. On top of the cracking and popping there appears to be an occasional 'skip' in sound. I haven't yet determined if this is caused by the SoundLink transmission or the radio itself.

Summary - The Bose Wave radio is, in my opinion overpriced for what it provides. The aesthetics are behind the times. There is no 'wow' feature to the device and that unfortunately includes the sound which is the primary purpose of the system. The remote-only control of the device is scary. There is a lot of wasted potential here. My recommendation to you would be to buy a regular clock radio. At least if it crackles and pops, you won't be out so much money.

My recommendations for Bose would be: 1) Integrate the SoundLink receiver into the main appliance 2) make the remote control dockable/lockable into the top of the system so it can be used as a front/top panel input on the device itself 3) Bring the front-instrumentation of the device into the modern era with some music visualization options and a less static LCD-centric display 4) Fix the primary purpose of the system (there is absolutely no reason why I should spend several hundred dollars to hear this when there are many other lower-cost music-listening options at my disposal) 5) Allow me to set alarms a bit more reasonably than scrolling through a 60-minute-times-24-hour-rolling interface. Perhaps put a bluetooth radio in the device and let me set it through my phone or computer. Or just give me an easy hour-then-minute-then-am/pm interface.

Original review posted December 23, 2009 - updated January 5, 2011:
Per one of the comments to this review, I attempted to connect to the Bose Wave Music System through standard Bluetooth rather than through the provided SoundLink USB key. This has proved to remove the crackling and popping. While this does limit the distance that you will get through wireless (limited to 30 feet as opposed to the reported 60 feet with the SoundLink USB Key), it does make the device more effective within it's range, in my opinion). I highly recommend this option. You can find instructions for setting the Bluetooth into a discoverable mode on page 24 of the owner's manual that accompanies the device.
- I still keep my rating where it is for the same reasons described in my review above. This is a below average device in a highly above-average cost. I don't recommend purchasing this device. Perhaps the next itteration of the system will include some of the recommendations given in my review and in others to improve the value.
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on September 20, 2010
I've had my Bose system with the soundlink for about 3 months and have no complaints at all with it. The Bose system itself is not the best sounding in the world but for the size it really can't be beat. It has great sound quality when listening to it at low levels, as well as when you crank it up. The design of the system is not the most eye catching but who cares what it looks like really? I don't buy a sound system to look at I buy one to listen to. The SoundLink upgrade is a must have for anyone that has a lot of music on there computer or a favorite internet radio station. Setup is fool proof and the sound quality does not skip a beat even though I haven't tried it out on a far range yet. Yes this is a expensive unit but it is worth its weight over time. I know people that still rock the original Bose Wave Radios and have never had a problem with them. These things are made like tanks and if you treat it good should be one of the longest lasting electronics you ever buy.
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on December 13, 2009
I got my Wave system just a couple of months ago; it worth a lot to me, the sound is Amazing for the size of the device. The sound is great in all the environments, no matter the size of the room and the sound level.
I got my unit before the SoundLink device came out, so I made my own research and I got my "SoundLink upgrade kit" directly from Bose. It requires a simple upgrade via a CD provided on the package, then I got my computers (my MAC and my PC) playing iTunes and all kind of internet radios through out my wave system.
I don't know why the "SoundLink Upgrade kit" cannot be obtained through other retailers than Bose. Unfortunately it cannot be found on the BOSE site which makes that you must drive to some of the BOSE stores to get it, but don't worry, it worth.
Note: I didn't try to get it via the phone so you can try.
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on July 21, 2010
It annoys me to read reviews here and elsewhere on the internet that describe the Bose Wave Soundlink system as "overpriced." Compared to what??

I have had my system for six months, and have been highly satisfied. I will admit that not having any control over the treble and bass was hard to digest in the beginning, but most everything in my Windows Media Player collection sounds great on the system. Honestly, if it doesn't sound great on the Wave system, it just wasn't sound mixed properly in the recording studio, or the MP3 itself is low quality.

It's hard for me to take the one reviewer seriously who referred to crackles and pops in the sound. Obviously, something in his office is emitting a frequency that is interfering with the Bose system. I have NEVER heard a crackle or pop while operating this sytem.

Another aspect that has been criticized is the small, thin remote. I have zero complaints about it. Perhaps people have nostalgia for clunky, oversized remotes. All the buttons work just fine, and I have never had any problems using the remote.

Don't believe the naysayers- I give the Bose Wave Soundlink an enthusiastic five stars.
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on October 13, 2011
I purchased the Bose Wave Music System with Soundlink and IPOD Connector 3 days ago. Today, I was ready to send it back, because of the following reasons:

1. The Soundlink does not work with my MACBOOK or IPAD. I spent nearly 3 hours researching connectivity data to get my Wave System to work with my ITUNES library on my IPOD, IPAD and my MACBOOK and was unsuccessful. After numerous attempts, I plugged the soundlink into my PC and it works perfectly!

2. I plugged my classic IPOD into my Wave Music System and it never came on or connected. I plugged my IPOD Touch into my Wave Music System and it never went off. The Wave remote control does not the functionality of the IPOD touch. It will not allow you to advance through the tracks, utilize the playlist, pause or turn the IPOD Touch off/on. You must control everything manually.

3. I attempted to pair my BOSE Wave System with other Bluetooth devices, i.e. HTC Thunderbolt Phone and Sony Wireless Headphones and again - IT DOES NOT WORK.

4. I purchased the Wave Music System for my game room and the sound quality does not fill the room like my other Bose products. This product is best for a bedroom or kitchen.

My analysis: If you are a MAC user - DO NOT PURCHASE THE SOUNDLINK. The technology is not mature enough to support the Apple product line. It was built and tested with PC/windows operating systems. For $649 (including Tax and the Soundlink), its just not worth it, so I'm sending it back.
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on March 3, 2010
Amazing Product. Yes it is expensive but for your money you get a compact, well built system with flawless sound that can fill any room in your house. No buttons to mess with, just use the remote. The remote is small and easily misplaced, but they are inexpensive if you need to order extras. The soundlink unit works great. Put the adapter in a USB slot on your computer and it does all the work. The reception from the soundlink is wonderful. I cannot tell the differenc in quality between the soundlink and a CD.
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on March 10, 2010
This is my first Bose system and I wasn't expecting much except one unit to replace my Panasonic stereo and Logitech computer speakers. After reading a few negative reviews about interference and the price, I bought one anyway to see what the fuss was about.

Well, I'm happy to report that I now have a fabulous wireless sound system that works like a charm. Setting up took less than 10 minutes: USB key into my Vaio computer, connect adapter to main unit and plug everything in and voila, internet radio, iTunes, CD, AM/FM. I've had it for two days and have been enjoying high quality sound especially those in the bass range. I had no interference issues at all. No clicking, cracking or static noises and I live in a condominium with neighbours using all kinds of wireless stuff. There is also an AUX In connector for TVs and projectors. And what's more, my desk and audio/visual shelving are no longer cluttered with wires, cables and speakers. My only complaint is the remote which could be bigger with larger buttons.

Sure, it's pricey, but I consider it a good investment. If I upgrade in the future, it'll be used as a clock/radio or at work in my school library.
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on January 20, 2012
I had been putting off getting this radio for years. Once I took the plunge, I was thrilled. This is sound you have to hear to believe. Incredible in every sense of the word. You might pay more for this unit, but you get every penny's worth out of it.......It literally fills an entire home with spectacular rich deep true music. And best of all, I can sync it with my iTunes and play any of the songs in my library. BUY THIS UNIT!
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on November 23, 2009
The sound of systmen is incredible. The system is relatively small but the sound is amazing, you won't believe it. The installation is also very easy. Just plug in the USB connection into computer and play i-tunes, web radio or any other music. It just works. You can even controll your i tunes via the bose-remote on your computer. Just buy it, you won't regret it.
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on December 31, 2011
I bought my wife this radio for Christmas to use in the kitchen. We have other Bose products so we were not surprised at the superior sound quality it produces.

There are a few items that do concern her and they are, you cannot adjust the bass or treble at all. There are no controls on the radio itself... so you must use the remote for everything (the remote is line of sight as well). If the remote crashes or you lose it, no radio... If you use it in your bedroom or office, it seems kind of silly to have to use the remote to run it when it is right in front of you.

Overall, she really likes the radio and other than the remote control issue she would recommend this product.
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