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2,393 of 2,497 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read this for insights into the product and Bose customer service
I am a Vine reviewer, and often receive products before their release to the public. This Bose Solo TV Sound System is one of these products.

I received this sound system with no knowledge of what it really is. No expectations, except that it a Bose product, so I had an expectation that it'd be quality.

Upon receipt, the unit did not work properly...
Published on August 22, 2012 by AmazonCustomerSinceAmazonSoldO...

666 of 739 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Clearing up Misinformation
I gave this system a one star review because most people look at the one and two star reviews first, and I wanted to clear up some incorrect information that has been posted.

People claiming the Solo will not work with TV controllers are wrong. It works with my Xfinity/Comcast remote, the only thing is, you have to press the AUX button to control the sound...
Published 21 months ago by Phil

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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solo vs. Z-Base 555 (updated 10/5/12), September 8, 2012
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This review is from: Bose Solo TV Sound System (Electronics)
After a few weeks of operation, I am generally pleased with my Solo. As do all Bose products, the Solo produces great sound and is simple to use. My only complaint is that it is, perhaps, TOO simple. I sometimes find it desirable to customize sound -- and with the Solo, that is impossible.

I have no doubt that Bose (via its quality speaker design, unique baffling system, and sophisticated input-signal processing) faithfully delivers to the listener exactly what the original producer of the audio signal had in mind.

But that is not always sufficient. Now and then, the bass is a little too "big," the dialogue unintelligible, or the treble too low (especially for older listeners, whose abilities to hear high-frequency sounds is diminished).

By contrast, Z-Vox devices (Z-Base soundbars) offer extensive sound customization. The 555 costs the same as the Solo, and not only allows the user to adjust bass, treble, dialogue-frequency amplification, surround-sound levels, and so on -- it also allows multiple devices to be simultaneously connected to the speaker system. Switching between them is as easy as selecting the desired input (TV, MP3 player, BlueTooth receiver for a smart phone, etc.).

Finally, the Z-Base 555 has physical controls on the device that mimic the ones available on the included remote. (Bose abandoned on-device controls, for most of its products, years ago.)

Bottom line: I am happy with my Solo. Dr. Bose always delivers great sound. But the lead engineer at Z-Vox has a terrific reputation, too. So I'm willing to bet that the Z-Base devices sound terrific, too. Moreover,after using the Solo for a while, I find that I miss having the ability to customize sound to suit different listening situations. So I have ordered a Z-Base for use in another room. Time will tell which one is ultimately preferred.

Update (5 Oct 12):

In a side-by-side comparison, I found things I liked and disliked about both the Solo and Z-Base 555. Dislike might be too strong a word; each machine's strengths far outweighed its weaknesses.

Sound quality:

The Z-Base had a slightly "tinny" sound when compared to the Solo - using the same source content (music, movie, sports, etc.) and Z-Base's default settings. After multiple trials, however, it seemed to me that the Solo -- as many others have noticed -- under-amplifies treble, relative to bass. Since the Z-Base emphasizes high frequencies to a greater degree, it is more vulnerable to distortion (real or perceived). But, since Z-Base allows the user to customize its settings, lowering the treble (and, if necessary, increasing the bass) achieves a sound somewhat comparable to Solo's. Also, while both systems delivered satisfactory bass, Solo seemed (to my ear) to reproduce low frequencies a wee bit more faithfully. Advantage Solo.

Ease of Use:

One might be tempted to give the nod to Solo, since it offers the user only four choices: power on/off, volume up, volume down, and mute. On the other hand, a user is not forced to use the many other customizable options available on the Z-Base. Advantage: neither.


There is no comparison here, since Solo offers the user no options to customize sound (other than with respect to volume). Z-Base lets listeners modify bass and treble, enhance dialogue frequencies, maintain a fairly level amplitude (so changes in channel or program / commercial source are delivered at similar volume). Also, Z-Base has three (simulated) surround-sound levels. This might be of particular use when watching movies -- especially those of the "action" variety. As a bonus, Z-Base offers physical controls, which duplicate several of those available via its remote. Bose is only controllable via its remote. Advantage: Z-Base

Bottom Line (my opinion, only):

The Solo has slightly better sound quality. The Z-Base, way more flexibility. I like both machines. A lot. But, as to which I prefer: I have connected the Z-Base to the television in my primary viewing/listening location. The Solo, to the TV in my secondary one. If Solo had incorporated user-customizable features, it might have been otherwise.

(P.S.) My wife prefers the Solo. She likes the sound a little better, and she is a fan of simplicity. Also, she is influenced by the fact that we purchased the Solo first. Demoting it hurt its feelings, she believes. (Women - you gotta love 'em.)
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very good product, January 28, 2013
This review is from: Bose Solo TV Sound System (Electronics)
I recieved the Bose Solo system as a Christmas present last month. It looks great and is extremely easy to set up. The sound is very good for what it is. I am a musician and have been playing for over 40 years and have suffered some hearing loss at certain frequencies. I have no trouble hearing everything through the Bose. I have it hooked up to a 42 inch Vizio LCD HD TV. The low end is not quite as responsive as a larger home theater but is still quite full sounding. The thing I like best is the volume doesn't drop out like the TV speakers do. Once I set the volume for a movie or TV show, I do not have to adjust it louder or softer throughout the show. And all spoken dialogue is very clear, you can hear every word whether soft or loud without turning the sound up and down. Over all, I am extremely happy with this product.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bose let everyone down this time., January 7, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Bose Solo TV Sound System (Electronics)
First of all, I'm not one of the typical Bose haters that wear the blue and yellow shirts in the B***B*y store. I cringe when I go into any of the big-box stores, ask for Bose, and have someone tell me there is something better for less money, how Bose is too proud of their products or how they are just way overpriced. I agree, Bose products are priced high, but sometimes you get what you pay for. I have the Bose Cinemate GS II System in my living room, Bose iSport Earbud headphones, and the new Bose SoundLink Mini. I LOVE all my Bose products. They are a little higher priced than others, but I think they are all well worth their price. Our bedroom TV is wall mounted. I wanted something to put under it that did not require more holes in the wall, wires hanging everywhere or speakers that get knocked off every time someone brushes against the dresser. This seemed like the perfect solution. I had the same Bose expectations when I ordered this Solo TV System. I have never been more disappointed. The sound was flat and dull. There was no bass at all. I can honestly say it was not any better, maybe a little flatter than my TV speakers. I kept this only one day before boxing it up and returning it. This was no where close to the sound I had expected with something that held the Bose name. It has no settings, it's plug and play, so I don't see how I could have done anything to improved the sound. I plugged it in, set it on the dresser and tried to let it do it's thing. I was using it with a very good quality optical sound cable, so I was giving it the best chance I could, it just did not perform. When my wife came home that evening, and I showed her the box, she asked me why I still had the TV speakers on and wanted to hear the Bose soundbox instead. She didn't believe the sound was coming from the Bose. I would NOT recommend this to any one, for any reason. Sure, Bose makes awesome products, but this one comes up a little short and is highly disappointing.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Solution If You Are Looking For What The Solo Delivers., December 11, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Bose Solo TV Sound System (Electronics)
The Bose Solo is an excellent solution for two groups of people. Those of us who either can't make their house thunderous due to the proximity of neighbors or those who just want quality sound from their TV without the hassle of a full home theater system. If you don't fit into those two categories than the Bose Solo is not for you and you really shouldn't leave negative feedback as this product was not designed for your needs. The Bose Solo will not satisfy the audiophiles desire to experience IMAX like sound in their home. The Bose Solo will satisfy the rest of us looking for a simple elegant solution for quality sound in typical Bose fashion.

I have one Bose Solo in my living room and one in my bedroom. I did not understand at first why people were complaining about the bass and the need to reduce the bass. Now that I have a Bose Solo in my bedroom I definitely understand the need to dial the bass down per the instructions (yellow light). Bass in the bedroom is a little much. In my living room however I keep the bass on (green light). The LR is a much larger room and is where Im more likely to watch movies and sports at higher volumes. In the bedroom I keep the volume down lower but still enjoy crisp quality sound.

Initially I too was bummed that you were forced to use the Solo's remote. I found two solutions to this problem. I have Verizon FIOS. Verizon sells a Philips RC1455302 remote which has a programmable "aux" button. I could not get the provided Bose codes to work but I did get that remote to recognize the Solo by going through the remotes alternative set up method. With the press of a button my tv, cable box, and Solo turns off and on. I do sometimes have to press the "aux" button to lower and raise the Solo's volume. On my other tv I have had great success with Logitech's Harmony Smart Control. That remote is fully programmable and adjustable to work with practically anything that comes with a remote. (Update) The FIOS remote code for BOSE is 1256. This remote can also be programmed so that the volume only operates the BOSE speaker. Finally a simply power on and off for tv, FIOS, and BOSE and volume control on one remote. Logitech Harmony is also another good solution for one remote to control all.

I wouldn't get too caught up with the size of your tv. In my living room the Solo sits on a shelf below my tv as its base is bigger than the Solo. In my bedroom my tv sits right on top of the solo. So long as you can place your Solo either under your tv or on a shelf below your tv I feel it would work just fine. I do not feel the Bose Solo is made just for small tv's that can fit on top.

I did replace the supplied optical cable with one from Mediabridge sold here on Amazon. The Bose version is very thin and the Mediabridge version is a much higher quality thicker cable. I however did not detect a different in sound between the two but I feel better having a more rugged cable.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a difference BOSE makes!, August 23, 2012
Conspicuous Consumer (Georgia Regents University) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Bose Solo TV Sound System (Electronics)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have to admit I was skeptical when I opened the box and read the instructions. "You place your television on top of this?" I must have re-read that line several times. Of course there are size and weight restrictions so not any television would apply. All I did was plug the Bose into the wall, connect the audio connectors to the television and press the 'On' button on the remote. The sound was well balanced and rich.

Please be aware that there are not buttons on the unit itself. If you lose the remote- it will not work. The remote only has four buttons- On/Off, Volume Up, Volume Down and Mute. There is no menu button and therefore, no ability to create a custom sound. But after you hear the quality- you would never want to. I LOVE IT!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bose Solo & Poke Subwoofer Combo, May 2, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Bose Solo TV Sound System (Electronics)
I have been a broadcast engineer as well as an audio engineer for over 30 years. I design audio consoles and other equipment. When it comes to sound everybody hears sound differently and has different tastes in music and sound reproduction. I want to share my recent purchase of the Bose Solo TV Sound System. First off this is not a surround sound system however this is a very clean sounding replacement for your TV speakers. It is designed to have the TV sit on top of the unit. My cable provider is Comcast so I was able to program there remote for the Bose unit eliminating the need for the Bose remote unit. The Bose solo will automatically shut down when no audio is present. I used the digital fiber cable to connect the Bose unit to my Sony Bravia TV.

Sound Quality is very clean good midrange and voice reproduction with very good high end.
However I agree with other users the bass is tight and clean but lacking in real bottom. This is why I have added the Polk Audio PSW10 10-Inch Monitor Series Powered Subwoofer.

Subwoofer settings, do not place the unit in the corner of your room this will exaggerate the bass sound. I use the volume settings 3 for normal TV viewing and 5 for music and movies. Lowpass filter setting just under the 100hz setting or 1/3 turn which works best with the Bose speaker. To save you time I have used a spectrum analyzer to measure this. Set the auto power to the center position note you will have to experiment with this setting. It is designed to shut down the subwoofer when there is no audio present. Phase switch I left it in the 0 degree setting again it depends upon your room environment.

With both of these units I have a very pleasant listening environment. One note to test this combo I purchased the Lee Ritenour Overtime Blu-ray. The engineer that recorded this session should get an award because the 5.1 surround is one of the best I have heard this is a very clean recorded musical Blu-ray. I heard this Blue-ray at the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) show this spring. They were playing it through the Focal studio monitor speaker system priced at $700 per speaker 5.1 surround system. The vocals that were sung using a Shure SM58 sounded incredible because you thought you were listening to a $2000 Neumann condenser microphone.

In conclusion with both of these products you can get a very acceptable sound system on a budget.

Over the years many of my customers have appreciated my input with there audio needs I hope this information will be useful for you.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Realistic Review--I Think, December 25, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Bose Solo TV Sound System (Electronics)
This 'review' considers the Solo for what it is while addressing a couple of (I think, unrealistic) points made by other reviewers.

I can't imagine anyone saying that the Solo is difficult to hook-up. If a power cord and either one optic or two audio cables make for such 'difficulty,' the I don't know what would please those folks. Magical, thought-connected devices, perhaps? The Solo is VERY easy to hook up. Quite literally, a child could do it.

Sound quality (More on that in a bit.)--as well as enclosure and remote quality--is what you'd probably expect from Bose. I didn't expect a whole heckuva lot for this price. Seriously? Even at $399 list, that's cheap in the home A/V world. Heck, a decent dock costs $199-$299. Again, I don't know why some are complaining about the price.

Overall sound quality is very good. As at least one other reviewer said, voice reproduction is excellent. Here's another example of some other reviewer's 'magical' thinking. Look at the design. It's one enclosure. If you're expecting deep, booming bass such as that from a subwoofer, you're simply expecting too much. Port design and engineering is largely where Bose excels; the Solo confirms this. My take? The lows are impressively and surprisingly 'rich.' Again, keep that in context. Overall sonic range is quite good, even when we're playing Pandora on the TV via a Roku 2XS. The Solo's sound is amazingly rich FOR a compact, single enclosure. I doubt that you'll get such richness from the typical, nearly-flat-panel soundbar unless it has a separate subwoofer--which I preferred to avoid. With the Solo, I was also shooting for less clutter.

Should you believe Bose marketing that the sound is room-filling? Again, look at the enclosure. From what I can see, there seem to be four, front-firing speakers, as is the case with most soundbars. The ported bass design of the system works very well. During dramatic explosions in a movie or lows of sountracks, put your fingers over the bass ports in the back. This thing's moving a lot of air--again, for its size. That's always a good sign. It does, in a way, 'fill the room' with sound, but there no way (again, without magic) to design a single enclosure that will miraculously make it seem as though sound is coming from behind you. Bose is not Hogwart's. Again--for what it is--the sound and DSP are really impressive.

Another reviewer pointed out that there should be a way to remotely and easily equalize the sound of JUST the Solo. There's not. So, to make such adjustments, you need to go into your TV's settings. Not by any means a horrible situation, just a bit clunky. Of course, if Bose were to build-in this capability, the Solo price would easily jump to $599+--and there are already some pretty good systems out there for that price. Such capability already exists in some entertainment sound systems. If you want that convenience and tuning ability, pay the price for the higher-end systems.

I'm in a situation in which I don't want to wire the sound system and my house for actual Surround. It's a lot of hassle that I don't want to deal with. Heck, my cat would find the speaker wiring and shred it in about four minutes. I don't want to have to mess with an amp. I don't want to have to mess with wireless rears. For me, the Solo made a lot of practical sense.

No regrets at all. Keep in mind that, unlike other reviewers who are impossible to please--and compare the $399 Solo to systems costing twice that and more--I comfortably and confidently gave it 5 Stars for what it is.

If you want to use the optical connection, remember to do your research before purchase. This time and unfortunately, I didn't. While my Sharp Aquos supports a physical fiber connection, there's apparently a known incompatibility on the fiber side with the Solo. My Aquos and Solo don't play well together. From what I've read, there's some sort of copyright or patent issue between Sharp and Bose that prevents such optical cooperation. Sure, it'd be nice if both companies addressed this, but I can't legitimately minus a star for something that's also seems to be Sharp's fault. Oh, well; I hooked up the wired audio cables and--magically--it works just fine.

If you want a high-end, real Surround system, you're just not going to get it for $399. For that money, however, the Solo is worth every penny. Is the Solo one box that does it all? No. It is, however, one quality setup that works exceedingly well for such a reasonable price. If you keep those things in mind, you won't be disappointed. If you want to simplify things instead of complicate them, again, you'll be quite pleased with your Solo purchase.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No improvement in sound quality, January 11, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Bose Solo TV Sound System (Electronics)
When you look at this system in a store you should realize that the Bose display model likely has the volume turned up quite loudly and the TV sound on a lower setting, so of course when you switch back and forth the sound seems better coming from the Bose. At home, however, that wasn't our experience when both were set at equal volume. There was little to no improvement in sound quality between our Panasonic TV and the Solo. We even called Bose for a consult plus went into a store for a consult to make sure that we had done all we could to maximize the quality of sound coming from the Bose. In particular we had hoped for improved sound quality for voices, as well as a richer overall sound for music. This system does not have a speaker dedicated to voice track. It has speakers in front and in back, so the stereo effect is very limited. And voices are just as muddled in the sound track coming from the Bose as they were from the TV. We have returned the Bose for a refund and will investigate other options.
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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bose should be ashamed of this product, May 4, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Bose Solo TV Sound System (Electronics)
My main living room has a Bose system - 901 Towers, 301s, and Bose Center Channel. One of our cars has a bose system. I have used many Bose headphones over the years. All of them have different capabilities, but they all produce clear sound, with clear channel separation, and you always have a sense that this is quality audio.

However the Bose Solo does not deliver this.

Issues with Bose Solo:

1) Not much better than the TV speakers (and this is on a $600 LG 42"). I actually had to toggle back and forth between the Bose Solo and the TV speakers to convince myself that the Bose was better, and it seems only marginally so. You didn't get the "Wow this sounds good" effect when you turn on most other Bose products.

2) Contrary to other reviews, the separation of sources - voice, music, effects - is not strong. So Dialog isn't really emphasized.

Comparative perspectives:
1) The ZVOX 580 sounded substantially better than the Bose - however I had to return that because it stopped working in 3 days.
2) The Speakercraft CS3completely blows away both the Bose Solo and ZVOX580 in terms of sound quality. It is audiophile IMO. And it looks and feels like a quality product whereas the Bose seems cheap. Get the Speakercraft CS3 if you want the kind of product you would expect from Bose.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive Side-by-Side Comparison, November 20, 2012
This review is from: Bose Solo TV Sound System (Electronics)
My Bose Solo arrived a couple of hours ago. Installation was every bit as easy as they claim, and the unit even fit neatly beneath my 42" Vizio. The materials and feel of the unit is typical Bose superior quality. We bought it because my wife and I are approaching 60 and have trouble picking up conversations sometimes on our regular television speakers, but wanted something simple and unobtrusive to solve the problem. After installation I turned on the Solo, pulled up my TV's audio menu, then tuned in a show with lots of talk. I killed the Solo sound and immediately switched on the TV speakers, then reversed it, back and forth, back and forth. It wasn't really necessary, since the first time I did it we were both amazed at the difference in not just voice quality, but overall sound quality. It performs just as we had hoped. If you are looking to buy the Solo for the same reasons we did, don't hesitate. You will be pleased.
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Bose Solo TV Sound System
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