Customer Reviews

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4.4 out of 5 stars
Bose SoundDock Series II 30-Pin iPod/iPhone Speaker Dock (Gloss White)
Style: 30-Pin ConnectorColor: Limited Edition WhitePackage Type: Standard PackagingChange
Price:$249.00
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748 of 798 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2008
I did quite a bit of research before getting the Bose SoundDock II. I wanted a dock that would work with my iPod touch 2G, have superb sound quality, and preferably charge my iPod while docked. Well I have to say that I got all i wanted and then some with this unit.

I read some reviews online written by "audiophiles" and supposed "sound experts" bashing Bose for selling overpriced and underpowered equipment. These people just don't get it. I won't go on to bore you in detail about the ridiculous things that were said but I will mention that these people are comparing the SoundDock to a home stereo setup that entails having a receiver with two separate wired speakers. Is this a fair comparison? I beg to differ.

To summarize this product it's a compact unit you can have in virtually any room in the house minus a bathroom (for safety purposes) and its sound can be described as warm and beautiful with deep enough bass to make your sound come alive but not wake the neighbors. Clear, never distorted at any volume. You get what you pay for.

Thanks Bose!
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202 of 217 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2009
The Bose SoundDock has the Bose quality sound you would expect. It is a great way to play your IPOD, just plug it into the dock and play. You do not have any control over bass and treble, just volume. The remote has a good feel to it and responds well. There is a small green light in the dock that lights up each time you press a remote button. You will usually use the remote to change the volume, select the next or previous track and turn it on/off. The SoundDock itself only has 2 buttons for volume up and down.
The volume goes louder than I expected and I never have turned it up all the way, even when the kids are playing their IPODs.

There are a few things they could have improved......The power cord has the transformer built into the middle of the cord, it should have been built into the unit. The power cord plugs straight into the back of the SoundDock with a small round plug and it will come out easily if the unit is moved. The docking station is a seperate piece that is attached and it moves around a little which makes it feel loose. There isn't an on/off switch on the unit, just the remote, so you have to turn the IPOD off or use the remote to turn them both off, or just pull the IPOD out. My SoundDock was missing one of the stick on rubber feet on the bottom. I called Bose support and they mailed me one free.

Overall it's a great quality unit where it counts but Bose cut corners where they could on the rest of it.

We do love it and use it almost everyday.
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253 of 302 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2009
The sound quality is very good for the price point and the size. That said, the remote does not interface correctly with my ipod. Specifically it does not allow the user to move through the menus as it is supposed to. I thought at first the Bose system was defective so I returned it for a new one but the second one has the same problem. All the other remote functions work properly but in order to navigate through the menus on the ipod I either have to hold onto it in the docking station (it doesn't have a snug fit-another drawback) so that the pins don't come loose, or else I have to take the ipod out of the docking station all together, make my music selection and then put it back in the dock. This is a major flaw in an otherwise good product.
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135 of 167 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2010
I bought this about 8 months ago and love it. Sound superb for my bedroom (med/lg space). Very easy to use. But WARNING: it does not fit the new iPod Touch 4th gen. nor the newest iPhone. DON'T Force it on or you will break either the SoundDock or your iPod (likely the iPod). I have previous iPods so can transfer new music to them to play. But do Check The Compatibility Chart. It's a great product in spite of this problem. I can adjust, but if your only iPod is the newest Touch or iPhone: Don't Buy It. If you own earlier iPod models, it's room-filling sound is great.

UPDATE: November 29 2010
The SendStation Dock Extender (available here on Amazon) will get you back up and running with the combination of iPod Touch 4th gen, Bose SoundDock II and SoundDock 10. These Bose speakers are pricey investments and were compatible with iPod up to the newest Touch. Best I can figure, the angle of the docking mechanism was changed by Apple to accommodate the thin form. The SoundDocks don't fit the new angle and if forced will break your new Touch. These two Bose SoundDocks are still compatible with previous iPods. For some reason the Portable is not an issue.

The SendStation Dock Extender allows the 4th gen (and all previous models) to charge and play with both the Sound Dock II and SoundDock 10.

Bose: if you are listening, this is a solution involving no re-engineering. Possible "good-will" inclusion with new purchases of either of these SoundDock models (II and 10)

Apple: if you are listening, I checked in a number of your retail stores where you stock both of these models and the floor staff were clueless that the new iPod Touch doesn't work with Bose SoundDocks II or 10. Stocking the extender is the answer to a "Happy Customer" experience. As opposed to the return of the speakers and the broken iPod.

I am so pleased with this solution so I don't have to juggle my music all around, back to older iPod models in order to use my speakers!
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96 of 118 people found the following review helpful
Have the 1st Bose SoundDock for 2 older iPods. When bought new iPhone 3GS, bought the new Bose SoundDock II. Excellent sound! Fills 2300 sqft house fully, plus the yard. Rich clear music. Can get very loud, impressive. Kept my iPhone on it for a couple months, then discovered AirTunes, the Apple way of wirelessly turning every speaker in the house into broadcasting station for iTunes playlists and radio etc. AWESOME !!! Just buy an AirPort Express and connect it to the SoundDock II via Belkin Mini-Stereo Cable and you can stream all your playlists / songs to this great speaker PLUS all your other speakers in every room of your house, all at once, individually, or in selected groups. The roof is about to fly off with the volume of intensely great music raising the rafters here!

Then your iPhone is free to use as a Remote, free Apple app, to control your music on all speakers. Heaven! Have a long kirtan / mantra / bhajan playlist and having it going all throughout the house and yard for hours (actually days) non-stop is an amazing boon.

The Bose SoundDock II is expensive but we are very glad we bought it. It is getting a workout now along with all our other systems / speakers, all at once. Plus, we can take the Bose out on the deck, or to the office.
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38 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2012
Let me start off by saying I'm not a fan of Bose, and this isn't mine. I picked this out for my brother, as he needed something for college. We payed $225 for it. Anyways, I find Bose overpriced and underperforming. Their Wave systems, and pretty much everything else they offer is overpriced. Their headphones and SoundDock are fine. But this is about the SoundDock, not their other products. I listened to Green Day's ¡Uno!, ¡Tre!, John Denver's Wildlife Concert, Harbor Life Concert, and some others. They were played from an iPhone 4, and they are .aiff (full CD quality) not .mp3! Bose puts in a little paper saying how they strive to get natural sound, and all that jargon. I'm an audiophile (I guess) and I have a real Stereo. A modded Hafler DH-200, modded DH-101, and Boston Acoustics Micro90x for the front. This thing can't stand a chance, but I wasn't expecting it to.

This product really overdoes it with the mids. In fact it sounds rather tinny due to this. The highs are somewhat there, and it can reproduce some of the higher low frequencies, but drops off at around 80Hz. But like I said, the mids are too strong. It doesn't sound natural to my ears. My reference iPod dock is Apple's own iPod HiFi (made from 2006-2007) ($349 USD) The iPod HiFi also doesn't have much ground to stand on compared to my reference setup, it has more ground than the SoundDock. Thats the review regarding the sound. Now it's time to talk about the specs that I found by taking it apart. Bose doesn't talk specs (for a good reason), as they say its the sound that matters, and specs aren't important if it sounds good. True, very true. But the problem is that it doesn't sound so good, and me being a person who builds amps, restores vintage amps, repairs amps, and always tinkers, I couldn't leave this alone. Bose tends to use an EQ and lots of digital processing (DSP). Take their flagship speakers, the 901. They have 9 4.5" woofers in them. They are fine with the mid range, but to large to reproduce the high frequencies, yet to small for the low frequencies. So they give you an EQ to compensate. This colors and modifies the sound as it isn't capable of producting it correctly. To a novice, it is fine, but they are compensating for the poor design. They cut the mids, increase the highs and lows, and attempt to balance it out.

Same with the little 2.25" woofers. They can go low, and can't go high, so the DSP board (bottom) compensates for it by cutting the treble, and boosting the low and high frequencies. If you connect these woofers to a regular amp, they sound even worse as they don't have a DSP to color the sound anymore. So much for naturalness...

Moving on, the heart of the SoundDock is a TDA8922BTH. This little Class D amplifier IC is a SMD component. The spec sheet claims it is a 2x50W Stereo amp IC (50W per channel) The SoundDock's power brick spits out a +18V and a -18V, and provides 1 amp of current. This isn't enough to get the full output of the IC. The service manual says this thing consumes 36 Watts Maximum. So at full distorting volume it only is taking 36W from your wall socket. Add the iPod charging, other components (DSP board gets pretty toasty), the fact that the IC isn't 100% efficient, and you get less than 18W per channel at full. I'm guessing 8-10W per channel. I don't have an oscilloscope to check the wattage (service manual doesn't say), so we at least know it is well under 18WPC. The amplifier IC drives two 2.25" woofers that Bose calls Full Range Twiddler speakers. These tiny speakers aren't the highest quality. It the cone is made of paper, and it has a paper ridged surround. Not exciting or anything. You can find similar drivers with these specs for about $10 each. That said, these ones appear to be made BY Bose themselves, and not a 3rd party. Paper made speakers aren't a bad thing. They can sound pretty good, and are commonly found in high quality, but vintage speakers (1960-1980s) but in this day in age when technology and speaker material has improved, it is a sign of cheapness and lack of caring about quality. Great way to maximize profit margins though.

Circuit boards... Inside the unit, the pcbs are made of quality fiberglass, and are double sided through hole plated. Yay for quality here. It gets better, because many modern electronics (especially TVs and computers) use cheap crummy no name electrolytic capacitors. These caps last for several years before bulging and/or leaking. As you guessed, the equipment doesn't work after that. Quality brands such as Nichicon, Rubycon, Elna, Nippon Chemi Con (aka United Chemi Con), and even Jamicon.. They are used in quality electronics and are high quality Japanese caps that almost never fail. Nichicon and UCC/NCC did have some bad batches around 2003, but that has been resolved. Well Bose decided to use Nichicon, so in terms of reliability, GOOD choice!! The plastics are ultrasonically welded PC/ABS plastics, and that is a decent material, but MDF or a solid die-cast aluminum would be ideal for a speaker cabinet. In terms of build quality, and part quality, they did good here. Yes they could have used higher quality drivers, but they aren't bad, and they are in a properly tuned enclosure.

Lastly I'm going to discuss performance and value. While this thing probably has no more than $40 worth or parts inside, the other iPod speaker docks aren't any more expensive in terms of components. $250 (MSRP) might seem like a lot, and it is. With that said, look at Apple's online store. They have a lot of goofy small little speakers, and Bluetooth seems all the rage these days. The BT speakers I've heard sound like trash. Partially do to the actual product, but also due to the fact that they use the bluetooth protocol. Bluetooth compresses the file, and isn't good for audio (well music) Some of these tiny speakers are a whooping $300. And that is absurd. You then look at what is in the $200-$250 dollar range, and after hearing them all, you realize the SoundDock is the best of the bunch. Altec Lansing used to have some SoundDock killers. The Altec Lansing M602 and the T612 (the T612 was the iPhone GSM shielded version of the M602) were $199, and sounded a bit better than the SoundDock (Still can't beat the iPod HiFi or come close to a real stereo)

Now even though I'm not a huge fan of the SoundDock's sound, turning on Bass Booster rolls back some of the midrange to a more natural level... not perfect, but better. For $250 you get a decent sounding iPod/iPhone dock, the convenience on an all in one system, and yes, you are paying for the name. But compared to the other options out there, they are all priced high, so when you add the SoundDock to the mix, it isn't overpriced. The super expensive choices like the SoundDock 10, Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin series, and the other options, they are a poor choice. Keep in mind, most folks have MP3 files on their iPod or the ACC files from the iTunes Store. Even if these things sound great, the format is compressed by nature and bit rate so low, they will be the bottleneck. And once you lift that, the DAC in your iPod or iPhone isn't the world's best either. If the best sound is your goal, an iPod dock (even the absurdly expensive ones) aren't the answer. Build a stereo from quality components. As for the SoundDock, my rating is the following

Sound: 2.5 out of 5
Build Quality: 3.7 out of 5
Component Quality: 5 out of 5
Cosmetics: 4 out of 5 (finger print magnet)
Value & Performance: 4.6 out of 5 (Decent iPod docks are getting rarer)

3.9 stars average. If you have any questions, comment and ask.
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2009
The Bose SoundDock Series II is an excellent little speaker system. My wife and I have been extremely pleased with it and use it virtually every day. It produces a very clear sound and has enough power to fill a large room. That said, it should not be compared with a high quality component system, anymore than a high quality component system should be compared to live music. It's sound should satisfy all but the most committed audiophiles.

We use our Bose SoundDock almost exclusively with Pandora, an internet based music streaming service that allows you to create stations that play music you love through your computer or Ipod. The combination of Pandora with our Bose SoundDock has resulted in us listening to far more music than we have in the past. We no longer have to place a CD in the player and change it when it is finished. We now have simple and easy access to high quality music that we love. I highly recommend both the Bose SoundDock and Pandora to anyone who loves music.
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45 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2009
Received the Bose SoundDock II (Silver) as a gift. What an exceptional powerhouse! It fills the house or can be quiet enough for just the den. I have Bose noise-canceling headphones. The Bose quality and engineering is exceptional. The only reason I did not give it 5 stars is because the system lacks AM/FM radio like other (less expensive) docks (please take a hint, Bose!).
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2012
I am very disappointed with the quality of this product. I expected a good quality product just like everyone else expects from Bose but this unit is not worth the price by far. The very short one year warranty should tell you something. I barely used this and it's not even 2 years old and the docking connection failed. Had to argue with customer service to get them to agree to fix it for free as long as I pay shipping both ways. They tried to tell me the failed connection was due to normal wear and tear from docking and undocking. I hardly used it! And it cost almost $300! Apparently they expect you to buy a new one every year. Maybe if I had only spent $50 that would be reasonable. I will never buy another Bose product.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
This must be the best sound system there is for your iPod or iPhone. You just dock your iPhone and start playing your favorite music with such dynamic sound that you will be impressed. The sound is crisp and clear with adequate bass and it makes your favorite songs just rock. It has a small footprint but it sounds like the music is coming out of a stereo 10 times bigger. You can even turn up the volume and hear it rooms away with no distortion and with perfect clarity.

It comes with an auxiliary input for other audio devices, a DC power adapter and a remote control. The remote controls the system and the basic iPod/iPhone functions. You can even skip between playlists to get to the music you want to hear. One drawback is that my iPhone will not dock with the Bose unit with its protective carrying case on. This is an annoyance as it is a pain to take my iPhone out of the case every time but then I always get a smile on my face as the sound it worth it.

This unit is sleek looking with outstanding sound quality and people will just gasp when they hear the quality of the music coming out of this system. I highly recommend it to you as a good piece of entertainment equipment.

I have attached a photo of the unit so you can get a feel for the size of the system.
review image
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