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Bose Wave Music System III
Color: Platinum WhiteStyle: Wave Music SystemChange
Price:$399.00+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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562 of 580 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2012
Let me start by saying that I am not a Bose "Hater". I own two. I bought my first "radio"
only model somewhere around 15 years ago and is still going strong in my shop. I bought my
second one with CD around 8 years ago, and was faithful up until 3 weeks ago. The radio just
conked out and died. I ain't complaining though, 8 years is a pretty good run. (My original
is still kicking perfectly though. Guess they don't make them like they used to!)

Which brings me here today. Looking to replace my dead one, I was pretty much floored to see
that Bose is still commanding a $500 price tag for 2004 technology. Yes, it sounds good.
Yes, it sounds VERY good, but at $500 this is bordering on craziness. And don't believe those
who say it can compete with a component stereo. It simply can't. They either need validation
and feel-goodness for their purchase, or they are whacko. Gotta be one or the other. Again,
I'm not here to crap on Bose. If your stuck on the brand name, and have a $500 wad burning
a hole in your pocket for decade old technology, then have at it. You will have a very good
sounding Radio and CD player. But after my 3 weeks of OCD analyzing, listening, reading,
searching, listening again, this is what I've came to the conclusion of. It's my opinion
only, so take it as that, but if it helps anyone out there, your welcome.

1. If you techno savvy, and up to date on the latest and greatest, then there's pretty much
no replacing the Sonos PLAY:5 All-in-One Wireless Music Player with 5 Integrated Speakers (S5, Black)
music system for $399. You'll need internet obviously, and a bridge of some sort, (Sonos bridge, Airport Express, etc..)
but with 5 speakers, versus Bose's two tweeters and a woofer, yes, it is definitely better than the Bose. Is it day and
night better? No. But definitely noticeable. Plus you have a plethora of more music choices such as Pandora, Spotify,
Last FM, your own digital music collection etc.... If your part of the "X" or "Y" generation, this is probably gonna
be your choice. Also has free apps to control from Iphone, Ipad or android. Plus Amazon has a great deal for $25 a year
for their Cloud Player with Sonos. You can import 250,000 songs at anytime. $2 a month for access to a quarter of a
million songs is pretty amazing if you ask me.

2. If your stuck on terrestrial radio and CD playback, with the possibility of digital music, then the Yamaha MCR-040DG Micro Component System (Dark Gray) is gonna be for you. While again, the sound of the Yamaha is not night and day better, it is definitely better. You can save some coin for not opting for the wireless adapter if your not the Apple carrying type. You'll score a better sounding product and have $220 to blow on CD's. This would be the choice if your stuck on the all in one sleek look, and do not have alot of space.

3. Which brings me to the choice I made. The Onkyo CS-445 CD Receiver Systemfor $205. I also added the Polk Audio PSW10 10-Inch Monitor Series Powered Subwoofer (Single, Black) for $100 and still had $200 left over from the Bose. Now this system does BLOW away the Bose in sound quality, in large part due to the subwoofer. Now some of you might not have the room for a sub, but if you do, it would be downright silly not to buy the Onkyo and pocket the extra cash unless of course your stuck on the Bose brand name.

In conclusion, Yes, the Bose is very good, but if you research and go listen to these, you can get SO MUCH more for your $$$$. Hope this helps.
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278 of 289 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 2, 2008
I have enjoyed my Bose Wave music system for just over a month and I am very pleased with its performance. This is the second or third generation of the iconic Bose one-piece tabletop sound system that is intended to make you think you are listening to a much more complicated and professional component system. And, to a great extent, it does just that--or at least, it is closer to a stereo component sound than to a stand-alone run-of-the-mill radio sound. It certainly features a deeper range of bass sounds than any other one-piece radio I have ever encountered.

Bose has pioneered its spectacular sound machines which seem highly defined by their innovative speaker systems which they refer to as "waveguide speaker technology". This one-piece system produces a clear, natural, room-filling sound without the need of external speakers. It has a very innovative physical design with a small unintrusive footprint that sits well on a night stand or in the kitchen. I particulrly appreciate the Titanium Silver color which seems appropriate for any area of the home. It is simple to install right out of the box and has the FM/AM radio, CD player, and clock/alarm built in. There is an auxiliary input for an MP3 player or other alternate sound source.

I especially appreciate the alarm system that opens softly and gently rises in volume as you awake. It comes with a credit card size remote control; however, I purchased the larger backlit remote with a dedicated cradle that I use instead. All in all, this is an effective and very impressive one-piece tabletop sound system that I enjoy daily. It is a bit pricy, but ultimately, you get what you pay for.
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501 of 528 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2012
I bought this system through the Bose website because they offer a 90 day no questions asked return policy which includes shipping, PLUS 6 month zero percent financing, so I could try it out and only put up a hundred bucks to decide if I want to keep it. The first thing I thought when I saw the different options were that the prices are RIDICULOUS. For one of these guys without the CD player, it's 350 bucks. You add a simple decades old technology CD player, and they bump it up 150 dollars. Insane. However, if you don't listen to CDs and use your iPhone or MP3 player to listen to the majority of your music, you can get the CD playerless model, and add bluetooth connectivity for 100 bucks, which totals 450 for the system. I opted to go for this model, partly because I can always add bluetooth later but can't add the CD, and because I buy most of my music through amazon and it's all burnable to MP3 format, so I have CDs with over 120 songs on them in alphabetical order that I listen to in my car, and it's a huge bonus that they all work on this CD player.

So, moving along... Unpacking and getting it up and playing is as easy as the listing said it would be. Take the cord, plug it into the unit, and plug the other side into the wall, and voila- you're ready to go. One thing that I want to mention is that this does not come with an FM/AM antenna included, but the instruction manual says that you can plug one in, so that's something you may want to consider if you're living in the boonies or out in the middle of BFN. The unit uses the power cord as the antenna, and the manual states that the cord should be straight to get optimal results, but I haven't really had any problems with getting the stations I want to listen to, so it might be YP, but not MP. (My problem)

The design of the unit is very simple and seemingly seemless. There is a "touch pad" at the top of the unit, which is nothing more than an invisible button useful for the alarm functions, a slot for a CD, an lcd display, all on a clunky, though charmingly attractive box. The remote control is essential to this music player's operation, and Bose is probably counting on me losing it so they can wring me out for more cash. The remote is nothing special, and almost reminds me of those remotes I used to get when I had Kenwood CD players and disc changers installed in my car. Nonetheless, if you lose it, you won't be able to use this thing for much.

There are four inputs/outputs on the back of the system, and they are: FM antenna, Bose link, AUX in, and Headphones. The AUX in and Headphones outputs are both 3.5 mm, which is the smaller of the two main connectors, but if you have a 3.5mm to 1/4" adapter (that costs like 2 bucks on amazon) you can plug in your digital piano, or guitar from the amp into the AUX IN. I've done both, and the sound, especially from my Casio Previa Digital Piano came out about a million times cleaner and more pleasing than the stock speakers. You can also use professional headphones with quarter inch jacks with the adapter, but that almost defeats the purpose of spending 500 bucks+ on a stereo set.

After taking the time to learn the components, the remote and operation, alarm functions and time setup etc. and finally getting to really listen to music, it's easy to remember why I bought this thing in the first place. The sound is as good as money can buy. I'm a leisure musician living with a family of musicians, and we all appreciate the distinctive Bose sound. The songs I've listened to seem to come to life, and the speakers don't miss a single detail. Playing Christopher Cross's "Sailing" turns the living room into a warm day in the bay, listening to Kenny Chesney takes me back to my roots in Tennessee, "Turkish March" transforms the space into a music hall, and the bass from Juvenile's "Back that Azz Up" really makes my house feel like the VIP room at the club. When I listen to my Wave, I like to just close my eyes and absorb the sound that you almost never get to hear in your car or from your ipod. It's ear candy.
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220 of 230 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2012
I bought this system through the Bose website because they offer a 90 day no questions asked return policy which includes shipping, PLUS 6 month zero percent financing, so I could try it out and only put up a hundred bucks to decide if I want to keep it. The first thing I thought when I saw the different options were that the prices are RIDICULOUS. For one of these guys without the CD player, it's 350 bucks. You add a simple decades old technology CD player, and they bump it up 150 dollars. Insane. However, if you don't listen to CDs and use your iPhone or MP3 player to listen to the majority of your music, you can get the CD playerless model, and add bluetooth connectivity for 100 bucks, which totals 450 for the system. I opted to go for this model, partly because I can always add bluetooth later but can't add the CD, and because I buy most of my music through amazon and it's all burnable to MP3 format, so I have CDs with over 120 songs on them in alphabetical order that I listen to in my car, and it's a huge bonus that they all work on this CD player.

So, moving along... Unpacking and getting it up and playing is as easy as the listing said it would be. Take the cord, plug it into the unit, and plug the other side into the wall, and voila- you're ready to go. One thing that I want to mention is that this does not come with an FM/AM antenna included, but the instruction manual says that you can plug one in, so that's something you may want to consider if you're living in the boonies or out in the middle of BFN. The unit uses the power cord as the antenna, and the manual states that the cord should be straight to get optimal results, but I haven't really had any problems with getting the stations I want to listen to, so it might be YP, but not MP. (My problem)

The design of the unit is very simple and seemingly seemless. There is a "touch pad" at the top of the unit, which is nothing more than an invisible button useful for the alarm functions, a slot for a CD, an lcd display, all on a clunky, though charmingly attractive box. The remote control is essential to this music player's operation, and Bose is probably counting on me losing it so they can wring me out for more cash. The remote is nothing special, and almost reminds me of those remotes I used to get when I had Kenwood CD players and disc changers installed in my car. Nonetheless, if you lose it, you won't be able to use this thing for much.

There are four inputs/outputs on the back of the system, and they are: FM antenna, Bose link, AUX in, and Headphones. The AUX in and Headphones outputs are both 3.5 mm, which is the smaller of the two main connectors, but if you have a 3.5mm to 1/4" adapter (that costs like 2 bucks on amazon) you can plug in your digital piano, or guitar from the amp into the AUX IN. I've done both, and the sound, especially from my Casio Previa Digital Piano came out about a million times cleaner and more pleasing than the stock speakers. You can also use professional headphones with quarter inch jacks with the adapter, but that almost defeats the purpose of spending 500 bucks+ on a stereo set.

After taking the time to learn the components, the remote and operation, alarm functions and time setup etc. and finally getting to really listen to music, it's easy to remember why I bought this thing in the first place. The sound is as good as money can buy. I'm a leisure musician living with a family of musicians, and we all appreciate the distinctive Bose sound. The songs I've listened to seem to come to life, and the speakers don't miss a single detail. Playing Christopher Cross's "Sailing" turns the living room into a warm day in the bay, listening to Kenny Chesney takes me back to my roots in Tennessee, "Turkish March" transforms the space into a music hall, and the bass from Juvenile's "Back that Azz Up" really makes my house feel like the VIP room at the club. When I listen to my Wave, I like to just close my eyes and absorb the sound that you almost never get to hear in your car or from your ipod. It's ear candy.
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133 of 137 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2009
I had the Bose Wave Music System (one disk changer and remote) for a week or so now. Never thought I would pop the $$ for this but when I found it at a good price, I said "go for it". I'll admit, I'm surprised and impressed. I did expect it to be different, better and so forth - just because of the reputation - but I was not prepared for the details of that difference. The sound is remarkable. It not only sounds great when you're in the room with it but also because of how well it produces music throughout several adjoining rooms . For example, when I am in my living room, two rooms away from where I placed the Bose (in the kitchen at the rear of the house and facing the back) the music sounds almost even better - its rich and full and more rounded than any of my other music systems with the possible exception of the one that takes up a great deal more space. I like listening to it from my reading chair in the living room....great full powered sound without being overpowered by it... I hear details of CD music I've not heard before from such a distance. I think the distance listening factor of this unit is the most remarkable feature of all that are mentioned.

Some reviewers have been critical of the unit being controlled only by the remote with no on board buttons. I can see that as a problem if you have kids and pets (who like to eat remotes - and yes, both the kids AND the pets might do that).... but for me, a single guy living alone, it is no problem. Actually, the unit looks sleek without all those buttons on top and you don't have to worry about dust accumulation. Just the same, I do recommend getting a backup remote - easily available on the eBay market (just Google it). If you've got an extra $500 for a new unit, go for it...or, if your funds are more limited, look around. It can be found for less. In my case and considering what I paid, it was more than worth it.
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79 of 80 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2011
I originally ordered the Boston Acoustics Trio because of better features but due to a couple of issues (details below) decided to switch to the Wave. While I had both units, I did a side by side comparison, and here is a summary:

Sound Quality: Both the Trio and the Wave sound great. Listening to the same radio station and CD in both, the sound is different and IMHO the Bose sounds better. Especially in higher frequencies and lighter tones. Some may like the Trio better. But the difference is not likely to be a deal breaker for either.

Sleep feature: Both units allow a programmable sleep time (up to 90 min). When it is time to turn off, the Wave gradually lowers the volume and turns off. The Trio suddenly turns off at whatever volume it was, which can be jarring. Bose wins.

Controls on Unit: Trio controls are nice to use, and most people will not need the manual for common tasks. The Wave has no buttons on the unit itself, every control is through the remote. If you buy the iPod dock, you get an additional remote for the Wave and then one can leave one remote near the unit. But still, the lack of a Snooze button and CD eject button on the Wave is annoying. And one has to worry about not loosing the remote or having a dead battery one day. The Trio definitely wins.

Remote control: Comparable features on both. Bose does offer an optional bigger premium remote with back-lit buttons.

Radio: The Trio shows radio station names and the name of the currently playing song. The Wave only shows the station frequency. Wave does have one more pre-set memory location. Boston Acoustics wins.

iPod: The iPod dock was free with the Wave at the time of this writing (through Bose) and deeply discounted with the Trio (through Boston Acoustics). The docks work on both, but are only mediocre in terms of the amount of control over playback one gets from the remote. The Trio dock does allow for the alarm to be set to wake to iPod. The Wave dock needs a separate bulky power adapter while the Trio dock gets its power from the same wire that connects it to the Trio. Both do charge the iPod. Trio wins.

Alarm: The Wave has one alarm, which cannot be programmed for days of the week. The Trio has two alarms each of which can be set for all 7 days, weekdays, or weekends. Trio wins. (BUT, the Trio seems to have a bug, also noted by some reviewers for Trio. I set both alarm 1 and alarm 2 on the Trio. Alarm 1 was set for an earlier time and it did go off at the set time. The Snooze worked. But when I turned off the alarm using the correct method, two bad things happened: Alarm 1 automatically reset to 12am, Alarm 2 turned off and did not sound at the set time.)

Wake to: The Wave allows the alarm to be set to CD or Radio. The Trio allows CD, Radio, iPod, or a tone alarm. Trio wins.

Battery backup: Both the Trio and Wave remember the time, alarm, and radio presets in case of power failure. Neither will sound the alarm if there is no power at the time the alarm is supposed to sound. Its worthwile to note that many cheap radio alarms have a backup alarm on batteries that sounds even if there is no power.

Clock: Neither adjusts for daylight savings. The time display IMHO is better on the Bose and easier to read, though the screen on the Trio is higher resolution. Both allow for changing the display brightness. The automatic brightness change on the Trio is jerky and not pleasant to look at when its changing. The Bose brightness change seems imperceptible.

Looks: This is very subjective. I liked Bose better. More importantly, my wife liked Bose better and she has a good aesthetic sense. Maybe that's why she married me :-)

FM Antenna: The Wave's FM antenna is part of the power chord, so no need to extend and hide an additional wire. The Trio has a separate wire for the FM antenna. Bose wins.

AM Antenna: Hidden for the Wave. Exposed as a twisted wire for the Trio, which for me was damaged on delivery. Bose wins.

Price: Bose spends more on marketing and customer service. They have local stores where one can experience the products in person. As expected, Bose is more expensive.
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60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2012
Has really great sound, but ALL controls are on VERY small remote, which is easily misplaced!! Buttons on remote are especially small for elderly aunt, which gift was purchased for. Needs to have some controls on unit itself for when remote is lost
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121 of 128 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2013
We bought on of these for our 90 year old mother, who has moved into a retirement home and needed something more compact and easy to use than her old component system. We are probably going to be returning it due to two seemingly trivial problems.

- the headphone jack is on the BACK of the machine, so to hook up headphones you have to lift the radio, turn it around and search for the tiny black-on-black jack. If you have the multi-CD changer the radio part comes off when you do this and is fussy to reposition. She likes to listen with speakers during the day but headphones at night when it would bother others, but moving the radio to plug and unplug it on a daily basis is just too hard for her, as I suspect it is for many other older users. Why not just leave the headphones attached all the time, or put a short extension cord on them to allow plugging and unplugging? You can't because when the earphones or extension cord are plugged in the speakers are automatically turned off. There is apparently no way to fix this without doing very tricky internal rewiring which would void the warranty.

- the remote is too small. She can use it, but just barely, and is frequently frustrated by the experience. It's hard to read and the tiny, tiny buttons with little feedback are hard for her to push. She frequently pushes the wrong button then gets confused. And she frequently misplaces the remote because it is so tiny (and the Bose has no controls on the radio, so without the remote it cannot be used).

It's too bad Bose won't put the headphone jack on the front where it could be found and used like on most other modern systems. And it would be easy to offer a larger remote for the old or hard of seeing. My impression is that older buyers are one of Bose's largest market, too bad Bose will not direct some engineering at them - rather than just advertising!

BTW if you are buying one of these for an older user, avoid the multy-CD changer - it makes the system much more complicated to use.
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81 of 88 people found the following review helpful
I've owned two Bose Wave Radios, the original & the Wave II single CD "system". They were excellent radios with good sound. I always thought they are were overpriced so I never bought one factory new. I got my first one off eBay in eBay's early history for $150 and my second one in 2004 for $200. Both were like-new condition & included the original box & paperwork. They were expensive gifts the sellers never used.

I really liked the original Wave Radio, using it the last few years (late 1990s-2004) as a sound system for my tower PC. The only reason I sold it and bought the newer Bose is I thought I wanted the built-in CD player. It was a top load single CD player. I was disappointed with the Wave II. Unlike my first Wave radio, I thought the CD model had far too much bass. The first Bose seemed perfectly set for the variety of music I enjoy, Blues, Smooth Jazz, Classical,Classic Rock. The sensor quickly detected the type of music and the presets for each genre were excellent. The second CD Bose radio sounded like it had the same settings for all types of music. It also lacked the power of the first and its capacity for playing CDs was very limited. I never used it much and wanted my old Bose back. I had better sounding boom boxes.

I tried out the Bose III and decided I definitely have no interest in what in my opinion has become a very hyped, grossly overpriced, small but excessively heavy clock radio-CD player. By the way, I easily found several sweet spots for the first wave radio. I never found a sweet spot for the Wave II. No matter where I placed it we heard the same dull, excessive bass sound. Even for talk radio and news broadcasts we much prefered our much cheaper CCrane Radio ($150) and my GE Superradio II ($59). Both radios are much lighter and can be operated with batteries. We also have a $130 JVC sound Tube that doesn't require a sweet spot to broadcast superior sound. It has more auxiliary inputs, has surround sound & DRG settings. Its our LCD TV sound system that includes an FM receiver which gets excellent reception in a location the Wave II cannot get AM and produces limited FM .

By the way, I had a Cambridge Soundworks radio that only cost $160 (new), looked similar to but more attractive than Wave Radio, worked on same principle and had more modern features. The Bose Wave II? I donated it to Goodwill a few months ago.

Sears was once a premier retailer. Volkswagen once sold two fantastic vehicles, the Bug and the Bus. Polaroid sold a wonderful instant photo camera. Kodak was the king of easy to use point and shoot cameras. Bose once sold an amazing wave radio, that was before 2000. Today, a different generation manages these companies. Unfortunately, they seem to want to live off the story of a once great product, great in another era, to live off a past reputation.

My advice? Don't be seduced into dropping $500 for a clock radio. Unless you try out a Wave radio and compare it to cheaper, quality, modern alternative that is precisely what you may be, a sucker with a clunky status symbol, not a practical quality sound system. Folks, this is a clock radio with a CD player thrown in. Its clunky overweight & limited by today's standards & you don't even get an equalizer so you can choose more refined, mature adult sound settings.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2012
What a big sound from such a small package. I use to have last version of Wave Music System II and it was great, this new one is even better. They made radio sound so good, and it let you now the name of the song and the artist. The touch pad on top is very usefull to turn on or off the unit. LOVE this Music System.
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