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. I contacted Bose directly and they were AMAZING. They immediately sent me out a new one, and explained that the product is still in beta-testing. (They were surprised that I received the product so early before its release.) I sent back the old one, and they told me that it had old software on it (pre-release). No worries on it being in the official-product. The second one had the same problem (since they sent out the second before they got the first back, they didn't realize that the stock was of old software). No problem--Bose sent out another. The rep that I worked with (they assign you one person to talk to--a real, live person who emails you back immediately if you have a question) was GREAT. He checked on me to be sure it was working properly, and answered all questions I had promptly.
So, for customer service, Bose ROCKS! I would have no problem doing business with them in the future, knowing that they care this much about making things right.
(This is as opposed to a review I did for LG, where they couldn't care less when their product had failures--they were going to charge me to even check it out...even when I told them that I am a Vine reviewer and their customer service would be on my review...some companies couldn't care less.)
So, to the details of my system:
I have an LG 3D HDTV (http://www.amazon.com/LG-55LM7600-55-Inch-LED-LCD-Glasses/dp/B006ZH0M9Q/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1345651587&sr=8-4&keywords=lg+55+inch+hdtv) and run a Sony Blue Ray Player (http://www.amazon.com/Sony-BDP-S590-Blue-ray-Player-Built/dp/B0081SJP7W/ref=sr_1_7?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1345651686&sr=1-7&keywords=3d+blu+ray+player+sony). I use low-loss optical audio cables (http://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Digital-Optical-Audio-Toslink/dp/B001TH7GSW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345651814&sr=8-1&keywords=optical+audio+cable+amazon).
The set up was simple. Plug it into the wall outlet, plug it into the tv (use the optical audio!)...well, lah. It's ready. If your tv needs a manual change to the external audio, be sure you know where that is. My tv had an automatic switch to any external audio outlet. I had to do nothing to switch it.
I have run this speaker through all sorts of testing. News programs, Movies, Music stations, using all sorts of sound bands.
Here's what I found:
Speech: (This is my favorite part of the speaker, and deserves lots of attention.) I have a hearing problem in that I have trouble understanding speech coming from television speakers. My television has an option that amps up the voice, which I thought helped a lot...until I plugged in this Bose speaker. Suddenly, the voices were crisp and clear! It was clearer than "life", in my opinion. I believe that this is the best feature of this speaker...When I compared it to the sound from the tv (with the voice-feature turned on) it was night and day. (And here I thought that it was so good with the voice feature from the tv...not so much, now.)
Comedy (with canned-laughter): As I said earlier, the speech is clear, and the balance is such that the canned-laughter is not overpowering. Great quality, especially when you compare it to the tv's internal speaker.
Movies (with lots of bass--bombs, car chases, etc): The speech is great (have I mentioned that before? haha) but the lower end seems to be lacking a bit. Not in comparison with the tv. The tv didn't get it, either...but compared to the separate receiver and subwoofer, it does lack in the bass range. I didn't notice this as much as the people watching with me...yeah, it was the guys--they like that bomb-stuff :)
Music: Same issue as the movies. Music channels, like XM or Sirius, have a great lack in bass. The music crispness and treble are great--but the bass is lacking. Obviously, you don't want to make your tv the primary outsource for your music enjoyment, but this deserves to be noted. Again, comparing it side-by-side with the tv, the sound is spectacular (but both lack the bass of the receiver).
Pros: Voice, clarity, real-life feel to all sounds. Simplicity of set up and use. Simple remote control (has only 3 buttons--Power, Volume Up, Volume Down). Looks nice on the table...but this is also a "con".
Cons: Lack of ability to change settings on bass/treble. Big box on the table instead of a wall mount.
So--the bottom line is this: If you are using this speaker as it is intended, which is to replace your tv's internal speaker, then it's AMAZING. If you think it will be a replacement for all of your outlets, including music listening, you might be disappointed.
on November 30, 2012
I purchased the Bose Solo three weeks ago and could not be happier. As described, it makes the dialogue easier to hear. I am replacing my Sony surround sound system with the Solo. The surround sound system involved wires running under the carpet and loud noises during movies that would completely drown out the dailogue. Setting it up was very easy. My 46" Sony Bravia TV sits nicely and solidly on top of the Solo. The TV weighs 40 lbs. so the weight is also just right. This is a much cleaner look than the multiple speakers the surround sound system used. That being said, I purchased this for the sound, and I am very pleased with that. It actually does make the spoken word easier to hear. I am in my sixties, and just beginning to lose the ability to hear all the words on television. I was tired of missing every fifth word or so and the "clear voice" feature on my Sony television did not remedy that. With the Bose Solo, after I got used to it, about three days, I can now hear almost every single word that is spoken and never have to adjust the volume up or down depending on background noise in the show. It does seem to me like the Solo makes those adjustments automatically.
Hookup was a breeze. Place the unit where you want your TV to sit, plug in the power cord, connect the optical digital audio cable to the back of your television and the back of the Solo unit. For those unfamiliar, there is a slight resistance when you push the end of the cable into the hole, just push until it clicks into place and don't forget to remove the plastic caps on the ends of the cable prior to insertion. Place the TV on top of the unit and adjust the TV speaker settings to OFF. Program your remote control for the Bose system, there did not seem to be any codes listed in the instruction booklet, so I called comcast and got the code and programmed the Xfinity remote. If you use Comcast, and your remote is newer, with a red power button, the code you would want is 31229 or 31933.The small remote that came with the Solo is very nice, but I don't need it. The Solo unit now turns on and off with my television , and the volume up/down and mute buttons on the Xfinity remote control the Solo. If you have a different provider, call them. They keep a list of codes and will walk you through programming your remote if you need that.
Any peripheral you connect to your TV, like a DVD or Blu Ray, cable box, Kindle Fire HD, computer etc. will all play very nicely through your Bose Solo. The TV acts as the switching center and whatever you are watching on the screen will play automatically from the Solo. You don't need to change anything manually.
So anyway, yes, this is not a cheap sound bar, but it does seem to be a quality product that is very helpful if you have trouble hearing the dialogue. Also, I noticed the sound fills my large living room, with 18 foot ceilings, with no problem. I would not want anything louder than this. This review is of course my own opinion and I am not biased for or against Bose as this is the first product of theirs I have owned. Hope you find it helpful.
on July 25, 2012
Although I have a nice Sony Bravia TV, the sound can be a little...disappointing. This is especially noticeable when we watch BluRay versions of movies like "A Bridge Too Far" or "The Battle of Britan" - the TV begins to vibrate and buzz when the planes fly over. However, not being an overall audiophile, I had no desire to install a surround sound system with five speakers. I was looking into getting a sound bar when I discovered the Bose Solo TV Sound System.
The Bose Solo is a single box, roughly the size of a standard DVD / BluRay player; the dimensions are 10.25" x 20"; the TV is placed on top of the Bose Solo. Not having to find additional shelf or floor space for the speaker is definitely a plus! According to the package, this is designed for TVs up to 32" and in some cases up to 42". The base of the TV must not overhang the Bose Solo, or else the TV may be unstable and fall. However, the base of my 46" TV fits on top of the speaker box with room to spare.
There is a very small, thin, flat remote control that comes with the Bose Solo - ON, UP, DOWN, PAUSE/OFF. According to the Operating Guide the unit can be operated with a Universal Remote as well. But since I don't have a Universal Remote, I will have to add another remote to the growing collection on the coffee table.
Hooking up the Bose Solo was simple once I located the corresponding jack on the back of the TV. There are only two connections to make - 1) the power cord, and 2) either the analog (red and white jacks) or optical digital audio cable. The optical digital cable is recommended for best sound quality, so I wanted to use that - but had no previous experience with this type of cable. The ends of the optical digital cables have protective plastic shields which must be removed before installation, and they are fairly small. It took me some time to find the optical digital cable jack on the back of my TV. I was finally able to locate it when I turned off some of the lights in the room, and then I saw the red light coming from the optical jack! The connections on the back of the Bose Solo are well labeled and easy to find.
Once the TV and the Bose Solo were connected, I turned on the new box and heard some kind of distorted sound echo. A quick trip to the troubleshooting FAQ in the operating guide informed me that the TV sound should either be disabled or the volume turned all the way down. Once I disabled the TV sound, the sound coming from the Bose Solo took over.
My personal testing included turning the Bose up to full volume. The sound filled the room and in fact could be heard quite nicely from other rooms, too. I put in my go to BluRay, "The Battle of Britan" - no distortion, no vibration, no hum. (The lack of vibration is even more impressive when you consider this rather large TV is balanced on the speaker itself!) I also listened to music from classical to metal and everything sounded beautiful! I then went back and forth between the sound from the Bose Solo and the sound from the Sony Bravia only - the Bose definitely has a richer sound with more bass; the TV now sounds a bit tinny by comparison. The TV volume can be cranked up higher, but the higher it goes the more distortion and vibration come through - the Bose certainly cranks up high enough to fill a room (and possibly the entire house) and there is no distortion. Although the Bose instructions explicitly state that the TV volume should be OFF, I also experimented with the Bose Solo and bringing up the TV volume to just under the point where echo kicks in, and thought that sounded great, too!
The bottom line is that while the Bose Solo won't take the place of Surround Sound, it greatly improves the experience of watching TV and movies with a richer sound quality than the TV alone and no distortion or vibration. Since it's a single box that fits under the TV base, it doesn't take up additional space on the shelf or floor. It's very easy to install - add the power cable to the wall and the audio cable to the TV, and you're done!
on December 26, 2012
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. Bose codes are 31229 and 31933.
I bought the Solo primarily because I have a hard time understanding what people are saying on many of the TV shows and I recently got rid of my old 5.1 system since I don't listen to CD's anymore. The speech clarity of the unit is great, and I am satisfied with the over all sound. The unit is not comparable to a surround system but sounds better than the sound bar systems I have listened to. Bose based this system on the KISS principal which works for people like me who do not want to play with any more knobs. As far as complaints by people having hearing loss; I flew helicopters in VN for 2 tours and lost my high frequency hearing a long time ago and the Solo works great for me. I don't have to constantly ask my wife what someone is saying during a TV show.
Before you write the Solo off because of a few negative comments, keep in mind that if you don't like the system, Bose will take it back no questions asked.
I have been streaming iTunes songs from my Mac computer to an Apple TV and it sounds great on the Solo.
Unfortunately Bose limited their market since the Solo does not have Bluetooth or wifi. Had the Apple TV not worked I would have sent the Bose unit back since I would not have been able to play iTunes music.
5 Stars as a replacement sound system for the TV
3 Stars for Music
1 Star for Features
on December 25, 2013
I bought the Yamaha YAS-101 sound bar about 3 weeks ago. I love Bose products and thought I would try this Solo just for giggles. Do the comparison yourself.....trust me, the Bose is going back!! The Bose, although louder and fuller than the TV speakers, isn't in the same league as the Yamaha, and for about $150 less!! The Bose has an on/off and volume. Period. No other controls at all. The Yamaha has CLEAR VOICE that helps make voices stand out better and works well. It also has UNI VOLUME which keeps commercials and the show your watching to the same volume! It also has simulated surround, a built in dual tuned port subwoofer with remote adjustment to control the amount of sub bass.
Please try it. Don't listen to me. Buy both and compare for yourself. I'm telling you, you'll return the more expensive Bose!!!
Over the last decade or so, in addition to becoming much cheaper, the mid size (25" to 42") television has improved leaps and bounds in nearly all areas. They have better pictures, have more inputs, consume less power, and have gotten much thinner and lighter. These improvements have come at a cost, however, as there isn't much room in a 1 inch thick tv to fit decent speakers. The Bose Solo TV sound system attempts to address the issue.
This is not a home theater solution; it will not compete with a surround sound receiver and speaker system. It has a very specific purpose, to simply replace your built-in TV speakers without adding to your TV's footprint or adding to its complexity. It achieves its aim very well. When compared to built in TV speakers the Bose Solo TV sound is full, with clear dialog and impressive separation of sound. Watching a scene that takes place in a busy street, dialog was clear and in the forefront, yet I could still heard the subtle rumble of car engines along side the sound of tires rolling across asphalt. The same scene through the TV speakers produced muddy dialog and I couldn't even hear engine noise. (The sound change was enough of a difference that even the dog noticed. He has jumped up and started barking at the door a few times due to car sounds on the television. This never happened with the television speakers.)
A common misconception is that getting better speakers is for increasing loudness. On the contrary, with better speakers it is much easier to distinguish different parts of the audio track at the same decibel level, allowing you to actually lower the volume of your TV if you wish. Built-in TV speakers really are garbage these days, thankfully the Bose Solo TV sound system can be used to remedy the situation without adding the bulk and complexity of a receiver and speaker system.
on September 12, 2012
I was skeptical at first, but ordered the solo anyway (directly from Bose, same price as Amazon, but financing available). I was pleasantly surprised and amazed! Having been actively looking for a home theater system for some time, I was delighted with the solo sound system. What I experienced was NO BASS DISTORTION WHATSOEVER! Full, even-bodied sound. Highs not too high, lows just right, sound clarity amazing, and room-filling sound.
After the easy connection and turning the unit on (and turning my TV speakers off), the solo tv sound system made my TV sound so realistic it literally brought me out of my chair! From the first moment the solo was turned on, I was immersed in music (classical DirectTV channel) to the point I could distinguish between violins and violas (not easy when listening on regular TV speakers). The highs were crisp and the bass was not overpowering so as to vibrate the entire room (and distort the sound). Everything was crisp, vibrant, full-toned, well-balanced, and a pleasure to listen to! TV shows were even better! Dialog was clearer than with the regular TV speakers, and the system added a real depth to the TV watching experience. DEFINITELY worth the price! YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!! I kept switching between the TV speakers and the solo to get a comparison, and there is NO comparison! The Solo is an excellent system!
As a consumer, I wanted a home theater system, but did not want the high expense and all the extra boxes for the extra speakers all over the room. Nor did I want the wires or the wireless setup. When I set up the solo it was only 2 connections: to the electricity and to the television. Boom, done, finis. It can't get any easlier or simpler than that! The price was just right, and compared to other systems listed at much higher prices, the sound was either equal to or surpassed what I had heard before from those other systems (which, obviously, I did not purchase).
I have owned other Bose products over the years (Bose Wave, Bose iPod Travel Speaker, Bose home stereo speakers), and the quality is ALWAYS top-notch! Same for their Customer Service. The Solo is a fine addition to an already great product line-up by Bose. They really know sound quality! Congratulations Bose! You have a real winner with this sound system!
GET THIS SYSTEM. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT! For me, it was love at first sound!
This is a great device to add to a room with a HDTV, but where you don't want to install a full surround sound system. For me, I have a main television with surround sound in the Living Room, but also have a television in the bedroom. I don't want to install a full surround sound system in here, but also don't like the tinny sound of the television's audio. The Bose SOLO is a perfect solution.
The sound is fantastic...just as you would expect from Bose. I was surprised at how much the sounds reflected around the room, sounding exactly like surround sound even though the unit is place beneath my television. I love the audio! What I don't like is that there is no way to connect the audio controls with the television remote, meaning I have to use two remotes. Also, there is no power button on the main unit itself, so you have to use the remote for this purpose. This is typically no problem, except for the fact that this morning the unit would not power on through the remote. I had to unplug it from the back power supply, and plug it back in to turn on. If this happens again I will notate here on Amazon.
on September 19, 2012
I bought one 2 weeks ago and put it under my Panny L55ET5. I set it up before I read about the weight limit. I don't think this will be a problem. Like almost everyone else I bought it because flat panel speakers are terrible. The Bose Solo sound is adequate, nothing more. Wiring is kept to a minimum. The lack of controls directly on the box is going to be a problem. I am sure I will lose hours of my life looking for that remote. Can't get my Uverse remote to work with it. Bose offers their own universal remote but come on, this speaker has only 4 functions. It should work with all remotes. It sounds the same as my wave radio except it has less functionality. Priced above what it is worth but not having to mount a sound bar and place a subwoofer is why I am going to live with the trade offs.
on April 13, 2013
Purchased Bose thru Amazon Six months ago. Have an early Bravia HDMI TV, had to call for help on the first day. After a long time on the phone with Bose tech we both reached the conclusion Bose would only work thru cable box and not the tv. Also had to buy a fancier remote to get all the equipment to work together.
Sound is richer and fuller. As many other reviewers have noted there is great improvement in the the clarity of human voices.
We have one frustration. We use mute a lot, especially if we are watching sports. After 15 minutes on mute, the Bose tuns itself off automatically. The unit has no controls on it, just a very simple remote. We have to find that remote and turn the Bose unit on.
We called Bose technical support and we were told there was no way to turn off this automatic shut-off after 15 minutes on mute. This adds a complication to this "simple" TV sound system.