Bose essentially created the “lifestyle” home audio category, so it’s astonishing the company has been pokey to accept sound bars. Still, the Bose Solo ($400 street) is a knockout offering in the thriving sound bar field. It utilizes a pedestal design where the TV sits flat on top, which reduces disorder and looks neat and tidy. The Solo plays to all of Bose’s strengths, with a sophisticated design, simplified setup, and a wonderful remote.
If you’re simply searching for an improvement over your TV’s speakers that plays large in the “Bose” way, the Bose Solo is a great option.
Design and features:
Zvox pioneered the pedestal sound bar design, with what’s essentially a big, black MDF box that sits below your TV. The Zvox looks OK in person, but its harsh edges may not fit in all decor.
The Bose Solo has a emphatically minimalist style. There’s a higher-quality feeling to it as you take it out of the box, even though its housing is prefab plastic. The Solo feels concrete, and its bowed edges and matte-gray housing provide an aesthetical win over the Zvox 420 and SpeakerCraft CS3. Say what you will about Bose, but the company knows how to design irresistibly beautiful products that fit into just about any home’s decor.
Like other pedestal-style sound bars, the Bose Solo is designed to sit below your TV. I’ve long been a fan of the tidy look of pedestal sound bars, which also do not obstruct your TV’s remote sensor. Bose says the Solo can handle TVs up to just 40 pounds, and only recommends using it with TVs up to 37 inches and many lighter 42-inch TVs. It’s a perfect fit for most 32-inchers, but too small to support progressively larger 46-inch and larger sets.
I’ve often complained about the chintzy, credit-card-style remotes usually included with sound bars, but Bose’s remote is marvellous. Bose’s minimalist approach results in a four-button design — Power, Volume (up and down), and Mute — that’s plenty for most users. Despite the simplicity, it doesn’t look cheap; with a nice processed texture and calming heftiness.
All of the Bose Solo’s ports are on the rear. Connectivity is limited, but again you don’t need many in a sound bar. There are two digital audio inputs (optical and coaxial) and a stereo input. Bose is counting on you to use your TV as a switcher, so you’re only limited by the number of inputs your TV has. (The Bose also accepts Dolby Digital audio, so it can handle audio from your TV’s over-the-air TV tuner.)
The setup procedure is simple and direct. All your home theatre devices connect directly to your TV (likely via HDMI), then you interact your TV’s audio output to the Solo. Block in the Solo’s power line and that’s it. The Solo has two bass ports in the back, so you’ll need to be sure it’s a few inches away from the wall
The only other step you may require to take is turning off your TV’s internal speakers, so you’re assured you’re only getting sound from the Solo. Not all TVs offer this choice, but it’s generally simple to access in the setup menu; verify your TV’s manual for more information.
The Solo is smaller than most pedestal-type sound bar speakers, but the sound is neutrally balanced. The bass, midrange, and treble are vivid, and dialogue sounds crisp, so the Solo sure produces more improved sound than most television’s included speakers.
If your goal is to get healthier sound quality than your TV’s speakers with the slightest amount of aesthetic impact on your room, the Bose Solo is a great home audio system. Better-sounding pedestal sound bars are obtainable for both less (Zvox Z-Base 420) and more (SpeakerCraft CS3), but neither has the beautiful looks of the Bose. The Bose Solo is a victor.
Where to Buy?
You can buy the Bose Solo at Amazon, and with their free shipping it makes for a great deal. Click here to see on Amazon.