Bose Solo Soundbar Series II Review: Works Better Than Your TV Speakers

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Our Bose Solo soundbar series II review explores its elegant, understated design and its capabilities. Does the simple look of this device belie excellent sound quality? This quick review aims to find out.

Solo soundbar series II review: Unboxing and first looks

The Bose Solo 15 Series II is a pedestal-style soundbar. Its chassis of solid, matte-grey plastic is sturdy enough to support TV sets that weigh up to 40 pounds. This covers most 37-inch and some lightweight 42-inch models. 

Bose Solo Soundbar Series II review

The front of the soundbar has a metal grille that extends to part of the side surfaces. For some reason Bose neglected to include a display at the front, leaving you to figure it out.

Along with the soundbar, you will find a power cord, an optical cable, an RCA cable, a remote, and an instruction manual. We will take a look at how this soundbar connects to your devices in the next section of our Solo soundbar series II review.

Inputs and connectivity

The Bose Solo 15 has three inputs: A digital coaxial port, a 3.5mm port, and a digital optical port. As port selections go, three ports aren’t much. If your entertainment rig has a gaming console that operates on HDMI, you’ll have to channel sound from the console, through the TV, and to the soundbar.

Wireless playback is off the table because the soundbar lacks Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

[Read what others are saying about this soundbar]

Features

The Base Solo Soundbar Series II is a simple device with only the most basic of functions. Here’s what you get when you buy this soundbar:

1. Setup

This is as easy as powering the soundbar and connecting it to the TV via a port of your choice. The TV will automatically detect the soundbar and channel sound to it.

2. Sound stage and surround sound simulation

Five drivers create the sound stage of the Base Solo 15. Three of them sit front at the center, where they fire sound forward. There’s also a side-firing driver on each side of the soundbar. Together, the five drivers simulate a big, wide soundstage. Crisp, clear dialog stands out, even in scenes with a wall of sound effects.

That said the soundbar works best in a relatively small room.

3. Sound palette (frequency response)

Because the Bose Solo 15 lacks a subwoofer, there’s only so much it can deliver in terms of bass. The sparseness of the soundbar’s palette extends to mid-range treble frequencies. This limitation forces the soundbar to do the best it can with a gapped frequency range. The result is a loss of detail as adjacent sound frequencies meld together.

4. Remote, equalizer settings and other calibrations

Except for a bass knob, the Bose Solo Series 2 lacks allowances for equalizer adjustments. The lack of equalizer settings is in stark contrast to the multi-functional universal remote, which seems like overkill for such a simple soundbar.

Pros

  • Simple, elegant design
  • The soundbar can double as a TV stand for televisions with bases no wider than 24 inches
  • Easy setup
  • Crisp, clear dialog
  • The universal remote that ships can be a useful addition to your home

Cons

  • Lacks true surround sound
  • No Bluetooth
  • Underwhelming bass
  • No display, which makes the soundbar difficult to navigate
  • The soundbar lacks the option for user-driven calibration

Bose Solo Soundbar Series II review verdict: An affordable upgrade to your TV speakers

The Bose Solo soundbar series II will add clarity and volume to the sound that comes out of your TV. This soundbar makes a good attempt at surround sound, thanks to a clever arrangement of drivers.  

The fairly wide soundstage, the clear dialog and a valiant attempt at bass justify the small sum that you pay for the soundbar. Click here to learn more about this soundbar.

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