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Bose Solo review - lack of inputs makes Solo and average soundbar

£350 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Bose

Our Rating: We rate this 3 out of 5

Styled like a set-top box, the Bose Solo will improve the sound from your TV. Here's our Bose Solo review.

Bose Solo

Unlike traditional soundbars, the Bose Solo is housed in in large flat box designed to sit underneath your TV rather than in front of it. See all digital home reviews.

The plain-looking design is about 7cm tall so won't push your TV much higher than it already is. However, at just over 52cm wide you could fit the Solo on a shelf underneath provided you have some spare space. Bose says you can fit up to a 42in TV on top of the Solo up to a weight of 18kg. See all audio reviews.

Like most soundbars the main connection is an optical input. Once plugged into your TV's output, the Solo will provide the sound for anything you use, from games consoles to Blu-Ray players. There are no HDMI inputs.

Read our: Sonos Playbar review.

Bose Solo: where are the inputs?

In fact, there aren't many other inputs at all. There's a coaxial digital input and stereo phono jacks. The USB and 3.5mm ports are for service use only. Cables are provided so you won't have to buy any, but the Solo is quite limiting as there's no easy way of connecting devices such as smartphones to play music because there's no Bluetooth.

Bose Solo rear panel inputs

Bose provides a credit card-sized remote control with the Solo but it's about as basic as you can get. It simply has buttons for power, volume and mute. The soundbar is compatible with universal remotes though.

Inside the Solo there are four drivers and two bass ports. We immediately found the sound quality to be better than our Philips test TV. However, there are a number of areas in which the Solo is a bit of a let-down.

The speaker setup of the Solo means the soundscape is dominated by the mid-range and bass. Bass is punchy and the mid-range is mostly rich but a lack of tweeters means the little top end gets drowned out by everything else.

This might not be so bad if you could adjust the levels with a simple equalizer but that's not possible. When listening to music, bass was often overpowering but there's no way of toning it down.

When watching terrestrial TV, the Bose Solo sounds good but vocals are a little hard. It's a little like having a decent centre speaker as part of a surround-sound system. By this we mean the sound seems to come from the same place – there's little stereo separation. The situation improved when we watched a Blu-ray movie but with no virtual surround feature the Solo isn't suited to film enthusiasts.

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Bose Solo Expert Verdict »

Price comparison powered by Reevoo

£349
£350
£350
£350
Bose Solo TV Sound System Scores 8.9 out of 10 based on 115 reviews
Optical S/PDIF
Coaxial S/PDIF
Stereo phono
Remote control
Surround sound mode
525x70x309mm
2-year-warranty
  • Build Quality: We give this item 6 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 5 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 5 of 10 for value for money
  • Performance: We give this item 6 of 10 for performance
  • Overall: We give this item 6 of 10 overall

The Bose Solo will certainly provide better sound than your flat TV. However, it can do little else thanks to a lack of inputs. Add in the non-adjustable sound and a reasonably high price and it's an average soundbar.

Price comparison powered by Reevoo

£349
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£350

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