Bose TV Speaker Review
Compare to Similar Products
Bose TV Speaker
$279.00 at Amazon
$278.00 at Amazon
$144.95 at Amazon
$299.00 at Amazon
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|Pros||Compact footprint, simple setup, versatile physical inputs||Great sound for the price, bluetooth, external subwoofer||Easy setup, great price tag, subwoofer included||Three levels of voice enhancement, versatile physical inputs, subwoofer included||Inexpensive, good connectivity, great dialogue enhancement mode|
|Cons||No smart features, minimal EQ customization||No wifi connection, no EQ controls||Not the best overall sound quality||Instructions are confusing and don't include wifi setup, subwoofer is quite large, sub-par sound quality||Overall audio quality is unimpressive|
|Bottom Line||This soundbar sounds great for its size, but can't hold a candle to higher-end models||This is the best sounding entry-level soundbar, and the loudest model we tested||This soundbar is loaded with great features and has an enormous sound, making it an exceptionally good value||This is a two-piece system that may take up more space than it's worth||This soundbar is sure to improve your home theater experience and is easy to plug in and start enjoying, though the audio quality is far from top-notch|
|Rating Categories||Bose TV Speaker||Sony HT-S350||Vizio V-Series 2.1...||Polk Audio Signa S3||Yamaha YAS-109|
|Sound Quality (45%)|
|Ease of Use (35%)|
|Specs||Bose TV Speaker||Sony HT-S350||Vizio V-Series 2.1...||Polk Audio Signa S3||Yamaha YAS-109|
|Dimensions||Bar: 2.6" x 35.5" x 3.5"
Sub: 15.4" x 7.5" x 15.13""
|Bar: 2.6" x 35.5" x 3.5"
Sub: 15.4" x 7.5" x 15.13"
|Bar: 2.28" x 36.00" x 3.20"
Sub: 9.9" x 8.25" x 8.25"
|Bar: 2.15" x 35.43" x 3.22"
Sub: 13.4" x 6.72" x 12.2"
|2.13" x 35" x 5.13"|
|External Subwoofer||No (optional)||Yes||Yes||Yes||No (optional)|
|Inputs (wired)||Digital audio in (optical), HDMI (ARC), 3.5mm AUX||Digitcal audio in (optical), HDMI (ARC)||Digital audio in (optical), HDMI (ARC), 3.5mm AUX VA, 3.5mm AUX, USB||Digital audio in (optical), HDMI (ARC), 3.5mm AUX, USB||Digital audio in (optical), HDMI (ARC), HDMI in, USB (update only), Ethernet, Subwoofer out|
|Supported Audio File Formats||Dolby||Dolby Digital, Dolby Dual mono, LPCM 2ch||DTS||Dolby||Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS Digital Surround|
|Voice Assistants||n/a||n/a||None, but has a dedicated 3.5mm AUX port to connect a VA device||Google Assistant||Alexa|
|App||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||Yamaha Sound Bar|
|Syncs with:||Bose Simplesync enabled speakers||None||None||Chromecast and/or Google Home enabled devices||None|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Bose TV Speaker has an optical connection, an HDMI connection (cable sold separately), and Bluetooth 4.2 capabilities. It supports Dolby Digital, but no other surround sound formats. This very simple speaker sounds excellent for its small size. Unfortunately, its lack of bells and whistles isn't reflected in its price.
Bose is well known for producing great sounds from small speakers, and while the TV Speaker sounds great, the competition is getting fierce for its price point. This model beats out similarly priced soundbars from Polk Audio, Samsung, and Yamaha, but only by a narrow margin.
This little soundbar produces a fairly immersive soundstage, despite its diminutive size and its lack of support for Dolby Atmos or DTS:X. Immersiveness is a lot to expect from a small speaker, and it can't hold a candle to higher-end models from Sonos and Bose.
In terms of low-end, the Bose TV Speaker produces a superior rumble for its price and size, but it still sounds comparatively thin compared to higher-end models. Mids and highs are delightfully crisp and clear, however, the enhanced dialogue setting gives the entire sound profile a somewhat harsh treble boost, affecting all higher-pitched sounds, not just the dialogue.
Ease of Use
Simplicity is a double-edged sword, and while this soundbar is perhaps the most Luddite-friendly model we've tested, it lacks many useful features found in similarly priced models.
The TV Speaker is a plug-and-play device, and you merely need to hook it up to your tv via the HDMI or optical connection plug it into an AC outlet, and you're ready to binge-watch all seasons of the Great British Baking Show. There's no lengthy setup or app to download, and it doesn't connect to WiFi. A small remote is included that controls the volume, dialogue and bass settings, and the Bluetooth connection. Don't lose the remote, because there are no controls on the soundbar.
The Bluetooth and an aux port do allow you to connect to a projector or a Bluetooth-enabled device, but the lack of WiFi and voice assistant support limit the Bose TV speaker to being "just a tv speaker", where its main competitors are a bit more versatile.
There is a button on the remote to give the TV Speaker a bass boost, along with a button to toggle the dialogue enhancement. Folks who desire deeper levels of customization should look elsewhere.
While not the loudest of the pack, this soundbar can hit respectably high volumes (91 decibels by our measurement). This is plenty loud to bring the additional power and emotion of the soundtracks and soundscapes of your favorite films into your living room. For reference, the loudest soundbar in our review tops out at 102 dBa.
We love the compact and sleek design of this model. It is a great option for folks looking to get the most sound from the smallest soundbar, plus it's the only model in its price range that has a plastic shell. This design is more durable and much easier to clean than traditional cloth-mesh speaker coverings.
In the case of the TV Speaker, value depends on your priorities. If you're looking for the best sound in the smallest available package, this soundbar is a decent choice. If you want modern smart speaker support and in-depth customization parameters, there are better options for a better price.
The Bose TV Speaker delivers a great home theater experience for its price, and it's a very appealing option if space is a premium in your home. It's very easy to set up and is a great choice for those weary tangled cables, but there are other options that are just as easy to set up and have WiFi and smart speaker capabilities.
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