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Bose TV Speaker Review

This soundbar sounds great for its size, but can't hold a candle to higher-end models
Bose TV Speaker
Credit: Bose
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Price:   $279 List | $279.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Compact footprint, simple setup, versatile physical inputs
Cons:  No smart features, minimal EQ customization
Manufacturer:   Bose
By Michelle Powell and Matt Bento  ⋅  Nov 11, 2021
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61
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 11
  • Sound Quality - 45% 5.6
  • Ease of Use - 35% 5.9
  • Volume - 15% 7
  • Style/Design - 5% 9

Our Verdict

For those looking to improve their home theater setup but don't have a lot of space or a lot of patience for a complicated setup, the Bose TV Speaker offers solid sonic performance in a small package. All the crisps highs and punchy mids we've come to expect from Bose are here, plus this model has the smallest footprint of any soundbar in our review. Set up involves plugging in the power cord and connecting to your TV via an HDMI or optical cable, then you're ready to go.

This model is very easy to set up and operate, but it also lacks smart speaker support and WiFi connectivity, and while it sounds good, the competition is very close, and its sound quality is eclipsed by several more expensive models.

Compare to Similar Products

 
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Price $279 List
$279.00 at Amazon
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Pros Compact footprint, simple setup, versatile physical inputsGreat sound for the price, bluetooth, external subwooferEasy setup, great price tag, subwoofer includedDolby Atmos support, easy to set up, Bluetooth connectionLow price, includes subwoofer
Cons No smart features, minimal EQ customizationNo wifi connection, no EQ controlsNot the best overall sound qualityNot the best sound quality, not voice assistant compatibleNo HDMI connection, weak low end
Bottom Line This soundbar sounds great for its size, but can't hold a candle to higher-end modelsThis is the best sounding entry-level soundbar, and the loudest model we testedThis soundbar is loaded with great features and has an enormous sound, making it an exceptionally good valueThis model delivers with an easy setup and plenty of volume but lacks top-tier audio and customizationThis model is affordable and fairly easy to set up, though there are similarly priced options that deliver much better sound quality and advanced connectivity
Rating Categories Bose TV Speaker Sony HT-S350 Vizio V-Series 2.1... Soundcore Infini Pro Samsung HW-A450/ZA...
Sound Quality (45%)
5.6
7.1
5.6
3.9
4.1
Ease Of Use (35%)
5.9
5.8
6.9
6.6
5.0
Volume (15%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Style Design (5%)
9.0
6.8
5.4
4.9
4.0
Specs Bose TV Speaker Sony HT-S350 Vizio V-Series 2.1... Soundcore Infini Pro Samsung HW-A450/ZA...
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"
2.4" x 36.6" x 4.7" Bar: 2.1" x 33.9" x 2.9"
Sub: 13.5" x 7.1" x 10.7"
External Subwoofer No (optional) Yes Yes No (optional) Yes
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), HDMI in, 3.5mm AUX, USB Digital audio in (optical), USB
Supported Audio File Formats Dolby Dolby Digital, Dolby Dual mono, LPCM 2ch DTS Dolmy Atmos Dolby 2ch, DTS 2ch
WiFi-enabled No No No Yes No
Bluetooth Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Voice Assistants n/a n/a None, but has a dedicated 3.5mm AUX port to connect a VA device n/a n/a
App n/a n/a n/a Soundcore n/a
Remote control? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Max Volume 91dB 102dB 95dB 95dB 91dB
Syncs with: Bose Simplesync enabled speakers None None None Samsung Wireless Surround Rear Speakers

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.

Performance Comparison


The TV speaker is a slick unit with nothing but 2 touch-sensitive...
The TV speaker is a slick unit with nothing but 2 touch-sensitive buttons on the bar for control.
Credit: Laura Casner

Sound Quality


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 soundbar sounds bigger than it looks.
This soundbar sounds bigger than it looks.
Credit: Laura Casner

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.

Setup


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.

All functions and presets require the remote and this model can't be...
All functions and presets require the remote and this model can't be controlled by the Bose app.
Credit: Laura Casner

Connectivity


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.

Sound Customization


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.

The Aux-in port allows you to connect a projector.
The Aux-in port allows you to connect a projector.
Credit: Laura Casner

Volume


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.

Design/Style


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.

This soundbar is a good option for small apartments or other living...
This soundbar is a good option for small apartments or other living situations where space is a premium.
Credit: Laura Casner

Value


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.

We love the easy-to-clean protective metal grill.
We love the easy-to-clean protective metal grill.
Credit: Laura Casner

Conclusion


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.

Michelle Powell and Matt Bento

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