Bose Wave Music System review: Bose Wave Music System

You can store up to six AM and six FM stations into memory, and the Wave, like its predecessor, is a proficient clock radio that gives you the option of awaking to a CD or a radio station. In contrast to Bose's SoundDock for iPods, this model has an auxiliary input (minijack) so that you can not only connect an iPod but any other playback device as well, including a DVD player. On the back you'll also find a headphone input, a jack for an external antenna (not included), and a Bose Link jack that allows you to connect the Wave to select link-enabled Bose Lifestyle systems and turn it into a Zone 2 stereo speaker. (A separate cable is required to engage the Bose Link functionality.)

The only major drawback to having to control everything through the remote is that tiny remotes are easy to misplace or lose. Imagine the alarm going off and not being able to silence it right away or hit the Snooze button (the Sleep button on the remote) because your clicker mysteriously disappeared. Grrrr. We therefore recommend you purchase an extra remote (about $10) to have on hand in case the included one pulls a D.B. Cooper.

Now on to the thing that really matters: Does this Wave sound better than the original? Yes, it does, though we found that it sounded a little different in each room we placed it in, so it's worth experimenting with different locations. (Bose offers a handy 30-day trial period.)

Small as it is, the unit can fill fairly large rooms with sound. CDs ranging from Frank Zappa's orchestral extravaganzas to the fury of rock duo White Stripes shined over the Wave. Bass was full and rich, though we sometimes wished the unit had bass and treble controls to compensate for recording variability. The Wave's AM and FM tuner pulled in all of our favorite stations, including most of the hard-to-receive ones.

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