Bose Wave Music System review: Bose Wave Music System

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.

At the suggestion of the Bose folks, who changed this model's name from the Wave Radio/CD II to the Wave Music System to better express (read: market) the full range of its capabilities, we next hooked up the Wave to a DVD player's audio outputs. The sound easily bested the speakers built into most TVs, particularly flat-panel displays. True, its stereo imaging was confined to the space between the Wave's two speakers, but the Master and Commander DVD sounded remarkably clear and present. Just don't expect miracles from this tabletop system. The DVD's naval battle scenes lacked the visceral impact you'll get from better HTIBs and component systems, but the Wave certainly didn't embarrass itself or overtly distort sound. We imagine it will provide yeoman's service in cozy dens, bedrooms, or kitchens.

We'll finish by pointing out what may be an obvious stumbling block for some buyers: the $500 price tag. All we can say is, sticker shock aside, the Wave's a good-looking, good-sounding tabletop radio/CD player. In other words, while you'll be overpaying for the right to own one, you won't feel terribly ripped off.

Editors' note: Freelancer Steve Guttenberg contributed to this review.

Editors' Top PicksSee All


Discuss Bose Wave music system (platinum white)

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Where to Buy See all prices

Bose Wave music system (platinum white)

Part Number: 33976 Released: Oct 15, 2004
Low Price: $249.95 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Oct 15, 2004
  • Type audio system
  • Functions CD player
  • Components (for S.D.) radio / CD
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Color platinum white