Bose Wave/PC review: Bose Wave/PC

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Full, rich sound in compact form factor; nifty remote control.

The Bad Expensive; software doesn't support streaming WMA files; doesn't add WMA files to library automatically; only six presets for each function.

The Bottom Line Although it's expensive, this product integrates PC-based and broadcast music playback very smoothly.

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Best known for its high-end speakers, Bose has also made a splash with its Wave product line, a luxurious take on the clock radio that is clearly the blueprint for the Wave/PC. Smaller than a boom box, this pricey device looks the same as its , complete with a white, plastic, fan-shaped case. However, this gadget connects to your PC, radically expanding your listening options. It plays CDs from your PC's CD-ROM drive, receives FM and AM radio, and plays streaming and downloaded music from your computer. Best of all, you can switch seamlessly between these three sources. Best known for its high-end speakers, Bose has also made a splash with its Wave product line, a luxurious take on the clock radio that is clearly the blueprint for the Wave/PC. Smaller than a boom box, this pricey device looks the same as its , complete with a white, plastic, fan-shaped case. However, this gadget connects to your PC, radically expanding your listening options. It plays CDs from your PC's CD-ROM drive, receives FM and AM radio, and plays streaming and downloaded music from your computer. Best of all, you can switch seamlessly between these three sources.

A clever connection
The Wave/PC offers AM and FM reception and also connects to your PC in two ways: the serial cable lets the device control audio on your computer and accesses station call letters, while a normal audio cable sends sound from the PC to the device. As previously mentioned, the Wave/PC functions as the output device for all digital audio on your computer--streaming RealAudio files, MP3s, or audio CDs playing from your CD-ROM drive. All of these options can be controlled from the Wave/PC's software, which operates like an MP3 jukebox but has a radio tuner for both conventional and Internet stations. Even more conveniently, the small remote that comes bundled with the Wave/PC handles most functions, which alleviates the need to access the software while you're using other applications.

High fidelity, but the price is not nice
Installation is relatively painless: connect the serial cable to your PC's port, install the software, and you're ready to go. As is typical with many digital audio devices, the Wave/PC's software automatically detects all of the MP3 files on your hard drive and imports them into its library. (However, you have to manually add WMA files to the library.) The application can also find local radio information when you input your zip code, allowing you to search for AM and FM stations by call letter or genre. The Wave/PC can also serve as a hub for Internet radio stations, although Bose's partnership with RealNetworks means that the device supports RealAudio streams instead of Windows Media-based stations.

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Where to Buy

Bose Wave/PC

Part Number: WAVEPC
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Functions radio
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Type audio system