Bose Solo 15 TV Sound System Review
Bose Solo 15 TV Sound System
Easy to use and setup
Lack of EQ
Not as good sounding as a real home theatre system
The reasons for wanting a Bose Solo 15 TV sound system are numerous: not enough room for a full 5.1 setup, not enough cash for a 5.1 setup, or maybe you just don’t want a bunch of speakers hanging around your living room. In this case, the Bose Solo 15 is your best bet. Compact, easy to set up, a lot cheaper than a 5.1 home theater system, the Solo 15 gives you great bang for your buck. Even if you’re a poor college student looking to enhance your movie experience, the Bose Solo 15 sits right beneath your TV, making it an excellent choice for compact spaces.
Design and Features
The previous model, the Bose Solo, lacked bass definition and mids were too high, resulting in at times incomprehensible dialogue. Bose saw (or rather, heard) these deficiencies and set out to make the Solo 15 a much better device while retaining the same elegant simplicity of its predecessor. In contrast to many full home theatre setups, the back panel of the Solo 15 is as simple as they come: optical, coaxial, stereo RCS inputs, and USB port, along with a newly added bass knob. The bass knob offers the only way to adjust the sound of the Solo 15; the biggest drawback here, in my opinion. Either way, those who don’t want ton spend hours setting up a home theater system or want a more “plug-and-play” solution will be more than happy with the minimalist design. The USB port, for those who are curious, are for software updates only.
The chassis is very sturdy; after all, it is designed for one to put their TV top! It’s designed for use with TV’s between 46” and 50” and up to 34kg. The front is curved and houses four speakers and a subwoofer. A major complaint of some may be that unlike similar products from other manufacturers, the Solo 15 lacks Bluetooth connectivity. Not a big deal for me but others may complain. It also comes with a universal remote that can be programmed to work with any TV, Blu-ray or DVD player, or gaming system, making it a convenient solution when one doesn’t want two or three different remotes floating around.
Despite the fact that all the speakers are placed very close together (though this can also be an advantage) the soundstage is very wide. My guess is that Bose, in all their technical mastery, places the speakers in a very particular phase relationship that can achieve a wide “sweet spot” while providing great sonic definition. I’ve been in front of large speaker arrays that create extraordinarily conniving spatialization but have a very small sweet spot. Move a half meter left or right and the entire illusion is lost; not so with the Solo 15 (though, granted, the unit is a less specialized piece of equipment than the 28-speaker array I was sitting in front of!). A dedicated centre-channel gives better definition to dialogue than its predecessor, the Solo.
As previously mentioned, the biggest drawback is the inability to tweak the sound. There’s no EQ and the only adjustment is the bass knob on the back of the unit. That being said, Bose did an excellent job tuning the unit to work well with nearly all rooms and TV’s. The soundstage is wide — both vertically and horizontally — and the balance of high, lows, and mids provide an excellent listening experience whether soft for night-time movie watching while the kids sleep (or neighbors) or when really driving the unit. The bass is surprisingly defined for a unit without a large 18.5kg subwoofer (see the Bowers & Wilkins MT-60D). Despite the fact that the sound is excellent given the limitations of the unit, its limitations become apparent when stacked against a real 5.1 setup. But, alas, it may not even be a fair comparison. If one is purchasing the Bose Solo 15 expecting the highest quality home theatre experience, one’s expectations are misplaced. If, however, one desired an excellent experience from a compact unit, it’s hard to go wrong.
The Bose Solo 15 is best suited for folks who want an easy setup with minimal hassle. Though the sound is not what would be expected from a full home theatre system, it is more than adequate for most casual home listeners. It’s a huge step up from the inbuilt speakers on your TV and only runs £399.95; a small price to pay for superior sound.
The clarity is fabulous.
Sounds good and easy to set up.
This is by far the best all in one surround sound speaker I have ever heard.
Very pleased with purchase, excellent sound. Was extremely easy to set up.
- Speaker Type Soundbar
- Color Name Black
- Impedance 4 ohm
- Crossover Description 3.5khz
- RMS Power Range 75 watts