When you hear the brand name Bose, you may instantly think of expensive and high-end audio equipment. With good reason, too. Bose has a reputation of creating products for the audiophile market, but they have entered new realms with recent product launches, including creating products available at much more modest price tags, including the Solo 5 Soundbar.

This soundbar has been built with the average joe in mind. It isn’t super expensive, it isn’t complicated, and you can use it with your home audio system. It is designed to work with televisions and simple media setups within the home. So, is it up to scratch, and does the Bose Solo 5 give your TV sound a significant upgrade?

Features

The Bose Solo 5 has a simple set of features. It is a 2.0 channel model, which is designed to sit in front of your television or to be wall-mounted. While it doesn’t have USB connectivity (the USB port on the back is strictly for software updates) it does have a Bluetooth connection. It’s simple to play your favorite tracks on the Bose Solo 5.

Dolby Digital - DTS audio processing ensures clarity and high quality but it doesn’t give the benefits of immersive, 3D audio or Atmos support.

Optical or Coaxial cable support gives two methods of connecting, and while you can’t connect with eARC HDMI cables, these methods do a perfect job of carrying non-atmos music.

The speakers also come with a handy remote control and some simple EQ functionality.

Sound

The sound is great, without being spectacular. Though the Bose Solo 5 Soundbar is marketed as a companion for your TV first and foremost, in testing, it performed marginally better when being used for music. A strong frequency response and a tight stereo field make it an upgrade on the majority of TV setups, which is basically the point of this product.

Without adding a sub or Atmos support, the Solo 5 does a good job of creating a clear and loud audio experience, great for a lot of television and music.

It doesn’t quite handle the bass frequencies as well as some competing options, but this is largely down to the size and price, and the lack of a subwoofer. The Bose Solo 5 wasn’t really designed for thundering bass and the sound of explosions in the latest Hollywood film.

The price is arguably the best thing about the Bose Solo 5.

The Verdict

The Bose Solo 5 Soundbar is pretty affordable. It’s designed for the home audio market as the Bose brand tries to ensure a bigger market share.

It doesn’t bring thunderous, room-filling bass, but it does give a fantastic upgrade on the inbuilt audio system of most televisions, and with Bose quality that incorporates faultless build quality and high-end components. It is also incredibly simple to set up, even if you know relatively little about audio.

While a system this compact, without Dolby Atmos support, is always likely to have limitations, for a simple 2.0 channel system, it is hard to argue with the quality the Solo 5 soundbar offers.

About the Author
Ben is a writer and musician from the UK with a background in music technology. He writes about engineering and production, musicianship and music equipment for a number of publications including his site, Subreel.
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