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Bose Solo 5 Soundbar Review [2020]

Bose Solo 5 Review

While Bose is known for high caliber audio, one should never assess a device solely based on its manufacturer. Bose Solo 5 may bear the respected brand name, but how does it really perform?

Is the bass powerful enough? Can it give a surround-sound experience? Our audio experts have put it to the test to see how it holds up. Read on for our full Bose Solo 5 review.

Pros

Cons

Let’s take a look at the breakdown of the individual features of the Bose Solo 5 soundbar.

Design

The Bose Solo 5 has a simple design. It’s compact, lightweight, and the casing is made of tough plastic and a metal grid. Measuring at only about 21 inches, this small soundbar fits under most TVs. If you like, you can also choose to purchase the wall mounting kit, which will save you some time and effort during mounting.

The Bose Solo 5 doesn’t have a display. It doesn’t feature any controls either, particularly because it works with a remote control.

If you decide to place the soundbar on your entertainment unit, this product isn’t too tall and will sit very nicely in front of your TV screen. Since the input connections are located at the back, it’s important to leave a few centimetres of space between the sound bar and the wall.

The Bose Solo 5 has a solid build and since it has a small size compared to most other soundbars (in terms of width), you have more flexibility with placement. Not to mention the minimalist design, which blends in well with any interior.

Overall, the Solo 5 is among the more basic soundbars, meeting you with a simple design without all the unnecessary bells and whistles. (You can also see the Vizio M21d-H8 with an angular design for comparison.)

Features

Subwoofer

This soundbar does not come with a wireless or wired external subwoofer because the subs are embedded inside the speaker. This gives you a relatively deep and rich bass without needing an extra subwoofer.

Unfortunately, you can’t add an external subwoofer should you want to. With a sub, this soundbar would’ve provided an added bass to the music.

Another thing is that although it can decode Dolby Digital sound via the optical port, the sound will be downplayed. 

For more options on speakers that gives deep bass tones, read our review of Bose 161 here. 

Sound Quality

Bose knows sound, and for such a small size, the Solo 5 is able to deliver impressive sound that beats TV speakers. With a frequency range from 61 Hz to around 19 kHz, this Bose soundbar has a dynamic range that can boost the sound even of smaller sets like forty two TVs.

For those who love a deep and thunderous bass from a speaker, an external subwoofer would have helped you get better sound. Still, the Bose Solo 5 TV sound system is among the very precise and accurate soundbars and can emit the right tones accurately, despite the speaker size and lack of bass depth.

Even without a lot of bass and the absence of a dedicated sub, the soundbar allows you to customize the bass levels to your liking with the included universal remote.

As for how loud a sound the soundbar can generate, you would be looking at around 87 dB of volume. That’s powerful for a quality sound bar of a small size. Plus, the harmonic distortion is minimal with this product. Even at a higher volume, the TV soundbar sounds clean and clear.

Unfortunately, this soundbar is not a surround sound-generating one due to the lack of rear speakers. However, the sound quality is quite impressive despite its absence.

Even without diverse audio modes, the dialogue on your movies and TV shows will be crisp and clear due to the dialogue mode. If you’re a cinephile, you’ll appreciate this dialogue mode because it just provides a much better sound.

Channels

This is a 2.0 soundbar like these ones from Vizio, which means it’s difficult to achieve surround sound with it.

To explain the digits, the first number refers to the channels your sounding bar has. Meanwhile, the second number refers to how many subwoofers it has. Since it’s a 2.0 soundbar, it has 2 channels and no subwoofer. 

The channel is basically how many loudspeakers it has (which is two). Soundbars with 2 channels usually mean they have a left and a right speaker. Indeed, the channels on the soundbar are left and right, but they are both located more towards the center.

This results in lack of stereo separation and directionality. It basically means you have audio coming at you in just one direction, more or less.

To simulate surround sound, you need at least 5 channels [1] (left, center, right, and two at the rear). Other Bose soundbars like the Solo 15 have four.

Connection

In terms of connectivity, the Bose Solo 5 offers limited inputs and outputs. It only has two forms on inputs including the analog input (3.5mm) and the optical audio input. Aside from the optical audio input, you also have the coaxial input. You will notice that the HDMI ports are absent as well as the USB.

Because of the lack of an HDMI port in the Bose Solo 5 TV sound system, you need to be sure that any product that you purchase supports optical, coaxial or other cables. The same is the case for other Bose soundbars like the Solo 15.

Bluetooth

Most soundbars now will have wireless connection options that allows you to pair with other Bluetooth supported devices. The TV soundbar from Bose can still deliver great sound quality, and you’ll experience minimal loss when audio is transferred from your device to the soundbar.

You can freely stream your favorite tunes and podcasts from your mobile device to your Solo 5 TV sounding bar. The Bluetooth connection also minimizes the use of wires and cables that will only add to the messiness and clutter of your living room.

This is also an advantage the Solo 5 has over other Bose models.

Controls

This soundbar comes with a universal remote control. This handheld remote controls your TV, player and sounding bar – all in one device. Also, any device connected to your TV can be adjusted via the universal remote.

The best part about having a universal remote control is you no longer need to switch out between different remotes to control different devices. It may be confusing to need to memorize which device each remote is for, and sometimes you may think you have turned a device off when in fact you haven’t.

While this sounding bar may not have different sound modes, many of which include gaming, movies,  TV shows, news, music and more, the sound quality of movies can be greatly improved when you use dialogue mode.

Since Solo 5 is a simple soundbar for TVs, it doesn’t feature any displays or control panel buttons on the front. The universal remote control is needed to change the volume and other preferences.

During our tests for this Bose Solo 5 review, we’re pleased to find out that the remote is very intuitive. It’s very straightforward with the buttons all labeled clearly. It won’t take much research to understand, which is how all remotes should be.

Easy Setup

In any TV speaker review, the set-up of a technology product is crucial to how well received it is. Whether it’s Bose, Samsung, or other brands, reviews on any site should discuss how it’s set up. That said, this is one sound-bar that’s easy to set up and connect to your TV.

The box comes with everything you need to use, including the mounting kit (if purchased with it), universal remote, power brick and cable, batteries, optical digital audio cable, and the user manual for the speaker.

Price

Of course, this review wouldn’t be complete without discussing price. As with other products, price is something many buyers consider.

Luckily, the price tag of the Bose sounding bar is attractive as well. It’s among the more affordable options on the market that can get you fairly decent audio. If you can’t afford high-end products of brands like Samsung or Sonos, the Solo 5 is a great budget option that still delivers at a good price. Even in a budget price range, reviews are positive [2] from the people who use this speaker with their TVs.

FAQ

Does Bose Solo 5 have HDMI ?

The Bose Solo 5 does not have HDMI. However, it does have the optical, auxiliary, and RCA jacks.

How to reset Bose Solo 5 remote?

You can reset the Bose Solo 5 remote by holding down the “source” button until all six of them are glowing, then enter the numbers “981”.

Does Bose Solo 5 have a subwoofer?

No, the Bose Solo 5 does not have a subwoofer.

How to turn on Bose Solo 5 without a remote?

You cannot turn on the Bose Solo 5 without a remote. If you lose the factory remote however, you can control it with a universal one.

How do I connect my Bose Solo 5 soundbar to my TV?

You can connect your Bose Solo 5 soundbar to your TV by connecting the devices via an RCA, optical or auxiliary cable.

Is the Bose Solo 5 good?

Yes, the Bose Solo 5 is good. It’s a soundbar that has simplistic capabilities and boosts the sound quality.

Does Bose Solo 5 have Wi-Fi?

No, the Bose Solo 5 does not have Wi-Fi. For a wireless connection, it has Bluetooth built-in.

Can I add speakers to my Bose Solo 5?

No, you can’t add speakers to your Bose Solo 5. It was created to be a standalone and cannot be built on. However, we have some other options available if you want to expand your home theater system.

Bose Solo 5 Review Conclusion

To conclude this Bose Solo 5 review, this soundbar offers an easy and simple no-fuss use interface. Everything from the setup to utilization is simple with everything you need included right in the box.

The small size and compact design is a raved feature that allows this device to be easily wall-mounted or placed anywhere near your TV, regardless if they are small, large or standard-sized TVs. Although it doesn’t support many connections or audio modes, the quality you get from the factory settings is already pretty impressive. 

Plus, the price and reviews are good, so you’ll find it a great addition to your living room.

Want to read more about this model? See how the Bose Solo 5 performed against the Sonos Beam or VS the TV Speaker here.

Willie Greer

Willie Greer is the founder of The Product Analyst. A cinephile, he has made it a personal quest to achieve the awesomest home theater possible. He now shares what he has learned through the years on the site, and has enlisted the help of tech-savvy colleagues in providing more insight about today’s most sought-after gadgets.
Willie Greer

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Bose Solo 5 Soundbar Review [2020]
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