The right soundbar can elevate your sound experience, while one that doesn’t suit your needs may offer little improvement compared to your factory speakers. You probably won’t buy both the Bose Solo and Solo 5, so which one is better? We’ve tested both and you will see the results in this comparison of the Bose Solo VS Solo 5.
Features of Both Sound Bars
The Bose Solo and Bose Solo 5 may seem similar, but they actually have a few significant differences. Let’s explore each one.
The Bose Solo is a pedestal-type soundbar, which means it can take the full weight of your TV set. It will also leave the remote sensor for your TV open so it does not block the remote control. A stand-type soundbar would not require mounting on the wall, but it can still be done if you decide to install it this way.
As for the Bose Solo 5, it has a more traditional soundbar design, which is a bar. It’s more compact and more lightweight than the Solo.
The Bose Solo 5 has more flexibility in terms of placement options, although we wouldn’t suggest using it like you would a TV stand as it is not designed to support the weight of your TV.
While the Bose Solo is designed to be a stand, it can only support TV sets up to 40 pounds. If you have a larger TV that exceeds this weight, then it would be preferable to mount the Solo.
Both the Solo and the Solo 5 possess a higher-end feel when you take them out of the box. They both also have a matte brushed finish that is very durable and resistant to scratches. The black minimalistic design complements any interior.
The connection ports for both soundbars are located at the back. The Bose Solo only has 3 different inputs, which are the analog, optical and coaxial. It’s a shame that the Solo and Solo 5 do not support HDMI, but the optical connection is able to give you crystal clear sound.
Both the Bose Solo and Solo 5 support Dolby Digital. This means that the soundbars are capable of decoding sound quality at that level. Dolby Digital is the standard for crystal clear and expansive sound, which we’ll discuss more later.
The Bose Solo 5 also has three inputs, with one that is different from the Solo. You can choose to connect via optical, coaxial or auxiliary. It also has Bluetooth, which the Bose Solo lacks.
Through the built-in Bluetooth, the Solo 5 can support streaming from different mobile devices
The Solo and the Solo 5 deliver a similar sound quality. If this is an important factor for your purchase, then it should not make much of a difference because the two models are pretty neck and neck in this category.
The Solo 5 as well as the Bose Solo have no adjustment features or sound modes. The Solo 5 does come with clear dialogue mode programmed in and the Bose Solo also has a neutrally balanced sound.
In other words, you get the settings right out of the box without any room for adjustment. Since they are both pretty compact designs, there is a limit to how much sound they can produce.
This is when the small size of the Bose Solo 5 may work against you, but again, it depends on the size of your TV. The larger the TV, the larger the factory speakers are, which means you would need a bigger soundbar to match and exceed the built-in speakers.
As we previously mentioned, only the Bose Solo 5 has Bluetooth built-in. If this is an important feature for you, then the choice should be very clear. The Bose Solo does not have this capability.
With the Solo 5, you will be able to stream music and enjoy any other content from your mobile devices with the soundbar’s enhanced audio.
Bluetooth is also a feature in the second series of both the Bose Solo 10 and 15.
Both come with remote controls, but the remote for the Bose Solo is smaller and on the flimsy side compared to the universal remote  that comes with the Bose Solo 5.
Matching the Bose Solo’s minimalistic style, the remote control looks simple. It comes with only four buttons that are clearly labeled. These are the most basic controls, which are pretty much what most people need anyway. You have the volume up and down, the power button and the mute.
Unfortunately, the Bose Solo remote is not a universal one, which means it only works with the Bose Solo. The Bose Solo 5, however, provides users with a different level of convenience altogether.
Its remote can be configured to control all your devices including your TV. This makes it easier for users because you won’t need to search for a different remote each time.
Both the Bose Solo and Solo 5 have no display and no control panel in front or on the back. This means that you will have to rely heavily on the remote for both models.
The setup for both of the soundbars is very easy. They both adopt a plug-and-play design. All you need to do is to hook it up to your TV with the included cables and enter the right settings with your remote and you’re good to go.
You do need to make sure that the connections are compatible with your TV, whichever soundbar you end up choosing. Keep in mind that both soundbars do not have HDMI. The same is missing on the Solo 15.
Conclusion: Bose Solo OR Solo 5?
After trying out both the Solo 5 and Solo for a few weeks, our experts found that the Bose Solo is enough for all the basic features. However, if you would like Bluetooth and a few more bells and whistles, then the Solo 5 won’t disappoint.
That’s not to say the Bose Solo isn’t a great soundbar. It takes minimal and no-fuss to a whole other level and is very easy to set up and control. The way it can be placed directly under your TV will also not block the remote sensor on your TV set.
The Bose Solo 5 is a great option for a compact traditional soundbar design. It also has slightly more features than the Bose Solo which include clear dialogue sound, a universal remote, auto sleep and wake functions, and most importantly, Bluetooth.
Liked this comparison of the Bose Solo VS Solo 5? make sure you check our other comparisons!