Bose is a tough competitor in the audio industry, and the Bose TV Speaker is their newest release yet. However, is it worth the hype?
In this Bose TV Speaker review, we tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly about this rig.
Bose TV Speaker Design
If you want something compact and simple, the Bose TV Speaker will blend in nicely with your interior. It’s just 60 cm wide and stands at just 5 cm high, so it wouldn’t block the bottom part of your TV.
At this length, it’s a good choice for smaller TVs as well. However, if you have a 50” TV or larger, the Bose TV Speaker may look too small — unless that’s what you’re going for, of course.
Despite the size, the soundbar’s build is still high-quality. It feels solid and the metal grille on the front and sides adds a luxurious touch while protecting the speakers at the same time. Speaking of which, this soundbar has two full-range speakers that make up the two front channels.
And although you can easily place it on your TV rack, the Bose TV Speaker still has universal mounting holes underneath it, which are also covered with rubber screws. And at the back, you’ll find all the inputs and the power source.
However, one thing that impressed us during our Bose TV Speaker review was the indicator lights that tell you a bunch of different functions. A light turns on if the soundbar is connected via HDMI ARC, optical, or Bluetooth.
It also blinks when mute is active or when you adjust the volume up or down. If you have the dialogue enhancement feature on (which we’ll discuss later), the light turns green.
Features of Bose TV Speaker
Bose TV Speaker Sound Quality
This soundbar is a 2.0 sound system setup, meaning it only has two speakers that improve the sound of your TV (just like these Vizio 2.0 soundbars). Then again, for TV content, it produces a fairly well-balanced soundstage.
Testing this soundbar in our listening room was a decent experience. The mids and highs were great, especially when we watched movies and TV shows. Everything said on-screen was loud and clear, and we didn’t need subtitles to hear whispered conversations.
However, because of its configuration, the bass isn’t too pronounced. Then again, you can’t expect a thumping bass from just two speakers and no subwoofer. If you do want to improve the sound profile of this soundbar when it comes to low notes, you can buy a Bass Module 500.
This soundbar is also not something for surround sound  since everything will be downplayed to its 2.0 configuration. However, you can upgrade it with more speakers from Bose. Based on our review of Bose Soundbar 500, upgrading your TV speaker to Bose Soundbar 500 is a viable option.
But if you just want something basic to play music, audiobooks, or TV shows, the Bose TV Speaker does the job. It has dialogue enhancement features and bass adjustment to make the sounds pop a bit more, but it doesn’t really make a huge difference.
Bose TV Speaker Connections
Fortunately, the Bose TV Speaker has an HDMI ARC input, which means it’s designed for modern TVs and setups. If you do have an older device, however, it also has a digital optical and an AUX input.
There’s also a USB port on the back, but sadly, it’s for updates only and not for playback.
As for wireless options, the Bose TV Speaker only has Bluetooth, which you can use to stream music tracks, podcasts, and audiobooks from your smartphone. This is a nifty feature that even some mid-range soundbars do not have, so it’s an advantage for the Bose TV Speaker. (There are soundbars worth more than this model in this regard.)
Dialogue and Bass
The Bose TV Speaker’s claim to fame is its dialogue. Its main purpose is to improve the vocals in movies, TV shows, news broadcasts, podcasts, and just the sound of the human voice in general.
And in that aspect, it does live up to its promises. Our audio experts agree that when it comes to dialogue, everything was clear, crisp, and precise. The Bose TV Speaker does well in the default setting, but if you want a boost in clarity, you can activate the dialogue enhancement feature.
When it comes to bass, however, the absence of the center channel is evident. Because the left and right speakers only create a phantom center speaker, the bottom end doesn’t get as low as its bigger siblings — but it’s passable. You get a bass adjustment feature as well.
In our tests for this Bose TV Speaker review, we find that this soundbar struggles at loud volumes. The compression is evident when the volume is turned up, which can be off-putting for some users. You’d have better luck with this list of the loudest soundbars.
Setting Up Your Bose TV Speaker
As with most soundbars, the Bose TV Speaker is a breeze to set up. Whether you’re using the HDMI ARC or the digital optical cable, you just connect one end of the cable to the right port on the soundbar and the other end to your TV.
Either way, the installation is simple and can be done in a few minutes. If you want to play music from another device, you can use the 3.5 stereo jack or the Bluetooth connection.
This soundbar isn’t compatible with the Bose app, though, so you can’t enjoy the additional features it offers.
Given that the Bose TV Speaker is only a two-channel soundbar, it’s limited when it comes to surround sound. Advanced audio formats are downmixed into stereo, which results in a much lesser quality sound that’s not immersive.
So even if this soundbar technically supports some surround sound formats because of its ARC capability, surround sound content is downplayed.
For speakers that can accompany your Bose home theater system to create surround sound, check our review of Bose 161 speaker here.
The Bose TV Speaker doesn’t have a subwoofer included. As mentioned, this significantly lessens its bass performance.
If you want to seriously upgrade the bass, you can purchase either a Bass Module 500 or a Bass Module 700 from Bose. You can’t connect them wirelessly, though. You have to buy a separate cable to connect.
Bose TV Speaker Price
The Bose TV Speaker isn’t as expensive as its brothers like the Bose Soundtouch 300, Bose Soundbar 500 and the Bose Soundbar 700. It comes at under $300, which is a pretty good deal considering what it brings to the table.
What is the best Bose speaker system?
The best Bose speaker system is the Bose SoundLink Revolve. It provides 360-degree sound, an innovative splashproof design, a pressure trap for less distortion, and a long battery life. It connects to other Bluetooth-enabled devices such as smartphones, making it a great soundbar for outdoor use.
Bose TV Speaker Review Conclusion
While it’s not ideal for the serious audiophile or cinephile, the Bose TV Speaker is an excellent choice for those looking to improve their movie experience. It provides crisp and clear dialogue, a decent bass, HDMI ARC capability, Bluetooth, and an easy setup. Overall, it’s a great basic soundbar.
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