""A Fine System""4.0 starson by audiop1
Pros: Natural sounding system to where sound controls (treble and base) are not necessary for this size unit (see bottom line summary).
Cons: Power pack (optionall) should power both unit and the five-disc changer, not just the unit.
Summary: I just received my Bose Acoustic Wave ll system, and also had the pleasure of auditioning them @ one of their stores in the summer of 2008.
I listened to them and thought, "This is a nice sounding little unit". I consider myself an audiophile, and a very critical music listener. My home components are:
-Adcom 5500 Mosfett Power Amplifier
-Adcom Pre-Amp Tuner
-Sony ES Cassette Deck
-Sony ES 5-Disc Carousel
-Yamaha Hard Disc Drive CD Payer/Recorder
-Klipsch Chorus speakers
-Klipsch Forte' speakers
-Canton Karat 920 speakers
As you can see, it's serious!!!
Getting to the point, I thought the BAW ll is a very good sounding system; it overacheived better than my expectations (especially for the size). To compare it to my home system would not be fair because they are two different personalities and purposes.
I won't get into my home system, but the BAW ll an have multiple objectives: 1. A small unit with high quality sound (where space is limited); and a very natural sound.
2. A unit without equipment that the boss (your wife) complaining it impeding on the fine furniture she loves.
Because I'm diverse in the music I listen to, it's critical that this system play most of what I like well, and it does just that! In my opinion, the BAW ll is a STUD on Classical, Jazz, and New Age; very good on the other genders.
CNET, it does support XM Radio (same as the MP3 player), I've done it and it works just fine.
Also, the other units you've tested may sound good, but all I read is on table top models, not bookshelf units (oranges to apples) that you can transport.
In closing, whether for main or transportable use, audition it at the Bose store, then the 30-day free trial in your home with your favorite music (then judge for yourself)...I believe you'll be pleased.