"A Realistic Review--I Think"5.0 starson by TerryFitch
Pros: Sound quality is very good
Looks great and is extremely easy to set up
Simple remote control (has only 3 buttons--Power, Volume Up, Volume Down)
Cons: Lack of ability to change settings on bass/treble
Summary: This 'review' considers the Solo for what it is while addressing a couple of (I think, unrealistic) points made by other reviewers.Edit:
I can't imagine anyone saying that the Solo is difficult to hook-up. If a power cord and either one optic or two audio cables make for such 'difficulty,' the I don't know what would please those folks. Magical, thought-connected devices, perhaps? The Solo is VERY easy to hook up. Quite literally, a child could do it.
Sound quality (More on that in a bit.)--as well as enclosure and remote quality--is what you'd probably expect from Bose. I didn't expect a whole heckuva lot for this price. Seriously? Even at about $400 list, that's cheap in the home A/V world. Heck, a decent dock costs $199-$299. Again, I don't know why some are complaining about the price.
Overall sound quality is very good. As at least one other reviewer said, voice reproduction is excellent. Here's another example of some other reviewer's 'magical' thinking. Look at the design. It's one enclosure. If you're expecting deep, booming bass such as that from a subwoofer, you're simply expecting too much. Port design and engineering is largely where Bose excels; the Solo confirms this. My take? The lows are impressively and surprisingly 'rich.' Again, keep that in context. Overall sonic range is quite good, even when we're playing Pandora on the TV via a Roku 2XS. The Solo's sound is amazingly rich FOR a compact, single enclosure. I doubt that you'll get such richness from the typical, nearly-flat-panel soundbar unless it has a separate subwoofer--which I preferred to avoid. With the Solo, I was also shooting for less clutter.
Should you believe Bose marketing that the sound is room-filling? Again, look at the enclosure. From what I can see, there seem to be four, front-firing speakers, as is the case with most soundbars. The ported bass design of the system works very well. During dramatic explosions in a movie or lows of sountracks, put your fingers over the bass ports in the back. This thing's moving a lot of air--again, for its size. That's always a good sign. It does, in a way, 'fill the room' with sound, but there no way (again, without magic) to design a single enclosure that will miraculously make it seem as though sound is coming from behind you. Bose is not Hogwart's. Again--for what it is--the sound and DSP are really impressive.
Another reviewer pointed out that there should be a way to remotely and easily equalize the sound of JUST the Solo. There's not. So, to make such adjustments, you need to go into your TV's settings. Not by any means a horrible situation, just a bit clunky. Of course, if Bose were to build-in this capability, the Solo price would easily jump to $599+--and there are already some pretty good systems out there for that price. Such capability already exists in some entertainment sound systems. If you want that convenience and tuning ability, pay the price for the higher-end systems.
I'm in a situation in which I don't want to wire the sound system and my house for actual Surround. It's a lot of hassle that I don't want to deal with. Heck, my cat would find the speaker wiring and shred it in about four minutes. I don't want to have to mess with an amp. I don't want to have to mess with wireless rears. For me, the Solo made a lot of practical sense.
No regrets at all. Keep in mind that, unlike other reviewers who are impossible to please--and compare the about $400 Solo to systems costing twice that and more--I comfortably and confidently gave it 5 Stars for what it is.
If you want to use the optical connection, remember to do your research before purchase. This time and unfortunately, I didn't. While my Sharp Aquos supports a physical fiber connection, there's apparently a known incompatibility on the fiber side with the Solo. My Aquos and Solo don't play well together. From what I've read, there's some sort of copyright or patent issue between Sharp and Bose that prevents such optical cooperation. Sure, it'd be nice if both companies addressed this, but I can't legitimately minus a star for something that's also seems to be Sharp's fault. Oh, well; I hooked up the wired audio cables and--magically--it works just fine.
If you want a high-end, real Surround system, you're just not going to get it for about $400. For that money, however, the Solo is worth every penny. Is the Solo one box that does it all? No. It is, however, one quality setup that works exceedingly well for such a reasonable price. If you keep those things in mind, you won't be disappointed. If you want to simplify things instead of complicate them, again, you'll be quite pleased with your Solo purchase.
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I hope it helps.
Updated on Dec 13, 2013
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