Bose Solo 15

Discussion in 'Arts and Photography' started by JD666, Sep 24, 2015.

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  1. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    People who do not like Bose can stop reading. Actually I'm pretty sure you would have, after seeing the title. However if you're still interested, this is a honest review of a TV sound bar, that is as honest as it gets from Bose.

    The Bose Solo 15 Series II is a follow up to the Solo 10 launched earlier. The Solo 15 allows you to place a bigger / heavier TV atop your Bose sound system.

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    This was on offer, so at about 28k INR, it was much cheaper than the regular list price of 44k that it retails for.

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    Bose makes no qualms about the enhanced sound the Solo 15 brings, but does wise to not mention features like surround, or home theater experience. I do understand their target audience, which is why they've launched a follow up product.

    Ever since I've shifted into my new place, I've been super lazy about first - setting up the V35 in the living room. When I finally got around to hooking up the front 3 speakers to the bass bin, and all of that to the receiver and TV, I managed just that. Looking at the wire mess for the rear two satellites, made me simply brush them aside and hide the cables as best as I could.

    So I have two dummy speakers on stands (with no connections) and a 3 speaker setup in the front. So much hassle! Even though Bose has perhaps one of the most idiot-proof connection system that I have seen in any home theater setup, it's just a pain to do it right now.

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    The Solo 15 addresses a couple of major issues. First, most LCD/LED TVs do not have adequate sound for a good movie or music experience. Secondly, not everyone can be bothered to buy something that involves half a day of installation for them. And removal, shifting, maintenance, cleaning etc are all additional troubles.

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    This product fills the gap nicely, providing an enhancement to the sound, not compromising on installation (you either place your TV on top of it, or place this where your video center is ), and avoids all the hassle of wiring, routing, placement and setup. Crucially, for the non audiophile audience, it brings the BOSE brand name to a table near them.

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    I demoed the Solo 15 at the Bose Showroom, before recommending it to a friend. All the images above are taken of his purchase.

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    Additionally, it also brings two features that can be a helpful lot. First is the bundled Universal Remote, that can control your TV, DVD-P, STB, Media player and a few other devices. Though the build quality is not what comes with the higher series of Universal remotes, this is a welcome addition.

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    The Universal remote also has a Enhance Dialog feature that tweaks the sound output to improve the vocals in a movie, or a news broadcast, or even a game commentary.

    The second feature the Solo15 supports (but not out of the box) is Bluetooth audio connectivity, though it's quite a misnomer, since what they're selling you is essentially a Bluetooth receiver for about 5,400 INR (here, could be higher there).

    I bypassed that long back with a much cheaper Yell BT receiver (see post here - Home Audio - Bluetooth Audio Receiver | RAID101)

    However with the Bluetooth receiver the Solo 15 does address another issue seen in households, that involve listening to music on Youtube or via an app like Gaana or Hungama and the likes. You enjoy it on your mobile device/tablet, but you would definitely enjoy it more on your sound system.

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    It was hearty to see the Optical cable bundled along with the sound system. This is perhaps the easiest connectivity option available if your TV unit support Optical Audio out.

    Along with this you also get a 3.5mm RCA cable (the Red-White one), around 5 different types of power connectors (one standard product, shipped worldwide).

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    It is quite a unique size, which wouldn't really fit in a standard receiver cubby hole or slot. Measuring 63 CM width by 7.6 CM height by 36 CMs depth (at the broadest point), it's quite a big speaker system.

    The front grille has no indications except for a green LED which illuminates when the system is powered up.

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    The front grille wraps around to the sides, where the two additional speakers are mounted for sideways firing. There is a protective plastic tape around the base, that is visible in this shot.

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    The rear has the following controls from L-R - Bass knob, RCA input, Optical input, Coaxial input, USB (software upgrade or powering the Bluetooth receiver and Data (for the receiver perhaps) and power.

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    There are two ports at the back for the speaker system, probably to enhance bass at certain frequencies. Like Apple, Bose does not disclose much information when it comes to their speaker systems. I was able to grab this shot from their promo video that displays how the speakers are placed, with 3 speakers firing forward in the middle, and two speakers on either side firing sideways.
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    Considering the size of the speakers and the magnets behind them, i would probably not rate them beyond 10-15 Watts of RMS power each. This makes for a speaker setup that puts out between 50-75 Watts of sound power.


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    The Solo 15 just about managed to fit under the stand of a 55 inch UHD Samsung Television. You can see the green LED light below the BOSE logo, and see how much bigger it is, compared to a standard Set Top Box in below it.

    Sound Quality and other bits -

    - The Solo 15 is not a bass heavy speaker system, but does well to enhance the sound of a LED/LCD TV. You enjoy the difference so much, that TV only sound becomes unbearable after a while. You do realize what you were missing, when the depth in the sound quality becomes apparent in the Solo 15.

    - The bass can be tweaked. I tried the full setting, at which it became distorted and the audio was not clear. I eventually left it at a 70% setting, slightly above half.

    - This isn't a substitute, if you're looking for bass heavy audio. Period.

    - It's not TOO LOUD, but then it's not that meek either. At full volume the sound levels are more than adequate for a house party :D Best bit, no distortion either.

    - Setup and installation was super easy.

    - Sound throw was more than adequate for a 12x14 room.

    - A built-in Bluetooth receiver would've been great and would have enhanced the appeal of this product.

    - Definitely worth it compared to the cheaper sound bars and pedestal speaker systems that Sony/LG/Samsung make.

    - The Bose brand name + 1 yr international warranty do make it a deal for many.

    All in all, if you're looking at enhancing your TV viewing/ Movie watching experience, on limited space and do not have the time or energy to set up a Home theater 5.1 system, this is the solution for you. It'll do everything, but only within limits. You need to be aware of the limits before purchasing it.
     
  2. MOZ

    MOZ RAID Leader Staff Member

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    You really like Bose, don't you?
     
  3. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Lol, you didn't read the whole thread. This isn't mine.

    I'm neutral to Bose. I like the ease of installation and Jack of all performance.

    Having done enough component installs, life does become easier.
     

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