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Best Bose Speakers

Updated August 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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How we tested

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 21 Models Considered
  • 68 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 103 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best Bose speakers

    Last Updated August 2018

    If you're looking for high-end speakers, you want a brand you can trust. Debussy or Daft Punk, Nina Simone or Nirvana – whatever your jam, you'll get excellent sound quality from Bose speakers.

    Bose offers a huge range of speakers, however, so picking the right ones for you can seem overwhelming. We at BestReviews are here to help steer you in the direction of your perfect speakers.

    Ready to rock 'n' roll? Read on for our full guide to Bose speakers.

    Bose speakers are world-renowned for their rich, clear sound.

    Why choose Bose?

    Out of all the speaker manufacturers you could buy from, what makes Bose stand out from the crowd?

    • Bose has been producing speakers since the 1960s, so they have decades of experience crafting quality audio systems.

    • You can find a wide range of Bose speakers out there, so no matter what you're after, Bose will likely have a solution.

    • Bose has done extensive research on sound quality. Speakers are crafted with this research in mind.

    • Well-made and durable, Bose speakers should stand the test of time.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    For consistent results, all speakers in a system should have the same impedance, so bear that in mind if you’re replacing a single speaker. The majority of speakers have an impedance of eight ohms, but this can vary.

    Types of Bose speakers

    Portable speakers

    • Bose portable speakers are small, battery-operated models that connect wirelessly to a smart device.

    • Portable speakers can play music you have stored on your device or can stream music from subscription services if you have WiFi or data available.

    • Some Bose portable speakers allow you link two together for stereo sound.

    • While portable Bose speakers are great for on-the-go use, they don't have the volume or sound quality of full-size models.
       

    Price:

    • Portable Bose speakers cost between $100 and $300.

    Stereo speakers

    • Bose stereo speakers are standalone speakers designed to be added to a component stereo system.

    • You can find a wide range of Bose stereo speakers, from bookshelf speakers to in-ceiling speakers.

    • Though there are some top-quality Bose stereo speakers available, they're more complex to set up than all-in-one options.
       

    Price:

    • Bose stereo speakers cost anywhere between $150 and $900.

    Multi-room speakers

    • Multi-room speakers are designed to connect to one another wirelessly. Place one in each room, and you can play the same music everywhere; you don't have to stop listening as you move from room to room. Or, use them independently of one another, playing different songs in different rooms at the same time.

    • Easily control your multi-room speakers via an app on your smartphone or tablet.

    • You can choose to either play music saved on your smart device or use the streaming service of your choice, such as Pandora or Spotify. However, you can't play CDs on these speakers.

    • All Bose SoundTouch speakers are compatible with Alexa.
       

    Price:

    • Expect to pay between $200 and $700 for multi-room speakers.

    Wave systems

    • Bose Wave systems are all-in-one speakers that include a built-in CD player and AM/FM radio.

    • Choose between the basic Wave system and the SoundLink Wave system, which is WiFi and Bluetooth compatible so that you can stream music and listen to songs straight from your smart device. You can also play CDs and listen to the radio.

    • If you want to be able to play CDs, but you don't want to deal with a complex stereo system, the Wave is for you.
       

    Price:

    • The basic Wave system costs roughly $500, whereas the SoundLink version costs around $600.

    Home theater speakers

    • Though music sounds great through Bose home theater speakers, they are primarily designed to bring cinema-quality sound to your living room, so you can immerse yourself in your favorite movies and TV shows.

    • You can buy Bose home theater systems and place multiple speakers at different spots around the room, as well as compact soundbars, which give you excellent sound from a single long speaker.
       

    Price:

    • Bose soundbars cost between $200 and $700, whereas full multi-speaker surround sound systems can cost up to $4,000.

    EXPERT TIP

    Different Bose speakers are designed to fit in different places. Some can sit on a table, sideboard, or bookshelf, whereas others sit on the floor or are designed to be wall-mounted.


    Considerations for selecting Bose speakers

    Technical specifications

    You actually won't find much in the way of technical specifications – such as frequency range – for Bose speakers. According to Bose, that's because the unique design of their speakers means that the sound quality can't be captured by a simple comparison of technical specs.

    In fact, through years of research, Bose's founder discovered that speakers rarely measure up to their listed specifications and, when they do, "better" specs often don't equal better sound quality.

    The lack of specs can be frustrating to some buyers, but there may be something to it. Instead, the folks at Bose urge you to listen to their speakers and discover whether they sound good to you. This is an issue when buying online, but Bose does offer a generous return policy.

    Size

    You can find quite large Bose speakers as well as extremely compact ones. Find out the size of your chosen speakers, and make sure they'll fit wherever you decide to place them. There's no point spending hundreds of dollars on new speakers to add to your stereo system only to find out they won't fit on your entertainment center next to the amplifier and other components. Check the product specifications to find the exact dimensions of any speakers you're considering.

    Control type

    How do you want to control your speakers? If you're buying stereo speakers, they'll connect to a component stereo system from which you'll control the volume, etc. However, if you're buying wireless or multi-room speakers, you'll generally control them via an app, with few controls on the speakers themselves. This is great for the tech-savvy, but if you don't know your Android from your Alexa, it could prove challenging.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Some Bose speakers connect to your smart device. You can then stream music directly from your favorite subscription services, such as Spotify or Amazon Music. The Bose SoundTouch app is available for both Android and Apple devices, though not for Windows phones and tablets.

    Tips

    • Think about what you want from your Bose speakers. Different speakers are good for different tasks. For instance, if you want a compact speaker for on-the-go use, opt for a portable model. If you want an integrated CD player, however, consider a Wave system.

    • Decide where you're going to place your Bose speakers. Not only will you need to make sure they would fit the space, but you'll need to make sure this is a good spot for delivering audio to the room.

    • Consider whether your chosen speaker will blend with your home decor. While it shouldn't be the most important factor, if you've spent time and effort getting your house to look just the way you want it, you don't want to choose a speaker that sticks out like a sore thumb. Thankfully, most Bose speakers are sleek and stylish.

    • Make sure there's a good return policy. If you haven't listened to your chosen Bose speaker before buying, you might set it up and realize you don't like how it sounds. Just in case, make sure you buy it from somewhere with a solid return policy.

    Some portable Bose speakers are waterproof, meaning they're perfect for outdoor use and can even be used in the shower. Some can also be paired with a multi-room system.

    FAQ

    Q. Are Bose speakers difficult to set up?

    A. Some Bose speakers are easier to set up than others. How easy you find it will depend on the type of speaker you choose and your level of technical knowhow. A component stereo system is probably the most difficult thing to set up, especially if you're not sure what you're doing. But many Bose speakers simply plug in and play. As long as you thoroughly read the manual before attempting setup, you shouldn't have any problems.

    Q. What's the sound quality like on Bose speakers?

    A. Sound quality is, to some degree, subjective. Some people will buy nothing but Bose speakers, whereas others don't rate them highly. For the most part, Bose speakers are considered to offer excellent sound quality. Fans of Bose speakers rave about their realistic, true-to-life sound with its rich quality. If you're looking for speakers in the lower end of the high-end range, Bose is definitely a great option.

    Q. How long is the battery life on Bose portable speakers?

    A. If you're opting for a portable speaker, battery life is an important factor. The battery life of Bose portable speakers varies depending on which model you choose. The most compact models can last for six hours between charges, whereas larger speakers have more impressive battery lives of up to 16 hours.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Amos
      Amos
      Director of Photography
    • Branson
      Branson
      Videographer
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Enid
      Enid
      Editor
    • Lauren
      Lauren
      Writer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor