Bose AcousticWave system Mini Systems

AcousticWave system

Acousticwave speaker technology w/ tuner & CDplayer; analog inputs for VCR, tapeloop, etc.

User Reviews (55)

Showing 1-10 of 55  
Josh   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 03, 2008]
Strength:

Good styling, simple controls, convenient transport / battery bag, better sound than any other boom box I've seen or heard.

Weakness:

Muddy bass and blurry, garbled highs. Expensive. Remote uses IR, and therefore does not work when the unit is in the carry bag.

I purchased my Bose Acoustic Wave System to bring to our beach house in Cape Hatteras every summer. I connect it to my iPod, and use it on the deck, or plug it into the cigarette lighter adapter in the back of our SUV, and blast it out of the back of the car when we 4WD oversand and park on the beach. In these settings, as boom boxes go, I haven't seen or heard anything better. Plenty of volume, plenty of bass, and in a windy, outdoor environment, sounds pretty good.

When the day is over, however, and I bring the Bose inside, the tricks the audio engineers at Bose play to emphasize certain frequencies become more evident. The sound is very obviously distorted, with uncontrolled low end and garbled highs. This is not a device for critical listening. It handles the middle frequencies well, and sounds best with music that has limited frequency range, such as acoustic guitar. To expose its weaknesses, try Jazz or Rock sources, such as Jimmy Smith's "The Sermon!" especially the “Flamingo” track. The Bose Acoustic Wave struggles so much on the lower notes that it almost sounds broken.

My system is an Acoustic Wave I with CD, built in 2004. There is a new Acoustic Wave II available that supposedly addresses some of the limitations of the original system by using digital amplification. I inspected the new version at an airport Bose store, and (of course) it sounded great with the music they were playing. I'm considering trading in my 2004 unit for a newer one, but I have one major concern: The Acoustic Wave II feels decidedly lighter and cheaper than the unit I own. It seems like product lifecycle management and value engineering / profit enhancement are at work, and they’ve cheapened the device substantially. I sure don't want to spend another $1,200 to find out too late that my trade up was actually a trade down.

In summary, if you are looking for something portable and have an extra $1,200 to spend, the Bose Acoustic Wave System is probably your only choice. Just don’t believe their hype, and expect too much from what is, ultimately, a fancy boom box.

Customer Service

On one occasion the RCA input jack came detached when I removed an audio cable. It turned out that the jack was only pressed, and not soldered into the back of the unit, and that the grip of my higher-end interconnect cable was enough to pull the whole jack out. I called customer service and they offered to fix it, but I was too worried about getting back a reconditioned unit, so I fixed it myself, and I'm much more careful when removing cables today. Always carefully twist the connector when removing!

Similar Products Used: JBL OnTour, DeWalt Jobsite Radio
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Neil G. Barclay   AudioPhile [May 01, 2007]
Strength:

Room placement does not noticeably affect the sound. I assume this is a consequence of the "acoustic wave" principle. Ours sits on an electric piano in front of curtains - hardly the best placement in normal circumstances.

Weakness:

None that I know of, unless the inability to endlessly tweak the treble, mid-range, base, and dynamic range is a weakness. In other words, this is strictly for those who listen to music, as opposed to the specs.

Photographers? Hmmm.

This item does not take pictures.

The Acoustic Wave ® Music System I own is virtually identical to the System II now offere by Bose. There have been the inevitable bells & whistles changes, but as far as I can research, nothing significant. I notice the price has not change, either.

This is an amazing music-producing unit. The range from deepest bass to the highest I can hear is superb. Musical details and resonances come through better than another much more expensive (but older) system I also have (Celestion speakers with Carver 2000 receiver).

I have not tested my Bose on Rock, because I detest all rock. There are some mighty powerful orchestral pieces, though, and the sound reproduction is, to my ears, near perfect. I certainly hear whole instruments in some music that I didn't know were in the recording.

For the price, I can't see how this system could be bettered.

Customer Service

n/a

Similar Products Used: Akai combination system, with separate speakers.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
randy181818   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 11, 2006]
Strength:

Portablility, ease of use, styling.

Weakness:

Poor overall sound quality, poor base response, poor separation, lack of crispness in sound, price, top loading cd with only one cd player.

I purchased the Bose Acoustic Wave System as a result of seing countless ads on the product claiming the portable system will compare to much larger systems with seperate components. I took a chance and went along with the hype and I was really disappointed. I was not happy from the day I plugged in the system and played a Pink Floyd cd. The sound lacked bass and the separation was non-existent. I thought I would try other cd's and give the system a chance. However, all types of music sound bad on this system, especially rock. Unfortunately, I got busy with other things and missed my deadline to return the unit for a refund. My mistake and it cost me $1,000. I own a Harman Kardon receiver, a Boston Acoustics sub woofer with two satellite speakers and a basic cd player which together cost less than the Bose Acoustic Wave and the sound from this system blows away the Bose Acoustic Wave. Do yourself a favor and do not buy into the hype Bose throws at you regarding the acoustic wave system. The system is inferior and does not even compare in sound to their smaller $500 Bose Wave Radio system. I purchased the smaller Bose Wave Radio system for my parents after hearing the system at a friend's house and I must say that the smaller system has much richer sound, stronger bass, much better separation and more distinct highs than the more expensive Acoustic Wave System. If you are looking for a portable system with acceptable sound, go for the $500 version and save yoursef $500.

Customer Service

I took my Bose system to Bose in Framingham to see if there was something wrong with it. Their technicians worked on the system for a week and said they updated the components. I was excited to get it home and try it out and when I did, I noticed no difference in the sound quality whatsoever. It sounded just as poor as it did when I brought it to Bose for servicing.

Similar Products Used: Nothing similar.
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Nealflan   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 15, 2004]
Strength:

Exquisitely natural sound from a small, portable, all-in-one system. Really does rival megabucks separates systems.

Weakness:

Won't play mp3 CDs - only a very minor complaint as this system is good enough to expose the weaknesses of mp3 anyway, so you probably won't want to listen to them on it.

I guess a lot of people will browse these reviews and will be puzzled by the number of five-star reviews and one-star reviews. Who do you believe? Well, I'm firmly on the side of the five-star reviewers, and I'm genuinely baffled by anyone who has actually listened to this system giving it one star. As has been said previously, this system is not going to shake your floor with bass, and if that's what you're after, then go buy a system with a subwoofer. However, if you want natural, full-ranged, accurate sound, then you've got to at least give this a try. I've got a £1,200 Denon separates system and the Bose genuinely outperforms it. The sound may to be to all audiophiles' tastes, but I find it stunning. The best way I can describe the sound is that it seems as though it is live, even on studio albums. The system has a knack of projecting the sound into the room with an uncanny natural quality. If you've ever been to a live classical concert, you'll appreciate what I mean. I think it's worth every penny I paid for it, and so do two of my friends who bought one after hearing mine. I'm selling my separates system, and I won't be sorry to see it go, especially the messy spaghetti of wiring at the back of it. For me, the Bose versus the seperates represented a choice between natural sound, and overly bassy "powered" sound. The Bose Acoustic Wave Music System looks great, is highly portable, and sounds absolutely terrific. I really don't know what I'd do without it. I've yet to have a visitor to my apartment who hasn't commented very favourably on it, and I am at a loss to explain the bile and bitterness that sometimes gets expressed against Bose and all its works. If you are thinking about buying this, my advice is go for it. If it doesn't live up to your expectations, put it back in its box and send it back - I bet you don't.

Similar Products Used: Denon seperates.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Eric Smith   AudioPhile [Dec 13, 2003]
Strength:

Every last thing about it! great highs, great lows it must be Bose.

Weakness:

Absolutely nothing

I really think that this system is unblievable. It honestly sounds like a great pair of tower speakers, and a really high end reciever. You really wouldn't believe that it sounds amzing just by looking at it, but when you turn it on, you will think it is worth every last penny. I would strongly recomend this system to anyone who wants a really loud and high quality sounding system, but does not have a really large room, but even if you do have a really large room, i would still recomend this.

Similar Products Used: Various Sony systems, Bose Wave radio/CD
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Madrok   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 01, 2003]
Strength:

Good for ex-Enron exec.s! Better than other boomboxes/minisystems I've heard, though they are much cheaper.

Weakness:

Price Odd design Bass response (nothing magical here) Treble response (needs a couple of super-tweeters at least)

The wave radio/cassette is good at filling a room with decent sound. It sounds less good the closer you get to it, though. There isn't much stereo imaging, since the speakers are so close to each other and sort of angled away from each other. The midbass is okay, but there is not much real bass. It could even be smaller than it is, and have similar bass response. I got the best sound with the Bose in the corner of the room. There was maximum bass reinforcement that way. OTOH, in that position, the high treble sounds deficient. There are no tweeters in the system, and you do notice a sort of glaring high mid-treble along with the absence of anything really sparkly. There is something odd about the midrange sound too, but I can't pinpoint it.

Similar Products Used: Sony, Aiwa, Technics boomboxes/minisystems.
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
soccerman   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 28, 2003]
Strength:

THE SOUND

Weakness:

Too expensive (Iwould never have purchased it myself). Top controls hard to see.

I received the AWMS as a gift from my wife for our 25th anniversary. Since we share in paying the bills, I inquired as to the cost of this thing. When she told me, I immediately got on the phone and called Bose to arrange to return the system. Hell, I could by a magnificent Yamaha or Onkyo or even a Bose system for those $$. But then I decided to listen to it, and oh boy, that was it. I eschewed the supplied demo disc and put on a Jimmy Smith CD I burned after downloading from Napster. That was when I decided to put practicality behind me and accept this very thoughtful gift. I am glad that I did, for I really enjoy this thing. By the way, my sons gave me a turntable for Christmas (My old AR had long since broken its' last rubber band). Playing my old vinyls on the AWMS is an unbelievable experience. I have anextensive Jazz collection from the 50's 60's and 70's and they never sounded as good on my Fisher, Panasonic, or Technics systems.

Similar Products Used: Technics, Panasonic, Sony, Fisher(circa 1962)Acoustic Research
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
h2ouup2   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 24, 2003]
Strength:

For a compact unit it has great sound, but don't expect it to blow your socks off.

Weakness:

Price, No clock, can't play MP3, not able to read the display from a distance to tell if the unit is on/off etc.

I posted a review in March 2002. After having the unit for more than a year, here is my follow up review. The AW having a top loading system is just a pain. Again if I listen to radio stations and forget which one I am on I have to get up and look at the top of the unit to see what station it is on. I also can’t tell if it’s off just by looking at it. The system sits on a shelf in my office so this is really a pain at times. The MP3 market is passing this unit by. Sure I can burn CD’s that work, but you would think for 1K it would be able to play MP3’s when someone comes in and hands me a MP3 CD and I have to tell them my high dollar system won’t play it. Songs on some CD’s around the 45-50 sound levels are very quite. It seems on my unit anyway you have to crank it up to around 85 for it to sound decent, but maybe that’s because I’m not as young as I use to be. I like the unit, but if I had it to do over I wouldn’t pay $1,169 for it. All in all I have been pleased, but I would like too, (as a earlier poster stated) would like to see it have a front-loading CD changer and a clock, with the display in the front.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
h2ouup2   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 24, 2003]
Strength:

For a compact unit it has great sound, but don't expect it to blow your socks off.

Weakness:

Price, No clock, can't play MP3, not able to read the display from a distance to tell if the unit is on/off etc.

I posted a review in March 2002. After having the unit for more than a year, here is my follow up review. The AW having a top loading system is just a pain. Again if I listen to radio stations and forget which one I am on I have to get up and look at the top of the unit to see what station it is on. I also can’t tell if it’s off just by looking at it. The system sits on a shelf in my office so this is really a pain at times. The MP3 market is passing this unit by. Sure I can burn CD’s that work, but you would think for 1K it would be able to play MP3’s when someone comes in and hands me a MP3 CD and I have to tell them my high dollar system won’t play it. Songs on some CD’s around the 45-50 sound levels are very quite. It seems on my unit anyway you have to crank it up to around 85 for it to sound decent, but maybe that’s because I’m not as young as I use to be. I like the unit, but if I had it to do over I wouldn’t pay $1,169 for it. All in all I have been pleased, but I would like too, (as a earlier poster stated) would like to see it have a front-loading CD changer and a clock, with the display in the front.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
mark8hm   Casual Listener [Jan 11, 2003]
Strength:

It is so amazing that it has transformed me into someone who now really enjoys listening to music all the time.

Weakness:

It is expensive but it is the best money that you will ever spend and compared to a holiday or some fancy clothes it will give you so much more long lasting enjoyment.

Ok now a sensible Brit with no axe to grind. I previously had never even heard of Bose and had never seen any adverts. I bought this because I heard a friend's Wave radio/CD/alarm and thought it sounded very good even though I only listened to it for 5 mins. I wanted a nice but bigger music system that I could easily move from room to room so I went to the nearest Bose store and listened to the AWMS. I thought it sounded good in the store and it was capable of playing very loudly but I didn't really understand why it was so expensive. Nevertheless I liked it unusual appearence and so, despite the price, I bought it mainly for it looks and because I had driven over 100 miles to the store! That was almost a year ago. Now previously I was only a casual listener to music but I must say that this is the best thing I have ever bought. It constanly amazes me at how good it sounds and I still have to keep switching it on just to remind me that it's for real! I don't claim to be an expert on music or a musician but my young ears are as sharp and sensitive as anyone's. I always have liked listening to music, however I used to find listening to music a bit boring until I got this. I therefore didn't listed that much. Now I know why. All music previously sounded 'flat', two-dimensional. But put the same CD on the AWMS and it completely comes alive. It becomes fully three dimensional, I can hear every single detail separately making up the whole and I can visualise every instrument playing side by side as I am listening. It's as different as watching a black and white or colour television, or even watching television and seeing something for real. Owning this has transformed me into someone who now loves listening to music as I love listening to all the different subtle components making up the whole. Now, ok, it is not adjustable, but why should anyone want it to be when it sounds so perfect. If there was anything to adjust except the volume you could only make it sound worse. And ok, the display is on the top, but it must be there for a reason, ie to allow room for the acoustics, and there is only a single CD player, but this is designed to be listened to and who needs fancy flashing lights, displays or multichangers when something sounds this good. Instruments don't have them and this is truely a musical instrument that plays CD's. Recently, thinking that maybe all expensive music equipment might sound like the AWMS, I visited a friend who is a hi-fi obsessive. He has a modern Linn component system which has cost him in total over £3,000. We listened to his system all night and it did sound good. But right before I left I asked him to play David Gray 'White Ladder' something I listen to a lot on the AWMS. I put on track 8 'This year's love' which has stong piano notes. It sounded good. I drove home and 10 mins later put the same track straight on the AWMS. The difference blew me away. On the AWMS it sounded so much better, richer, deeper. clearer and 3D. The piano sounded to be in the room with me. £3,000 vs £800. The Bose AWMS is amazing value.

Similar Products Used: Sharp, Sony
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 55  

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