The Bose Solo Soundbar Series II is a budget-friendly 2.0 setup released in 2021. It's a newer alternative to the Bose Solo 5 with a similar offering of features. Its small, compact design is ideal if you don't have a lot of space in your setup, and it's still designed for use with your TV, thanks to its Optical port. While it's a solid upgrade over your existing TV speakers, it lacks lots of features compared with Bose's pricier options, so you don't find many sound enhancement tools to customize its sound or HDMI support to control the bar with your TV remote. It pales compared to flashy Dolby Atmos bars with many features, but it's a fine choice if you want something simple.
The Bose Solo Soundbar Series II is okay for mixed usage. It's a simple 2.0 bar best suited for stereo content, including most music and TV shows. Its neutral sound means that most voices and lead instruments reproduce with clarity, and you have a few tools like a bass adjustment feature to customize its sound a little. Like most small standalone bars, there's a noticeable lack of low-bass, so you don't feel the rumble in bass-heavy music or movies. Its 2.0 setup doesn't allow you to take advantage of more immersive audio formats.
The Bose Solo Soundbar Series II is fair for dialogue-heavy TV shows and podcasts. With its balanced mids, voices reproduce clearly and with detail. Though it lacks a discrete center channel, you won't have issues following dialogue in your TV shows. There's even a dialogue enhancement mode to improve clarity if you want to use it. Unfortunately, you don't have an auto-volume feature to balance the volume between different programs and commercials.
The Bose Solo Soundbar II is fair for music. Out-of-the-box, its sound profile offers balanced mid and treble ranges, so vocals and lead instruments are clear and detailed in the mix. As a result, it's suitable for listening to most types of audio content. While there's a little more boom in the high-bass, as with most small bars, it can't reproduce the deep rumble in the low-bass found with bass-centric genres like EDM and hip-hop. You won't find many customization tools besides its bass adjustment feature.
The Bose Solo Soundbar Series II is disappointing for movies. It's a 2.0 bar, so you can't really take advantage of more immersive audio formats found on most streaming platforms and Blu-rays. For example, there's no Dolby Atmos support. While it can playback 5.1 Dolby Digital content, it has to downmix it into stereo to play it. It doesn't sound very immersive, and its soundstage is small, so you don't get the sense that action is happening around you.
The Bose Solo Soundbar Series II is a simple bar with a rectangular shape. It's mostly plastic, with metal grilles around the front and the sides.
The sub is embedded into the bar itself. You can see the port on the back of the bar.
The Bose Solo Soundbar Series II is a small, compact bar that fits between the legs of a 55-inch TV stand. It's not very tall, so it doesn't obscure your TV screen.
The back of the bar has an opening for the power cable and the inputs. There are also universal holes available if you want to mount it to your wall with the included wall-mounting kit. However, mounting it on the wall blocks the subwoofer port on the back.
The Bose Solo Soundbar Series II has a good build quality. It's made of similar materials as the Bose Solo 5, with good-quality plastic that feels solid and durable. The metal grilles on the front and the sides help protect the drivers inside.
The Bose Solo Soundbar Series II has a decent stereo frequency response. Its sound is quite balanced, especially in the mids, where most vocals and lead instruments reproduce. These instruments are clear and detailed in the mix as a result, making the soundbar suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content. If you love bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop, you may want to steer away from this bar. Like most small standalone offerings, it doesn't reproduce a lot of low-bass, even with its integrated sub, so you don't feel much thump or rumble.
There's a bass adjustment feature on hand to help you customize the bar's sound. If you prefer a neutral sound, we recommend using the bar with its default settings.
The Bose Solo Soundbar Series II has an okay stereo soundstage. You'll perceive its soundstage to be a little wider than the bar itself, but given the bar's small size, that isn't much at all. Its focus isn't very good, either, so sound effects like instruments don't seem to come from specific locations in the soundstage.
The Bose Solo Soundbar Series II has fair stereo dynamics. Like most small bars, it gets loud enough to fill up an average living room with sound. However, if you have a larger, more open space, you can't really fill it with as much sound. There's some compression when you push it to max volume, which impacts the clarity of audio reproduction.
The Bose Solo Soundbar Series II has a decent stereo THD performance. There's not much distortion at a normal listening volume, so audio reproduction is clean and pure. While there's a small jump at max volume, distortion is really hard to hear. Even astute audiophiles won't notice much distortion at loud volumes.
The Bose Solo Soundbar Series II is a 2.0 bar, so there's no discrete center channel. Instead, it uses its left and right stereo channels to simulate a phantom center. The result isn't quite as clear as what you get with a discrete center, but still, you don't have any issues hearing dialogue in your audio. With its balanced frequency response, voices are clear and detailed in the mix.
The Bose Solo Soundbar Series II is a 2.0 bar. If you watch a lot of 5.1 surround sound content like Dolby Digital, the bar downmixes it into stereo to play it. Unfortunately, it won't sound as clear or real as what you get with a bar with discrete surrounds. Audio sounds like it's coming from a speaker placed in front of you, and it doesn't seem like sound effects stretch around you. The sound is a bit muddy and excited due to the excess bass and treble, which affects the clarity of sound effects.
The Bose Solo Soundbar Series II doesn't have a lot of sound enhancement features available. Much like the Bose Solo 5, you only have a bass adjustment feature on the remote to adjust its sound. There's also a dialogue enhancement feature to make voices more clear and more crisp, which you can also find on the remote. Even for a budget bar, it's pretty barebones, and you don't have much ability to control its sound.
You can connect the bar to your TV over Optical, and there's an Optical cable included in the box to make it easy to link these devices. There's also a Coaxial In port for connecting to older devices. Still, you won't find any HDMI ports, which is disappointing if you want to use HDMI CEC to control the bar with your TV remote.
The Bose Solo Soundbar Series II supports Dolby Digital, which is the most commonly-used surround sound format found on many different streaming platforms. Still, since it's a 2.0 bar, it downmixes it into stereo to play it.
The Bose Solo Soundbar Series II has a fantastic latency performance. With its low latency, the audio you hear is in sync with the video you see, and there are no issues with lip-synching. Some apps and TVs compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience can vary.
The Bose Solo Soundbar Series II lets you stream audio from your mobile devices to the bar wirelessly via Bluetooth.
Since there's no HDMI In port, you can't use the bar for high-quality passthrough.
The Bose Solo Soundbar Series II doesn't have a display, but there are some lights on the left side of the bar that change colors based on the settings you use. For example, it shows when the power's on, when audio is muted, and whether or not dialogue mode is on. You can find a full listing in the bar's manual.
There aren't any controls on the Bose Solo Soundbar Series II, so you have to use the remote to adjust its features.
The remote is the only tool on hand to control the bar's features. It lets you power it on/off, change the input, adjust the volume, and mute the bar. Also, you can activate dialogue mode and adjust the bass. The Bluetooth button lets you connect to a mobile device, too.
The Bose Solo Soundbar Series II is available in 'Black'. You can see the label for the model we tested here.
If you come across another version of this soundbar, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.
The Bose Solo Soundbar Series II is very similar to the 2019 Bose Solo 5. Both are 2.0 bars with limited features designed to enhance stereo content, which includes most music and TV shows. Their sound is quite similar, and while voices and lead instruments are clear, you miss out on the rumbling low-bass found in bass-heavy music and movies. It's a solid upgrade over your TV speakers at a budget-friendly price and a simple-to-use bar overall.
The Bose Solo Soundbar Series II and the Bose Solo 5 are almost identical soundbars. Both have 2.0 setups, and their frequency responses are very similar, so you don't hear much difference in their sound. They offer the same sound enhancement features, too. Their design is slightly different, and the Series II's remote looks sleeker.
The Sonos Beam is better than the Bose Solo Soundbar Series II. They're both small standalone soundbars with solid performances, but the Sonos has a better sound. It's better-built, with a more neutral sound out-of-the-box. Its soundstage is also much wider, so you feel more immersed in your audio. There's a discrete center channel to improve vocal clarity, and more sound enhancement features to help you customize its sound.
The Bose Solo Soundbar Series II and the Bose TV Speaker are similar 2.0 soundbars. The TV Speaker is better overall, as it comes with a couple of extra features. It's better-built and has an HDMI ARC port, so it supports HDMI CEC to let you control the bar's basic features with your TV remote. Its stereo soundstage is better, too. These features may not be worth the value for some, and the Series II is a more affordable alternative.
The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is better than the Bose Solo Soundbar Series II. The 300 is a 3.0 setup, meaning it has a discrete center to improve vocal reproduction. It's better built, with more wireless playback options as well as an HDMI port for CEC support. Unlike the Solo, you can control its basic features with your TV remote as a result.
The Bose Solo Soundbar Series II is better than the Sony HT-S200F. They're both simple soundbars with small, standalone designs, available at similar price points. However, the Bose has a better frequency response, with a more neutral sound that provides more emphasis in the treble for a more detailed sound. The Sony has a couple more sound enhancement features like EQ presets and an HDMI input for those who want to control the bar's basic settings over HDMI CEC, but otherwise, there isn't much of a difference.