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Bose Solo Soundbar Series II Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Aug 01, 2022 at 10:54 am
Bose Solo Soundbar Series II Picture
6.1
Mixed Usage
6.7
Dialogue/TV Shows
6.5
Music
5.4
Movies
Channels
2.0

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.

Our Verdict

6.1 Mixed Usage

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.

Pros
  • Bass adjustment feature.
  • Bluetooth-compatible.
Cons
  • Few customization tools.
  • No Dolby Atmos support.
6.7 Dialogue/TV Shows

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.

Pros
  • Bluetooth-compatible.
  • Dialogue enhancement tool.
Cons
  • Few customization tools.
  • No Wi-Fi, Chromecast, or Apple AirPlay support.
6.5 Music

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.

Pros
  • Bass adjustment feature.
  • Bluetooth-compatible.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • Few customization tools.
5.4 Movies

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.

Pros
  • Bass adjustment feature.
  • Dialogue enhancement tool.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • No Dolby Atmos support.
  • No discrete surrounds.
  • 6.1 Mixed Usage
  • 6.7 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 6.5 Music
  • 5.4 Movies
  1. Updated Aug 01, 2022: Review published.
  2. Updated Jul 27, 2022: Early access published.

Check Price

Black Solo Soundbar Series II
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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style - Bar

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.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

The sub is embedded into the bar itself. You can see the port on the back of the bar.

Design
Style - Satellites
Design
Dimensions - Bar
Width 21.7" (55.0 cm)
Height 2.8" (7.0 cm)
Depth 3.3" (8.3 cm)

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.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Width N/A
Height N/A
Depth N/A
Design
Dimensions - Satellites
Width N/A
Height N/A
Depth N/A
Design
Back - Bar
Bar Mounting
Universal (holes on back)

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.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
No Subwoofer
Design
Back - Satellites
Mounting
No
7.5
Design
Build Quality

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.

Design
In The Box
HDMI Cable Length
N/A
Digital Optical Cable Length
1.5 m (4.9 ft)

  • Manuals
  • Wall bracket (two pieces)
  • Mounting screws
  • Remote
  • Power adapter
  • Power cable
  • Optical cable

Sound
7.1
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
No Preset
Slope
0.16
Std. Err.
3.12 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
56.6 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

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.

7.1
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
No Preset
Suggested Bass Setting
0
Suggested Treble Setting
N/A
Slope
0.16
Std. Err.
3.12 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
56.6 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

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.

6.0
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
3.41 dB

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.

6.6
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
86.8 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
2.57 dB

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.

7.1
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.82
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.30

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.

6.6
Sound
Center
Localization
Phantom
Slope
-0.29
Std. Err.
2.63 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
87.1 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.84
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.33

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.

3.0
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Stereo (Downmix)
Slope
-0.01
Std. Err.
5.84 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
85.8 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.87
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.28
7.1 Rears
No

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.

0
Sound
Height (Atmos)
Localization
Not Supported
Slope
N/A
Std. Err.
N/A
SPL @ Max Volume
N/A
Weighted THD @ 80dB
N/A
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
N/A
2.1
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
No
Dialogue Enhancement
Yes
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
No
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
No
Bass Adjustment
Yes
Treble Adjustment
No
EQ
No
Surround Level Adjustment
No
Rear Level Adjustment
No
Height Level Adjustment
No
Virtual Surround
No

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.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Physical Inputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
1
HDMI ARC
No
HDMI Out
No
Full HDMI In
No
Analog Audio In 3.5mm (Aux)
1
RCA In
No
USB for Files
No
Ethernet
No

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.

0
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - ARC
eARC
No
Dolby Atmos
No
Dolby Digital
No
Dolby Digital Plus
No
DTS
No
DTS:X (eARC only)
No
Dolby TrueHD (eARC only)
No
DTS-HD MA (eARC only)
No
5.1 PCM (eARC only)
No
0
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Full HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
No
DTS:X
No
Dolby Digital
No
Dolby Digital Plus
No
DTS
No
Dolby TrueHD
No
DTS-HD MA
No
5.1 PCM
No
6.0
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Optical
Dolby Digital
Yes
DTS
No

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.

9.9
Connectivity
Latency
ARC
N/A
Optical
5 ms
Full HDMI In
N/A

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.

6.0
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
No
Chromecast built-in
No
Apple AirPlay
No

The Bose Solo Soundbar Series II lets you stream audio from your mobile devices to the bar wirelessly via Bluetooth.

Connectivity
Other Input Specifications
4k @ 60 Hz Passthrough
No
4k @ 60 Hz @ 10 bit Passthrough
No
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 Passthrough
No
HDR10 Passthrough
No

Since there's no HDMI In port, you can't use the bar for high-quality passthrough.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
No
Connectivity
Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless
No
Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
No

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.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

There aren't any controls on the Bose Solo Soundbar Series II, so you have to use the remote to adjust its features.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
No

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.

Additional Features
Voice Assistants Support
Amazon Alexa
No
Google Assistant
No
Apple Siri
No
Additional Features
App
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
Acts As A Remote
No
Controls Soundbar's Settings
No
Casts Device Files
No
Additional Features
Other Features
Power Saving
Auto-off
HDMI CEC (TV Remote Control)
No

The Bose Solo Soundbar Series II automatically turns off after an hour of inactivity. Since it doesn't support HDMI, you can't use CEC support to control the bar with your TV remote.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

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.

Compared To Other Soundbars

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.

See also our recommendations for the best small soundbars, the best standalone soundbars, and the best Bose soundbars.

Bose Solo 5

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.

Sonos Beam

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.

Bose TV Speaker

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.

Bose Smart Soundbar 300

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.

Sony HT-S200F

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.

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