Your browser is not supported or outdated so some features of the site might not be available.
154
Soundbars store-bought and tested, supported by you via insider access, and when you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Driven by data, run by a passionate team of engineers, testers, technical writers, developers, and more. We are hiring!

Bose TV Speaker Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Updated Aug 18, 2022 at 12:29 pm
Bose TV Speaker Picture
6.4
Mixed Usage
6.9
Dialogue/TV Shows
6.7
Music
5.8
Movies
Channels
2.0

The Bose TV Speaker is a simple plug-and-play soundbar released in 2020. Its small, compact design makes it ideal for those who don't have a lot of space in their setup, and its 2.0 design makes it ideal for enhancing stereo content, which includes most music and TV shows. Naturally, it doesn't come with as many features as Bose's more premium offerings like the Bose Smart Soundbar 900, and it doesn't sound quite as immersive. Still, if you want a simple upgrade over your TV speakers, it's a solid pick.

Our Verdict

6.4 Mixed Usage

The Bose TV Speaker is acceptable for mixed usage. It's a 2.0 bar that lacks the extra bells and whistles of more premium offerings, so it's designed for users who just want to improve stereo content like music and TV shows. Its default sound is quite balanced, meaning that voices and lead instruments are clear in the mix. You won't find a lot of customization tools, though, and it's not ideal for listening to multi-channel content.

Pros
  • Dialogue enhancement feature available.
  • Bluetooth-compatible.
  • Bass adjustment feature available.
Cons
  • Doesn't support Atmos.
  • No EQ or room correction feature.
  • Doesn't get very loud and compression artifacts at max volume.
6.9 Dialogue/TV Shows

The Bose TV Speaker is fair for dialogue-heavy TV shows and podcasts. It's a 2.0 bar, so it lacks a discrete center channel, but thanks to its balanced mids, you don't have any trouble following the action in your favorite shows. Voices are clear and detailed, and there's even a dialogue enhancement tool on hand. Since it's Bluetooth-compatible, you can stream podcasts right from your phone to the bar.

Pros
  • Dialogue enhancement feature available.
  • Bluetooth-compatible.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very loud and compression artifacts at max volume.
  • No auto-volume mode.
6.7 Music

The Bose TV Speaker is alright for music. Its default frequency response is quite balanced, especially in the mids, which is where most voices and lead instruments reproduce. As a result, it's suitable for most music genres, and there's even a little extra boom in the high-bass to bring those instruments to life. However, like most small, standalone bars, you don't get the deep rumble in the low-bass, so you don't feel your chair move along with bass-heavy genres like EDM. You can add a subwoofer to improve its bass reproduction, but it's a separate add-on.

Pros
  • Bluetooth-compatible.
  • Bass adjustment feature available.
Cons
  • No EQ or room correction feature.
  • Doesn't get very loud and compression artifacts at max volume.
5.8 Movies

The Bose TV Speaker isn't ideal for movies. Dialogue is clear in the mix, but without a sub, it struggles to bring the deep rumble in the bass that brings a cinematic feel to action-packed movies. It's a 2.0 setup, too, so multi-channel content like Dolby Digital is downmixed into stereo. There's no support for more immersive formats, like Dolby Atmos, which is disappointing if you watch a lot of movies on streaming platforms.

Pros
  • Bass adjustment feature available.
Cons
  • Doesn't support Atmos.
  • No EQ or room correction feature.
  • Doesn't get very loud and compression artifacts at max volume.
  • 6.4 Mixed Usage
  • 6.9 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 6.7 Music
  • 5.8 Movies
  1. Updated Aug 18, 2022: Updated review for accuracy and clarity.
  2. Updated Aug 26, 2021: Updated review for accuracy and clarity.
  3. Updated Feb 18, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.
  4. Updated Jan 13, 2021: Due to a change in our methodology, we updated DTS and DD+ support via ARC to 'No'.
  5. Updated Sep 21, 2020: The Dynamics tests have been reconducted due to a value input bug.
  6. Updated Sep 08, 2020: Review published.
  7. Updated Aug 31, 2020: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style - Bar

The Bose TV Speaker is a very small soundbar. It looks very sleek as it has a smooth plastic top while its front and sides have a metal grille with fine holes to protect its speakers.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

There are no subwoofers in this setup. However, you can purchase the Bose Bass Module 500 or Bose Module 700 to add a subwoofer to the mix. Note that you can't use them wirelessly with this bar. You need to purchase a connection cable, which is sold separately.

Design
Style - Satellites
Design
Dimensions - Bar
Width 23.5" (59.6 cm)
Height 2.2" (5.7 cm)
Depth 4.1" (10.4 cm)

This soundbar is remarkably small. It fits easily between the legs of a 55-inch TV. It's also not tall enough to obscure your TV unless the screen sits flush to the table.

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 underside)

The back of the soundbar has one opening for the power cable and the inputs. As there are also universal holes on its underside, you can easily wall-mount this soundbar.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
No Subwoofer
Design
Back - Satellites
Mounting
No
8.0
Design
Build Quality

The Bose TV Speaker has a great build quality. Even though it's partially made of plastic, it feels sturdy and solid. Its metal grille is sleek and gives it a more premium look and feel than the fabric wrap used by the Yamaha YAS-109. The universal mounting holes are even covered with removable rubber screws, which is a nice touch.

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

  • Manual
  • Optical cable
  • Remote with battery
  • Power cable

Sound
7.2
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
No Preset
Slope
-0.10
Std. Err.
2.82 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
55.0 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

The Bose TV Speaker has a decent stereo frequency response. Its response is pretty balanced, especially in the mids, which is where most voices and lead instruments reproduce. As a result, it's suitable for listening to most types of audio content. There's a touch of extra boom in the high-bass, too, but you miss the deep thump and rumble in the low-bass. If you listen to a lot of bass-heavy genres, you might want to add on a separate sub to improve its bass reproduction.

7.2
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
No Preset
Suggested Bass Setting
0
Suggested Treble Setting
N/A
Slope
-0.10
Std. Err.
2.82 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
55.0 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

The Bose TV Speaker has a bass adjustment feature to help you customize its sound. However, its default sound profile already falls within the desired range for listeners who prefer a more neutral sound, so we don't recommend adjusting its settings unless you want a different sound profile.

6.5
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
2.99 dB

The Bose TV Speaker has an alright stereo soundstage performance. You perceive the soundstage to be a bit wider than the bar itself. However, it doesn't sound that focused, which makes objects sound like they're coming from more general or diffused areas rather than accurate, pinpoint locations.

6.5
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
89.2 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
3.17 dB

The Bose TV Speaker has alright stereo dynamics. It gets loud enough to fill an average living room with sound, but like most small bars, it isn't enough for larger, more open spaces. There are some thumping and compression artifacts present at max volume, especially in the bass range.

7.6
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.51
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.11

The Bose TV Speaker has a good THD performance. At normal listening volumes, the range falls within good limits, resulting in clean and pure audio reproduction. There's a slight jump in THD at max volume, but it's hard to hear distortion with real-life content.

6.8
Sound
Center
Localization
Phantom
Slope
0.08
Std. Err.
2.45 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
88.1 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.50
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.08

The Bose TV Speaker is a 2.0 setup and doesn't have a dedicated center speaker. Instead, it uses its left and right speakers to create sound in the center, which sounds more diffused and less clear than a discrete center channel. Its frequency response is quite balanced in the mid-range, so voices are still reproduced clearly and with detail.

3.3
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Stereo (Downmix)
Slope
-1.17
Std. Err.
4.79 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
84.7 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.55
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.11
7.1 Rears
No

The Bose TV Speaker has a poor surround performance. As it's a 2.0 setup, it has to downmix surround content into stereo to play it, which doesn't result in the most accurate or clear representation of objects in the surround image. Audio seems like it's coming from in front of you rather than from speakers placed all around you. Also, its frequency response is rather bass-heavy, which muddies voices in your surround content.

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 TV Speaker doesn't offer a lot of sound enhancement features. You can adjust its bass, which gives you a bit of control over its sound, but it lacks more premium features like an EQ. There's a dialogue enhancement feature on the remote that helps make voices more crisp and clear. For a 2.0 setup with some EQ presets, check out the TCL Alto 3 or the Sonos Ray.

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

The Bose TV Speaker has a couple of physical inputs. Unlike the Bose Solo Soundbar Series II, it has an HDMI ARC, so you can hook it up to your TV and use HDMI CEC support. There's a USB port, but you can only use it to service the bar with updates. Unfortunately, you can't use it as a hub between your TV and other devices like a Blu-ray player.

6.1
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - ARC
eARC
No
Dolby Atmos
No
Dolby Digital
Yes
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

The Bose TV Speaker supports Dolby Digital content via its ARC port. It's the most commonly used surround sound format, and you come across it on streaming platforms. However, there's no support for more advanced lossless or object-based formats like Dolby Atmos.

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 TV Speaker only supports Dolby Digital via Optical, which is commonly found on Blu-ray discs and streaming platforms.

9.8
Connectivity
Latency
ARC
11 ms
Optical
9 ms
Full HDMI In
N/A

The Bose TV Speaker has an incredible latency performance. Thanks to its low latency via its ARC and Optical ports, you don't notice a delay between the audio you hear and the video you see. As a result, it's suitable for watching movies and videos over these connections. However, 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 TV Speaker has passable wireless playback options. It only supports Bluetooth, but at least you can play your favorite music from your smartphone wirelessly. If you're looking for a Bose soundbar that supports Apple AirPlay 2, check out the Bose Smart Soundbar 300.

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

This bar doesn't support HDMI so it can't do video passthrough.

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

The Bose TV Speaker's interface is extremely simple. There's a light that turns on when you're connected to your TV via HDMI ARC or Optical, as well as a light to show when you're connected via Bluetooth. The light blinks when you adjust the volume or when you're on mute. The light also turns green when you have the dialogue enhancement feature on.

Additional Features
Bar Controls
Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
No

The remote is very straightforward. As the bar itself doesn't have any controls, and there's no companion app, you can control all of the bar's features from here. Note that the bass button can adjust the bass up or down two levels from its default setting.

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)
Yes

The Bose TV Speaker shuts off after about twenty minutes of inactivity when connected via Bluetooth. However, if you have it hooked up to your TV, the bar shuts down after 2.5 hours of inactivity. You can also use your TV remote to control aspects of the bar like volume and power it on/off.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Bose TV Speaker soundbar comes in 'Black', and 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 TV Speaker is a very compact 2.0 soundbar designed for TVs and TV-centric content. While it's pretty bare-bones in features, it delivers decent bass with smooth and neutral mids right out of the box, which is better suited for dialogue-centric content. It's also fairly easy to set up since it only has a couple of inputs, so you can get right into watching your favorite game shows or soap operas without too much delay. You can expand this setup down the line with one of Bose's Bass Modules, which is nice. However, this soundbar doesn't get very loud, so it may not be ideal for large or crowded rooms.

If you're looking for more soundbars, check out our recommendations for the best small soundbars, the best soundbars for dialogue, and the best soundbars under $300.

Bose Smart Soundbar 300

The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is better for mixed use than the Bose TV Speaker. The 300 has a better center and surround performance. It also offers treble adjustment, as well as more wireless playback options like Apple AirPlay 2. It also connects to the Bose Music app that gives you a bit more functionality.

Sonos Beam

The Sonos Beam is a better soundbar than the Bose TV Speaker. The Sonos is a 3.0 setup with a better surround performance. It comes with more sound enhancement features, it can also get loud enough for a large room, and you can stream music wirelessly to it using Wi-Fi or Apple AirPlay. It also has a companion app that can control all the bar's features. However, the Bose is a 2.0 setup that lets you use Bluetooth to play audio from your phone. The Bose also has an auto-off power-saving feature.

Bose Solo 5

The Bose TV Speaker is a better 2.0 setup for dialogue and TV shows than the Bose Solo 5. The TV Speaker feels better built, and its sound profile is more neutral The TV Speaker also has an HDMI ARC port. However, while the Solo 5 doesn't get as loud as the TV Speaker, it can reach max volume with less thumping and compression artifacts.

Sonos Beam (Gen 2)

The 5.0 Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is better than the 2.0 Bose TV Speaker. The Sonos is a better-built setup that supports Atmos content, unlike the Bose. It has better soundstage, center, and surround performances, and it offers more sound enhancement features like room correction. There's even built-in voice assistant support available.

Bose Soundbar 500

The Bose TV Speaker and the Bose Soundbar 500 are two well-built soundbars with different setups. The Bose TV Speaker is a 2.0 setup that's smaller and more compact, which some users may prefer. It has a better-balanced sound profile with a decent amount of bass. The 500, on the other hand, is a 3.0 setup with a better-performing discrete center channel. It also has a better surround performance, EQ presets, and an ethernet port if you want to listen to audio from a flash drive. It even supports eARC; although it reencodes these formats into Dolby Digital, it has a companion app, and you can stream audio to it via Wi-Fi and Apple AirPlay in addition to Bluetooth.

Bose Smart Soundbar 700

The standalone Bose Smart Soundbar 700 is better than the Bose TV Speaker. The Soundbar 700 is better built, with better soundstage, center, and surround performances. It gets louder, and it has built-in voice assistant support. It also offers a room correction feature and more wireless playback options.

Bose Solo Soundbar Series II

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.

Sony HT-X8500

The Sony HT-X8500 is a 2.1 setup that's better for movies than the 2.0 setup Bose TV Speaker. Even though it doesn't get much louder than the Bose, the Sony has significantly better stereo dynamics. Its surround performance is better and it supports Atmos, which is great if you watch a lot of movies. The Sony also has EQ presets, its HDMI ARC and HDMI IN ports support all common audio formats, and it supports DTS via Optical. It even supports eARC. However, the Bose feels better built, its sound profile is better balanced and neutral, and it's more compact in size overall, which some users may prefer.

Sony HT-S200F

The Bose TV Speaker is slightly better for mixed usage than the Sony HT-S200F. The Bose is better-built, and it has a better soundstage. Its default sound profile is also a bit more neutral, which some users may prefer. That said, the Sony has more sound enhancement features, including EQ presets.

Yamaha YAS-109

The Yahama YAS-109 is a slightly better soundbar for mixed use than the Bose TV Speaker. The Yahama has fewer compression artifacts at max volume, comes with EQ presets, and has a better surround performance. It also has a Full HDMI In port and supports Wi-Fi. However, the Bose is better built and sounds more neutral out-of-the-box.

Yamaha YAS-209

The Yamaha YAS-209 is better than the Bose TV Speaker. The Yamaha reproduces a more extended low-bass, and it has a better soundstage. Unlike the Bose, it comes with a Full HDMI In port, Wi-Fi connectivity, and built-in voice assistant support. There are also some EQ presets to help you customize its sound. That said, the Bose is better-built.

Sonos Arc

The Sonos Arc is a better soundbar than the Bose TV Speaker. The Sonos is a 5.0.2 setup that offers better soundstage, center, and surround performances. Unlike the Bose, it supports Dolby Atmos content, and it has built-in voice assistant support. It also comes with more sound enhancement features, including room correction. You can even upgrade it as the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers for a better performance.

Sonos Ray

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Bose TV Speaker or the Sonos Ray. They're both budget-friendly 2.0 setups that are best with music and dialogue-focused TV shows. However, the Bose can reproduce a more extended low-bass, so you feel more rumble in the mix. Unlike the Sonos, it supports HDMI connectivity, too. However, the Sonos comes with more sound enhancement features, such as room correction, and it lets you connect to the Sonos ecosystem through its Sonos S2 app. There's even DTS support, which the Bose lacks.

Bose Smart Soundbar 900

The Bose Smart Soundbar 900 is a better standalone bar than the Bose TV Speaker. The 900 is a premium 5.0.2 setup that supports Dolby Atmos content. It has better soundstage, center, and surround performances. Also, it gets louder than the TV Speaker. That said, if you're low on space, the TV Speaker's more compact design is a better fit. It's still a fair choice for listening to vocal-centric audio like TV shows.

Samsung HW-S60A

The Samsung HW-S60A is better than the Bose TV Speaker. The Samsung is a 5.0 setup with better soundstage, center, and surround performances. It gets louder with less compression at max volume, and it has more wireless playback options. Unlike the Bose, it has DTS support and built-in voice assistant capabilities. There are even more sound enhancement features to choose from, including a graphic EQ.

JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam

The JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam is better than the Bose TV Speaker. The JBL is a 5.0 setup that supports Dolby Atmos content. It also has better soundstage, center, and surround performances, and it gets louder. It even comes with more sound enhancement features like room correction as well as more wireless playback support. Also, it has a Full HDMI In port. That said, the 2.0 Bose has a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, which some users may prefer.

Samsung HW-Q600A

The 3.1.2 Samsung HW-Q600A is better than the 2.0 Bose TV Speaker. The Samsung comes with a dedicated sub that helps reproduce a more extended low-bass, and it supports Dolby Atmos content. It has better soundstage, surround, and center performances, too. It also gets louder with less compression at max volume. There are even some more sound enhancement features available, such as a graphic EQ.

Sony HT-S100F

The Bose TV Speaker is a bit better than the Sony HT-S100F. The Bose is a simple setup with better soundstage and surround performances. It can reproduce a slightly more extended low-bass, and its default sound profile is more neutral and balanced. That said, it doesn't get quite as loud as the Sony.

Samsung HW-A650

The Samsung HW-A650 is better than the Bose TV Speaker. The Samsung is a 3.1 setup with a dedicated subwoofer that can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It has better soundstage and center channel performances, and it can get louder. Also, there are more sound enhancement features to choose from, such as a graphic EQ. Unlike the 2.0 Bose, it also has a Full HDMI In port.

Bose Smart Soundbar 700 with Speakers + Bass Module

The Bose Smart Soundbar 700 with Speakers + Bass Module is better than the Bose TV Speaker. The Soundbar 700 is better built, and its dedicated sub helps reproduce a more extended low-bass. It also comes with discrete satellites that help improve its surround performance. It has better center and soundstage performances, and it supports more wireless playback options. Unlike the TV Speaker, it comes with room correction and built-in voice assistant capabilities.

Samsung HW-A450

The Samsung HW-A450 is better than the Bose TV Speaker. The Samsung is a 2.1 setup with a dedicated sub that can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It has a better center channel performance, and it gets louder with less compression at max volume. There are even more sound enhancement features, like a graphic EQ. That said, some users may prefer the Bose's compact, standalone design. It's also better built.

Samsung HW-A550

The Samsung HW-A550 is better than the Bose TV Speaker. The Samsung is a 2.1 setup with a dedicated subwoofer that can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It has a better soundstage, and it gets louder with less compression at max volume. It also has more sound enhancement features, including a graphic EQ. However, some users may prefer the Bose's better built, standalone design. It even has a better center channel performance.

TCL Alto 3

The Bose TV Speaker is a better soundbar than the TCL Alto 3. The Bose is better-built, and its sound profile is more neutral and balanced, making it suitable for a wider range of audio content. However, the TCL comes with a few EQ presets, which the Bose lacks.

+ Show more

Discussions