5 Stars By DWR on 2016-03-01
I was skeptical, but it does improve the clarity of dialogue
I have been having more difficulty understanding the dialogue in TV shows and movies lately... I am getting older and yes, I did listen to loud music in the 70's. I have tried a couple of different solutions like a bluetooth transmitter & headphones, which worked ok but I don't like to have the headphones on for long and it has to be kind of loud for me, and with a different sound bar which really didn't help much over the TV's own speakers. So I ordered this Bose Solo 5 system since it mentioned improving the clarity of dialogue. Well I have to say that it does. It first turns on in a "standard" mode and sounds pretty "regular" in that mode; really no big difference between it and my prior sound bar. But once you press the "dialogue" button on the remote, you can definitely hear a difference in clarity. I was pretty skeptical, but it really does help me understand much better what people are saying. It is an obvious improvement. I am adding a photo of the button on the remote you need to push to enable the dialogue mode since it wasn't obvious to me. When the dialogue mode is on, the green status light on the sound bar changes in color to amber, but you will be able to hear the difference, or at least I could. I should mention that some of the bass seems to be reduced when in dialogue mode but it also seems to me the voice frequencies are enhanced and not just pumping up the treble. I gladly give up some of the bass for the clarity. You can always just press the dialogue button a second time to toggle back to the regular sound settings if you prefer. Truthfully, I thought I would send this system back if it did not make a big difference since it is a bit pricey, and I am definitely not sending this back.
You know how some people get stuff free to review? Well, I wish I got this for free, but didn't. I paid the full price. Just thought you might want to know.
5 Stars By Sandra Elam on 2017-04-08
Compact soundbar that enhances dialogue and sounds impressive!
I wanted a compact soundbar to enhance the wimpy sound from my Sony Bravia HDTV (model KDL-40W650D), purchased in 2016. Because I live in an apartment and do not want to disturb my neighbors, I did NOT want a booming, surround-sound system with a sub-woofer. I also did NOT want a bunch of messy cables and speakers all over the room. I just wanted a decent soundbar that would enhance dialogue and make movies sound respectable...and this Bose Solo 5 TV Sound System does just that. I watched the 1959 classic movie Ben-Hur last night and the soundtrack sounded impressive! It was simple to connect to my Sony Bravia HDTV with the included optical digital audio cable. I checked the online manual for my TV model to make sure it had the correct output - see my photo of the optical digital audio output on my Sony Bravia HDTV. If your TV does not have an optical digital audio output, there are other setup options, but you will have to buy your own cable. You turn off the speakers on your TV and then control the speaker volume using the included Bose remote. You can also enhance the dialogue by pressing the dialogue button on the included Bose remote. I already owned a Bose Soundlink Mini ii bluetooth speaker for my phone and laptop, which I love. So I thought I would buy another Bose product. Bose is expensive, but excellent sound quality. Just what I wanted!
3 Stars By bcdjg on 2016-04-27
Dialog mode function has a known catch
We purchased a TV and needed better sound. We also read all the reviews that said the clarity of people talking is better using this speaker, which is what we were really looking for. Here is the review.
Pro:The best clarity occurs when you activate the speaker into the voice enhanced or dialog mode by pressing a special button on the remote. As stated in other reviews, it makes a very positive enhancement in clarity of all voices on all programs. But there is a catch that you should be aware of.
Con: The enhanced clarity dialog mode stays active only as long as you are watching at that particular time. Which means that if you turn off the TV, the speaker reverts back to the normal audio mode which is much less enhanced. Additionally, if you set the speaker in auto sense mode, where it comes on by itself when it notices you have turned the TV on, you still need to find the remote for the speaker and activate the enhanced audio mode by pressing the special dialog button every time. If the TV has only been off a short time, then the speaker won't revert to normal mode. But if its off for any longer than an hour, it will always revert to the standard sound mode. Our hearing is not good so we would much rather have the speaker stay in the enhanced audio function every time.
I called Bose customer care at 800-792-7197 ext 54464 and they confirmed the speaker does reset every time. They said most of their other systems stay in the mode you put it in and don't revert. They said if enough people call and ask them to adjust this, they will consider a firmware update to allow it to stay in dialog mode if you put it there. (there is a usb port on the back of the speaker and the tech said that the speaker could get a firmware update in that manner if they choose to create one)
Overall the speaker has very good mid range sound and decent bass as well, but you should be aware that for the enhanced dialog voice mode you will need to have the speaker remote handy to activate it each time or else you will get the standard sound. As a note, I was not able to get my learning remote to "learn" the dialog button frequency and assign it to a button.
On the other hand, if you want to call Bose and ask them to consider providing the option to keep the enhanced dialog mode active until you want to shut it off, give them a call on the number above. Hope that helps.
5 Stars By melissa m on 2016-03-02
Great sound and simple to set up
I purchased this for my parents who complained that they couldn't hear the dialogue on their shows. This was super easy to hook up and we had it all set up in about ten minutes. The sound difference was amazing and for the price point you can't beat it. Love that it is bluetooth enabled and you can stream your music as well.
2 Stars By Matt S. on 2018-01-01
A fail on its most important function
Love our Soundtouch 300, which we use with the base block and hidden speakers in our home theater. based on our experience with the Soundtouch 300 (not to mention multiple pairs of headphones and bluetooth speakers), we decided to order a bose solo 5 when we needed a simple sound bar to improve the volume on a 50” Samsung in our breakfast room area. despite the great features such as voice isolation and clarity enhancement, as well as decent build quality, the solo 5’s inexplicably low max volume setting (the core function of this small sound bar) makes it a fail! while the volume, which gets only slightly louder than the volume of the TV without the sound bar, can be set to a comfortable level in a quite room, add running water or activity in the nearby kitchen (or just background noise like talking) and the tv becomes difficult to impossible to hear (same for our teenage daughters). Although I would give a 5 star rating if the max volume was increased 25%, i cannot give more than two stars due to the inexplicably low ceiling on the max volume setting, which is the single most important function of this product. i can’t recommend this product.
2 Stars By FloridaDrafter on 2017-05-22
Not The Sound I Expected From BOSE Product.
Please keep in mind that this is my experience with this sound bar and I'm not calling out all of the 4 & 5 star reviewers. As we all know, buying electronics now-days, is a crap shoot. I am willing to say that you may have a better experience than I did.
I was a musician in the 70's and 80's, not famous, but I made a good living. I used BOSE speakers in our sound system and they were great for venues where size made it difficult to use more traditional sound systems. They made very impressive equipment. I bought this system because of those great experiences and am very disappointed with the sound quality of this bar. First off, this sound bar is made in China even though BOSE is an American corporation. I just don't know if that is the reason for the poor quality of this or not because I have many items made in China that are great, but still was disappointed to see that it was made there. I hooked it up using the provided optic cable, which is pretty flimsy and probably wouldn't hold up to very much abuse. The only thing that worked as advertised was the clear voice feature. The remote was very easy to program, but the bar itself did not work at first. I had to restart my system 3 times and it just started working on the 3rd go-round, go figure that one out. Yes, I know to hook everything up with no power, then power up after all is connected. After everything was working I realized that the speakers in my series 5 Samsung Smart TV were much better than this BOSE bar. The bass feature is terrible, although it does boost a bit when turned all the way up, but mine was lacking any oomph at all. Overall, the system sounded kind of "tiny", i.e., too much treble, even with bass maxed all the way. This thing needs some sort of equalizer, if only bass/mid/treble controls on the remote. In all fairness, my TV looses all control of any sound features like Mute, Bass, etc., when you choose "External Speakers", so tonal quality has to be controlled by the external device, which this soundbar does not have. Please make sure that you can control tonal quality with your TV while using "Optic Out" and "External Speakers" It does have good volume and filled the room (30'x20').
Maybe I was expecting too much for my $250, but I don't think so. I sent it back to BTA-MALL. I just don't see this thing helping a modern TV.
Please, don't beat me up on this poor review. This is just my experience and views on the one I got. If you buy, I hope you have a better experience than I did.
5 Stars By mac on 2017-12-31
Nice sound. Digital audio cable came with it.
Works just as advertised. Came with cable. Linked our dish dvr box TV and blue ray equipment to the bose universal remote. Book with codes to link bose remote came with directions. Love it so far.
4 Stars By V. Stark on 2018-01-01
The sound is great. It was super-easy to set up
The sound is great. It was super-easy to set up. I give it 4 stars because you have to select Dialog Mode every time you turn it on. This is really irritating because you buy sound bars because TV speakers are sh!t and we can't hear the dialog.
4 Stars By Tom on 2018-01-02
Good system for the price. Just adds a little better sound and bass.
5 Stars By Alison C. on 2017-12-26