For background music it is good. Although I don't support the company. They will not provide standard specs for their equipment and use marketing and hype to sell product rather than facts and quailty product. This is the main reason I would buy a Boston, Music Hall, Tivoli, ... table top before I bought a Bose.
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You're not just fishing for enraged responses are you? Anyway, the Onkyo CS 210 all in one tuner/amp/CD and speakers will scorch this at just under $200 shipped. Speakers are the weakest part so you can spend $150 on used somthing like Paradigm Atoms, PSB to upgrade and be scarey for so little money. The JVC will also work well.
Remember, "Friends Don't Let Friends Own Bose".
Costco has a nice sounding mini-shelf system made by Philips which has speakers with ribbon tweeters and in real wood veneer cabinets all at $200. They also have a cheaper Philps set but I recommend the more expensive one. I have a pair I use in my kitchen and I'm just as happy with them as I am with my Linn Classik matched with NHT Super Ones.
I've heard the radio without the CD player. It's a nice boom box, but I think you can do better for the money. I have a Tivoli 2 and while it is not audiophile quality it is a very nice sounding radio. You can add their CD player in matching cabinet or any other CD player including a portable and come in well under the price of the Blows and have better sound to boot.
I have the tivoli model one and love it. However, it doesn't have a remote like the Bose does. My dad owns the Bose. I couldn't talk him out of it.
It sounds decent for what it is. It's a very simple plug and play unit. I think it is ridiculously priced though. If you are looking for nothing more than a table top radio, I would consider it, but there are other options.
I bought a used one for my office and it is just fine. Not great but other people tell me all that time that it sounds great. I think the sound is a bit open with a lack of detail and really sloppy bass responce. But I am comparing it to a $70000 system. So for the money I do not think you will be disappointed. And I have never had a problem with it mechanically.
We always spend part of the winter holidays down at the Virginia shore with another family, who usually bring along their Wave (of which they are, like most nonaudiophile owners, quite proud), to provide some background music in the rental house. Naturally, being a curious audiophile, I once decided to grab some of my own disks from the car and spend a little time finding out how well it could really play. Bottom line: I certainly wouldn't buy one. Of course I kept this to myself -- my apologies to the satisfied owners above -- but the only reaction exceeding my annoyance with its marginal sound (not in ridiculous comparison with audiophile systems, and not just relative to the hyperbole proffered by Herbie Hancock ads and innocent owners, but in absolute terms for a device in its category) was my contempt at the money asked. I feel there's not much else to this admittedly attractively designed product beyond a truly brilliant marketing scheme (or should I say scam).
Audire: Sorry, no recent experience or intent on my part. When I wrote "category" I was probably being too narrow, considering that I was also thinking of more boom-box and shelf-system style devices as well as plain old table radios from various eras, all cheaper and better sounding but not all as small or attractive as the Wave. To be specific my main sonic objection to the Wave was what I felt to be the way too obvious and poorly judged colorations, and their attendant congestion, imparted by the inescapable EQ Bose employs in attempting to make the thing sound like more than it is. Distractingly unnatural and unenjoyable to me. With the recent surge in new and good-looking tabletop/lifestyle devices thanks to the iPod, there's a lot of shopping around someone could do before dropping $500 sound unheard.
The owner's pride expressed by Wave Music System owners strikes me as being quite similar to the feelings of many High End audio owners about their precious equipment. It's said that in a restaurant the "sizzle" sells the steak. I guess that a good part of the price of a Bose is for the sizzle.
I don't own one, or any similar table radio, but there are certainly places where it fits the bill. Overpriced? (Again, compare High End audio). Probably, but sometimes we don't care.
Point well taken Eldartford. But in mild defense of the high end, I'll note that in the long run, although the audiophile marketplace doesn't demand that price be reasonable by mass market standards, it does demand that price should correlate in some identifiable way with sound quality.
Generally speaking within audiophilia price is agreed upon by tacit, voluntary consensus to represent a proxy indicator of sound quality, and if that presumed correlation isn't backed up to a worthwhile degree -- after subtracting for the cache factor -- then a product that's priced too high for what it delivers sonically in comparison to the overall high end marketplace will eventually be weeded out. (True, some of these products may deliver more sonic fetishism than fidelity, but the principle still applies.) In the high end you have to earn your stripes in some perceivable way, not simply by making your design attractive and pouring money into your ad campaign, although that can sometimes work to a degree for a little while. But if your $30K product sounds no better than a $5K product (or at least different, in a way that's judged to be subjectively better by some), and offers no more physical and engineering substance, experienced listeners will catch on.
With the Bose, in its marketplace, there is no corrective process at work based on sound quality -- the cache factor alone is almost the entire ball of wax. IMO the success of the Wave's marketing plan is actually integrally dependent on most customers (and popular press 'reviewers') not being knowledgeable regarding matters of sound quality. Absent Bose's astutely calculated marketing strategy the Wave is just another unremarkable little plastic radio offering mediocre sound, and wouldn't be a famous name or able to command near its price.
Audire: Just so you can better guage my words here, I'm not impressed by the sound of the Tivoli One for what it costs either, often seen as the 'audiophile-approved' alternative to the Wave. Obviously other audiophiles disagree with my takes. But as I've written before, I feel the classic Advent Model 400 (of which I own one) and its predecessor the KLH Model Eight table radios still outclass these pretenders to the Kloss legacy.
NHT speakers that will blow the Bose Wave system away
Nice suggestion, Avideo - the NHT Moo/Soo are popular in pro audio circles for hooking up to a PC. Chuck Ainlay (Dire Straits Audio Engineer) uses them. No doubt better than Bose....if you own a PC and want great sound while surfing Audiogon forums then this is definitely the way to go!
"have the all new Bose Acousic Wave Music System 2 and Its the best small system on the market! You can even compare it with BIG home stereo systems up to $5,000.00 ! "
LOL, perspective is everything; and I bet you can compare the Bose to home systems costing 2 million dollars but the question that is not answered is HOW well it compared. I installed a tube in my Wave system and it was so much better after that mod....i became very emotional after the mod. Actually its more of a hole than a tube :)
Just built a console with a Car stereo head unit and scan- speak drivers solid walnut caseb (built 2nd party) for less than $500, CD time and MP 3 remote and nothing listed above comes close. CD Changer and sub optional.
FOR PC guys Blue Sky is better than NHT and costs less, the amps are built into the subwoofer, very easy to get great 2.1-5.1 SOUND
While I was sipping the last of the Kool-Aid this statement struck me as odd for the first time..
"the audiophile marketplace doesn't demand that price be reasonable by mass market standards, it does demand that price should correlate in some identifiable way with sound quality."
Cambridge SoundWorks makes a whole series of radios now starting at around $120 and going up to around $400. I had their old Model 88 and it was superb for the money.
Polk Audio makes the iSonic and, for about the same as a Wave radio, it throws in additional capabilities like XM plug-and-play and a DVD player.
About a month ago I spent half an hour in Target comparing the Boston Acoustics Recepter radio and the Sony table radio that Sam Tellig spilled ink on. I like the BA better, especially its design, but wouldn't spend the money charged for these on either one. The Sony sounded too nasal, congested and electronic with a grainy texture, and it distorted too early as the volume was turned up; the tone control didn't help much. The BA I think could have been very good, but unfortunately they mostly ruined it by going for an over-exagerated response curve that recesses the upper midrange and way overboosts the bass in a misguided attempt to play to the peanut gallery. If this EQ could be adjusted to make it more level by only a few dBs it could be a real winner for its size, but there's no way to fool with the fixed setting. So, too bad -- I might've bought the BA otherwise -- but as things stand neither radio is a zit on the butt of the vintage KLH and Advent table radio models for enjoyable sound.