Bose is popular among audiophiles for producing sleek, top-of-the-line audio equipment, from wireless speakers to home theater systems. Whether you mainly listen at home or on the go, you’re likely to find one of the brand’s products that meets your needs.
But selecting a speaker is no easy feat. If you’re going to trust a speaker with the responsibility of blasting your favorite tunes, you have to know it’s equipped for the job. That’s where we can help.
Our analysis: Based on 12,844 analyzed reviews
NerdWallet’s scoring of the best Bose speakers is based on our analysis of the opinions of experts and shoppers like you.
We looked at opinions from industry-leading review sites such as CNET and Good Housekeeping to create a list of the most popular speakers on the market. Then, we analyzed actual user reviews to see what shoppers were saying about each speaker’s best — and worst — attributes.
Our scores range from a low of 1 to a high of 10. Here’s how we devised them:
Overall score: This score shows reviewers’ overall satisfaction level with the speaker across 16 criteria, including all-important aspects such as sound quality, features, battery life and durability.
Sound: This score reflects reviewers’ satisfaction with the sound output produced by the speaker. In addition to sound clarity and volume, we also accounted for factors such as bass and treble.
Ease of use: This score indicates reviewers’ satisfaction with how simple the speaker is to set up and control. Because convenience is a top consideration for many speaker users, we examined several criteria, including features, design, charging and setup.
Here are our top picks for Bose speakers, ranked by category in order of overall score.
The best Bose home theater systems
1. Bose CineMate 15
The Bose CineMate 15, at a retail price of $599.95, fits big sound into a compact home theater system. The 12-inch sound bar and small subwoofer are ideal for entertainment junkies who don’t have enough room for oversized equipment.
- Crisp, clear audio.
- System doesn’t take up much space.
- Adjustable bass.
- System isn’t wireless.
- Issues connecting the remote to TVs.
2. Bose CineMate 120
The sleek Bose CineMate 120 is equipped with technology that adjusts the audio to work with the acoustics of your room — based on factors such as the type of flooring or furniture you have — to help give you a customized listening experience. It has a retail price of $1,099.95.
- Rich, full sound.
- Loud volume.
- Easy setup.
- How much it costs.
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth adapters must be purchased separately.
3. Bose CineMate 130
Bose promises the CineMate 130 is its “best-performing CineMate” sound bar. But it’s larger and more expensive than the other models at a retail price of $1,499.95. You can rest it on top of a surface or mount it on the wall using a separately purchased adapter.
- Clear, immersive sound.
- Wireless subwoofer.
- Console easily connects to multiple sources.
- Accessories aren’t included in the price.
- Connectivity issues.
4. Bose CineMate 1 SR
For homebodies who want the effect of surround sound without having to buy a set with multiple speakers, the Bose CineMate 1 SR uses its TrueSpace technology to spread audio and acoustics throughout the room. It’s worth noting that the 1 SR has been discontinued, so you may only find used models for sale. Several used models were going for about $700 to over $1,100 at Amazon.
- Sharp, multidirectional sound.
- System has few wires.
- Quick, simple setup.
- Hefty price tag.
- The universal remote.
- It’s not equipped with Bluetooth.
The best Bose Bluetooth speakers
1. Bose SoundLink Mini II
The portable Bose SoundLink Mini II packs booming audio into its small, rectangular body. It earned high marks for sound clarity and quality, and it features a built-in speakerphone for easy hands-free calls. It sells for a retail price of $199.95.
- Rich sound and deep bass.
- Small size.
- Speakerphone feature.
- Speaker is tough to fit into the charging cradle.
- No button to skip songs on the unit.
- Somewhat pricey for its size.
2. Bose SoundLink Color
The Bose SoundLink Color, which is the smallest of the company’s SoundLink models, is convenient for travel. With its streamlined square shape and weighing just 1.25 pounds, the Color fits easily into a bag when you’re ready to take it with you. Bose offers it for $116.95.
- Compact, lightweight design.
- Sound clarity.
- Easy Bluetooth pairing.
- Bass is too subtle.
- Battery life weakens over time.
3. Bose SoundLink III
The Bose SoundLink III can please music fans, whether at home or on the go. It’s larger and pricier than the other models in Bose’s line of portable speakers at $299.95, but it offers more volume, thumping bass and up to 14 hours of play on a full charge.
- High-quality audio with strong bass.
- Slim, portable build.
- Long battery life.
- Not enough controls on the unit.
- Somewhat pricey for a portable speaker.