Bose Solo 5 Vs 15

In this article, we will help you choose between Bose Solo 5 vs 15. Both products are external speakers that are designed to improve your TV’s audio performance. However, the two models have very different designs and features. Bose Solo 5 is a sound bar, whereas Bose Solo 15 is a sound base. Which one is better for you?

Bose Solo 5 Vs 15

What you can learn from this article:

  • The dimensions and suitable placement of each model
  • The look and build quality of each model
  • The features and capabilities of Bose Solo 5 vs 15
  • The comparison of their sound quality
  • Which speaker model that is generally more recommended

Quick Overview

Bose Solo 5Bose Solo 15
Sound bar design, easy to mountSound base design, sits under TV
Universal remote controlUniversal remote that can control Bluetooth-connected devices
Auxiliary, optical, coaxial input portsAux, optical, coaxial, analogue RCA input ports
Two driversFour drivers and a subwoofer
Narrow soundstage, weak bassWide soundstage, solid and tight bass

Design and Build
Bose Solo 5 is definitely one of the most compact sound bars ever in the market. It only measures 548 mm x 70 mm x 86 mm, and its weight is only about 6.35 kg. With such a compact design, this speaker may look just like a center channel speaker of a 5.1 set up rather than a sound bar. The compact design should make it an ideal choice for a kitchen television or bedroom.

“Bose Solo 5 is one of the most compact sound bars ever; it looks just like a center channel speaker.”

Mounting Bose Solo 5 is easy. However, the problem lies not in the mounting process. The problem is, the brackets necessary for mounting the sound bar on a wall are not included in the box. The brackets should be purchased separately. This is a little inconvenient, as most people prefer to have everything ready in the box so that they won’t have to go around trying to find the right items.

Bose Solo 5 has a robust build quality. Design-wise, it is very simple. It has a dark black finish that looks stylish. It is very easy to match with most interior. The unit does not have any on-board button, so you will have to use the remote control to operate this unit.

The streamlined design does allow easy and versatile placement. You can put it directly above or in front of your TV. Although the housing and grille are very sturdy and durable, keep in mind that this sound bar is not really designed to sit directly under a television. It is too small for that; either it will succumb to the weight of the TV, or it does not provide enough surface and stability to keep the TV in place.

Bose Solo 15,on the other hand, is much larger. It measures 629 mm x 356 mm x 76.2 mm. Bose Solo 15 is a sound base rather than a sound bar. In other words, it is specifically designed to serve as a ‘base’ for your TV. It can sit directly under the TV and hold the weight. This configuration can be very space-friendly for your room, provided that your desk or TV rack has enough space.

“Bose Solo 15 is a compact sound base which can be placed directly under your television.”

The housing is very robust and durable. The unit can hold a TV of up to 34 kg. You will be hard pressed to find a television that weighs that much, even with an old plasma TV set. The size of Bose Solo 15 is said to be suitable for a television of up to 46”. However, you better measure the actual footprint of your TV to make sure that Bose Solo 15 can really hold it.

Compared to other sound bases, Bose Solo 15 still falls in the compact category. So, even if your TV is wall-mounted, you can still benefit from the compact design. It is relatively slim and lightweight, so you can easily put it on a cabinet or shelf. The design is similar to its sibling, with a plain black finish that is easy to match with any interior. It also does not have on-board controls, so you rely on the remote control.

Note that Bose Solo 15 is actually available in two versions, which are the standard Bose Solo 15 and the Bose Solo 15 Series II. What is the main difference between the two models? It is Bluetooth. The standard Bose Solo 15 does not have Bluetooth. Bose Solo 15 Series II comes with built-in Bluetooth, which can be connected to two devices simultaneously. Bose Solo 15 Series II also has a different universal remote control.

Remote Control
The company has included a universal remote control with Bose Solo 5. Of course, remote controls are very commonly included with most sound bars and sound bases. However, Bose Solo 5’s universal remote control is an impressive one. It can be programmed to control not only the sound bar unit, but also many other devices. It has a built-in database which contains various manufacturer infrared (IR) codes, so it is compatible with various brands and models.

“Bose Solo 5 comes with a handy universal remote control, which can be programmed to control other devices over infrared.”

The universal remote control is incredibly handy, as it can reduce the need of multiple remotes to just one. If you have ever been confused by multiple look-alike remotes of your TV, speaker, AV receiver, and DVD/Blu-ray player, you certainly know how a universal remote control can be very important.

Bose Solo 5’s remote control comes with additional buttons for controlling other devices. For example, there are menu buttons and channel controls. There are also six labeled shortcut buttons placed neatly on the top. Every shortcut button can be programmed to control a specific stand-alone device. You just need to hold down the relevant preset, then input the manufacturer code.

However, keep in mind that this universal remote control only works over infrared. It won’t be able to control devices that are normally controlled by non-infrared remotes, such as RF remotes and Bluetooth remotes. It won’t control PlayStation 4.

The standard Bose Solo 15 comes with exactly the same universal remote control as Bose Solo 5. It can also be programmed to control other devices, and it also has six shortcut buttons on the top. And it also works over infrared.

“Bose Solo 15 Series II comes with a slightly different remote which can control Bluetooth-connected devices.”

However, Bose Solo 15 Series II comes with a slightly different remote. Most of the buttons and functions remain similar, but it comes with the additional ability to control Bluetooth devices connected to the sound base. This is an improvement in the right direction. It is indeed very convenient, as you can control almost everything with just a single remote.

Connectivity
The available connectivity options on Bose Solo 5 are very basic. There are just auxiliary, optical, and coaxial input ports available. This is understandable; the manufacturer had to keep themselves from putting too many features on the sound bar in order to keep the price low and accessible. One nice thing is that the optical and coaxial cables are included in the box.

“Bose Solo 5 only has auxiliary, optical, and coaxial ports. It has Bluetooth, but with very limited capabilities.”

Bose Solo 5 does not have any HDMI port. This is a very important thing to remember, as most digital devices nowadays rely on HDMI to input or output sounds and videos. Make sure that all the devices that you want to connect to Bose Solo 5 have optical or coaxial outputs.

Bose Solo 5 does have built-in Bluetooth for wireless connectivity. However, the Bluetooth capabilities are very limited. It does not support the aptX codec, which is less lossy than the basic one, so streaming over Bluetooth will compromise the sound quality. You probably don’t want to stream over Bluetooth unless you do not have any other choice.

Also, Bose Solo 5 does not support NFC for quick pairing with your favorite device. This is a shame. Although the Bluetooth pairing process is usually smooth, having NFC would be a lot quicker and more convenient.

Bose Solo 15 comes with several more connectivity options. On the rear panel, you can find the standard auxiliary, optical, and coaxial digital inputs. There are also analogue RCA phono jacks, which may come up handy for some television models and DVD players.

“Bose Solo 15 has aux, optical, coaxial, and analogue RCA connections. There is a USB port, but only for software updates and service purposes.”

Again, both optical and coaxial cables are included, so the set-up process is incredibly easy. You just need to connect a relevant cable to your television and to the sound base, and connect the power.Bose Solo 15 Series II has built-in Bluetooth (remember, the standard Bose Solo 15 does not have Bluetooth), but the Bluetooth performance isn’t really impressive either.

You may be surprised that Bose Solo 15 comes with a USB port. However, do not be fooled. This USB port is only for software updates and service purposes. It will not play content from a USB flash drive. This is a little annoying; you are probably wondering why the manufacturer doesn’t just put a USB port that can also stream content. A lot of people would be happy that way. Only the manufacturer knows the reason.

And just like the sibling, Bose Solo 5, Bose Solo 15 does not have any HDMI port. This is a little surprising, considering that Bose Solo 15 is a higher model with a higher price.

We can understand if the HDMI port is omitted from the entry-level sound bar; but for a sound base that is designed to work with various devices, omitting the HDMI port is a little bold. Fortunately, this is not a real deal-breaker. When playing something from your PC or laptop, you can stream the content to your TV, and then let the TV send the audio signals to the sound base.

Sound Quality
Having a compact sound bar is one thing, but the performance is another thing. Unfortunately, the small dimensions of Bose Solo 5 have successfully compromised the overall performance right from the start. Bose Solo 5 only has two speakers inside the housing, which are both located near the center. As the effect, it does not create as much stereo separation as desired, and sound effects often lack directionality.

“Bose Solo 5 gives a noticeable improvement from your TV’s internal speakers. However, it doesn’t give any real stereo separation or bass.”

If you are looking for some sort of enveloping stereo, you should consider finding an alternative. Bose Solo 5 will not give you the enveloping feel that you are looking for. Or, better, aim for a true surround system. Bose Solo 5’s sound projection is straight to the middle.

The bass performance is severely lacking. Bose Solo 5 will not give any real punch or impact. Big explosions in action scenes will not sound big. There is a “Bass Boost” option, but it will sacrifice some midrange clarity so it is not really recommended.

To be fair, Bose Solo 5 is still a good, noticeable improvement from the standard internal speakers in most televisions. The sound quality on movies is good. Dialogues are crisp, clear, and very comprehensible. You can activate the “Dialogue” mode to emphasize spoken words further, but this will reduce the bass. In the end, Bose Solo 5 is good if you just need something affordable to improve the clarity of your TV.

“Bose Solo 15, armed with four drivers and a subwoofer, offers much better stereo separation and wider soundstage. The bass is great.”

On the other hand, Bose Solo 15 is quite more powerful. It is armed with four drivers and a subwoofer. Two drivers are put on the outer edges to disperse the sound and create a wider soundstage. The other drivers are arranged on the center to improve audio clarity. You will be pleasantly amazed by the performance on movies; the sound has good stereo separation while maintaining excellent accuracy and clarity.

The bass performance is great. It isn’t necessarily thunderous, but it gives enough punch and impact on big explosions and rumbles. Despite the lower frequencies having plenty of presence, they remain tight and controlled. They don’t muddle up the midrange and treble frequencies. You can also activate the “Dialogue” mode to dial down the bass if you prefer more midrange presence and clearer vocals.

Bose Solo 5 Vs 15

NameBose Solo 5Bose Solo 15
NameBose Solo 5Bose Solo 15
Features- Single sound bar provides better sound quality compared to your TV - Dialogue mode to make every word and detail stand out. The product does not come with a coax cable in the US. - Bluetooth connectivity to wirelessly stream music from any of your devices - One connection to your TV - Universal remote controls TV, bass, Bluetooth connections and more- Dimensions: Speaker:Height: 7.62 cm, Width: 62.90 cm, Depth: 35.60 cm. - Remote control: Height: 22.40 cm, Width: 5.90 cm, Depth: 3.00 cm - Easy bass adjustments from control knob on the back of the system - Included universal remote to control your TV and other sources. - Advanced Bose technology lets you hear more of the sound you've been missing without needing to constantly adjust the volume
Ratings4.1 out of 5.0 stars4.4 out of 5.0 stars
Price

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Conclusion

Between Bose Solo 5 vs 15, we recommend you to choose Bose Solo 15. This model has better connection options and significantly better sound quality. If you need Bluetooth, you can opt for Bose Solo 15 Series II. The performance is really impressive, as it can deliver crisp and clear dialogues along with powerful yet tight and controlled bass. It has much better stereo separation and wider soundstage.

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