Bose Wave SoundTouch Music System IV Review (Home Stereo System)


The Bose Wave SoundTouch IV is a high-end home stereo system, but it is not without flaws. Bose is known for its high-quality audio and signature tone, and when it comes to music, this stereo does not disappoint. The problem is getting to your tunes.

We’ve worked with hundreds of home and professional audio systems, and we’ve never been so frustrated with a home audio system—never it’s taken us so long to get music to play through our speakers.

We’ll see if there’s anything we can recommend about the Wave SoundTouch IV, and when it’s better to look at other options. There are numerous home stereo options available, including other excellent Bose speaker systems.

From the physical design and sound quality to Bose’s connectivity and software, we’ll see what Bose got right and what went wrong.

Bose Wave SoundTouch Music System Review
Bose Wave SoundTouch Music System Review

The 8 Best Home Stereo Systems To Purchase (Detailed Review)

BOSE WAVE SOUNDTOUCH HIGHLIGHTS

  • Streams Pandora, Spotify, iTunes & More
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet Connections
  • Connects to Other SoundTouch Products
  • CD Player
  • AM/FM Radio
  • 3.5mm AUX Stereo Input
  • Waveguide Speaker Technology
  • Programmable IR Remote
  • iOS/Android Remote App
  • Dual Alarm Clocks with Snooze

The Bose Wave SoundTouch Music System IV in platinum silver lets you listen to music from a variety of sources. Using its Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet connections, you can stream audio from Pandora, Spotify, iTunes, Internet radio stations, and your own music library.

Bluetooth, AirPlay 2, and 3.5mm AUX connectivity allow for wireless or wired streaming from mobile devices. You can listen to physical media as well as your favorite radio stations thanks to the built-in CD player and AM/FM tuner.

WHY WE LIKE IT – BOSE WAVE SOUNDTOUCH MUSIC SYSTEM IV REVIEW

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Bose Wave SoundTouch Music System IV, works with Alexa - Platinum Silver
2,925 Reviews
Bose Wave SoundTouch Music System IV, works with Alexa - Platinum Silver
  • Works with Alexa for voice control (Alexa device sold separately), Power Cord 8 feet
  • Enjoy all your music easily: online music services, Internet radio, your stored music library, CDs and AM/FM radio
  • Exclusive Bose waveguide speaker technology delivers lifelike, room filling sound
  • Wireless connection via your home Wi Fi network; also works with Bluetooth. Supported audio formats: MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC, Apple Lossless. Wireless network compatibility 802.11 b/g/n
  • One touch access to music services (Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora), Internet radio and music library playlists with six personalized presets on the remote or SoundTouch app

If you’re looking for rich, deep, room filling sound then the Bose Wave SoundTouch System is the one. The great sound quality that Bose is known for exists in this radio, and it’s wonderful.

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Pros

  • Multifunctional for listening from virtually any source
  • Fantastic sound quality
  • Looks great, easy to use

Cons

  • Expensive

Bose Wave SoundTouch Music Performance

Because of its small size, you may be perplexed to see the Bose SoundTouch in a living room. Make no mistake, the Wave Radio packs a powerful punch of robust sounds with a lot of depth. Bose provides excellent sound quality with this device, even when listening to FM radio.

But it doesn’t have to be analog radio stations with the Wave SoundTouch IV. This Bose Wave Music System has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities, allowing you to listen to internet radio stations and stream music from services such as Spotify, Pandora, iTunes, and others. The SoundTouch App also allows you to control those streams and play music.

Other Systems to consider.

Logitech Z906 Home Theater Speaker System (Full Review)

Alternative Video: Bose Wave SoundTouch Review

Bose Wave SoundTouch Review

Bose Wave SoundTouch Music Design

The Bose Wave Music System features a minimalist, modern design that looks great in any room. It comes in espresso black and platinum silver finishes. This SoundTouch System allows you to play various types of music in a variety of ways.

It supports radio, CD (yes, it has a CD player), streaming, and aux input. An easy-to-use, well-designed remote control allows you to control your listening experience.

Furthermore, the Bose Wave System will work with your existing Bose speaker system to provide even bigger (or surround) sound, though you won’t need it with this powerful speaker.

Bose Wave SoundTouch Music Value

SoundTech Systems are pricey, but Bose stands behind them. You’d be hard pressed to get this kind of sound from a speaker this size at any price. Furthermore, this speaker will most likely last you as long as you want it to.

So, if you want a versatile, low-profile speaker with great sound, this one is well worth the money. The only way other top tabletop radio models, such as the Panasonic RF-2400D, Sangean WR-11 Wood Cabinet, and Soundance SDY019, can compete with this Bose is in price.

Alternative systems:

Yamaha YHT-4930UBL 5.1 Channel Home Theater (Home Stereo: Complete Review)

BOSE WAVE SOUNDTECH TESTING INSIGHT

The separation between the pedestal and the rest of the home stereo’s case appears to be completely unnecessary—the top section on our testing model didn’t even fit snugly into the pedestal and wiggled slightly.

Not only does this introduce a potential point of failure with the BoseLink connection, but because one side is hardwired, the entire pedestal must be replaced if the cable or jack pins are damaged. If the stereo is moved to a different location, it must also be picked up from the bottom.

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The stereo has a lot of grates, which are presumably for air ventilation. The grating used for the stereo speakers looks good and wraps around the sides of the case slightly. To soften the awkward shape of this stereo, the rounded corner works well.

The CD slot is just below the touchscreen LED display, which is sandwiched between the two speaker drivers. Instead of the physical Wi-Fi button on the back, the touch screen serves as the on/off button, displays album artwork, and displays system information. A playback slider appears when you tap the album artwork, but we couldn’t get it to shuffle through the songs.

1. SETUP PROCESS: FRUSTRATING AND TIME-CONSUMING 

While Bose claims that their Wave SoundTouch IV stereo system has “elegant simplicity” and that it “sets up easily in minutes,” we (and a significant number of other customers) discovered that this is far from the case.

Even with our tech knowledge, the initial set-up took three hours, with several hours spent connecting to our devices and learning how to use the system.

After connecting the pedestal section of the stereo by it’s hardwired DIN cable to the nine-pin jack on the upper section, we attempted to connect the device to our Wi-Fi network using the Bose SoundTouch app.

This proved more difficult than expected and eventually had to restart the pedestal to get it to work. When we finally got it connected, the stereo began downloading and installing a firmware update.

Bose Wave SoundTouch Music System IV
Bose Wave SoundTouch Music System IV

2. SOFTWARE AND FIRMWARE: SHOULD BE MORE POLISHED

In addition to requiring firmware updates right out of the box, we found the SoundTouch app to be confusing and difficult to use. The touch screen and display software omits some song titles and has little functionality other than displaying information. The hardware remote controls what the software does not.

Overall, the functionality of the software falls far short of expectations. Bose should have abandoned the remote in favor of incorporating all user controls into the touch display interface and SoundTouch app.

We also believe that the touch display and app should perform the same functions and be able to control the same things—having to switch between different control input devices is inconvenient.

3. CONNECTIVITY: PROBLEMS WITH WI-FI

We’ve already discussed our Wi-Fi connectivity issues and our inability to find a solution. These issues have also been raised by other users. We also had some Wi-Fi issues with the Bose Home Speaker 500 that we reviewed, but they weren’t as frequent and the device didn’t completely disconnect from the network.

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The Wave SoundTouch IV can work hands-free with any Alexa-enabled device, such as the Amazon Echo Dot. Voice integration allows you to start a playlist, change the volume, change tracks, find out what’s playing, and switch from the speaker in your kitchen to the one in your living room if you have multiple speakers.

Fortunately, there are other ways to connect. Bluetooth is simple to set up, the connection remains stable while streaming audio, the aux input works as expected, and the headphone output works properly. We don’t have many CDs around these days, but we dug some out, and the Wave SoundTouch IV does support this format if discs are your thing.

4. SOUND QUALITY: WHAT BOSE DOES BEST?

The Wave SoundTouch IV captures Bose’s signature sound quality and tone, with audio that is clear and well-defined across the frequency spectrum, though there is a little less definition and thump in the bass than with the Home Speaker 500 and SoundLink Revolve+ that we reviewed.

The Wave SoundTouch IV can get extremely loud with almost no distortion. The system’s highs and mids are crisp and clean, and it sounded great with any genre we listened to.

5. PRICE: EXPENSIVE FOR A SYSTEM WITH FLAWS

The Wave SoundTouch IV, which was originally $599.99 (MSRP) and is now selling for between $450 and $500 online, is still on the pricey side. Bose has established a reputation for quality, so if you have some brand loyalty, they have much better options in this price range.

However, there are far fewer options that include the SoundTouch’s CD player and AM/FM radio tuner. If you still have a lot of CDs lying around, take a look at our recommendations for the best CD players and changers.

CONCLUSION: Bose Wave SoundTouch Music

The Wave SoundTouch IV lacks the Home Speaker 500’s expansive soundstage. However, the two slightly angled drivers provide solid and enjoyable stereo. You can easily fill a room with clear, full, and articulate sound and hear your music.

When compared to devices with better headphone amp chipsets, the headphone output appears to have less definition in the bass and a narrower soundstage. However, the audio quality remains excellent—if listening to music with a high-quality set of headphones is your thing, a dedicated headphone amp would be a wise investment.

Bose Wave SoundTouch Music
Bose Wave SoundTouch Music

FAQs About Bose Wave SoundTouch

Why is Bose discontinuing SoundTouch?

We are discontinuing sales of some SoundTouch products as we evolve our product assortment to better serve your needs.

Is the Bose Wave a good buy?

SoundTech Systems are pricey, but Bose stands behind them. You’d be hard pressed to get this kind of sound from a speaker this size at any price. Furthermore, this speaker will most likely last you as long as you want it to. So, if you want a versatile, low-profile speaker with great sound, this one is well worth the money.

Does Bose still sell SoundTouch?

We are discontinuing sales of some SoundTouch products as we evolve our product assortment to better serve your needs. For the foreseeable future, we will continue to support both the SoundTouch app and the product software.

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