Each year, Bose makes amazing products, which brings me to review one of their recent releases: the Bose Wave Music 3 Titanium series radio/ CD player. If it weren’t for the $500 price tag on this sick puppy, I guess the company would have sold twice as many units. However, still, there are individuals who bought this radio + CD player combo not for the fact that they could buy it, but because of one reason: Bose is a household brand name, and everyone trusts it.
Bose Wave Music 3 Titanium marks the third installment in the Wave Music product series. Prior to this particular model, they released the Wave Music 1 and 2, and that too in different body colors. Of course, everyone wants the latest product, so when you look at this model, you are going to look into its features.
At its core, the Titanium Silver edition of the Wave Music is just a small radio. Really, it is. I mean, you strip the basic functions apart as that of alarm clock, customized playlists, radio controls and etc. you are looking at a whopping $500 expense. In exchange for your hard earned cash, you get a good quality durable product to add to your listening pleasures for years to come.
While I do agree that Bose, Sennheiser, Grado and such other companies are on top of the price chart pyramid these days, and it is true that sometimes they overcharge for a sound system that’s easily available from other companies at a lower rate, I also cannot overlook the durability and long life factors. Bose’s products are meant to last for generations. If you are looking to buy the Bose Wave Music 3 Titanium Silver or Black Edition, you are making a one time investment easily sprawled over 10 years minimum.
The good stuff about Bose Wave Music III Titanium Music & Radio Player:
- If bought from Bose’s official website, you get a 90 day no questions asked grace period. The radio can be returned for a refund or exchanged for another earlier or current model from another category. However, conditions and restrictions may apply depending on your purchase.
- The Bose Wave Music 3 Titanium and rest of the Wave Music series accessories, products and units come with a 6 month 0% no interest financing offer. Once again, you are eligible for this offer if you have bought it from Amazon or Bose’s website.
- Very easy to set up. The instructions manual says that you only need to connect the wires in the appropriate connection jacks and plug the unit in a compliant electricity output socket. That’s it.
- Very elegant and simple design.
- Optimized bass and treble levels for improved sound output.
- If bought from any other online retailer website, Bose still offers you a 30 day trial period on the entire line of Wave Music III / Wave Music players.
My only gripe with this player is its price. Somehow I can’t seem to let go of the fact that they used the classic 90s CD player concept, applied a few (Bluetooth and) media player perks and bumped up the price by a couple of hundred dollars. Other radio + CD player combos are available within the $350 price range, which kind of puts me off a bit.
That being said, I bought this particular unit because of its smartphone compatibility. I listen to a lot of songs when I am not working. Since all the MP3s can be easily burned to a plain writable CD, you can create any number of audio mix CDs. The Wave Music III series is also available without the CD player support. The plus point of buying the no-CD unit is cheaper price, but eventually when you are going to need to play a CD, you won’t be able to do that.
Bad stuff about Wave Music III Bose Titanium Radio CD Music player:
- Expensive from my point of view. I’d have been okay if they offered it at $420 or $409, but then again it is Bose and they don’t sell cheap.
- AM/ FM antenna is not included. If you want to use the Radio feature, you need to buy the antenna for your next trip to the boons. Luckily, the unit has a small port for connecting an AM/FM antenna in it.
- The Wave Music III has its antenna installed in the power cord. The manual says that you need to keep the cord straight, but personally it wasn’t much of an issue for me even when the cord was bent or coiling.
- Simple remote control. They could have added more features to it.
- Custom bass and treble controls are not there. However, seeing that they followed the classic radio format, I don’t see a point in adding those controls to it. Otherwise, the Bose Wave Music III would have been too tech savvy.
First impressions, unboxing and key features of Bose Wave Music III Titanium:
Right from the beginning after unboxing the Wave Music, you will feel that uncanny urge to appreciate its looks. It will also remind you of lazy afternoons and your KenWood CD player; I had one when I was a kid and listening to the golden era songs was perhaps one of the unforgettable memories of my life. Today I look at youngsters with iDevices and touch phones and I cant help but admit that they are missing out on what actually listening to music meant in “our” days.
The Bose Wave Music III comes in a standard sized box packaging. The unit’s back side consists of input & output ports for:
- AM/ FM antenna for extended performance
- AUX input port
- Headphone input port
- Bose link
By the way you can also connect your guitar or piano to this unit. All you need is a compliant Aux cable with a 3.5 mm size to get it going. Amazon is selling a bunch of cables, so is eBay and Best Buy; go for the one that’s cheap and relatively long lasting. The 3.5 mm port cable adapter is also available at online retailer websites.
In case the default Bose Wave Music III adapter is not working, damaged or does not last more than a few months, you can buy a new one for as low as $3.
Sound test and quality results: Compared against other radio and CD players, such as the Trio, Bose wins because of superior sound quality. When I was testing this product against Trio, in particular, I noticed that Bose gave out a nicer vibe at higher notes and higher frequencies. Either way, both players are good at their own respective places.
Automatic sleep function: There is a sleep timer in the Wave Music III; it works automatically as long as the unit is not used for some time. You can also set the unit to “Sleep” by programming it. The maximum time window is 90 minutes. The good thing about this function is that the player returns to its last known volume settings before it went to sleep.
The so-called touch controls and LED functions? The top panel of the unit consists of touch based controls. In actuality, this “touch” function is basic and does not offer much. This is where I think that Bose could have notched up the standard as compared to market products. On the contrary, the lack of controls is not felt because of the Bose Wave Music III remote control.
The RC controls cover entire unit’s functions from a distance. In addition to your iPod dock for Wave 3 Music purchase, you get another remote control for the dock’s operations. Still, the lack of “Eject CD” option on the remote control is very irritating. You have to get up physically whenever you feel like replacing the CD. On the bright side, the remote control has back lit keys for easy viewing in dark environments.
In built Radio function: Since this is basically a radio player, you get basic level radio notifications. I mean other than the radio channel frequency, you don’t see anything. The Wave unit does have memory locations but I have to admit that it lacks major updates which other radio players with almost identical features are offering.
Let’s say, you bought the Trio or Boston Acoustics radio + CD player, their LED panels display not only the name of the radio station, but also the name of the soundtrack which is on the station’s list.
The Wave Music III iPod dock: By default, Bose was handing out these iPod docks when the unit was released for the first time in public. Right now, these docks come off as an additional purchase. As you already know, the iPod dock is pretty much the standard dock. Apple did not make it exclusive to fit one particular company’s products.
Boston Acoustics, Trio and Bose are all compatible with the iPod dock. In case of the Bose Wave Music III or any of the earlier models in the Wave series, the dock can be synched to wake you up in the morning. There’s nothing like getting up to your favorite sound track, followed by a cup of coffee warming up in the automatic coffee maker.
Likewise, if you don’t have the dock, you can set the Wave for multiple Alarms to help you wake up in the morning. It works like a clock, but sadly it is not programmable to work on select days of the week. The alarm goes off on weekends too…
What happens in case of power failure or battery failure? Finally, the last thing you want for your Wave is to go out of power or battery juice in the middle of a soundtrack. Fortunately, the unit remembers the last station, your preset settings, and volume controls before shutting down suddenly.
In the end, I think that Bose Wave Music 1, 2 and 3 are all good, irrespective of their shortcomings. I tested and enjoyed Christopher Cross, Rufus Wainwright, Willie Nelson, Lenny, Kenny Chesney and one of my favorites, Kaiti Garbi. All these artists sound great on any Bose unit, regardless of make and model.
Word from Bose:
Presenting the Wave® music system III–the latest evolution of the product that changed our perception of home audio. Its bold, detailed sound remains exceptional for a system of its size. Now, there’s even more to like. An advanced FM/AM tuner displays useful information like song titles and artists.