Experts and users agree that if the best sound quality is first, second and third on your list of must-haves for a table radio, the Bose Wave Music System III should be a top consideration. Despite the sound quality and attractive styling, however, the price tag is hard to swallow. Other radios -- including table models with impeccable sound quality like the Tivoli Audio Model Two (Est. $300) -- cost notably less, although to be fair the Model Two does have fewer features than the Bose.
In a word, terrific. If you can stomach the price, the sound produced by the Bose Wave Music System is sweet indeed, reviewers say. That it produces crisp, clear audio at normal volumes isn't necessarily a surprise, but it can do the same when cranked to the max -- loud enough to fill even a large room with terrific sound. If you don't need a CD player, the Bose Wave Radio III is largely the same table radio minus that feature. The Acoustic Wave Music System II (Est. $1,000) is a more powerful version marketed more as a stereo-system replacement than a table radio, but reviewers are lukewarm on its performance and value.
Don't lose the remote. Most controls have been moved from the radio itself to the included remote control, which adds to the Bose Wave Music System's sleek look but could be an issue if the remote is misplaced.
Considering the price, surprisingly few extras. The Bose Wave Music System isn't particularly feature-rich. There's a single-play CD player, a powerful AM/FM tuner and an easy-to-use clock radio, but not much else. Available accessories include an iPod dock (Est. $100), a multi-disc CD changer (Est. $250) and a Bluetooth music adapter (Est. $100). The latter gives the system the ability to stream music from a Bluetooth equipped mobile device or computer and is also available in a bundle with the table radio (Est. $600). Each accessory adds functionality to the Bose, but also significantly boosts its already high bottom line.
The Bose Wave Music System gets nearly 300 user reviews over all of its color variations, although the majority comments on the titanium silver version. The table radio draws good overall ratings of 4.3 or 4.5 stars out of 5, depending on the color, with good sound quality drawing the lion's share of praise. Those who are less pleased list issues with ergonomics, durability and, of course, price.
Review: Wave Music System III, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of Nov. 2013
TrustedReviews.com, based in the U.K., reviews a version of the Bose Wave Music System III that includes support for a digital radio feature not applicable to the U.S. market. Sound quality is said to defy this radio's compact size, but the audio is too base heavy and the price is too high. It earns a rating of 6 out of 10.
Review: Bose Wave Music System III Review, Gordon Kelly, May 18, 2012
3. PC World (Australia)
Campbell Simpson also reviews a non-U.S. version of the Bose Wave Music System III, and comes to similar conclusions and an equivalent rating of 3 out of 5 stars. He calls it a "perfect all-in-one mini hi-fi... until you look at the price tag."
Review: Bose Wave Music System III, Campbell Simpson, June 15, 2012