Bose Wave Music System III

Macworld Australia Staff
1 July, 2012
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Bose Wave Music System III



Great sound; DAB+ digital radio; RDS; sleek look; touchpad


Reliant on the remote; no inbuilt Bluetooth or AirPlay

$699; $799 (DAB+)


We had heard great things about the latest Wave Music System from Bose, so we were more than happy when the model III dropped on to our desk. And it didn’t let us down.

Featuring DAB+ digital radio, CD player, great looks and waveguide speaker technology, it’s a home audio system with all the bells and whistles and a fantastic sound. (There’s also a slightly cheaper model with an FM/AM tuner instead of the digital radio.)

Measuring 10.7cm x 36.8cm x 21.9cm, the Bose system may not sit comfortably on every bedside table, but it doesn’t have to – the remote can.

The slim, 26-button remote is the key to this music system, allowing users to choose their media, configure the alarm settings, alter the clock and control the playback. Importantly for those without bedside space, it can turn off or snooze the alarm.

However, the system would be almost useless without the remote – the only control on the unit itself is a touchpad which can be used to turn it on or off, snooze the alarm and reset the alarm for the next day.

While this makes the system looks sleek, it also seems impractical. If the system was set up beside your bed in order to use it as an alarm, reaching for the remote to turn on a CD or the radio feels odd. Not to mention that remotes get left in hard-to-remember places.

When waking up, the Wave Music System III lets you choose whether you wish to wake up to your favourite CD track, a radio station or the more traditional buzzer noise. Snooze settings are customisable, the volume of the alarm tone is adjustable and you are able to set two alarm times. The alarm system works perfectly and is easy to use.

Bose has a very high reputation when it comes to audio output and the Wave Music System III is no exception. A clear, full sound fills the room and the quality is apparent.

While the unit has an FM/AM tuner, switching to DAB+ enhances your radio listening, providing beautifully clear sound and a myriad of new stations to listen to. Handy features are the ability to scroll through stations without changing your current station and being able to switch between the current and previous stations at the press of a button.

The Wave Music System III also includes a Radio Data System (RDS) which enables song details such as artist and track title to display when listening to the radio. No more Shazam.

The Bose system has no integrated Bluetooth or AirPlay support, which is a shame, but for an additional cost a Wave Bluetooth Music Adapter ($219) is available to connect via Bluetooth, and a Wave Connect Kit ($169) enables you to dock iPhones and iPods.

The Wave system includes a 3.5mm Auxiliary port and a headphone port. A six-track classical CD is included in the box so you can trial the system’s wide range of sound.

It’s available in Titanium Silver, Graphite Grey and Platinum White.

Macworld Australia’s buying advice.

There are two Wave Music System IIIs on the market; with ($799) or without ($699) digital radio. It seems $100 is a small price to pay to get the clarity and range of stations which digital radio has to offer. The sound performance, alarm options and digital radio make the Wave Music System a beautiful system. If you are undecided, Bose offers a 90-day free trial and free shipping to sway your decision.


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