I have heard them for many years, the commercials on radio for the Bose wave radio and its derivatives. Now, as Father’s Day approaches, I thought it appropriate to try it and report.

This year, the engineers at Bose have redesigned the Wave Radio and created the Wave Music System, $499.

The sleek exterior has no controls.  The CD player is slot loading, adding to the visual appeal. Everything is controlled by the credit card-size remote, one of the only things on my short list of negatives with this unit. Since it’s designed, among other things, to function as a clock radio at bedside, this means the user must find that little remote and then locate the correct tiny button to push in order engage the snooze.  I know it’s cool to be sleek and clean, but I wish there was also a sleep button and snooze button conveniently located on the radio itself.

The sound!  Oh, the sound! It IS magnificent.  Lots of sound and it’s all so pretty. Room filling sound.  Bass response is pronounced, but not overpowering.  However, there is a method (on the remote, of course) to engage a bass reducing audio filter when listening to AM talk stations.  Some of these stations may send too much bass down the wire, so this filter is worthwhile to engage but needs to be reset each time the radio is switched on or if the station is changed.  This might not be necessary, but there are no treble or bass controls, another omission in my view.

There are 12 radio presets available through the remote control.

How does it do what it does, that is, sound so grand?  Inside is an engineering marvel with back and forth ports winding and channeling the sound so that, in effect, the sound travels a long path through an inside maze.  It is this path and the science behind that path that results in the sound so true and large.

I like the versatility of this product. It can sleep to radio and wake to CD, or vice versa. The alarm is a ramp-up style, so the sound gets louder as time marches on.  I haven’t had it long enough to see if the clock is spot-on accurate.

It can play music CDs and MP3 CDs.  Then there’s that room-filling sound.  Room filling sound, I might add, that is also pleasing.  It takes a lot to make Wave Music System distort its sound.

With all that sound, it is at home in small rooms and large ones, virtually anywhere since it’s so compact, so it might do as the company suggests, become your primary audio system.  I’d have to say their claims about sound are true – It DOES sound like larger, more complex systems.

FM is strong using the supplied FM antenna.  AM tuning is not nearly as discerning as other radios I have tested. Since I am a talk radio junkie, I miss this capability.  It could be better.

As an ultimate gift for dad, my advice is to visit a Bose retailer and listen, then decide if it’s worth the money.  I predict many dads will be very happy this Father’s Day.  www.bose.com or call 1-800-444-BOSE (2673)

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