CD Radio that's as good as Bose
June 4, 2011 6:49 AM   Subscribe

What's a good CD player/radio similar in quality to the ones Bose produces?

My mom is disappointed in all the speakers in our house. The dinky surround sound system from a HTIB we bought for our TV is not very good for sound quality, and the $10 computer speakers in the office aren't so great.

Her friend recently bought a $500 Bose radio. She likes the sound and the ability of it to receive radio well. Is there any affordable cd radio with similar quality to the Bose radio that I could recommend her, as I hear they are notoriously overpriced?

A major brand, like Sony or Sennheiser, would be nice, as she likely wouldn't trust something obscure, but it's not crucial. By affordable, I mean probably more than $150, but less than $350 or so. I assume the same quality can be had in that range. It needs an AUX port for her iPod, too. Feel free to wander out of it if I'm overestimating or underestimating the price.

Thanks! I know very little about audio equipment, so I have no clue what to look for!
posted by mccarty.tim to Technology (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
if she wants something compact and doesn't care about playing CDs, she might like a tivoli model 2. It's got a strong radio tuner, great sound, and a classic design. there's no cd player, but it does have an aux input. My grandmother has one and loves it.

Otherwise, there are plenty of reasonably priced micro systems (with cd players) out there... here's one from yamaha. She can plug her ipod directly into the top of the player and control it with the remote, or there is a wireless option (for a lot more $). Yamaha generally makes nice equipment.

bose radios aren't all that special. if you spend decent money, you will get equivalent (or better) sound quality from prettymuch any good brand.
posted by Bunge at 8:27 AM on June 4, 2011

I'm no expert, but Nakamichi and Tivoli might be worth looking into.
posted by box at 8:29 AM on June 4, 2011

If you want something more full featured than a Tivoli, look into what are usually called Micro Component or Mini/Micro Hi-Fi systems. These usually offer at least AM/FM, CD, Aux In, and sometimes an iPod dock. You should be able to pick one up something decent in the $150-250 range. Bose is way overpriced, I would stay away unless you have money to burn. Good examples of Mini Hi-Fi:

JVC FS-7000 / FS-5000
Sharp XLDH259N
Panasonic SC-HC30

Personally, I own a variant on the JVC, and I think they offer the best value/money product in this space. Here is a page with all their mini systems.
posted by sophist at 9:15 AM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

2nding a Tivoli Model Two. It has an aux in for a portable CD player (or anything else). Sounds great, looks way better than the Bose IMHO, and you have more flexibility (add the subwoofer later etc.).
posted by quarterframer at 9:17 AM on June 4, 2011

It is at the upper end of your price range, but we like Boston Acoustics. My mother-in-law has a Bose and we think the sound quality in our Boston Acoustics is comparable. We have an earlier model of the one I am listing below. They make a number of models. The Trio includes a cd player and is on sale right now for $350 on their site. You can get an optional IPod dock for it. The Duo-i is an AM/FM radio with integrated iPod dock.
posted by gudrun at 9:27 AM on June 4, 2011

I have a Creative Soundworks, very similar to the Bose but not sure if they are still manufactured. It was very affordable and the bass is excellent.
posted by laukf at 4:02 PM on June 4, 2011

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