Yamaha YAS-109 vs Bose Solo 5 which is a better buy?

Yamaha YAS-109 vs Bose Solo 5 which is better?

Now this Yamaha YAS-109 vs Bose Solo 5 is quite an interesting matchup. You see both the Yamaha YAS-109 and the Bose Solo 5 have been replaced by newer models. I recently wrote an article called, Yamaha YAS 109 vs 209 is it a significant upgrade? which looked at the 109 and what the 209 did to improve upon it. Anyway, I get that not everyone is bothered about having the latest version of things, and sometimes when something is replaced you can find a hell of a deal on it and that is really why we are looking at these two soundbars today. If you want a soundbar that is going to be a solid upgrade over your TV speakers, but also not cost you 300,400, heck even 500 bucks then these two could be worth considering, but which one is best? Well, that is what I hope to find out today.

The Price

With these two soundbars, I feel that at the time they were released Yamaha and Bose did the best they could while keeping the price as low as they could. Now, these have both been replaced by newer models so if you shop around you can find some cracking deals on these.

Yamaha YAS-109:

YAMAHA YAS-109 Sound Bar with Built-In Subwoofers, Bluetooth, and Alexa Voice Control Built-In

I had a really good look around to see what the Yamaha YAS-109 is going for these days. I have seen a few sellers on Amazon have this and it tends to be priced in the 200 to 220 bucks range. There are a ton of these on eBay and I even found this Yamaha YAS-109 Bluetooth Sound Bar Soundbar w/ Subwoofers & Alexa – New (59D) which is priced at $149 which for a soundbar of this quality is an absolute steal! If you are ok with buying a used soundbar, you can find this on eBay for closer to the 100 bucks mark. The replacement for this is the Yamaha YAS-209 and you are looking at around 300 to 350 bucks for that.

Bose Solo 5:

Bose Solo 5 TV Soundbar Sound System with Universal Remote Control, Black

Bose is a company that I really do like and at the time the Bose Solo 5 was released it was one of the best soundbars of its size on the market. I just had a look on Amazon and this can currently be had for the very reasonable price of $169.99 which I feel is more than fair for a soundbar of this quality. There are a ton of these on eBay and the price is all over the place the cheapest new one I found was this Bose Solo Tv Bluetooth Speaker System – Black which is priced at $132.99. If you take the time to really search on eBay, you can get this at a very reasonable price. There were a few used ones on there, but the prices were all over the place, sometimes even higher than a new one! This would be replaced by the Bose TV Speaker, but the price for that is currently $278 on Amazon.

The Verdict: Hmm, the first category and I am already kind of stumped. As these are not “current” you could say that the RRP is pretty much out of the window with these. As a result, it is all about shopping around and finding the best deal. At the prices I saw when I wrote this article, I would have to say that the Bose Solo 5 is offering slightly better deals right now.  However, there is not much in this at all.

The Design

Now, this is my kind of category! The Yamaha YAS-109 vs Bose Solo 5 is heating up now because these are two soundbars that I think both have a very interesting style. The styles are also considerably different so putting them together and seeing which one I like best is going to be fun!

Yamaha YAS-109:

I recommend that you have a good gander at this Yas 109 soundbar review with Virtual X from Yamaha sound test 2020 which gives you a good look at what this thing is like as well as some information on the sound. I really do like the style of this soundbar and think that Yamaha makes their soundbars have a real elegance to them. The size of this is about what you would expect as it comes in at 34.9” x 2.0” x 5.3” so it is a solid size, but not so large that it is going to look awkward. I am a big fan of black when it comes to my devices and what is interesting about this is that it is a slightly lighter shade of black than normal.

The Yamaha YAS-109 has a nice and strong feel to it and it has a real quality about it that I appreciate, especially considering the price. The covering of the soundbar is made of this fabric which really does give the soundbar a very smart look, Sonos use this kind of style too and I like it when they do it as well. While it is a very striking and cool looking design. At the end of the day, this is fabric and I know from my own personal experience that if you have kids, this is something they will like to touch. It will also be a magnet for hair if you have pets and I am sure dust will love to build up here too.

As the Yamaha YAS-109 has a built in subwoofer, the sides of the soundbar have an open area for this. You have a selection of touch controls along the top of the soundbar which I guess are handy if you need them. Round the back, we have connectivity for HDMI and optical which is great. There is also a USB and an ethernet port on the back too.

Bose Solo 5:

If you want to get a good look at this BOSE SOLO 5 TV Soundbar Black Unboxing & Overview! | Worth The Price?  video where they do an unboxing on it. You get a great look at what you can expect from this. The first thing to note here is that this is a very compact soundbar coming in at 3.4 x 21.5 x 2.8. This means if you have a smaller TV like this SAMSUNG 32-Inch Class QLED Q60A Series – 4K UHD Dual LED Quantum HDR Smart TV, for example, the Bose Solo 5 would look great underneath it. The compact nature of this soundbar I am sure is going to be something that many people do like about it if they are a little bit short on space or have a TV unit that is not very big and they do not want a soundbar hanging off the sides!

I really do love the design of this soundbar. The Bose Solo 5 came out at a time when soundbars were not made to be all curvy and as a result, it has a “boxier” kind of design that I do like. The soundbar is made from a strong dark black plastic that I really do love. The grille that Bose use is not fabric and is metal and it looks and feels awesome! I do not mind fabric at all, but I would take a grille like this over a fabric one any day!

Round the back of the soundbar, you have your various connection options. Now on the default Bose Solo 5, there is no HDMI port so that is something to know going in. There is an optical port as well as AUX and coaxial, but the lack of an HDMI port in 2021 (this is an older soundbar to be fair) may be an issue for some people. I would happily lose coaxial and AUX for an HDMI port! There is also a USB port on the back for updating the firmware if needed.

The Verdict: These are both two very good looking soundbars and if we are going on just the front the Bose Solo 5 wins this hands down! Bose makes some of the best looking soundbars around and as far as compact soundbars go, this is one of the best-looking ones I have seen. However, the Yamaha YAS-109 is still a good looking soundbar, but the reason I am picking the 109 is that I feel the lack of an HDMI port on the back of the Solo 5 could be an issue for people.

The Sound

Now we get to the most important round in our Yamaha YAS-109 vs Bose Solo 5 battle, the sound. Right of the bat, I can tell you that the sound both of these provides is going to blow your TV speakers out of the water. Granted TV speakers are getting better, but the sound is still lacking in my opinion.

Yamaha YAS-109: Sound wise the Yamaha YAS-109 is pretty impressive when you consider how low the price at the moment for this is. It is actually one of the best soundbars in the 100 to 200 bucks range that you can get right now, even if it is a bit older. The built in subwoofer is not exactly going to rock the room or anything like that, but it gets the job done and adds that bit of bass you need. One video I really like this the World’s Best Cheapest Soundbar? | Yamaha YAS 109 Soundbar with Alexa video as it goes into a nice amount of detail about the sound quality.

Anyway, the bass is decent and the mid-range this has is awesome. If you watch a movie like Aquaman that has a lot of action and talking, you really get to see how well this soundbar handles all different types of sound.

You do also have a dedicated clear voice setting on the Yamaha YAS-109. I know that some people find dialogue hard to pick up on many modern TVs, but the idea with this is that the vocals really get an extra push. It is a great effect and one that I know my parents would use a great deal. As far as lower-priced soundbars go, I think what Yamaha has done here is very impressive indeed.

You do also get Bluetooth connectivity with the Yamaha YAS-109. This is great as it means streaming music from your phone is nice and easy. While I will always be a record player and vinyl man as I explain in this Our 5 Best Classic Rock Vinyl For 2021 article. My wife is all about using Spotify and being able to stream music from her phone through this would suit her perfectly.

Bose Solo 5:

I suggest you have a look at this Bose Solo 5 Soundbar Unboxing And Sound Test which is a great video that shows off the sound capabilities of the Bose Solo 5. You do have a subwoofer built in here and this does help with the bass. As a matter of fact, before I tested the Bose Solo 5, I read a bit about it and many people said it had a real lack of bass. I am not saying it is amazing or anything like that, but it certainly adds enough bass to make it notable, but at the end of the day, you have to be realistic about what you are getting. One movie I remember watching through this was Drive Angry which is an amazing movie by the way and it sounded great when put through this.

I will say that Bose gets better and better and to be fair while I think at the time it was released the Bose Solo 5 was a great soundbar. Bose are always improving and the Bose TV Speaker which was released after this, not to mention more expensive offerings like the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 offers superior sound. However, that is to be expected and I do think that as the Bose Solo 5 gives you so many sound options that when you play around with it, you can get a fantastic sound that you will be very happy with. I think you just have to be realistic about what you are getting here. Vocal clarity I will say is fantastic through this and there will be no going back to your TV speakers after using this, that is for sure!

One thing that does Bose always offers with their soundbars is Bluetooth connectivity. As I said in the Yamaha YAS-109 section above, Bluetooth connectivity is a must in my house and this does offer it. This means you can rock out with your Spotify playlist through this soundbar and music does sound very good when coming through here.

The Verdict: When the Bose Solo 5 was released it was great, but Bose has moved on and in comparison, to their more recent offerings, I do notice a big difference I have to say. I think that the Yamaha YAS-109 wins this one. It has more bass and just a better sound overall in my opinion. Both are upgrades to your TV speakers, but side by side I have to say that the Yamaha YAS-109 sounds better.   

The Remote Control

The next category in our Yamaha YAS-109 vs Bose Solo 5 contents is remote control. Now, both of these I can tell you do have a remote which is more than we can say about my friends at Sonos! Look, I love Sonos, but I do not want any more companies trying to ditch the remote for an app.

Yamaha YAS-109: Want to know how Yamaha knows that the remote for the Yamaha YAS-109 is good? They have been using this remote or a kind of variation of it for a while. Not changing what is working is something I like and this remote is certainly working. This is a nice and compact remote control that gives you complete control over your soundbar. It is easy to use too as major features like bass and clear voice have their own dedicated buttons. There is also a bunch of presets that have their own buttons as well. In all, this is a solid little remote and one of my favorites.

Bose Solo 5: The Bose Solo 5 is a really awesome remote. As a matter of fact, Bose makes some of the best remote controls around, I would probably say that Bose and Sony offer what I personally want in a remote better than anyone else. This remote is stacked with buttons, perhaps verging on too many for some people, but I love it. They give you all the control you could need over your soundbar and it also works as a universal remote control too.

The Verdict: Both of these soundbars offer you a fantastic remote control and at the end of the day, you could make a case for either one of these being a winner. For me, Bose wins this as I like having a ton of buttons and a remote that gives me a ton of options to play around with. However, on the flip side of this, a remote like this would be a nightmare for my parents and my mother would hate it! In that regard, the more basic, but also still awesome Yamaha YAS-109 remote would be the winner.  

What Is In The Box?

Can you read what is in the box and not think of the movie Seven? Well as much as I would love to spend the next paragraph writing about Seven. What we are looking at here is what we can expect in the box of each of these soundbars.

Yamaha YAS-109: I have been very complimentary of the Yamaha YAS-109 so far I think you would have to agree with. The box is great, it has the soundbar, the power cable, your instruction booklet, and so on, the stuff you would expect. They also give you an optical cable, but what if you want to connect this via HDMI? Well, I hope you have a spare cable in a drawer somewhere as they do not give you an HDMI cable. Yes, on Amazon there are like a million for under 10 bucks. However, this is pretty annoying as if they give you the connection on the soundbar they should give you the cable in my opinion.

Bose Solo 5: Our buddies at Bose are going to feel my wrath here with their awesome Bose Solo 5 for the same reason Yamaha did! Look, you get all you need in the box here to get started. Your soundbar, remote, and so on are all here and the instruction booklet is actually worthwhile as the remote has a ton of more advanced features you can read about. However, like the 109, they only give you an optical cable in the box here. Look, I just had a quick look on Amazon and found this 4K HDMI Cable 6.6ft for five bucks so, in theory, it is not a big deal. My point is that it could be a pain in the butt if you bought this wanting to connect it via HDMI and then when it arrives you do not have a cable and have to go out and buy one or order it from Amazon and wait.

The Verdict: No doubt many of you will be saying that I am overreacting by complaining there is no HDMI cable in the box for either of these soundbars. However, I do feel that this category has to be a draw as apart from the HDMI issue, both of these give you what you need in the box.   

What Is The Better Soundbar?

These are two soundbars that I have used a great deal. That is why I was very excited to put this Yamaha YAS-109 vs Bose Solo 5 article together. I have really thought long and hard about this and I think I have to say that I am picking the Yamaha YAS-109 as my winner here. The Bose Solo 5 is great, but Bose has made so many better soundbars. However, I do have to say that the Yamaha YAS-209 is a better upgrade. Anyway, it is really the bass that makes me pick the 109 over the Solo 5. I think that the 109 has a deeper and better-quality sound overall so that is why I am picking that as my winner.

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