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Boston Acoustics Solo II

AM/FM radio with digital clock (Gloss White)

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  • Boston Acoustics Solo II

    Gloss White - horizontal orientation

  • Boston Acoustics Solo II

  • Boston Acoustics Solo II

Item #: 065SOLO2W
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Boston Acoustics Solo II

by Ralph Graves
Boston Acoustics

It's a great fit for just about any bedside table. The Horizon Solo II AM/FM radio features a digital display that rotates, so you can orient the radio either upright or on its side. The display's large outer ring is also a touch-sensitive snooze bar, so it's easy to hit even when you're still half asleep. And the display adjusts its brightness according to the ambient light in the room, so glaring numbers won't keep you awake.

The Solo II's high-performance full-range speaker delivers clean, full sound, while built-in audio processing helps ensure plenty of rich, warm bass. And you can enjoy music from your MP3 player or other audio source through the Solo's auxiliary input.

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Highlights:

  • mono AM/FM radio
  • built-in AM and FM antennas
  • 20 AM/FM station presets
  • high-performance 3-1/2" driver
  • digital clock with LCD display
  • large, circular touch-sensitive snooze bar
  • clock display can be oriented horizontally or vertically
  • minijack audio input for connecting external source
  • minijack headphone output
  • dual alarms with sleep timer
  • weight: 4.4 lbs.
  • 8-1/4"W x 5-1/4"H x 7-5/8"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Table-top AM/FM radio (white)
  • 8' AC cord
  • 5' FM wire antenna (installed)
  • Owner's Manual (Eng/Fre/Spa/Ger/Ita)
  • Product Registration Card
  • "Play in Color!" brochure

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features

Overview: The Boston Acoustics Solo II is a table-top AM/FM radio which provides outstanding reception and sound. It features dual orientation LCD display and built-in alarm clock. The table-top radio is also equipped with a headphone output and an auxiliary input.

Note: Available in high-gloss black or high-gloss white.

LCD: Display: The Solo II's large easy-to-read, high-contrast LCD display clearly shows the station, clock, and alarm/sleep status. The high contrast LCD display automatically adjusts to ambient light. You can also set the overall range of the display brightness from 0 to 20. Display dimensions: 2-1/4" wide, 1-1/8" high.

Dual Orientation: The Solo II's control panel and LCD display can be rotated 90° to allow for horizontal or vertical orientation.

AM/FM Tuner: The Boston Acoustics Solo II radio has a highly sensitive AM/FM tuner. It can pull in weak FM stations while its high selectivity allows it to separate closely-spaced stations clearly. The tuning knob makes it easy to manually tune to your favorite stations.

Presets: The Solo II radio features 20 station presets for your favorite AM and FM stations. Once you set the preset stations, you can quickly tune only the preset stations with a turn of the tuning knob.

Manual/Seek Tuning: The tuning knob can be turned in either direction for manually tuning up or down the selected band. When the knob is pressed, the Solo II will seek up the radio band for the next receivable station.

Antenna Inputs: This unit is equipped with a built-in AM antenna and an attached 5' FM wire antenna. You can unplug either antenna if you wish to connect an optional external antenna to the AM spring-clip antenna input or the threaded FM coax antenna input.

BassTrac Audio Processing: The Solo II features a full-range 3-1/2" driver, specifically designed for this radio, with a rear-firing port to enhance the bass output. This high-performance speaker is coupled with an actively-equalized amplifier that uses Boston BassTrac circuitry for full, satisfying sound, even at low volume. The result is a unit that delivers smooth, natural response and room-filling sound despite its small size.

Audio Controls: You can independently adjust the bass and treble between -5 and 5.

Auxiliary Input: The Solo II features a rear panel, 3.5mm minijack input for connecting an external audio source to the unit such as your portable MP3 or CD player via an optional 3.5mm stereo minijack cable.

Headphone Output: For private listening, you can plug headphones into the front panel's 3.5mm minijack headphone output. The main speaker mutes when headphones are plugged in.

Dual Alarms: The radio features two independent wake-up alarms which can be set to music, tone, or both. When set to music or tone, the alarm tone or radio station starts playing quietly at first, then with increasing volume. When the alarm is set to both music or tone, the tuned radio station plays quietly with a gradually increasing volume. After 5 minutes, the music stops playing and the alarm tone begins to sound at a gradually increasing volume.

360° Snooze Bar (touch-sensitive outer rim): If you want to sleep a while longer after the alarm sounds, you can use the Snooze feature. The Snooze is activated by simply touching the metal rim around the front of the radio. The snooze function will silence the alarm for 10 minutes. Each additional touch adds another 5 minutes to the snooze time, up to a maximum of 60 minutes.

Sleep Timer: You can set the unit's sleep timer to play the radio for a preset amount of time, then shut itself off. The sleep timer can be set for up to 90 minutes in 5-minute increments.

Memory Backup: The Solo II is equipped with a Super Capacitor to preserve radio presets, clock and alarm settings in the event of a power interruption for a period of 24-48 hours.

Security Connection: A connection point for a security cable is provided on the rear of the radio, next to the AM antenna jacks. This is the same type of connection point as found on many laptop computers, allowing you to connect a computer security cable between a solid anchor point and the Solo II radio to help prevent theft.

Boston P.O.P.: The Boston Personal Option Plan (P.O.P.) allows you to match your environment with optional grilles in multiple colors for the series speakers. In addition to the white grilles that come with the speakers, you can purchase grilles in Glacier, Chocolat, Rose Bud, Chili Pepper, Onyx, Caramel, Pearl Gray, Moss, or Olive. These optional grilles are available directly from the manufacturer.

 
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Boston Acoustics Solo II Reviews

Average Customer Review:

25 people say:

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5 out of 5

Great Product

Written By Bruce, Chevy Chase, Maryland on Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Excellent radio. Great reception.
Pros:
Excellent fidelity. Great reception. Compact. Easy to use and understand.
Cons:
No way to turn display off at night. Disturbing.
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5 out of 5

Supper Quality Radio

Written By Oki Chimbo, Shawnee, KS on Thursday, October 11, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great to see there is a manufacturer that still maintains high quality products. You get what you pay for and this radio is worth every buck. You can't go wrong.
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2 out of 5

Doesn't hold up =-(

Written By SurferSam, San Diego, CA on Thursday, October 04, 2012
 
I purchased 3 of these radios a couple of years ago for my large house because I liked the sound and overall quality so much. Unfortunately these radios have not stood up to the test of time. Apparently the electronics are of poor quality. The sound is great. Its not difficult to program and very easy to use if you follow the manual. The back lighting is adjustable. It has 2 alarms. Several electronic bugs began appearing after about a year. The volume would not got above level 17 (copiously documented on other websites). I finally learned to reset it by unplugging it for several hours and reprogramming it again. That has happened on 2 of the radios. Yesterday 1 of the radios completely died. I suspect the power supply - again inferior electronics. I don't know which foreign subcontractor BA is using but they are not providing quality electronic components that should be in a radio of the caliber. BA get your act together!! Stand behind your products if you want to stay in business.
Pros:
Great tonal quality. Quality external materials. Rotating bezel. 2 alarms. Unique snooze feature.
Cons:
Internal electronics does not last. Electronic bugs.
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5 out of 5

Outstanding Radio

Written By Justanoldretread, Mooresville, NC on Monday, October 01, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I purchased this radio to replace a 5+ year old identical radio. This, I hope, and the other were the nicest radios I have ever owned. The clock/timer stopped working on the older radio. The sound was still exceptional. Hopefully, this new radio will be around for an even longer period.
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5 out of 5

Amazing Radio

Written By Bruce T, Birmingham, AL on Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I wanted a clock radio that would not only perform all of the normal desired functions, but would also provide rich sound and great reception. The Solo II does all of that in a pleasing package with a minimal number of knobs/buttons/switches and other design distractions, ease of operation and a substantial weight that goes along with the superb tonal quality.
Pros:
Wonderful sound, great size and weight, nice headphone jack in front, smooth operation.
Cons:
The mode selector function may be a little too responsive, but once you get used to it, it works fine.
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5 out of 5

Radio

Written By nmsavko, Columbus, OH on Sunday, September 09, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Very good radio, very satisfied with everything.
Pros:
It works
Cons:
The price, but I think it'll be worth it.
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4 out of 5

not your average alarm clock radio

Written By Zing, Austin, TX on Thursday, July 26, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I really like the sound of this product, especially when I connect my ipod to it. I am not crazy about the display though - it is too bright for me when the lights are out, even when I reduce the brightness. And the screen is big, but it doesn't display the time when it's on radio or auxiliary mode. It displays only the radio station you're on, or "AUX" when it's on auxiliary. What a waste of screen space.
Pros:
Nice sound
Cons:
Information on display screen could be better
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Boston Acoustics Solo II

Written By Burnttree, Pa on Friday, July 06, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This radio is fantastic compared to the older recepter model, way nicer looking as well. The bass and treble settings make it great 4 better sound. The light on it is super! So happy with this! I was so happy with this I sold the recepter and bought a 2nd one.
Pros:
Everything!
Cons:
None
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5 out of 5

Well Worth the Price Point

Written By Doug V., Eugene, OR on Thursday, May 17, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I received this clock radio as a gift from my wife. We both enjoy the design & sound quality so much I purchased a second unit for her to use in the kitchen. We're sold :)
Pros:
Audio sound quality, display brightness adj., easily accesible headphone jack and pre-prog capacity for stations.
Cons:
Zero
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5 out of 5

First impression

Written By WayneI, New Bedford, MA on Thursday, April 05, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Just got the radio. Sound above average, selectivity and reception excellent. Appearance is excellent. One problem, needs a better system to access presets. All in all my wife and I are happy with our selection. Thank you Andy, in the tech support adviser group, for your help.
Pros:
Sound, reception, selectivity, appearance
Cons:
preset useability
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Boston Acoustics Solo II

Written By GuyH, Hartford, WI on Tuesday, April 03, 2012
 
The Boston Acoustics Solo II is an outstanding clock radio. I bought it to replace a Boston Acoustic Receptor which was malfunctioning after about 7 years of great service. The Solo is even better than the Receptor. The sound is excellent and the unit's ability to pull in FM stations with clarity is outstanding. Some reviewers have complained about the controls not being intuitive. I totally disagree. The controls are very simple to use and they result in the radio having a lot of functionality. It is important, however, that the instructions be read. Because the radio has so many features, it only makes sense that a five minute review of the instructions, which are well written on only twelve short pages, should be the first thing to do when setting up this radio. As usual, Crutchfield's free delivery service was superb. The shipment arrived in only 4 days in perfect condition.
Pros:
Great sound, lot's of functionality, intuitive controls, solid build quality, and looks really cool
Cons:
A bit expensive but worth the price to get a top quality clock radio.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Boston Acoustics Solo II

Written By Layne L., Soquel, Ca. on Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I am so pleased with this product. I have tried many other products like this, with each of them falling well below my expectations.I live in an area that radio reception is almost impossible to attain. I have always heard of Boston electronics being great , and since I have purchased my first item, I will mo certainly do so again. Crutchfield also delivered exactly as they promised. Thank you.

Pros:
Quality of product. The reception I get is something that nobody else has been able to deliver.
Cons:
No cons.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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1 out of 5

used night light for sale

Written By Ard, CT on Saturday, February 18, 2012
 
this radios controls are anti-intuitive, while in radio mode, it doesn't display time or give that option, it is a nice heavy paperweight. too expensive, sound like a bass drum, can't hold a m for any amount of time. for sale, any takers?
Pros:
good night light, also very heavy, has its own gravity
Cons:
this radios controls are anti-intuitive, while in radio mode, it doesn't display time or give that option, it is a nice heavy paperweight. too expensive, sound like a bass drum, can't hold a m for any amount of time.
5 out of 10 people found this helpful
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1 out of 5

Piece of Junk

Written By Court Street Lawyer, Brooklyn, NY on Monday, February 13, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
AVOID this product if you need a clock radio, because it is effectively worthless for that purpose. I used it for about fourteen months, and the clock started losing time (like ten to fifteen minutes a day). This is essentially an overly-priced, overly-complicated table radio that doesn't even have good sound quality. It should really get a zero-star rating.
3 out of 7 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

This Radio ROCKS!!!!

Written By SanjeevP, New Jersey on Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Excellent all around
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3 out of 5

So-So Solo

Written By PW, Marblehead, MA on Monday, January 30, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The Solo II is a nice looking, small radio with decent sound and some nice features. Like some other higher-priced small radios, the sound is "muffled" as if the unit was inside a sealed box, and lacks clarity, but the range is satisfactory. Overshadowing its good points, the controls are sensitive and very difficult to use. The one-knob-does-all function control (called "mode") is probably some engineer's pride and joy, but ordinary people with ordinary reflexes are likely to experience high frustration levels trying to do such seemingly simple things as setting the alarm or programming pre-set stations within the time allowed before the device reverts to the default settings, even after a lot of "practice". Price-wise, it is in the upper reaches for a radio having its level of performance in my view. Still, having said all that, it is an OK unit for a small room, and there aren't many choices in the category.
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Boston Acoustics Solo II

Written By GeorgeV, Fairfax, VA on Sunday, January 29, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This is the perfect replacement for a tyical clock radio. It has all the features I need (many radio presets, bass/treble eq, sleep function, dual alarms, display brightness). If you listen to the radio alot, the step up in audio quality is worth it. I'll take high quality mono over a low quality stereo setup any day of the week. I now look forward to waking up in the morning! The snooze function is the best I have ever used. Reaching over to touch the metal trim is effortless when you are barely awake (no more hunting for the snooze button). This product is a well designed device that blow's away the i-crap found at most stores these days.
Pros:
Audio quality is excellent as is the radio's ability to pull in weak stations. I love the digital control/menu system and the fact I am not paying for a device dock I do not need. I also like the headphone output for late night listening.
Cons:
Too bad they no longer offer designer speaker grills. I would love to have a custom color. This could have been made clearer in the product description.
2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

A Near Perfect Clock Radio

Written By Mike C., Syosset, NY on Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I have been using this radio for about two months now and there isn't anything I don't like about it. First off the sound quality is amazing and radio reception is excellent. The radio is built like a brick, solid and sturdy and can be configured to stand on its side or upright depending on your preference. The controls have a solid feel to them and are intuitive. When the radio is first turned on the sound level gradually increases to the desired volume. The really impressive features are the alarm clock controls. The radio has a dual alarm and the display clearly indicates when the alarms are set. When the alarm goes off and is set to the radio or an external auxillary source the volume increases gradually so you wake up without being startled. To snooze just touch anywhere on the chrome trim, no need to fumble to find the snooze button. The display blinks to indicate an active alarm that is in snooze mode so you clearly know when the alarm is active or turned off. If you lose power the alarm settings are retained for about 3-4 days so you won't need to adjust the settings when the power comes back on. All in all a great radio.
8 out of 9 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Solo II

Written By Karen, Columbia, SC on Sunday, July 24, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I gave it a rating of 3 stars because I couldn't check a 2 and a half. The a.m. reception on this radio is non-existent with only the internal antennae. The FM reception is not much better. It seems to be built well but should be offered with an online training module to help you get through how to use the basic alarm and sleep functions; its definitely NOT plug and play. I am still deciding whether I will return it or not. If I keep it, I will have to buy an external antennae from another provider, adding to the cost. The hassle with this unit is not worth the price. I just want someone to make a powerful a.m. radio with alarm clock and sleep features and no extra gadgets needed. (I kept the box so....).
6 out of 8 people found this helpful
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2 out of 5

sounds good, but...

Written By Ard, CT on Sunday, March 13, 2011
 
FM sound is very good, controls are terrible, push on-off is awkward, when radio is on clock time does not display. I purchased it for its AM reception, but AM is all or nothing. mostly nothing where I live. Get NY stations from cheap little portable better.
User interface is terrible.
5 out of 6 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Boston Acoustics Solo II

Written By dave, tucson, az on Sunday, February 20, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
great radio! i bought it because it was advertised as a powerful radio and had an
adapter for an outside antenna. Now I'm having trouble finding an adequate antenna!
The controls may be a little complicated and takes a while to learn how to work all the
options.
2 out of 4 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

overall, a nice product

Written By Hollace K, Long Island, NY on Monday, January 31, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
sounds pretty good. heavy weight gives impression that it is made of high quality
components,. difficult to set as a clock radio. best snooze alarm on any product I've
ever used; just hit the top of the radio, and it goes into snooze mode for 10 minutes.
being nearsighted, I wish the time readout were larger. overall, a nice product
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Not 5-Star Product

Written By Clark K, Long Island, NY on Saturday, January 08, 2011
 
Nice and compact. Heavy weight makes it feel like a quality product. The alarm is very difficult to set, and requires multiple tries to get it ready for the morning (it doesn't readily set, even though you've followed the manual). Sound is too bass heavy at factory settings. Time readout could be larger, love the snooze alarm, which only requires hitting the metal rim around the unit. Also need a radio for the kitchen; this doesn't sound good enough to be the one.
2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Beats the Bosewave radio!!!

Written By Vidrino, Glendale, California on Wednesday, October 20, 2010
 
I've had the bosewave radio while I also have a JVC mini shelf system. Sound comparison was the reason why I sold the bose because its overwhelming advertisement which ,in my opinion, makes audio enthusiasts think that bose is the ultimate sound system! It's NOT! The Boston Acoustics Solo, a simple looking am/fm radio makes the bosewave radio bow. The sound quality is soooo good. I'm strongly considering buying the BA duo-i.
11 out of 13 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

totally under-rated and under the radar!

Written By bardot, los angeles ca on Wednesday, October 13, 2010
 
this little boston acoustics clock radio is great! the sound quality is comparable to bose or better, in my opinion. it's very high quality, and so much lower priced than the bose sound dock, which is completely over-rated and over-priced. maybe it's not as sexy looking, but it still has a nice design (i was looking at tivoli audio, which is also really over-priced). you can plug in your ipod to the auxiliary jack (like in your car). the only thing is that it does not have a dock and it doesn't charge the ipod while you're listening.
9 out of 10 people found this helpful
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