How to Troubleshoot a Bose Wave Radio

Updated April 17, 2017

The Bose series of Wave radios are consider the premiere line of consumer home audio players on the market. The Wave's compact design--speakers, receiver, amplifier and CD player integrated into one unit--make it convenient both in the use and space. Bose products are covered by a 1 year warranty, but the company recommends taking simple troubleshooting steps before seeking service. This article will explain how to troubleshoot a Bose Wave radio.

The system is malfunctioning. Start by checking the power adaptor. Unplug and reinsert the plug from the radio and wall. Make sure both seat correctly in their respective sockets. If the main screen does not display any information while turned on, check to verify that the radio's display mode is turned on. With the radio off, press and hold the "CD Mode" button. Then, press the "On/Off" button. This will toggle the display screen on and off. With the CD Mode button held down, use the volume up/down controls to adjust the brightness of the display.

The system has no sound. Bose recommends checking the volume controls to make sure that the volume is high enough and that the radio is not on mute. After inspecting the volume, check the functions. If a CD will not play, check that the CD was correctly loaded and is seated properly on the lock. Some Bose radios can only play Audio CDs, so MP3, Audio DVDs and data discs will not operate. If the radio will not play an external device like an iPod, double check that the item is plugged into the "AUX IN" port correctly, the radio is set to "AUX" and the device is turned on.

Troubleshoot the remote. When issues arise with the remote control, check the battery. See that it is loaded in the correct direction. Many Bose remotes are powered by circular batteries, such as those used by watches. Check that the battery is seated properly. Bose recommends that the sensor on the radio be cleaned of dust and cleared of obstruction.

Fix issues with radio reception. The primary issue with the Bose Wave's radio reception is typically its proximity to the television. Many television sets emit electromagnetic waves which interfere with radio reception. This will block many weaker radio frequencies, especially AM stations. Fluorescent and halogen lamps and lights with any type of dimmer control will add the same type of interference to their immediate area, so keep the radio clear of those spaces. If issues exist with FM reception, extend the power cord as far as possible as the FM antenna is located inside of the power cord.

Remedying CD issues. As previously stated, older Bose Wave radios cannot play MP3 or Audio DVD discs. Make sure that the disc has been recorded as an Audio CD. Store-bought CDs are audio discs, but discs burnt on a computer should be double-checked with the PC's burning software. Double-check that the CD is clean and free of dust. A soft cloth, like those used to clean eyeglasses or a camera lens, can be used to wipe fingerprints or dust away. Check that the radio is functioning correctly. Make sure the mute is off and that the radio is set to "play" and not "pause." Test the player by trying another CD, as this will show whether the original CD was defective.

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About the Author

Jared Paventi is the communications director for a disease-related nonprofit in the Northeast. He holds a master's degree from Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication and a bachelor's degree from St. Bonaventure University. He also writes a food appreciation blog: Al Dente.