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November 10, 2003 12:03 AM

Broken: Bose radio buttons

Beth Hondl writes:

This is a little thing, but it could cost me my job. I have one of those much-advertised Bose clock radios that I use to wake up in the morning. The sound is great, and it's generally easy to use.

However, as shown in the picture, directly above the large snooze button there are three smaller buttons, two of which (the ones marked "On/Off" and "Aux") actually turn off the alarm altogether! As far as I can tell, the "Aux" button is meant to redirect the sound to a secondary set of speakers. Since I don't have a second set, the result is silence.

Now, as someone who regularly relies on the snooze button to ease my way into wakefulness, the proximity of these buttons has caused some problems. On more than one occasion, when I've hit what I think is the "snooze" button, I've been a few millimeters off and accidentally turned off the alarm. Of course, I immediately fall back to sleep, then awake to a panic when I see what time it's gotten to be. My boss is starting to think it's not so funny anymore.

Seems like it would be easy to enough to move these two buttons further from the snooze button. If I was hitting the volume button, the presets, or even the AM/FM switch, I would still at least be hearing something to wake me up.

P.S. This is the 100th post on This Is Broken. Thanks to everyone who has sent in additions to the site... please keep sending them!
-Mark Hurst (mark at goodexperience dot com)


I had one of these. I hated it and sold it. It was useless as a clock radio. Good sound, but unreliable. And yeah, that button placement sucks.

Posted by: Josh at November 10, 2003 08:54 AM

If your job depends on it, it might be a good idea to buy a couple little self-adhesive rubber feet to stick onto the snooze bar to help your sleepy morning brain identify it.

Similarly, a small sheet of stiff plastic could be used to cover all the other buttons.

Sure, it's broken, but if it's going to cost you your job, why not spend a buck or two and fix it?

Posted by: Chaz Larson at November 10, 2003 10:11 AM

Ironic... I have a $15 clock radio with an enormous snooze button, and a little raised dot on the "off" button (far from the snooze button) and I was thinking this very morning what a great, simple design it is... you can use it with your eyes closed...

Posted by: Gabriel at November 10, 2003 01:05 PM

Another solution would be to buy a second alarm clock radio and set that up across the room. That's what I do. The second alarm goes off 30 minutes after the first one, so if I accidentally turn off the main alarm, I still get woken up.

Posted by: Adam Trachtenberg at November 10, 2003 03:58 PM

Sounds like a typical whiney lilberal who can't take responsibility for his or her own actions. I bet anything that happens to you is never ever you fault, am I right. Get a life! these Radios ROCK!

Posted by: Big Red at November 13, 2003 09:42 AM

Get real, the Bose Wave CD has raised dots on the snooze button to aid in knowing which button you push and no one can approach the awsome sound.

Posted by: Great Sound at November 13, 2003 11:50 AM

I purchased 2 Bose products. A wave radio and a wave radio/cd player. I have had to send both back for repairs a total of 6 times, at my expense.

Buy a radio at a discount store!!

Posted by: Deb at January 13, 2004 10:02 AM

I purchased a Bose radio with cd player and had to send it back. The FM connector on the radio fell off while trying to connect to a cable and the aux connection did not work at all. Good sound but shoddy construction. Not worth the price.

Posted by: D.G. Smyth at January 26, 2004 10:43 AM

Are the Bose CD units reliable? - I have had trouble with clicking, tracking errors and general noise.

Posted by: Peter at January 27, 2004 01:06 PM

What does a few millimeters or centimeters or inches really matter if you are that groggy when you are awakened by a clock? So, you bought the Bose for the sound... HA, HA.. do you really need Hi-fi to wake up? I don't get it. Need proper button placement because of being groggy, but somehow you are in tune with great sound?!?! Quit whining...

Posted by: please at June 20, 2004 02:20 AM

In response to Peter. I also am having trouble with CD tracking on my Bose Wave Radio. First couple of songs OK but from there on lots of skipping. Doesn't matter if CD is brand new or old.

Posted by: M.L. Harter at June 28, 2004 06:02 PM

While I do agree that the button placement sucks (and also that I'm having some very mild tracking problems with my Wave Radio), I have also thought that the Wave Radio was a fine example of consumer-minded engineering. A few examples that I point out to interested friends:

1) The display auto-dims with the ambient light, preventing the room from being lit-up at night, keeping you awake.

2) The alarm clock gets slowly louder & louder (and very slowly, I might add, unlike some other alarms I've had), very gently easing you back to consciousness.

3) Similarly, when turning it off it does about a 1-second dim-to-half-volume before turning off. It's short enough not to be annoying if, say, the phone rings, but long enough to be a more comfortable on/off.

4) Upon pressing the on/off button, the CD will just start playing if the radio was in CD mode, thus avoiding the sillyness of pressing "on" then "play" (you can just press "play" while it's off, too).

All in all, the Wave Radio has pretty great user-features, though I have to agree on the annoying tracking issue. I hope my doesn't bite the dust soon... (at least it was a gift. why would anyone pay that much money for one of these?)

Posted by: Patrick at July 24, 2004 11:23 AM

I have a bose radio but the light for the clock is so dim I can't see the time 6ft away at night. Is this normal? If so what good is the clock at night?

Posted by: bo byers at October 20, 2004 03:24 PM

These units are great! I have purchased three Wave radios and would like to get another (all as gifts ;^). I agree that the buttons and user interface are poorly designed and the button placement is the pits. The WAAVE radios have been good, but the CD unit has had a variety of problems that include tracking problems and a total failure of the alarm clock! Since it was purchased more than a year ago, it is $$ to fix.

The nasty $9 alarm clock thingy is back on the job. For the design effort and cost these things should last a lifetime. It would be nice if Bose offered a better warranty, at least 10 years on parts and labor.


- Rick

Posted by: Rick at December 19, 2004 02:47 AM

The light display can be adjusted--instructions for that and any other questions about the Bose radio can be found in the above link.

Posted by: Jeannette at January 2, 2005 12:11 PM

I have heard that the Bose CD Radio is not as good as sound as the Bose Radio without the CD....can you comment on this, please?...

Thanks much, Phyllis

Posted by: Phyllis Campo at January 8, 2005 04:33 PM

The CD on my Bose CD Radio will not play any CD's. It just shows DISC with the CD flashing. Any ideas? I do not want to pay $150 to Bose. I have done the basic checking it out. Thank You!!!!

Larry Jutres

Posted by: Larry Jutres at February 15, 2005 11:24 PM

"The CD on my Bose CD Radio will not play any..."

Duh. CDs don't play CDs. CD *PLAYERS* play CDs. Take the CD off your Wave Radio, insert it into the CD PLAYER, and voila!

One of my pet peeves. And cars don't have DVDs. They have DVD Players. (if so equipped, duh).


Posted by: Brian at March 17, 2005 02:16 PM

Lose your job - hire a good lawyer - and retire.

Problem solved!

to the beach

Posted by: imnotright at May 3, 2005 06:57 PM

holy crap! what an unbelievable waste of time. this is probably the most useless blog i have EVER seen. you idiot, how can you blame your $500 yuppy radio on your lazy ass no wanting to get out of bed?

Posted by: nick at August 8, 2005 01:13 AM

Butt Is Aint

Thes Should bee ____ Typo ____ Thes r the thre mst commn words- What the hell-Shooooot!- and-You dumbass

Posted by: ya all idoits at November 25, 2005 12:58 AM

Our 2000 Bose gift from daughters plays CDs weakly,FM,AM are a loud noise only.The factory no longer repairs or provides parts,and I was quoted $150.00 by local authorized repair shop where I would not leave a $25.00 clock radio .Factory offer!Send unit back,they will then sell me a new Whatever for only $570.00 Anyone have a schematic?Incidentally ,this is not an old model,pc board mfg date is Dec 1999.

Posted by: bob olson at December 22, 2005 10:45 AM

How do you turn off the second alarm. I find no instructions in my Owner's guide?

Posted by: Earl Housinger at January 31, 2006 12:39 PM

Set the radio across the room. Then you'll have to get up to turn it off. The AUX is like most all other audio equipment. That is an AUXILLIARY INPUT!! I run my TV through the AUX input.

Posted by: Russell Bell at April 12, 2006 05:23 PM

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