Bose CD Player Problems

By Dennis Hartman

U.S.-based audio equipment manufacturer Bose is known for its high quality audio products. Among the popular products from Bose are home theater systems, clock radios, and sound systems used in many cars, trucks, and SUVs. Despite generally high customer satisfaction, Bose CD players are known for several problems, some of which afflict all CD players and others that are unique to Bose products.

Playback Problems

One of the most common problems with Bose CD players is the inability to play a disc. In some cases the disc may spin, but no sound is produced. In other cases, a "no disc" error message appears. Often this is due to faulty disc formatting, especially in cases of homemade CDs that have music files not in the proper format. In other cases, users have found that they actually inserted DVDs or video game discs in place of music CDs. Each Bose CD player comes with a list of the formats it is capable of playing, and payback will not occur with any other formats.


Another problem not unique to Bose CD players is skipping during playback. This can be the result of several factors and therefore can be difficult to diagnose. If a CD's surface is scratched, smudged, or otherwise obscured some skipping may occur. Any obstruction to the CD player's laser, such as oil, debris, or even a single hair, can have the same effect. Finally, skipping can be the result of a mechanical or electrical problem with the CD player itself. For example, a malfunctioning motor can prevent the laser from reading the disc smoothly.

CD Changer Problems

One problem more common with Bose products than elsewhere is CDs getting stuck in a multi-disc changer. The Bose 3- and 5-disc changers sold as accessories to the Wave Radio are especially prone to this problem. Often CDs will play normally on the Wave Radio itself, but discs in the adjacent CD changer will not play or eject, even when the entire system is unplugged or reset. The faulty CD changer can be sent to Bose for repair, which may or may not be covered under warranty depending on the age of the system. Users can also attempt the delicate process of opening the CD changer in an attempt to remove the disc manually.

Car Audio Problems

The problem with discs not ejecting is shared with multi-disc Bose CD players installed in cars. In these cases, it may be necessary to remove the CD player from the dash to disassemble it and remove the disc. Another problem with some Bose car units involves speakers that don't work. In a multi-speaker setup this may mean that a single speaker is silent, or that only the front or rear speakers work with several remaining silent. This can sometimes occur as a result of a problem with the CD receiver itself, but more often blown speakers or faulty wiring are to blame.


For many audio critics and Bose owners, the biggest problem with Bose CD players is their premium price tag. Bose home theater systems routinely cost upwards of $1,000, while the popular Wave Radio CD player is often priced around $500. When automakers include a Bose audio system as an option on one of their models, the cost is generally higher than premium audio systems available from other automakers or aftermarket audio installers. Although the relative merits of a Bose CD player are a matter of opinion, many critics have cited the lack of value from Bose products, which perform only slightly better than their lower-priced competition.