Using an external CD player with a Bose Wave Radio, Decortech table with built-in speaker(Week 9, 2022)

Sound Advice
By Don Lindich

Week 9, 2022

Q. We are having an issue with our Bose Wave Radio/CD system. It has an add-on that provides an additional 3 CD capability. The slot in the radio itself is playing the CD properly, but the 3 CD add-on unit has begun to make spinning, sputtering, skipping noises. After a period of time it seems the CD begins to play normally.

In checking around it appears these players are no longer on the market and repair seems non existent. I would like to know if you have any knowledge or suggestions regarding repair or can suggest an alternative player for purchase. I know eventually the CD players will be a thing of the past but since we are 75 and 80 respectively, we still enjoy our CD’s and at this time are resistant to change.

-N.L., Grove City, PA

A. You are correct that repairs on this radio are difficult, if not impossible to find. Fortunately the single disc slot is still working, but even when that CD drive stops working properly you have an option. Get a DVD player with analog outputs (The Panasonic DVD-700 is a very good choice for only $45) and use an RCA-to-3.5mm cable to connect it to the Bose’s AUX input. Select AUX on the radio and it will play the signal coming from the player. You can play CDs this way with any device with an AUX input. I’ve done it myself with Soundcore Flare speakers when I wanted to listen to CDs in rooms without a stereo system.

I have recommended a DVD player because the only CD players available these days are expensive high-end units, which would not provide any benefit with a small radio like the Bose. A DVD player will also play CDs, and most newer ones (like the Panasonic) play media from a USB port, as well. I have used the USB port on my 4K Blu-ray player with a card reader to look at photographs and watch videos directly from my camera memory cards. It’s a very handy feature with a lot of capabilities that are sadly not used by the majority of owners. If your player has a USB port try it out, you will be glad you did!

DecorTech Rectangular End Table with Built-In Bluetooth Speaker and USB Charging Port: I encountered this product in the waiting room of an office and asked the receptionist about it. She said it cost about $50 at Walmart and they had been very happy with it. It struck me as a space saver that would be well received by those who want to play audio without a visible (or removable) speaker in the room.

The table itself has a simple look I found attractive. The power connection is in the back and once plugged in you have a handy USB charging port and a speaker to pair with your phone, tablet or computer. The sound quality does not rate as hi-fi, but I have heard worse and it is more than adequate for background noise or listening to the news from the SiriusXM radio app. At only $54.98 it is a handy combo that seems perfect for the environment in which I first found it, an office waiting room. The waiting room now has background music without installing speakers in the ceiling or walls, and it is much less likely to be lost to theft than a portable speaker. See the DecorTech table with speaker at