Replacing a dead Bose Wave radio, Aiwa Exos and Technics SC-C65 and SC-C70MKII (Week 23, 2024)

Sound Advice
By Don Lindich

Week 23, 2024

Q. Our beloved Bose Wave radio has developed several issues to the point we can’t use it anymore. The few places I’ve seen online that (allegedly) repair Bose radios charge an exorbitant price, so that’s not an option.

Can you recommend a tabletop radio model that has good reception and sound quality comparable to the Bose? Bass and treble adjustments and a remote control would be nice to have.

-N.P., Northfield, MN

A. As I am sure you have already discovered, you can no longer buy a brand new Bose Wave. Currently there is nothing directly comparable, which surprises me. They say nature abhors a vacuum, and I thought by now someone would have come up with a premium table radio to offer to those replacing a Wave radio, or who wanted one but never got a chance to buy one when they were available new. What I can recommend is a budget option that might do the job, and a premium option that is worlds better than what you had, though it comes at a cost.

The Aiwa Exos Home Bedroom Speaker includes a CD player, Bluetooth, and an AM/FM tuner with 20 presets. It also has a remote control, a headphone output and optical and auxiliary inputs, making it quite versatile. Aiwa has long been known for making some of the best-sounding products in the entry level price ranges, and the Exos has received very good reviews. At $149.99 it represents a good value, though the sonic performance will not measure up to the more expensive products and there are no tone controls.

If the Aiwa represents a step down from the Bose Wave, the Technics SC-C65 All-In-One Music System and Technics Ottava Premium SC-C70MKII system represent giant steps above it. The SC-C70 series has been one of the most popular products I have every written about, generating enthusiastically happy emails from readers who purchased one as well as a lot of emails from readers who could not find an SC-C70 because the product was either was sold out or there was not a Technics dealer in their area. Months-long waiting lists were not uncommon when word about it got around.

What makes the SC-C70MKII so special is it is chock-full of some of the very best audio technology available and though it is a single component somewhat bigger than a Bose CD Wave Radio, it sounds like a full-sized audio system with very good tower speakers. It includes a CD player, FM, network playback, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and a full suite of streaming services, and it tunes itself to match the acoustics of your room. I will never forget the first time I heard the SC-C70, and guessed it would sell for $3,000. When they told me it was around $1,000 I knew Technics would have a mega hit on their hands. The SC-C70MKII is currently $1,099.95.

Building on the success of the SC-C70 series, Technics now offers the slightly smaller SC-C65 for $999.99. I have not heard it, but it looks very similar have been told it has much of the same goodness as the SC-C70MKII. It is available direct from the Technics website and if you sign up for emails there you can save 10% on your first order, bringing the price down to around $900. That is unheard of for audio products in the luxury class, and the SC-C65 for $900 is an excellent value given all it offers.