Bose has a long association with car manufacturers, bringing its enhanced audio solutions to a full range of different cars. While many of these are a fairly regular deployment of speakers, Bose Personal is slightly different. Introduced at the Paris Motor Show in 2016, it's designed specifically for smaller cars, to get around the space problems to provide excellent audio
The Bose Personal system has been available on a number of different models before, with Nissan incorporating this system into a special edition Micra in 2017, the Kick in the US and now the new Juke.
In the new Nissan Juke it's being called Bose Personal Plus, but it revolves around the idea of creating a what Bose calls PersonalSpace, an adjustable soundscape that you get to change to suit your preference when in the car. Bose says that so much of a small car is designed around the driver - and this sound solution also means that the driver can experience much better audio than might be typical.
Here are those Bose speakers in more detail pic.twitter.com/4okHYlC02X— Chris Hall (@christhall) October 8, 2019
For the Nissan Juke there's an array of eight speakers, but the most important are the UltraNearfield speakers built into the headrests of the seats. From a design point of view we enjoy the fact that these look like headphones sitting atop the headrest but essentially, for the front passengers it puts a pair of speakers either side of your head, to supplement more regular placement of the speakers around the car - in the doors.
What's cunning about the placement in the headrest of the front seats is that they can project the sound for both the front and rear passengers and create a great immersive sound. It's not just filling the car, it's widening the soundstage, really bringing out an immersive 360-degree sound.
While the door speakers placement is more conventional, they can focus on delivering the lower range so there's no need for a separate subwoofer elsewhere in the car, again saving space.
But it's in some of the sound processing that Bose Personal Plus really comes to life - it's not just about packaging speakers into a car, it's about giving you more control over the sound you're going to listen to.
Within the sound settings for the car there's a controller for Bose PersonalSpace, with the ability to shift it from narrow to wide with a twist of the dial. It creates one of those shifts in sound that sort of makes your eyes cross as your brain tells you something weird just happened and it soaks up the richness of the sound sphere that you're sitting in.
Ok, so it's not entirely unique - there are other system that will create an immersive surround sound effect and it's now getting more common to virtualise the width, but it's rare in smaller cars and we love the sound quality that results from this solution. In the Nissan Juke we found it to be really effective and when you switch to wide it really eats you up.
Of course you need a source for this music and we tested from a connected iPhone, which lets you play onboard music as you might with an iPod (in fact the Juke calls it an iPod when playing like this). The Nissan Juke will also support Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, meaning that if you want to stream music in from a service like Spotify that's pretty easy too, on top of regular radio sources.
The Bose Personal Plus speaker system is standard on Tekna and Tekna+, so that's the top two trim levels on the new Juke; Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available as standard on all models with a display, so that's everything except the entry-level Visia. What you can't do, sadly, is add the sound system to the lower grade models - so if you want the enhanced sound from Bose Personal Plus, you'll have to opt for the £22,495 Tekna.