Alright--I want to hear the TRUTH about Bose!

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Stephen Gladwin, Jun 16, 2005.

  1. Stephen Gladwin

    Stephen Gladwin Stunt Coordinator

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    I've heard so many conflicting opinions about the Bose acoustimass HT systems over the years. Some swear by them, but the general consensus on this forum seems to be that they are highly overrated and only continue to thrive due to Bose's huge advertising campaigns. I'm always amazed at how much weight the Bose name carries. Recently my friend got a pair of Bose headphones. When I asked how they sounded, his roomate just smirked, "OF COURSE they're awesome, it's Bose."

    I dunno, I find it hard to believe that small satellite speakers, no matter how ingeniously engineered, can reproduce the full, forceful range of sound that a good pair of bookshelf or loudspeakers can.

    *So, what IS the truth about Bose? Are there better HT systems out there for the average Bose acoustimass price ($800-2000)?
     
  2. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

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    "YES" Most definantly
     
  3. Mark--M

    Mark--M Stunt Coordinator

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    Beter Off with Something Else.
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    "You can't handle the truth..." [​IMG]

    The TRUTH IS: Bose cube speaker setups are ridiculously overpriced for what you get. Their $2K+ models are about as good as the average HTiB in the $500-$1K range. It doesn't take much looking to see they ARE HTiB speakers, basically. You can't expect me to believe that all in one DVD/CD/Reciever module is worth the rest of that $2000 after you generously priced the speakers. I built a whole HT for less than that...

    I set up a customer with a complete 5.1 speaker set, decent receiver, and he bought an inexpensive DVD player for ~$1300. If I were a bose owner, I would kick myself (with the exception of speaker size) when I realized how much I spent for less than half the performance.

    Not all of their products are too bad though. I like the noise cancelling headphones, though they are a bit overpriced too. Don't get me wrong, the cubes actually don't sound bad either, they just aren't worth anywhere near what people are paying for them.
     
  5. Ned

    Ned Supporting Actor

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    They cost 10 times more than they are worth.
     
  6. John Mannix

    John Mannix Extra

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    Bose is for those silly sots who either don't know better, or don't care. Sorry. That's my opinion and I stand by it.

    If I were recommending a cost effective system to a friend or coworker it would be something along the lines of the PSB Alpha Intro Home Theater. $670.00 for a 5.1 setup, and only $850 for a 7.1 setup. Add a decent receiver and DVD and you're set. Heck, you could even move up a notch in the sub department and get a SubSonic 5i with a 10" woofer instead of the SubZero for only another $200.00

    Any way you slice it this system would blow the socks off of a Bose HTIB wannabe. It is highly musical, and it rocks with movies.

    According to AudoEnz "Home theatre is where these little gems really shine. Voice reproduction is brilliantly clear and neutral. The PSB’s will crank out huge volumes of high quality music without any signs of displeasure. Home theatre wise, these little babies will transfer the movie watcher from the couch right into the middle of each scene."

    You can also catch a review at Home Theater and Sound. I can't provide the link as I haven't spent enough time in front of my computer screen punching out posts on this board. Sorry.

    At any rate. Stay far, far away from Bose.
     
  7. Steve*W

    Steve*W Agent

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    The only time I EVER recommend Bose, is to people who want the best small speakers they can find. Thats what your paying for, the size, and the research behind getting "big" sound out of small speakers.

    That being said I personally hate Bose. They sound very flat(no highs, no lows, must be Bose) There is a niche market for them, just not a very smart one.
     
  8. PaulHeroy

    PaulHeroy Stunt Coordinator

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    Bose seems to do two things really well: marketing and system setup/interface. They appeal to people who aren't into the gear and want a sleek unobtrusive package that's easy to just setup and use. Most don't trust themselves to really look into systems and speakers, and do their own research and setup. Also, since most folks are more acute at visual than acoustic perception it's easier to sell mediocre sound in a spiffy package.

    I went to a Bose HT demo last year (because of the projector being used with it, not the Bose system) and it was a flashy, impressive demo -- but it was all canned and rigged with material that would demo well on their system. Lots of short bursts of sound and the voices were higher pitched to avoid the hole between the cubes and bass module. They wouldn't even let me try my own DVD or CD on the system.
     
  9. Bob_L

    Bob_L Supporting Actor

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    A couple years ago, I selected and installed a home theater for a friend who had a Bose system that he really liked.

    After about one month of listening to the system I assembled for him, he said, "Man, I used to think those Bose speakers sounded good. I had no idea how weak they were."

    Bose sells convenience and form factor, not quality sound, IMO. I don't think there is any great "truth" to be revealed here.
     
  10. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    As John Garcia pointed out, Bose makes more than just their Acoustimass sub/sat speaker systems and their 3.2.1 DVD/Receiver/Speaker system. While everything they make is premium priced, some of their products are quite good. Again, as mentioned by JG, noise cancelling headphones are quite good. Wave radio is quite good.

    Some years ago, I even thought about using one of their Acoustimass systems as a center channel. Those little tiny cubes on top of the TV, sub module behind the TV. Never tried it. $500 (at that time) for a center was just too much.

    Obviously there is considerable appeal in those tiny cubes. For middle and upper middle income people who want a virtually invisible speaker set-up to maintain domestic tranquility they get the job done.

    One more thing. More than 30 years ago I was swayed by the glowing review of the Bose 901 by Julian Hirsch in Stereo Review. I found a mint used pair of the original genuine walnut 901's with their expensive dedicated metal stands for $375. A considerable sum for a poor 23 year old. Boy do they sound different! Nothing subtle about the 901. I liked them for maybe 6 months, then I decided there was something wrong with the sound of the piano coming from the ceiling! I think I sold them for $25 less than what I paid. Went back to things like the Original Advent speakers and Acoustic Research AR2ax.
     
  11. Robbie R

    Robbie R Stunt Coordinator

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    Check out this Link

    Its a little bias (Bose Bashing) but I think he has his facts straight.

    Edit:
    I think the author of the site is a HTF Member.
     
  12. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    My father has the wave radio also. I have to admit, it definitely does an impressive job at filling a room with sound for such a small device. That doesn't mean they should charge the same for it, that it would cost to build a small system to rival it. If it cost a bit less, it would likely be a LOT more popular.

    My bedroom system costs about the same, takes up only a small amount more room (not including the speakers) and has much more detail, but the one box solution is attractive to many people.
     
  13. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Yes John Garcia, if the Wave Radio was significantly cheaper, it would be vastly popular. I also have a bedroom system made up of leftovers and used, that costs about the same but has some much larger speakers (Ebay Mission M73).

    Apparently, the Cambridge Sound Works 740 at $350 is as good sounding or better for maybe $150 less than the Wave Radio.

    That is probably the best competitor to the Wave. Unfortunately, no one knows about CSW because they can't afford to advertise.

    How much of the price of a Bose product goes towards their advertising? Bose advertising budget could run over $100 million a year.
     
  14. Tony Loewen

    Tony Loewen Stunt Coordinator

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    Those who swear by bose are strictly comsumers who don't really have anything else to compare them to. The old "I paid a fortune for these, they must be good" mentality. Those who hate bose are people who know what else is out there. Ask a bose supporter about frequency response. Accuracy. Color. Clarity. For the most part, I would say they would give you the confused puppy look. Just a generality, but not likely to far off. No offense to those of you who are bose supporters and actually do know your stuff. I would say, though, that the vast, VAST majority of their customers bought them because they heard (from bose) that bose was great.

    Way overhyped, way overpriced. As other people have mentioned, just try to do a side by side comparison of bose and a decent audio set up. It's nearly impossible because bose intentionally places there displays away from it competitors, then places them in acoustically friendly surroundings.

    No thanks, I have better things to do with my money than blow it on Bose. Like getting the fireplace roaring, for one. Or replacing the empty toilet roll.
     
  15. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Screenwriter

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    I bring to the table this. I have sold TONS of these instead of Bose systems after a simple, non-bias demo. Sub is smaller, but sounds a LOT better, and speakers are easier to live with:

    http://www.definitivetech.com/loudsp...cinema_60.html

    Very nice system for $700 if size is an issue. Most people who buy this system do not listen to loud music, and the speakers do just fine for that. I do recommend 5-channel stereo for music, it does fill in a lot better.
     
  16. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    [​IMG] LOL. Pretty much sums it up right there.
     
  17. Craig

    Craig Second Unit

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    I bought a pair of Bose 501s in the mid-70s and kept those for 6 or 8 years. They were well built and I thought they sounded good. I later purchased a pair of used 901s in the mid 80s, thought those sounded good also. I have a pair of Mirage OM10s as my main speakers in my HT setup now, so I guess I just like an open sound.

    I sold the 901s about 5 years ago, although I hadn't used them for years before that. I'd say that 90% of the people who responded to my ad had no idea that Bose made anything other than satellite systems. I finally sold them to an older guy who actually knew what they were.
     
  18. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Bose does a good job with its headphones because 'Average Joe' will likely spend his whole life never seeing a display for high-end cans. Colby & Sony are everywhere (and pretty crappy), how can Bose not be better than those for 10x the price?

    ALSO

    Bose employees have bi-monthly company picnics where upper-management serves baby kittens saute'd in garlic. Pass it on.
     
  19. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

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    I have several good cans for home headphone use which as I get older I use them less but as for traveling which I do not often but every other month or so.. I could not find anything I would rather have than the BoseII noise cancelling phones. Tried like 4-5 others, in ear which I really hated and others that let too much noise in. They are not the most audiophile phones but they are great for being on an airplane and veggin on tunes and not having to hear anything around you. Other than those I don't have anything to say about Bose but they did get those right. And sure they cost more than they should but you know what if they cost 2 times as much and were $699 a pair I still would have bought them, being comfortable is worth a huge price to me... They were just that comfy and good. And for portable DVD use they are great as well or listening to MP3's from your laptop. While I know their speakers are terrible or systems are below par I have to give them a thumbs up on the phones. And if you can't try them for a flight somewhere you really can't judge them.
     
  20. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Some also swear at them. [​IMG]
     

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