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why does everybody hate BOSE?

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#1 of 22 OFFLINE   EricLThomp



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Posted January 27 2003 - 06:57 AM

i've read countless times around the forum about people not thinking too highly of BOSE, but give me some really concrete reasons to NOT get this: http://www.bose.com/..._speakers/am16/

they are small, i can get them in white, (im going for souding good, AND being out of sight) and seem like they would work pretty well. if anybody can recommend something around the same size and color for about the same price, i'd love to hear about it. I'm just in a situation where i cant have some huge floor-standing speakers, so that means i have to mount them, and they need to of course blend in then (the wife), and then there is the budget, for sure NOT over $2,000 for the speakers. any other options? otherwise, i might just go get a set of those acoustimass 16's. (6.1)


#2 of 22 OFFLINE   Vince Maskeeper

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Posted January 27 2003 - 07:06 AM

The whole "why Bose is not the best" has been covered plenty of times. If you check the FAQ and Primer there are a few links that might turn you onto better brands.





Often the issue of aesthetics are SO backseat to the average visitor here on this forum- they usually don't latch onto Bose as the "sounds okay, looks great" mode that it seems is your main desire. You might get better sounding suggestions- but if you're really set on the exact look of the Bose units above all concerns of how they sound- you might be hard pressed to be swayed.

Need an introduction to home theater? Check out our FAQ and Primer!!

#3 of 22 OFFLINE   Frank Zimkas

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Posted January 27 2003 - 09:00 AM

It's all about price vs. performance. Bose makes some outlandish claims too. Basically you can spend the same amount of money for a much better sounding system. And much better looking too, but that is subjective.

#4 of 22 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted January 27 2003 - 10:43 AM

If you can hear, then I don't see how much more evidence you need. Take a listen, that should answer your question.

If you want something that TRULY sounds good, then Bose is not the best choice. If you want something SMALL, then you will be sacrificing some sound quality at the expense of aesthetics (and that is not limited to Bose).

I'm not trying to say Bose are terrible, but they are definitely overpriced for what you get.

For under $2000 MSRP I was able to outfit THREE rooms with better speakers than Bose (2 stereo, one full 6.1). Not to mention that I paid less than MSRP for some of the items...
HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
(stolen) : Marantz SR-8300, GR Research A/V-2s, Sony SCD-222ES SACD, Panasonic BD-65, PS3 60G (250G)

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#5 of 22 OFFLINE   ChristopherBer


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Posted January 27 2003 - 12:53 PM

If you like small size the Bose is good. My room is 12 X 15 and I have the Bose Acoustimass 15 and it fills the room good. I am no audiophile but I accept the sound that comes out of it. Posted Image

#6 of 22 OFFLINE   MikeH1



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Posted January 27 2003 - 07:46 PM

[quote] If you like small size the Bose is good. My room is 12 X 15 and I have the Bose Acoustimass 15 and it fills the room good. I am no audiophile but I accept the sound that comes out of it. [quote]

But the upgrade bug is biting, isn't it Posted Image

#7 of 22 OFFLINE   mike_frontier


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Posted January 28 2003 - 01:47 AM

Bose are nice and cute. But for the price you pay for them you can get allot more for the buck. Posted Image
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#8 of 22 OFFLINE   Bill Leber

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Posted January 28 2003 - 02:58 AM

Klipsch Quintet

These are 7" tall and come in white, silver, or black. They also have brackets so you can mount them to the wall. The brackets for the Bose are extra (about $20 each speaker). Get these with the 12" sub instead of the usual 10" and you'll be set.

#9 of 22 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted January 28 2003 - 03:51 AM

you may want to also check out the paradigm cinema series.

i'm not gonna knock bose (i've owned 201's, 301's and am-7 ii's) but i will agree that i've learned a little more about audio. Posted Image

they're not terribly bad speakers, but they do tend to be overpriced.

i definitely recommend you go listen to some other brands. almost all companies now make sub/sat combos. go to a b&m store and check out all the other players (klipsch, infinity, polk, jbl) etc.

just try to get a feel for how they sound versus how the bose sound.

if, after all is said and done, you still like the bose...then at least you can say you've made an informed decision.

i've typed this a million times, but i really feel it's worth reiterating: sound is subjective...if you like the way it sounds, then that is all that matters.

#10 of 22 OFFLINE   John Spicer

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Posted January 28 2003 - 03:52 AM

Heres my opinion. Personally Im not a big BOSE fan. I agree with the others in that they dont sound nearly as good as their competitors (too me anyway), they seem to be somewhat overpriced, and that the BOSE marketing guys pump up their product way too much.

All of those reasons though are fairly rational and logical. I think the real question is, as you put it, why do our members seem to HATE BOSE ? I think the implication that there is some fundamental emotional response towards the product is indeed a valid one. I chose B&W over Polk because I didnt like the polk sound but I didnt have a hatred for them. Mention BOSE and people's blood pressure rises, heart rate and respirations increase, etc. But why ?

I think to some level its an ego thing facilitated by the fact that BOSE has succesfully attached themselves to the ideal that the layperson has for sound systems. Here's the example which has happened to me a couple of times (which did raise my BP, heart rate, etc.);

Me: "Hey I just got my new surround system up and running. I finally decided on the going with B&W's for my drivers. This system really sounds better than anything I had hoped for. You should come over and listen to it."
Layperson: "On neato. One day Im going to do that, but when I do it, Im going to use BOSE. They are the absolute best."

DOH. In one statement this person has 1) shown that they most likely havent done alot of research and arent familiar with what they are talking about, and 2) has instantaneously popped your bubble and said that yours isnt as good as BOSE. How dare he you think ! He doesnt know jack. I hate BOSE, etc .... *snicker*

Maybe Im wierd, but I do think to a large extent its an ego thing that comes down to who knows best, the educated consumer or the mass marketed lay person.

Also, please take note that Im not targeting the person that does do the research and still pick's BOSE. Their is a market segment that it fits, and you fall into that then great. I think overall though the hatred stems from the idea that BOSE has people blindly thinking they are the best.

-- John

#11 of 22 OFFLINE   Barry BB

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Posted January 28 2003 - 04:28 AM

but give me some really concrete reasons to NOT get this

It is not up to any of us to tell you how to spend your money. It's up to you to do the research, listen to other brands, and decide for yourself how to spend your money. If you decide that you like the Bose and it fits your needs then it's your money and only you need to be happy with your purchase.

The only thing that we can tell you to consider in your decision making process is that you will be spending too much money for what you will be getting back in performance.
As for a few concrete reasons here you go:

1. Poor price/performance ratio
2. Poor performance in all of the frequency ranges (high,
low, and mid)
3. Cheap construction materials
4. Bose refuses to publish any real performance data. You think they're trying to hide something?

There are many more reasons. Just do the research and then make the choice that is best for your situation.

#12 of 22 OFFLINE   Mat_M


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Posted January 28 2003 - 10:06 AM

Exactly what Barry Said

#13 of 22 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles



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Posted January 28 2003 - 12:05 PM

I can think of 1,499 reasons why Bose is overpriced and not worth your time. And those reasons are plain and simple, that you are shelling out 1,499 dollars for a POS system, and each dollar amount greater than zero is a reason against them. Barry pretty much summed up the reasons why not. Now, there ARE some poor-performing system out there, but they are just a couple hundred. For the same price, you can get an amazingly superior system in every way imaginable. Not louder, or bigger, or cooler looking, but better SOUNDING. I second the Paradigm Cinema series, as well as the Performance series (more normal, boxy, but small speakers with FABULOUS sound). The point is, if the sound of the Bose is fine, then spend 300 dollars on a system that is equally good. If you can spend 1500, then you can get a real system that will shine in music also. If for some reason you REALLY like the looks of the Bose (I personally think they look horrible), and it's worth $1500 for a peice of eye candy, that's fine.

(im going for souding good, AND being out of sight)

Well, your first requirement is moot with the Bose. As for the second, there are a lot of small systems out there. Although, honestly, I don't see why people always go for the "out of sight" thing. Anyway, that's another rant for another day.

Let the SOUND be the determining factor always. Find a Paradign dealer, as they are usually higher end than the crappy big-box stores that sell Bose and sony and klh etc. "Higher-end" doesn't mean more expensive either. Bose 901 are a grand for the pair. Go to a "high-end" store, and pick up paradigm titans for 220, and you have DRASTICALLY superior speakers for 1/5th the price. /end rant.

#14 of 22 OFFLINE   JeremyFr


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Posted January 28 2003 - 03:56 PM

I can name a system that will cost you half as much and sound 100 times better without being too much bigger. First off I'll start by saying I worked retail selling home audio/video gear for several years and we used to have a slogan for BOSE and it was "if its got no highs and its got no lows its gotta be BOSE".

Now on to the speakers I would recomend....I personally own the Energy Take 5+1's and they retail for rougly $700 at your local Energy dealer now I feel left out in this belief in Energy's quality as I dont see a-lot of talk on this forum about there speakers.

At any rate the Take 5+1's is a complete Sub/Sat package which features 5 perfectly matched satellites and a pretty nice sub to boot.

The satellites each handle 100 wpc and feature interal high pass filter at 90hz so its pretty hard to overdrive them. The satellites each feature a 3" woofer and a .75" "hyperdome tweeter, 5way binding posts that except bannana plugs.

Posted Image
Posted Image
Now the center as pictured above is the same drivers as the satellites but with dual woofers in the typical horizontal configuration related with center speakers.

Now onto the sub, the sub features a single 8" driver in a ported enclosure. It has a 100watt rms/400watt peak mosfet amplifier which means it runs very cool and does not have those ugly external heat sinks you see on many subs. It features an amplifier design that has the power supply situated completely seperate from the amp. Which makes for a very clean and quiet sub so quiet in fact I've turned it up all the way with no content playing and heard no hiss or hum from it at all. Being an 8" driver makes for a very fast subwoofer that plays well with both movies and music and does its very accurately so accurate in fact you'd think it was a more expensive sub than $300 (if bought seperate from the 5+1 package) I know people who use the same sub with Maggies for low fill. One last thing it also features 2 RCA Inputs one for the LFE output of a Home Theater reciever and the other is a xover in for use with an external crossover that bypasses both the crossover and volume control of the subwoofer.


All in all this in my eyes is one of the best packages you can get in its price range and several magazines have agreed several years in a row. Now if these are too simple for you then theres always the Take 2's which you can pair with any energy sub for under $1400 that sound great, or the Encore set which retails for about $1200 features satellites with 5.25" woofers and a very nice 10" subwoofer. Give em a try you cant go wrong.[IMG]
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#15 of 22 OFFLINE   Yee-Ming



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Posted January 28 2003 - 06:08 PM

I haven't heard them, but the Acoustic Energy Aego 5 set looks really good, each speaker is almost as small as a Bose, and it got very good reviews in What HiFi.

heck, if you really want small, you could try the JVC HTiB system (sorry, don't know model), which would be a lot cheaper than Bose, or any of Sony's Dream sets. all substantially cheaper, and probably comparable performance.

I used to have Yamaha's Cinemastation VS-10 HTiB, it sounded fine and cost a measly S$800 (about US$460). it was certainly limited in performance compared to my current set-up, but at that price one can't complain, yes?

I have heard Bose speakers in the gym, yes they're small and unobstrusive, but I hear no ringing cymbals, just a splat, I don't hear proper bass guitar riffs, just a thud.

final part of rant: a Bose Lifestyle System (can't remember model number) is advertised at about S$5,700 here in Singapore. that's what I paid for my Marantz SR8200, Mission 782s + 78C + 78DSs, and an SVS25-31PCi and cables/wires to hook it all up. OK, so no DVD player, Bose wins Posted Image

#16 of 22 OFFLINE   Brad Wood

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Posted January 29 2003 - 08:06 AM

When I was a pro audio mfg rep, we used to refer to Bose as better sound through marketing. I think that's primarily the resistance to Bose. It's true, they don't sound awful, but for what you pay for them you can get much better loudspeaker that will also fit your aesthetic requirements. My primary beef was always that the marketing clouded judgement, ie: "well, Paul Harvey says they're good, so they must be!" If you're looking for a good small loudspeaker, and you don't mind doing a little dig work, I have one for you. I used to rep a company called RCF, that was absorbed by Mackie a few years back. They make a small speaker called the Monitor 5S. It's a 4 ohm speaker, and it's pretty heavy for its size because the crossover is huge! In all honesty I've never heard a better sounding small speaker. The only problem is that they are only sold through commercial sound installers under the Mackie Industrial moniker. If you know people who do this however, try to get a demo. I guarantee that you'll be amazed. They are also cosmetically pleasing, and have a large number of mounting options. P.S. I don't rep anymore, and I bought a pair of these for my dad. He love's 'em.
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#17 of 22 OFFLINE   JeremyFr


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Posted January 29 2003 - 08:22 AM

RCF made/makes awesome transducers when I used to DJ at a local nightclub here in the Tacoma/Seattle area we had 4 folded horn subwoofers all equipped with 18" subwoofers, well needless to say we upgraded to a Crest Concert amplifier to run the subs (I forget the model # but I remember it weighed well over 100 lbs, requred a 30amp circuit and pushed well over 6000watts) at anyrate we hooked this up dropped the needle (figuratively speaking of course) on Prodigy and almost immediately blew 3 out of the 4 subs to find out that they had Cerwin Vega's in them (YUCK!) so we went out and got 3 RCF 18's to replace them talk about monsters 600watts rms 2400watts peak handling these things weighed damn near as much as I did at the time (exageration but they were damn heavy) we loaded the subs and fired it up and I'll tell you what that was some of the hardest/cleanest bass I've ever heard in my life out of a system like that.
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#18 of 22 OFFLINE   Gary Q

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Posted January 30 2003 - 01:48 AM

I love my Bose 901s and 301s, but don’t like the satellite systems… For music, I haven't found anything better, to my ear (no flames please), than the Bose 901s. Now, admittedly, I haven't listened to many speakers (for music) over the last 15 years; there may be speakers out there that I would prefer over the Bose 901s, but I really don’t think so, (at least not for the money). When I purchased my Bose 901s in 1986, I tested them in the shop against many other (expensive) speakers, (including a top of the line set at the time that stood 6 or 7 feet tall). The Bose 901s won out for me—over speakers costing 4 and 5 times as much, or more. I love the sound the 901s produce. I love the fullness of it and the subtle, but power bass. I think most audiophiles find them not bright enough, but that’s one of the things I like about them—I don’t like a lot of emphasis on the real high stuff. The Bose 901s do the best job through the full range for me. They do require some power—I use a 1986 Carver M500t to drive mine and it works well. I also like the Bose 301’s for my HT system for many of the same reasons, i.e., they do a great job with the full range and especially in the mid-range. I use them for the main and the surround speakers and like the nice balance it provides. Of course, with the 301s I need the additional subwoofer to reproduce the lows/ LFE. * I do not, and never have liked any of the Bose satellite systems. My brother bought one of the first they came out with and I used to give him a hard time about it. The bass module sounds tinny, like someone banging on one of those Caribbean drums. And though it was pretty neat at the time (late 80’s) to see just how much sound four tiny speakers and a small sub could make, that has sort of worn off over the years as many manufacturers have come out with satellite systems—many of them for the HT. What hasn’t worn off for me is just how much bass the 901s can produce with 9 full range, small drivers. I don’t think I will ever replace my 901s for music. Again, for me, it just doesn’t get much better—but that’s my ear. I will probably replace the 301s in my HT system, but I’m in no real hurry—they do a great job, really. But first, I need to replace the Polk Sub (got-it-cheap-floor-model), and the center channel speaker (got-it-cheap-floor-model). I think you definitely need to compare the Bose satellite system to other speakers in the same price range before buying them. They aren’t very impressive (to my ear). (I prefer large speakers in all positions for the balance). *(I actually prefer the 301s to my set of four Infinity two-way, mid size, floor speakers—I purchased these (somewhere around $800/ pr) in the late 80’s to use with the Yamaha DSP I bought back then—this was a $1400 unit that creates digital fields from churches in Europe, rock stadiums, jazz clubs, etc., all this before A/V systems came out that could do it—I still have that unit in the basement, haven't used it in years). Have fun, Gary

#19 of 22 OFFLINE   Mike Matheson

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Posted January 31 2003 - 10:13 AM


[quote] Now, admittedly, I haven't listened to many speakers [quote]
I think you need to get out more. Posted Image More seriously, I think it's great that you're satisfied with your setup. That's the name of the game, isn't it? Posted Image


You might check out the Anthony Gallo Nucleus Micro or Due'. More relatively small, high-style speakers, but better sounding than Bose. Look here.

#20 of 22 OFFLINE   Carolyn_C



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Posted February 07 2003 - 10:07 AM

Hi, In answer to your question about what are good systems for less than Bose. I listened to dozens of small speaker systems before buying my first HT setup. As has been mentioned here, I really liked the Paradigm Cinemas and the Energy Take 5. It was a photo finish but I went with the Energy and now a year later I'm really satisfied with the quality I'm getting. And, it was important to me to get something in white for the concealment factor as well. Mission accomplished for about $800 for 4 satellites and a 12" sub. Good luck, Carolyn

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