AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Madison, Alabama
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Onkyo HT-S5500 would be a good starting point at $400. There's enough flexibility there to upgrade to different speakers since the binding posts are standard. The speakers are quite a bit larger than Bose though.
The Energy Take Classic 5 speaker set is just a bit larger than the Bose speakers and is just $193 on Amazon. The 5.1 set with 200 watt sub is $400. You'll need to pick up a receiver, like that Denon AVR-1612 from A4L, for these speakers. Not sure what the Bose cost but the $600 for the Denon receiver and Energy 5.1 set will leave the Bose in the dust.
What is nice about picking up a mid-level Onkyo or Denon receiver is that they will come with some form of Audyssey room correction. You can tune a 5.1 setup to produce very good result when just playing music using a multi-channel stereo surround mode. I hardly EVER listen to 2-channel music in 2-channel mode except through my near-field powered monitors ( Emotiva Airmotiv 5 ) here in the computer room. 99% of the time I'm running 9-channel stereo or Audyssey DSX on 2-channel source material in the main room.
Denon AVR X7200WA, Emotiva XPR-5, Emotiva XPA-7, Sony XBR 75" 850C, Oppo UDP-203, Roku Ultra.
DefTech BP7000SC (L/R), CLR3000 (C), SM55 (FH), UIW BPZ/A (SB), UIW 75 (TM).
JBL L7 (Sur), EoSone RSR 350 (RH).
PC 2.1 setup. Emotiva Stealth 6, SVS SB16-Ultra sub, Emotiva DC-1 DAC.