why hate bose - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 90 Old 05-31-2003, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
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hey guys, sorry if i sound kinda stupid, imma newbee hear, i was reading through some of the posts, and one of the post says i know we are supposed to hate bose, can anyone tell me whats wrong with bose systems?

thanks
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post #2 of 90 Old 05-31-2003, 09:45 PM
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Here's an entertaining take on the subject.

http://home.earthlink.net/~busenitz/bs.html
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post #3 of 90 Old 05-31-2003, 09:49 PM
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IMHO, the price they charge for multimedia speakers (lifestyle and acoustimass products) is just out of line. If they dropped their prices down about 60% or more, I'd not "hate" them.

The worst part is that people believe the ads proclaiming "great sound" and such without doing any comparison. Obviously, those who proclaim great sound from those small cubes have never actually listened to any decent gear that costs the same as Bose. Also, one has to wonder why Bose won't post ANY specs on their speaker/systems. They don't tell you that because then you'd realize Bose isn't even half the speaker you think it is from all the marketing.

I have no opinion on their floor-standing and bookshelf speakers as I've not heard them; but one thing that bothers me is they don't use real tweeters... It might sound ok or it might not, but it isn't a good sign when they are the only manufacturer who does that... :D

YMMV, buy what your ears tell you to like, but make an informed decision and know what to listen for.

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post #4 of 90 Old 06-01-2003, 07:24 AM
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There's a lot of hype associated with Bose. They sound good only on the most superficial level. One of the most omportant components of a speaker is the enclosure. It should be extremely stiff to avoid "coloring" the sound. Little plastic boxes just don't cut it.

Putting all that aside, they are a terrible value IMHO.

Harlan

It's never over, it's never finished....it's never cheap.

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post #5 of 90 Old 06-01-2003, 07:25 AM
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Because, as we say here in Texas, "they are all hat and no cattle." In this case hat would = marketing and cattle = performance.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. ~ Henry David Thoreau
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post #6 of 90 Old 06-01-2003, 08:28 AM
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I don't think it's that people necessarily hate Bose. It has more to do with the fact that they product inferior speakers at the price they charge. They have however done an incredible job with their marketing and product awareness.
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post #7 of 90 Old 06-01-2003, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
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so what do you guys reccomend instead of bose?
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post #8 of 90 Old 06-01-2003, 09:33 AM
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If you want sub sats get the Definitive pro 60', 80's or 100's. OR at least audition those. After hearing those, hearing Bose may make you want to vomit :D

Bose is junk, plain and simple. They use cheap materials, and spend a ton of money on marketing and research to what I call "play tricks" on your ears instead of attempting to accurately reproduce the original recording. Dr. Bose still believes that paper drivers sound the best. Rephrased for reality, paper drivers save us a lot of money in the production process, so we can have insane profit margins.

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post #9 of 90 Old 06-01-2003, 10:04 AM
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Bose systems have some advantages:

1) Well designed for easy setup by typical HT buyer.
2) Unobtrusive design lets them blend into rooms better than most systems.
3) Well supported by stores and factory. Parts available for 20+ years on some pieces.
4) Most can take abuse, their drivers are more difficult than most to blow out.
5) Easy to use, no complicated remotes and programming needed.
6) Creates a surround sound that is a big step up from what many people are used to.

The one big downside is that the quality of the sound is sub-standard as compared to what you can get from other systems for the same or less cost.

If you were visiting a forum that focused on living room design and integrating a functional & stylish home theater to it, then Bose would be praised. Their systems are loved by many people. They continue to win awards from these quarters.

However as you are in a place where we are more serious about sound quality, Bose takes a beating. If you shop for Bose you will notice that they are never located in a serious audio/HT store. Those aren't their customers.

Bose has done a superior job of identifying their primary customer base and marketing to them. This base does not include audiophiles. Bose gets very high marks from their customers and has a very good repeat customer record. They have played on these strengths to becoming the #1 seller of speakers in the USA.

So given that they are #1 and they don't sound all that good and they are overpriced, of course the audio enthusiasts crowd hates them.

Tom B.
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post #10 of 90 Old 06-01-2003, 11:13 AM
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Tom,

You raise some excellent points. Bose has thru Marketing hype established a very valuable Brand (image). Everyone has heard of Bose, they're a household name. It takes a lot of money to establish a Brand as well as Bose has. In addition to advertising costs, I'm sure Bose spends a lot on rebates to the "Big Box" stores that carry and promote their products. Those costs are reflected in the price tag.

Speakers have three competing characteristics. Size (volume), efficiency and frequency response. You can only optimize two at any given time with the third being sacrificed. Bose claims otherwise which isn't possible.

Harlan

It's never over, it's never finished....it's never cheap.

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post #11 of 90 Old 06-01-2003, 01:24 PM
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I am not up on current bose systems, but in the past the bose home hi-fi speaker systems came with a "compensating module" which was installed between the preamp and amp to alter the electronic frequency response to compensate for the inadequacies of the speaker enclosures themselves. Much of the "rich sound" that people I talked to liked was due to frequency doubling of the speakers at low frequencies.
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post #12 of 90 Old 06-01-2003, 01:41 PM
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Harlan reminds me of a another reason why we audio people don't like them. They overhype how their systems sound. Bose markets them like they are great sounding speakers. But they aren't --- to us.

Unfortunately, within their primary market, those people do think they sound great (therefore, they do sound great as that is a subjective thing).

But their hype grinds on our ears, much like their speakers do, and that makes us mad.

Tom B.
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post #13 of 90 Old 06-01-2003, 02:09 PM
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In addition to:
http://home.earthlink.net/~busenitz/bs.html

There is also this link:
http://www.intellexual.net/boseframes.html

And part of why we hate Bose is that there are similarly priced, better sounding, better built, well-supported, similarly-sized and styled speakers available for less money..

And if you'll look at some of the less pleasant marketing and legal practices that Bose takes part of, its easy to dislike them on moral grounds.

Eep!
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post #14 of 90 Old 06-01-2003, 05:33 PM
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I am not up on current bose systems, but in the past the bose home hi-fi speaker systems came with a "compensating module" which was installed between the preamp and amp to alter the electronic frequency response to compensate for the inadequacies of the speaker enclosures themselves. Much of the "rich sound" that people I talked to liked was due to frequency doubling of the speakers at low frequencies.

A very typical uniformed response. The compensating module you are referring to is an equalizer for the 901's. Active equalization was an integral part of the 901 design, and it was not employed to compensate for any inadequacy.

In regards to performance, I can assure you that the 901 series VI is capable of producing 35 Hz at 96 db without doubling.

It never ceases to amaze me at the reaction by audiophiles to Bose products. I liken the difference in their mass marketed product lines to serious audiophile Avenue in a similar fashion to the difference between a Wall Mart and a Sax Fifth Avenue.

I would find it hard to believe someone who would be inclined to shop at a Sax Fifth Avenue would get very excited about the mass appeal of a Wall Mart.

Steve
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post #15 of 90 Old 06-01-2003, 05:43 PM
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Martin,


I'm not following what you are trying to say. Can you e3laborate?

Harlan

It's never over, it's never finished....it's never cheap.

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post #16 of 90 Old 06-01-2003, 06:25 PM
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I apologize. It looks like I fat fingered my reply.

The point I was trying to make is that I'm having a hard time understanding why audiophiles bother themselves with mass market speaker manufacturers.

Trying to compare an audiophile speaker system with Bose's mass marketed home theater speaker systems makes about as much sense as trying to compare the differences between a Walmart and a high end department store such as a Sax Fifth Avenue.

Why so much wasted energy? Each speaker manufacturer has its target audience. The ones who are most successful with their target audience stick around.

From personnel experience, I know the audiophile love/hate relationship with Bose is deep rooted and goes back many years. Through all of this, Bose has thrived with the mass media markets. They obviously are doing something right.

I've helped many novice audio enthusiasts choose audio and video equipment over the last 30 years, and have never recommended a Bose product despite owning various incarnations of the 901's for a good portion of that time. I've always encouraged a prospective buyer to accompany me to a store and listen for themselves. Based on their responses, I then assist them in selecting and putting a system together.

While I have never recommended a Bose system, I wouldn't hesitate for a minute to put a system containing Bose speakers (or any other speakers for that matter) if that is what sounded best to a prospective buyer.

Keep in mind that sophisticated audio systems are targeted to a very small minority of the population for a reason. Just as high end department stores are targeted to a very small minority.

A large percentage of the population could never begin to appreciate or want to pay for the type of sophisticated equipment we are so passionate about. While we might want to guide someone toward our own favorite audiophile brands, I found out many years ago that the average Joe Blow could never begin to appreciate nor care about the difference in quality between an audiophile brand or a mass marketed brand.

Steve
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post #17 of 90 Old 06-01-2003, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by martins5
Trying to compare an audiophile speaker system with Bose's mass marketed home theater speaker systems makes about as much sense as trying to compare the differences between a Walmart and a high end department store such as a Sax Fifth Avenue.
The problem with this analogy is that Walmart doesnt sell a pair of shoes for $300 like Saks does. The only thing that irks me, personally, about Bose is when a friend or relative gets suckered by the marketing, and could have gotten something better.
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post #18 of 90 Old 06-01-2003, 08:31 PM
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Also, the Bose systems are sold for a price that would reach the entry-level audiophile market.... So basically it's posing as an audiophile solution when it's no better than a Walmart level solution. That's why I think people dislike them. They doupe people with marketing.
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post #19 of 90 Old 06-01-2003, 09:01 PM
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You can try to use Wal-Mart in its appeal to the masses, but pricewise, the analogy doesn't hold. Bose is more expensive than many good quality speaker lines. I don't think that Saks carries a lot of products are better built, higher quality, and lower-priced than Wal-Mart.

A lot people in this forum have paid $1500-$3000 for their 5.1 HT systems. The Bose LifeStyle 50 system is $3500. The LifeStyle 35 is $3000. The LifeStyle 28 is $2500.

Here's Bose's on-line pitch for their stereo speaker systems:

"Stereo Speakers

The acoustic brilliance of a live performance. The undeniable impact of realistic special effects. These are the standards by which we judge our stereo speakers. And pursuing that level of performance often requires a different way of thinking.

Consider our revolutionary Direct/Reflecting® speaker technology, which helps re-create concert- and cinema-like experiences in your home. Whether it's the beautiful sounds of a mandolin or the intense roar of a jet plane, these speakers deliver a level of performance that most conventional speakers simply cannot match. "

If I was paying $3000 for a Bose system and had read this pitch, I would expect it to be amongst the finest sounding $3000 systems I could buy.

But I do completely agree with Steve's assertion that the average Joe won't appreciate the differences. That is very much a part of the Bose equation. As I said earlier, Bose knows its target audience and it doesn't include audiophiles. I know many people with Bose systems and they all rave about how good they sound, as well as how the system is stylish and blends into their interior decor. No ugly big speakers dominating the room - where even a 14" mini-monitor would be defined as too big.

Got to give Bose a lot of credit. There must be over 500 companies selling speaker systems and Bose has been outselling all of them for over 30 years. And with a product that is probably outperformed by about 475 of their competitors (for example, the little "jewel cubes" included in the $3500 LifeStyle 50 system are terrible little speakers in their own right - they use inexpensive 2" drivers in a one-way design tiny box). On top of all of this, Bose has maintained higher profit margins than nearly all of the competition. Truly a company worthy of much study in graduate business programs. They know how to research, market, package, and sell.

Tom B.
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post #20 of 90 Old 06-02-2003, 04:02 AM
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Amen to all of that. Tom you're exactly right. Bigguy and Blocktrader also have it exactly right also. For all their Marketing savy, at the end of the day Bose is making claims that just aren't true. It's as if Thiele Small doesn't exist.

Martin is also right. Most people just don't care or aren't initiated enough to determine if they can tell the difference. People are hyped into thinking BOSE are a good value, there not.

Harlan

It's never over, it's never finished....it's never cheap.

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post #21 of 90 Old 06-02-2003, 04:59 AM
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As someone who had been sucked into the marketing before learning how to properly research speakers, I am especially not a Bose fan. Being a newbie to HT, I had three things against me, which are not uncommon among purchasers of Bose speakers:

1. Did not understand or know to look at details of speaker technical specifications and frequency response.

2. Did not understand that the only real way to compare speakers is to do a side-by-side comparision, since our ears/brains cannot remember exactly what a speaker sounds like.

3. Had not yet found the AVS Forum to do research on!

After I had found the forum and read about Bose, I conducted a side-by-side with a $200 pair of Boston Accoustic speakers I used for music listening in the upstairs of my house. I was greatly disappointed to hear that my $200 speakers had a FAR richer sound than my almost $1000 Bose (Accoustimass 10).

Granted, there were trade-offs when I upgraded to my current speakers, as they are significantly larger than the Bose. However, if size was your primary goal, I believe there are other just slightly larger solutions out there that will much out-perform the Bose solutions. Bascially, the most important recommendation for anyone considering Bose is the same recommendation you read in the forum for anyone considering any other brand of speakers... Go do listening comparisions against other speakers, and then make up your own mind.

Ry-man
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post #22 of 90 Old 06-02-2003, 05:27 AM
 
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Does Microsoft make the best operating system, are they number one in the market?

Does Oracle make the best database, are they number one in their market?

Does GM have the best engineered cars than any other automaker, are they number one in their market?

Who is the largest retailer of "fine" jewlery in the US? Does WalMart ring a bell? "When I'm in the market for fine jewlery, I go to...Walmart?"

Who sells more pizza than anyone else? Does Dominos or Pizza Hut come to mind? Are they the best?

Interesging analogies to this Bose debate. TomB hit it on the head. This is really a study of marketing, business, and not reality or logic.

I assume that we all buy jewlery, cars, pizza, and probably own computers, but do we "hate" Microsoft, Walmart, Pizza Hut, or GM like we hate Bose? Assuming that we don't own products from these companies, we all probably know people who do. Are we angry that these monsters of marketing duped our friends into buying their, obviously, inferior products?

I don't own Bose I love Dunlavy, but I have never understood the "hate" that surrounds this brand. Notwithstanding their inferior products, this hate must spring from another source or we would equally hate all those other companies as well, right?

Sorry for digressing, but it always interests me when I hear people wondering why inferior products or companies make it to the top. Things that make you go...hmmmmmm
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post #23 of 90 Old 06-02-2003, 06:01 AM
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People hate microsoft much more than bose. Windows XP might be the best operating system.

Oracle will probalbly lose their #1 share in the near future. They may have the best database for all I know.

Pizza is a meal and their pizza is priced appropriately. It is not a more permanent product like speakers.

Wall-Mart does generally have the best prices, regardless of the product.

I believe people hate bose because they go so over the top on their margins and they sell expensive product. I don't hold a particular grudge against them personally, but I would never advise anyone to buy their speakers.

edit--people don't like it when companies succeed on flash alone because it sets a bad example for value.
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post #24 of 90 Old 06-02-2003, 07:03 AM
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No really, I mean if you absolutely must have the most visually unobtrusive speakers, is there something better in that price range?

My brother-in-law just bought a $1100 bose set for his living room for basically light CD listening. It replaces a Bose wave radio. It will presumably sound a lot bette than that :-). He is only a very casual listener, wants background music for day-to-day activities etc, dinner parties, etc. It's a reasonably elegant living room (no TV etc.) I don't think he would have tolerated speaker stands, bookshelf sized speakers, or probably even those little speakers that come with the Onkyo HT500. I would guess that Bang and Olafsson is a lot more expensive. I will have to bite my toungue when I'm asked to compliment him on his purchase, but the thought of what would happen if I gave him a full answer prompted this question.
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post #25 of 90 Old 06-02-2003, 07:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by tpigeon2003
People hate microsoft much more than bose. Windows XP might be the best operating system.

Oracle will probalbly lose their #1 share in the near future. They may have the best database for all I know.

Pizza is a meal and their pizza is priced appropriately. It is not a more permanent product like speakers.

Wall-Mart does generally have the best prices, regardless of the product.

I believe people hate bose because they go so over the top on their margins and they sell expensive product. I don't hold a particular grudge against them personally, but I would never advise anyone to buy their speakers.

edit--people don't like it when companies succeed on flash alone because it sets a bad example for value.
Sorry, but you missed my point. Which was, having the best products and being number 1 in your space are not always the same thing, and this is more a discussion about business and marketing than speakers. But for the record:

XP is not the best opearting system IMO. Every use a MAC? But then again, this would only be for personal computers. In the multitasking arena it would be either Unix or Linux, certainly not NT.

Oracle is still number 1 and nobody is close yet, despite IBM's claim, they are adding in the Informix users and that itself is misleading marketing. And as somewhat experienced in this field they are not even close to having the best DB.

Who cares if Pizza is a meal. Pizza Hut and Dominos suck. But more people buy it.

And if you purchase your "fine" jewelery at Walmart then my entire post was lost on you anyway
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post #26 of 90 Old 06-02-2003, 07:28 AM
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XP v.s. OSX?

oh boy, here we go!!!

In a constant state of perpetual upgrading.
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post #27 of 90 Old 06-02-2003, 07:50 AM
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post #28 of 90 Old 06-02-2003, 08:10 AM
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OSX is simply a copy of XP :D.
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post #29 of 90 Old 06-02-2003, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by atdamico

And if you purchase your "fine" jewelery at Walmart then my entire post was lost on you anyway
What's wrong with my Wal-Mart jewelery?

edit-sorry, I thought you were putting your post in context of the original question. Not just illustrating who is No 1.

As far as OSX vs XP goes, you are way off but I will not argue why, because it has nothing to do with bose ;).
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post #30 of 90 Old 06-02-2003, 11:15 AM
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acctually Windows 95 copied the idea off an old Mac OS.

dunno which came first Windows 1.0 or a Max OS about GUIs (graphical user interface). But i was walking around my school library. and noticed some OS running on the library's old mac computers. It definitely looked old. but it looked like Windows 95 :o
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