Why Not Bose? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 06:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Before you guys start pounding, I must confess to being a total speaker newbie.

Bose appears to be almost universally NOT recommended on this board.

For a product that is so popular in the mainstream, with what appears to be a decent range of products (cost wise)... Why does everyone dismiss them?
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post #2 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 06:31 AM
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Where did you get the idea that they are decent? Who told you that? Cost wise they are a rip off, and offer low sound, poor components.

Search for Bose.. on most audio forums I think they will all say the same- overpriced, hyped up my advertising, poor sound, low quality components.
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post #3 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 06:38 AM
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I am also a newbie here and have not yet decided on what speakers to get, although it won't be Bose. From what I have read, you can get Bose quality sound for much less $$, or far superior sound for the same amount you would spend for Bose.

Good luck,
Jerry
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post #4 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 06:39 AM
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Quote:


For a product that is so popular in the mainstream, with what appears to be a decent range of products (cost wise)... Why does everyone dismiss them?

So you are saying that McDonalds is good food? Budweiser is good beer?

Here is what you do.

Go to a store that sells Bose along with other audio equipment and actually compare the sound of Bose speakers to others that are in your budget and decide for yourself!
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post #5 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 06:59 AM
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Nearly any $200-300 HTiB will match if not out perform the Blose Acoustimess systems that run in the thousands of dollars. There is a reason that Bose has their separate display-so you can't compare.

The gripe is that they've managed to convince so many that the are the best and what they charge for something that is likely under $100 to produce. If they were under $500 and advertising their size instead of performance no one would care.
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post #6 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 07:09 AM
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"Go to a store that sells Bose along with other audio equipment and actually compare the sound of Bose speakers to others that are in your budget and decide for yourself!"

That's tricky to find. Most Bose diplays are set far away fom other speakers so people can't make the comparison. Another Bose marketing scam. So you won't be able to tell how unnatural and unrealistic Bose really sounds.
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post #7 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 07:10 AM
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Why not bose...

Because I would never try to sell you a Kia Rio at a BMW M3s price/performance...and tell you it's the best thing you've ever driven.

That's why not Bose.

..but if you like Bose...I'll sell you the car to go along with it!
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post #8 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 07:17 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Brian Shannon
Budweiser is good beer?

Brian,

I sincerely hope that you are not insinuating anything negative regarding Budweiser?
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post #9 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 07:21 AM
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American beer tastes like shandy. Try a proper drink- Murphy's, Guiness, paint stripper etc ;-)
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post #10 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 07:22 AM
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I convinced a couple a few weeks ago at a local Costco to go with a Pioneer system over a Bose system. They said that their friends had just gotten a Bose system and hadn't put it together and they were thinking about getting one too. I finally convinced them to get the Pioneer system and they went away skeptical, but happy.

I ran into them last weekend and they started thanking me. I had no idea who they were at first, but then they explained that they got their system together and were much more pleased with how their system sounded for less money than their friend's Bose system, which they said sounded terrible.
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post #11 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 07:26 AM
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I'm going to have to agree with everyone here. I can't tell you the amount of times people have told me that they either purchased a Bose system or were going to. I always say, "what made you decide on Bose". Everyone states, "because they are the best". Poke a little bit further and you will find that they have never even listened to them or bothered to listen to other speakers. I think Bose makes a good product for what it is, but for what you pay for them you could have an absolutely incredible sounding system.
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post #12 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 07:28 AM
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A local HiFi shop in my area, Surround Sounds, doesn't sell Bose but they did purchase their top-of-the-line Acoustimass system to allow customers to do direct comparisons. I thought it was a neat idea. Customers can compare similarly priced systems at the flick of a switch and hear for themselves why Bose is so bad.

Bose, at the time of their inception actually made decent speakers for the money. They've since changed their focus towards perfecting the HTIB system and their marketing department. They stress that through investing heavily in R&D they're able to acheive superior sound through their tiny little devices. I'd bet the spend twice as much on marketing as they do on any R&D.

To the person that doesn't know any better, nor cares to know any better, Bose is a "name" they can "depend" on. Sure it'll sound better (slightly) than the two little speakers plopped into most TV's and they have a high WAF but anyone that claims to buy them because of their sound quality has simply become another victim of their marketing campaign.

When I first got into HiFi about 8 years ago I was looking at the Bose 201 for my first real set of speakers. The best advice I was ever given was that a pair of Paradigm Titans would blow them away. That dealer was right.

It's not just on this board, it's any audio board out there that you'll find numerous reasons NOT to buy Bose. They're overpriced and unflexible systems that can be trounced by buying seperates for the same $$.

Listen for yourself with your own music and you'll hear the difference.

Bill
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post #13 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 07:36 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by fatbottom
American beer tastes like shandy. Try a proper drink- Murphy's, Guiness, paint stripper etc ;-)

Hah the last time I went to the UK, all the young people were drinking Bud :P

I was drinking Samuel Smiths of course, but ....
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post #14 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 10:19 AM
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You guy's have to remember that not everybody is an audiophile. Bose is a great idea for people who want a fairly good (okay that is a stretch) sounding setup that is high on the WAF, is a complete setup so they don't have to get confused with what reciever or amp or dvd or whatever they need. They buy one unit and it works.

It's a brilliant idea and marketing plan. I think most HiFi stores don't mind having them in the market place because it takes care of those customers that really have no idea what they are doing and don't really care.

I have some friends that have a bose acoustimass setup and they can't tell the difference between their setup and a 10k setup. They really can't and they don't care. Those are bose customers, doesn't make them a bad person, they might be a brain surgeon that doesn't have time for all of "this" that we do here and just wants a small setup that sounds good to him.
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post #15 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 10:25 AM
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most computer speakers [ the pricier ones] with their built in BASH amps will outperform bose.
http://www.intellexual.net/boseframes.html

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0&pagenumber=1

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=340462
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post #16 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 10:37 AM
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Also, the store listening rooms, for Bose speaker setups, are usually well insulated and have some pretty nice acoustics. This will more than likely not be the case at the customers house. In comparison, the other speaker setups at the stores are more than likely in rooms which are not configured in the same way as the Bose room... So, guess what? At the store, the Bose speakers sound pretty good... But in such situations one is clearly not comparing apples to apples, it is more like a peanuts to apples comparison.

One thing that I must say Bose has going for them is the fact that their speakers are tiny and attractive looking. You can pretty much place them anywhere without being too obvious. It is sad, but some folks prefer good looks over sound quality. This is probably true of the average customer who does not care nor has the time to research a good set of speakers. And then, there is also the wife factor...

Hobbieman
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post #17 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 10:40 AM
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I currently have a Bose Lifestyle 35 System.

I thought I had the best system untill I heard a friends Klipsch system. It litteraly blew me away. Appearently I bought advertising.

Needless to say, I am now in the process of selling my Bose to someone else who wants the best that advertising has to offer. I kick myself for spending the same money on the Bose that I could have on an M&K THX750 system (That's what I'm replacing it with.)

The Bose system is nice provided the following: You are looking for an all-in one system. Decent sound from such small speaker package. Form over function. You have a small room with hard surfaces. Bragging rights to others/friends that you have Bose and most importantly...cost is your least concern.
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post #18 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 10:48 AM
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I, for one, am getting sick and tired of all the negative things people continue to say about Bose. My experience has been completely satisfactory.

For example, their little enclosures are first class and I have found them exactly the right size to prop up the bent leg on my Christmas tree stand. My tree has never been so vertical and stable.

For another, I got a Bose Wave Radio and found that it, in fact, does very well in waves. My kids use it as a float at the beach. What other speaker line can make this claim?
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post #19 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 11:50 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by JohnR_IN_LA
Hah the last time I went to the UK, all the young people were drinking Bud :P

I was drinking Samuel Smiths of course, but ....

That's because Bud outside of the US is really not that bad...... the reason: it is made by other breweries and it tastes virtually nothing like Budweiser here in the US!!.... I can actually drink a Bud when I am at home in the Maritimes on vacation... it's certainly not my first choice, but it is stomachable.... but I vomit after even *trying* to drink the same thing here in the US... vile dreck it is...

as for Bose... I think we're all a little envious of the fact that they can get away with making 1000% profit on a piece of junk that people honestly believe sounds good.... I know I'd love to be able to markup the speakers I build for friends that much !!
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post #20 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
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I will tell you why I was considering Bose.

Without knowing alot about audio, I figured Bose was a safe bet to get a decent sounding system without doing much research. Its very intimidating when there are so many choices. I think that's why people buy Bose. They feel its safe, sounds good enough, and they don't have to listen to a sales person explain differences that may or may not hear.

But I get it now. Basically, not worth the money Bose charges.

What is a good alternative? $500 - $1000 for a 5 or 6 speaker system that sounds great but is not huge. Looks good but sounds great. My guess is that might be hard to answer.
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post #21 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 11:58 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by blkwrxwgn
You guy's have to remember that not everybody is an audiophile. Bose is a great idea for people who want a fairly good (okay that is a stretch) sounding setup that is high on the WAF, is a complete setup so they don't have to get confused with what reciever or amp or dvd or whatever they need. They buy one unit and it works.

It's a brilliant idea and marketing plan. I think most HiFi stores don't mind having them in the market place because it takes care of those customers that really have no idea what they are doing and don't really care.

I have some friends that have a bose acoustimass setup and they can't tell the difference between their setup and a 10k setup. They really can't and they don't care. Those are bose customers, doesn't make them a bad person, they might be a brain surgeon that doesn't have time for all of "this" that we do here and just wants a small setup that sounds good to him.

The is similar to making an argument that the emperor is not a fashion model, he likes his new clothes, so that's all that should matter.
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post #22 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 12:30 PM
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Bose is almost universally despised among audiophiles *nowadays*. However it's interesting that decades ago (before Bose became a popular household name) how many of those golden-eared audiophiles loved the 901.

That said, here are a some interesting non-Bose options for 5.1 speaker systems around $1k (or slightly above):

Axiom M2i/VP100/QS4, combined with a Hsu STF-2 subwoofer. See http://www.axiomaudio.com/epicmidi.html and www.hsuresearch.com. Pro: tremendous value for the money, great sound. Con: mail order only (can't live audition), speakers larger than the micro type.

5 Mirage Omnisat Micros, combined with Hsu STF-2 sub. See http://www.miragespeakers.com/omnistat_mic.shtml. Pro: looks very cool, pretty good sound, very small package. Con: sound possibly not as good as Axiom (but still better than Bose).

Panasonic SC-HT900 home theater in a box. See http://catalog2.panasonic.com/webapp...odel=SC-HT900. Pro: looks cool, includes DVD player. Good user reviews. Con: sound probably not as good as 1st two (but hey, it's only 500 bucks).
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post #23 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 01:01 PM
 
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There are many options that compare to Bose in the Micro category. Here are just a few companies. If you do some shopping you will easily put together a nice system under 1k. If you like Bose by all means buy them. It is whatever makes you happy.

Speakers

Tannoy FX5.1
Atlantic Technology T70
Harman Kardon HTKS 12
Energy Take 5.2
Infinity Entra or primus
Polk audio
JBL
NHT

Receivers

Panasonic
JVC
Harmon Kardon
Yamaha
Kenwood
Etc.

Hope this helps

Bob
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post #24 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 01:31 PM
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My roommate a few years back had Bose 301's. He thought they rocked. I picked up some Wharfedale Valdus 400's for about $200 less for a pair that simply made him want to cry. He said it made him sick, that he wasted all that money on a set of speakers that he cannot even listen to anymore without getting FURIOUS. To say the difference was night and day is a GROSS understatement. Even worse, another friend has Bose 901's and my little Wharfedale Valdus 400's put them to shame. Until you hear the difference in person, what I'm saying won't be too convincing, so you really have to try them out for yeurself, pereferably in your own home as the Circuit City (or any electronics mega-store) showroom is a poor environment for demonstrating anything as most of their equipment is simply hooked up incorrectly to begin with....

Some of the Bose Acoustimass home systems aren't bad sounding, but not for the price. If you have a relative with a lot of money and you don't want to spend a week over there helping them set the thing up, tell them to drop $2999 on the high-end Bose home theater boxed system. If you are buying for yourself, part it out, save $1000 and get a MUCH better system.
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post #25 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 01:54 PM
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Quote:


Bose, at the time of their inception actually made decent speakers for the money. They've since changed their focus towards perfecting the HTIB system and their marketing department. They stress that through investing heavily in R&D they're able to acheive superior sound through their tiny little devices. I'd bet the spend twice as much on marketing as they do on any R&D.

They never made anything good. Their speakers of yesterday were gimmick laiden. Audio enthusiasist always knew the kind of stuff they made. It is only when they went to HTIB that the the HT crowd started to find out that they are a scame.

FYI, Bose is not even on all those audio enthusiasist's radar screen anymore.

Quote:


Bose is almost universally despised among audiophiles *nowadays*. However it's interesting that decades ago (before Bose became a popular household name) how many of those golden-eared audiophiles loved the 901.

Who loved the 901? Not JGH of Stereophile when he first reviewed it back in the early 70's. Anyone else that praised it were lead ear reviewers.

http://www.stereophile.com/loudspeak...425/index.html

Excerpt:
If we were to judge the 901 in terms of the best sound available, then, we would say that it produces a more realistic semblance of natural ambience than any other speaker system, but we would characterize it as unexceptional in all other respects. It is ideal for rock enthusiasts to whom sheer sonic impact is of paramount importance, and for classical listeners who want the next best thing to ambient stereo without the cost and the bother of rear-channel add-ons. However, we doubt that the 901 will appeal to perfectionists who have developed a taste for subtleties of detail and timbre.
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post #26 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 03:06 PM
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This is an entertaining thread. I agree that Bose is overpriced for what amounts to mediocre speakers. Let me add a few Bose stories as well.

My college roommate from several years ago used to brag about how his uncle's multi-thousand $ Bose HTS sounded so good. Well, when compared to TV speakers they sound incredible! I told him his uncle wasted his money. I even listened to them, and while they sounded pretty good, I had nothing to compare them w/ (except w/ stock TV speakers).

Recently, another friend's father bought a Bose Lifestyle system. I went to his house to check it out. Again, it sounds very good when compared to TV speakers or their old PoS bookshelf speakers they used to have. Even a $200 Costco/Wal-mart HTIB speaker set will sound much better than TV speakers. When my friend played the "Star Wars" DVD (pod racing scene), the bass was so feeble! What a waste of $. His father only bought it b/c he got 30% off the price (store going out of business sale). I say he still got ripped off by 50%.

My car was marketed as having a "premium Bose sound system". Although I really like my car, I don't like the audio at all. The head unit is vastly underpowered (although Bose probably didn't make that, I'm not sure). But the speakers aren't great and the bass, even w/ the stock Bose "woofer" in the trunk, is weak and pathetic. The best thing I did w/ its sound system was to spend another $250 and get a powered 10" Infinity sub (BassLink).

To sum it up, it's no coincidence that "Bose" rhymes w/ "blows". Bose blows!
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post #27 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 03:30 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by PewterTA
Why not bose...

..but if you like Bose...I'll sell you the car to go along with it!

Many carcompanies already do that with "high end" Bose systems....
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post #28 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 03:54 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by lwang
[b]....Who loved the 901? Not JGH of Stereophile when he first reviewed it back in the early 70's. Anyone else that praised it were lead ear reviewers....http://www.stereophile.com/loudspeak...425/index.html

"...I must say that I have never heard a speaker system in my own home which could surpass, or even equal, the Bose 901 for overall realism of sound." -Julian Hirsch, Stereo Review

Actually your quoted reference is typical of reviews in that period. It speaks quite favorably of certain aspects of the 901, which differs greatly from the near-universal condemnation today -- that was my point.
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post #29 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 04:33 PM
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Julian Hirsch was also the guy who said that all electronics sounded identical as long as they were not clipping, etc. Not to start a war about that topic, but it is hardly an 'audiophile' viewpoint, and never was. Julian Hirsch revews were good for specs (testing power output vs. advertised, etc). I never put much stock in his listening.

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post #30 of 1561 Old 12-29-2003, 04:44 PM
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The thing I don't like about bose is that in almost all of their displays the speakers are right on top of you, and usually cranked up to a very high level. This gives the consumer the idea that speakers are full and and have a good soundstage, when it's just the opposite. Almost any speaker will sound good, in a crouded store, when the speakers are right on top of you and cranked up so loud they are distorted.

I will say Bose is good if you are looking at them from a cosmetic stand-point. They blend in well to your living room decor. That is why you see so many families buying them. They aren't really interested in high-fidelity audiophile sound, so long as the sound is loud, and the speakers blend into their living room.

I don't want to bash bose, and I realize that my speakers, which are Polk towers, are not exactly what you would call high end speakers either, but atleast I didn't spend over 2k for them either.
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