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Ok, so most seem to dislike Bose..suggestions for 5.1 surround??

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
I recently bought a new house and I want to buy some high end surround sound speakers. A friend of mine has the BoseĀ® AcoustimassĀ® 10 Series IV and I think they sound great. With mounting brackets and speaker wire I can get these for $1000. I don't want to spend more than this.

OK, convince me why I should not buy these and make suggestions for other 5.1 surround speaker systems. I have a medium sized living room (not sure of exact specs) with 10 foot ceilings.

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 52
I don't think rational people actually hate Bose. The belief is that there are better options available for the same or less money. I've had Bose in the past but now I'm strictly 2 channel. I'm sure others will chime in with alternatives.
post #3 of 52
Is 1000 dollars your max budget? Is speaker size a constraint for you (are you limited to small satellite speakers only?)? What size room are we talking about, and do you already have a receiver (if so, what is it)?
post #4 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by modoheo View Post

Is 1000 dollars your max budget? Is speaker size a constraint for you (are you limited to small satellite speakers only?)? What size room are we talking about, and do you already have a receiver (if so, what is it)?

I would like to keep the budget around $1000. I would prefer smaller speakers, but it is not out of the question to have larger ones. The room is probably about 15' by 15' max (I'm at work, I will measure when I go home for lunch). I have a Sony receiver. I'm pretty sure it puts out 100w per channel. I will get the model number at lunch also. I just need to replace the cheap Sony speaker system that I bought back in 2001.
post #5 of 52
Just get the Bose...
post #6 of 52
Are there size limitations because that's Bose' biggest sellling point. They are stylish small speakers with a high wife acceptance factor. As far as bang for the buck, you could do better elsewhere.

Look at something from Energy, Definitive Technology, Orb Audio for some small sub/sat setups.

Energy RC micro
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it..._c=site_search


Energy RC mini
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it..._c=site_search

Def Tech ProCinema 600
http://www.listenup.com/Definitive+T...0-p-50058.html

This NHT Verve setup might be the best of them all. Major price reduction
http://www.listenup.com/NHT+Verve+IV...V-p-50058.html

Orb audio
http://www.orbaudio.com/
post #7 of 52
Here is a quick and easy alternative to the Bose system that will net you much better sound.
http://www.amazon.com/Energy-Classic-System-Black-Discontinued/dp/B001202C44/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1254239969&sr=8-2

Here is a receiver to go with it.
http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-SR607-7-2-Channel-Surround-Receiver/dp/B001VEI2KO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1254240023&sr=1-1

Speaker wire and subwoofer cable can be purchases real cheap at
http://www.monoprice.com and http://www.bluejeanscable.com
That will give you a better system at less than the 1000 purchase price of Bose.

This is just a quick suggestion, I will let others give you the many many more alternatives out there.
post #8 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by raistline View Post

Here is a quick and easy alternative to the Bose system that will net you much better sound.
http://www.amazon.com/Energy-Classic-System-Black-Discontinued/dp/B001202C44/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1254239969&sr=8-2

Here is a receiver to go with it.
http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-SR607-7-2-Channel-Surround-Receiver/dp/B001VEI2KO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1254240023&sr=1-1

Speaker wire and subwoofer cable can be purchases real cheap at
http://www.monoprice.com and http://www.bluejeanscable.com
That will give you a better system at less than the 1000 purchase price of Bose.

This is just a quick suggestion, I will let others give you the many many more alternatives out there.

I am not a true audiophile and have never heard of Energy speakers. Do they really sound better than Bose? Why? With Bose are you really just paying for the name? Thanks.
post #9 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by malone76 View Post

I am not a true audiophile and have never heard of Energy speakers. Do they really sound better than Bose? Why? With Bose are you really just paying for the name? Thanks.

Yes, and yes.

Why? Better drivers, crossover design, and/or construction.

BTW, I strongly agree with the suggestion to check into Orb Audio speakers. I've owned them and utilized them in a family room, and for the money they sound great when paired with a decent subwoofer. MUCH superior to any product from Bose.
post #10 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by malone76 View Post

I am not a true audiophile and have never heard of Energy speakers. Do they really sound better than Bose? Why? With Bose are you really just paying for the name? Thanks.

Bose sound capabilities rely heavily on it's non-directional sound and it's sound processing. But even with these things going for them, they only sound decent compared to other speakers in ideal Audio conditions. For example. The Bose listening room theaters.

Bose speakers also don't have much if any mid-bass capabilities. For example, a person with a deep voice or the mid-sized drums in music will have to be handled by the subwoofer instead of the speakers. This will make for an uneven sound when listening to Rock music and many movies. *I think this is why they only show wind instrument heavy jazz music in their Theater*

When you have most any other speakers they have the ability to play mid-bass from all speakers. This will make it so the subwoofer has less work to do and for a more even sound. Also With directional audio, it helps with imaging quite a bit more. For example, if a guitarist is on far right side of the stage in live music, they will sound like they are. Also with improved imaging, more detail will be heard. It will be more like you are listening to music and not speakers.

These are just a few of the reasons why most anything can and will sound better than Bose at similar price points.
post #11 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fanaticalism View Post

Just get the Bose...

Are you saying this because you think they are better speakers or because I don't know much on the subject?? You have a ton of posts so I just want honest opinions. Thanks.

And thanks to everyone else so far, I am taking your suggestions seriously and doing a lot of reading (especially about the orb speakers).
post #12 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by malone76 View Post

With Bose are you really just paying for the name? Thanks.

Check out this link on Bose Acoustimass-Better Profits Through Markteing out. You can do much better.
Also you might want to look into tweakcityaudio WAF-1 6.0 System
post #13 of 52
You can get 5 of the Orb mod 1 speakers for $529, then pair those with a Hsu VTF-1 sub for $449. I recommend the Hsu sub because it's the best you can get at that price point, and I wasn't very impressed with the Orb sub that came with the 5.1 system I ordered from them a few years ago.

The Orbs plus the Hsu sub will blow your buddy's Bose system out of the water in terms of sound quality.
post #14 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by modoheo View Post

You can get 5 of the Orb mod 1 speakers for $529, then pair those with a Hsu VTF-1 sub for $449. I recommend the Hsu sub because it's the best you can get at that price point, and I wasn't very impressed with the Orb sub that came with the 5.1 system I ordered from them a few years ago.

The Orbs plus the Hsu sub will blow your buddy's Bose system out of the water in terms of sound quality.

Wow, I am really starting to change my mind here (honestly , I didn't think i would). I am off to lunch, but a few questions. Why (and how) do these orbs have the mid range that Bose does not? Is it really OK just to have the same speaker for the center channel? Keep in mind I am a noob and thanks for the help!
post #15 of 52
It's actually best to have the same speaker for your center channel (voice matching is what this is called) it basically means the speakers blend seamlessly.

The reason the Orbs have a better midrange comes down to many things but primarily:

Bose small speakers have paper cones (low cost, low quality cones and drivers - cheap components = cheap speaker)
The Orb will have no active processing changing the sound, a higher quality crossover and components, and is generally designed for a natural untainted sound, Bose is designed to sound the way it does for showroom appeal - but that' doesn't necessarily mean better sound.
post #16 of 52
OP,

You need to go audition other surround speaker systems besides the Bose you have already heard & determine what you like/ don't like

Basically though, a small satellite speaker w/ 3" drivers or smaller is not going to compare to a speaker w/ 5.25" midrange drivers or better like Emotiva ERM-1 or Tweak City Audio WAF-1, or Paradigm/ Energy equivalents, etc.. Most Internet Direct companies have 30 day return policies. You are out shipping costs if you return.

Keep in mind, if you like the looks of "cute" speakers, you will get "cute" sound.

Sub considerations in your budget will likely be a 10" version, of which there are many options out there.
post #17 of 52
The simple answer to why ORB is able to handle mid-bass better than Bose is quite simply because they are engineered much better.

Well the ORB audio is able to go as low as 80hz according to the Specs sheet. Given the size of the speakers it won't be incredibly loud at those low volumes. This will allow the it to do the typical standard of 250hz to 100hz frequency range for mid-bass. It won't be as powerful of mid-bass as let's say floor standing speakers and and book shelf speakers.
I can't remember exactly where I had read it but there was someone who had done a frequency response test on the Bose Cube speakers and they only went as low as 200hz. They were missing a huge amount of mid-bass between 200hz and 100hz.
I am sure someone else here would be able to give you the link to this.
I think it was an article about how Bose is mainly marketing.
post #18 of 52
Let me say that having owned an acoustimass set, I will never buy Bose again. While I thought they sounded good, I was blown away with systems that cost almost a third of what I paid. JMO. But I would stay away from Bose and get something else that sounds way better for way less.
post #19 of 52
I just don't know how ANYONE can reach the conclusion that the acoustimass sounds good. It sounds like absolute crap.
post #20 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

I just don't know how ANYONE can reach the conclusion that the acoustimass sounds good. It sounds like absolute crap.

Because even though it sounds like crap, it sounds worlds better than just about any built in TV speakers.
Well that is my guess anyways. I have not heard the acoustimass. I have only heard the cube, outdoor and car speakers they provide.
post #21 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

I just don't know how ANYONE can reach the conclusion that the acoustimass sounds good. It sounds like absolute crap.

Well for an AVERAGE consumer it sounds good. Once you start realizing the limitations of the system you research and realize what you have bought are not the best speakers. That's when you realize you got hosed. Trial and error.
post #22 of 52
About 16 years ago, I was given a tour of the Harmon speaker plant in Van Nuys by the guy who developed the titanium driver for JBL. He was a neighbor of me and my best friend and we learned a lot that day, got to see his lab and stuff. I asked him if there were any speakers besides JBL that he liked. Surprisingly, he showed objectivity and said a few names that included Boston, M&K, Wharfdale and a few others that I forget. He said he knows engineers from other companies, knows their work and respects them. I then said "What about Bose?" and his demeaner changed and he curtly said "Bose is a fraud!".
One thing I remember in his lab was computer that showed the motion of a speaker in super slow motion, you could see how some parts moved forward as others went the other way (cancellation). They were experimenting with putting ridges on a titanium driver to reduce this. I wonder how the Bose plastic tweeter would fare put on this device? Haha!
post #23 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by malone76 View Post

Are you saying this because you think they are better speakers or because I don't know much on the subject?? You have a ton of posts so I just want honest opinions. Thanks.

And thanks to everyone else so far, I am taking your suggestions seriously and doing a lot of reading (especially about the orb speakers).

I say it because it will make life a lot easier especially with the WAF. For HT, they are a decent solution for its size, and at 1,000 bucks, it's a decent deal.

As long as you never come back here (this applies to everyone including myself), then you will be happy with your system. This place is an infectious disease (The kind I like ) that will always seeking the next best thing.

Is there better out there than Bose? Of course, but it isn't to say it won't make you happy.
post #24 of 52
Bose is set up in stores to impress people who've never owned a subwoofer or any decent speakers before. They run them loud with samples of dynamic passages from dvd's, and the "boom bang" factor impresses people that are used to watching tv and movies using the built-in TV speakers.

It's effective marketing.

Combating that is why places like this exist.
post #25 of 52
The naked truth about many of the Bose speakers is that they make them as cheap as possible then showcase them in a place - and with music that covers up their inherit inability to reproduce the entire sound spectrum. Someone posted this link above - if you haven't read it - do so before plunking down hard earned money - or stolen money for that matter - on any of the Bose products. There have been many posters come to this forum convinced that their Bose speakers are 'awesome' - 'detailed' - 'well worth the price' etc etc. However - what they can't argue is how cheaply the speakers are - especially the cubes when you can get something 'just as good' or even better than the original Bose cubes.

While they aren't all junk - most of their speaker products are. And who among us believe for a second that they have mastered surround sound in a 2.1 setup? Trickery at best.

The axiom "Better Profits through Marketing" is true as it applies to Bose. Not many companies take what amounts to a computer speaker and markets it as 'high end'.

I feel sorry for the people that get suckered into buying what amounts to a nothing more than a good computer speaker package for far too much.
post #26 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 View Post

The naked truth about many of the Bose speakers is that they make them as cheap as possible then showcase them in a place - and with music that covers up their inherit inability to reproduce the entire sound spectrum. Someone posted this link above - if you haven't read it - do so before plunking down hard earned money - or stolen money for that matter - on any of the Bose products.

That is the link I was referring to.
As you see the Bose crossover Frequency is even lower than I higher than I though. It is 280hz. This alone shows that the satellites are incapable of producing any mid-bass and rely on the sub entirely for any mid-bass or lower bass. In fact the subwoofer they have can only do 200hz at it's highest. With that you are missing a range of 80hz of sound which can be very important in music and HT use.
post #27 of 52
For the same price I would opt for a Paradigm Cinema 110 CT package - for half the price the TSC TSAT package is also much better than Bose. Another one not mentioned is the Cambridge Soundworks Newton series.

Better means higher SPL or sound pressure level, and a more accurate reproduction of your source material be it movies or music. Why ? because the frequency response of the Bose is handicapped and thus some information in the audible part of the spectrum is either missing or exaggerated.
post #28 of 52
if you have wood decor then Energy RC-Mini's are an absolute steal right now in the cherry finish at Vann's ($90 each shipped):
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it..._c=site_search

Get five of those for $450 shipped and add a sweet sub and you are good to go. The RC-Mini's are actually small bookshelves (as opposed to tiny satellites) and are significantly more substantial than a lot of teeny sats, the build quality is extremely high (real wood veneer, high-end driver materials, etc) and they can handle a lot of power without distortion.

If they don't fit your decor than the Orbs, NHT's, etc. will also do great.
post #29 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by batpig View Post

if you have wood decor then Energy RC-Mini's are an absolute steal right now in the cherry finish at Vann's ($90 each shipped):
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it..._c=site_search

Get five of those for $450 shipped and add a sweet sub and you are good to go. The RC-Mini's are actually small bookshelves (as opposed to tiny satellites) and are significantly more substantial than a lot of teeny sats, the build quality is extremely high (real wood veneer, high-end driver materials, etc) and they can handle a lot of power without distortion.

If they don't fit your decor than the Orbs, NHT's, etc. will also do great.

Thanks again to everyone for your help. My living room is approx. 16' X 16' with 10 foot ceilings and my receiver is a Sony STR-DE597. Here is a link to the specs.

http://www.docs.sony.com/release/spe...E597_specs.pdf

I know it is not a top of the line receiver, but will it serve it's purpose for the systems being talked about in this thread?

Thanks again.
post #30 of 52
I'd go with post #7's suggestion. That receiver could use an upgrade.
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