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The Downfall Of Bose...

post #1 of 419
Thread Starter 
...Whatever happened to Bose? I can remember when the 901 series speakers (among some others) were very highly thought of by the audiophile community in general.
I've been out of touch with the audiophile world since the late '70s. I've been trying to get up to speed on the latest in high quality home audio (I just ordered a complete SVS speaker system) and have recently realized how much Bose is now loathed. Whatever happened? Was it a downturn in quality? Did they start cutting corners to increase revenues? What happened to tarnish their rep so badly? Just curious.


Tom
post #2 of 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpnblues View Post

...Whatever happened to Bose? I can remember when the 901 series speakers (among some others) were very highly thought of by the audiophile community in general.
I've been out of touch with the audiophile world since the late '70s. I've been trying to get up to speed on the latest in high quality home audio (I just ordered a complete SVS speaker system) and have recently realized how much Bose is now loathed. Whatever happened? Was it a downturn in quality? Did they start cutting corners to increase revenues? What happened to tarnish their rep so badly? Just curious.


Tom

They are more into marketing - while others are more into research
and quality. Bose has the money to make one of the best speakers
in the world - they just seem to not want to do it. They have stood
by their name while others want to make a better name.
post #3 of 419
Plenty of threads available through search that have hashed and rehashed this subject. Nothing new needs to be said as nothing new has changed.
post #4 of 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

They are more into marketing - while others are more into research
and quality. Bose has the money to make one of the best speakers
in the world - they just seem to not want to do it. They have stood
by their name while others want to make a better name.

Yeah, that's one of the things that has bugged me the most about them. They are involved in so many areas of the audio industry, have technical capabilities that many other manufacturers can only dream of, and the funds to more than back all of it up, all for naught. Seemingly a lifetime ago, 1st generation 901's driven by McIntosh gear were my first real introduction to good sound and equipment. They were the last Bose product I ever owned. Out of curiosity, I checked out the various 901 generations over the years, as well as other Bose products, and never found even the slightest reason for them to ever leave the store with me. It's sad, really.
post #5 of 419
Setting products and product performance aside, the primary resonsibilty of a company/business/organization is a profitable return to its owners/shareholders/investors.

Bose may be a private company and financials unavailable, but maybe their balance sheet is in far better shape than their competitors.

I would suspect that globally, the Bose "brand" is very recognizable and generally associated with quality.

I would also suspect a great deal of inustry envy. Bose is probably doing something right by their owners/shareholders.

If you were to invest in an audio company, would anyone invest in a company other than Bose?
post #6 of 419
Bose is driven to maximize profit and they have found the perfect formula for it:

Create very small and cheap to manufacture speakers, and then market them aggressively as a premium product to those that don't know any better.

They have made a lot of money with this approach.
post #7 of 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevensctt View Post

Setting products and product performance aside, the primary resonsibilty of a company/business/organization is a profitable return to its owners/shareholders/investors.

Bose may be a private company and financials unavailable, but maybe their balance sheet is in far better shape than their competitors.

I would suspect that globally, the Bose "brand" is very recognizable and generally associated with quality.

I would also suspect a great deal of inustry envy. Bose is probably doing something right by their owners/shareholders.

If you were to invest in an audio company, would anyone invest in a company other than Bose?

Well, yes, that's exactly it. They are associated with quality audio products in the same way that McDonald's is associated with quality food. I'm sure that there is plenty of profit envy, but it's quite sad that even the very smallest of speaker manufacturers can produce a better product than a financial powerhouse like Bose. I also would not invest in them, as their business model, while quite profitable, preys on the uneducated. I don't believe in profit at any cost.
post #8 of 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by vraxoin View Post

Well, yes, that's exactly it. They are associated with quality audio products in the same way that McDonald's is associated with quality food. I'm sure that there is plenty of profit envy, but it's quite sad that even the very smallest of speaker manufacturers can produce a better product than a financial powerhouse like Bose. I also would not invest in them, as their business model, while quite profitable, preys on the uneducated. I don't believe in profit at any cost.

I guess I don't understand begrudging or bashing a company for the success and profitability of their brand, be it Bose, McD, CocaCola, etc. On the contrary, it should be admired and studied (which they are).

Profits are not bad.
post #9 of 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevensctt View Post

I guess I don't understand begrudging or bashing a company for the success and profitability of their brand, be it Bose, McD, CocaCola, etc. On the contrary, it should be admired and studied (which they are).

Profits are not bad.

I don't believe that profit is bad either. As stated, I simply don't believe in profit at any cost. Bose is a shining star for capitalism and a black mark for audio. Simple as that.
post #10 of 419
Why is it such a downfall?

Its more about business survival and profit then what audiophiles want. Audiophiles represent probably less then 3% of the market. That means only 1 in 33 people going into Best Buy will consider the BOSE products completely overpriced. The others will consider them premium sound systems and many will "want" them because they seem to sound great and they are hidden. Remember speakers and audio equipment is a negative in most rooms. They are not considered furniture and should be hidden at all times...just ask high end interior decorators. I know we care little about them but most people are going to listen to them before they listen to any audiophile.


WAF is a huge factor here and with marketing anything can be sold even when its not techinically superior. Success in business even the audio business is not predicated on having the best SQ at all.

Why do we even care about BOSE? Their products fit a specific requirement.
post #11 of 419
Quote:
I don't believe that profit is bad either. As stated, I simply don't believe in profit at any cost. Bose is a shining star for capitalism and a black mark for audio. Simple as that.

Bose is a black mark as much as any snake oil company selling extremely overpriced cables or other silly products (likt silly weights that goes on speakers, silly cable lifters and so on). They are not alone in using marketing and audiophile based emotional needs to push products that have incredible margins.
post #12 of 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevensctt View Post

i guess i don't understand begrudging or bashing a company for the success and profitability of their brand, be it bose, mcd, cocacola, etc. On the contrary, it should be admired and studied (which they are).

Profits are not bad.

+1
post #13 of 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpnblues View Post

Whatever happened?

Put yourself into their shoes. They started (or continued?) an idea that direct/reflecting sound was THE way to go.

After their commitment to that logic, it's been proven (so say some) that direct/reflecting is about the worst way you can go if you want anything other than "decent sound in most locations of the room". If you want pinpoint imaging or things like that, then all this reflective sound creates some inherent problems.

Today, if they joined the rest of the world they would have to essentially admit that they've been wrong for the last 40 years (or however long) of pimping direct/reflective sound.

I'm not even going to get into the topic of their little cubes agasint much larger (and better imho) speakers, I'm referring to their 901.

No disrepect meant to any 901 owners.
post #14 of 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

Remember speakers and audio equipment is a negative in most rooms. They are not considered furniture and should be hidden at all times...just ask high end interior decorators.

I agree because reasonably priced speakers (one's priced below the cost of a nice used car) are not furniture grade quality, but instead, are ugly boxes with either the black vinyl or even a real wood veneer of OK quality. Once getting into the upper echelon of audio, with speakers like Sonas Faber Amati, Revel Salon 2, etc, they become part of the room's d├ęcor. But maybe that's because $20k speakers don't just get shoved in a corner behind the fake potted plant?
post #15 of 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by coytee View Post

Put yourself into their shoes. They started (or continued?) an idea that direct/reflecting sound was THE way to go.

After their commitment to that logic, it's been proven (so say some) that direct/reflecting is about the worst way you can go if you want anything other than "decent sound in most locations of the room". If you want pinpoint imaging or things like that, then all this reflective sound creates some inherent problems.

Today, if they joined the rest of the world they would have to essentially admit that they've been wrong for the last 40 years (or however long) of pimping direct/reflective sound.

I'm not even going to get into the topic of their little cubes agasint much larger (and better imho) speakers, I'm referring to their 901.

No disrepect meant to any 901 owners.

While, direct reflecting wouldn't be my favorite, I've actually heard good sounding ones and I could see why some would like it. Many years back (probably about 20), there was a high end audio store around 21st Street in Center City Philadelphia (I forget the name - named after the owner - Greenfield's?). The owner was an older gentlemen. Very knowledgeable and in business for probably 40+ years. He was probably at the beginning stages of being at the point that the business was too much to handle. He carried some nice stuff. I used to stop in there at lunch from time to time and see what they got in, new or used. One day, I had some more time and I walked in the store and he had these speakers playing that sounded really good. I had heard them before but did not pay as much attention to them. It took me a minute to locate where they were. He was using direct reflecting technology and told me he sold his self-manufactured speakers to many celebrities and had invented them and was being sued by Bose (as were many others including Thiel for having a model numbered '2.2' - they changed it to 22) and he did not have the resources to fight them. Yes, Bose is a great marketing company no doubt and this pretty much sums it up - http://www.intellexual.net/bose.html
post #16 of 419
Thread Starter 
JBL still considered to make good speakers? Are their high end speakers still considered top notch stuff? I remember when JBL Paragons were very highly regarded. Perhaps they still are? And, yes, I did a search (jbl speakers)..."no match found".


Tom
post #17 of 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpnblues View Post

JBL still considered to make good speakers? Are their high end speakers still considered top notch stuff? I remember when JBL Paragons were very highly regarded. Perhaps they still are? And, yes, I did a search (jbl speakers)..."no match found".


Tom


JBL makes a very wide range of speakers from professional sound reinforcement to cheap stuff to better stuff.
post #18 of 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpnblues View Post

...Whatever happened to Bose? I can remember when the 901 series speakers (among some others) were very highly thought of by the audiophile community in general.
I've been out of touch with the audiophile world since the late '70s. I've been trying to get up to speed on the latest in high quality home audio (I just ordered a complete SVS speaker system) and have recently realized how much Bose is now loathed. Whatever happened? Was it a downturn in quality? Did they start cutting corners to increase revenues? What happened to tarnish their rep so badly? Just curious.


Tom

Tom: If you are curious, please use the search engine to dig up 350 existing threads discussing Bose speakers. The best way to search is to use the advance search. Below the search word window is an option for title search only. ...use that option. In this case, "bose" would be your search word.
post #19 of 419
Here is the website for JBL - http://www.jbl.com/en-US/Pages/home.aspx
post #20 of 419
I used to be part of the masses of members here that thought that Bose was crap and should be on the nightly news as a scam.

Then it hit me.

Bose = pure genious.

Only a very small population are audio geeks like us. What DO people want in their homes? Big towers with 12" woofers?? Nope. Small, out of sight speakers that give better sound than a TV. And they deliver 100%. They are not out to destroy the conventional speaker company. Instead, they have chosen to give people what they want. Pure genious IMO.
post #21 of 419
Like other posters have said, Bose has hit upon a very successful formula. Excellent marketing that has helped them acquire a very high reputation among most people (whether or not it is deserved, in this case the perception is the reality among the majority) and with the herd mentality that abounds as part of human nature, a person who is not sure what to buy will figure if they buy Bose they can't go wrong. They sell cheap stuff for a lot of money (like Monster does) and thus strengthen themselves financially.

Sure, Bose has a bad name among audiophiles but what percentage of the population is that? Most people who buy Bose don't really notice or care about the sound that much and are also looking for something that fits with their room. The quality of the product is good enough to keep those people happy and thus preserve their reputation.

If Bose has satisfied customers then more power to them. I would never buy anything they made but I'm not part of their target market.
post #22 of 419
My parents still have Bose 301's that are located on the top of a huge cabinet and overall I think they are pretty happy with them especially considering the volume of the room is not all that big and they just using it to fill the room with background music more than anything. My system does sound significantly better but at the same time people have different wants and needs and I am sure WAF could have an impact too.

My car also has a Bose system in it... 2010 Infiniti G37S Sedan and I can definitely say that I am not impressed with it at all considering how much its hyped up with the number of speakers and having a back deck sub. Maybe I am getting use to the way music is suppose to sound now that I have a good system at home, but I can tell that the speakers are distorting at higher volume as my ears are very sensitive to it.

What is sad though, is if you look at the current Bose 301 vs the one my parents bought 15 years ago... is that beneith the speaker grills, they haven't changed one bit. Do they not believe in R&D or do they just reserve that to making wave radio's and infomercials. It's kind of puzzling.
post #23 of 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bravo1 View Post

What is sad though, is if you look at the current Bose 301 vs the one my parents bought 15 years ago... is that beneith the speaker grills, they haven't changed one bit. Do they not believe in R&D or do they just reserve that to making wave radio's and infomercials. It's kind of puzzling.

Well why waste money on R&D? What is the cost/benefit they will achieve by pumping money into R&D versus into marketing. Maintaining the perception among the masses that "Bose is the best" will bring in far more dollars than anything they can do to improve the sound or quality of their products.
post #24 of 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by badassfajita View Post

Instead, they have chosen to give people what they want.

Give people what they need and you'll make a living. Give people what they want, and you'll make a killing.
post #25 of 419
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rboster View Post

Tom: If you are curious, please use the search engine to dig up 350 existing threads discussing Bose speakers. The best way to search is to use the advance search. Below the search word window is an option for title search only. ...use that option. In this case, "bose" would be your search word.


rboster,

I do appreciate your suggestions. It's just more of a curiosity thing with me.
I'm not focusing on JBL speakers right now but I've done a lot of research recently on stuff that's a bit newer to the market. I'm not where I want to be yet, but I'm at least able to ascertain stuff that is consistently considered high quality by the forumites and "audiophiles". That's how I found out about companies like SVS, Energy, and Salk. My questions about JBL have been answered and the answer is pretty much what I expected...they make a very wide range of speakers both quality-wise and in selection.

Tom
post #26 of 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkuboy View Post

Like other posters have said, Bose has hit upon a very successful formula. Excellent marketing that has helped them acquire a very high reputation among most people (whether or not it is deserved, in this case the perception is the reality among the majority) and with the herd mentality that abounds as part of human nature, a person who is not sure what to buy will figure if they buy Bose they can't go wrong. They sell cheap stuff for a lot of money (like Monster does) and thus strengthen themselves financially.

Sure, Bose has a bad name among audiophiles but what percentage of the population is that? Most people who buy Bose don't really notice or care about the sound that much and are also looking for something that fits with their room. The quality of the product is good enough to keep those people happy and thus preserve their reputation.

If Bose has satisfied customers then more power to them. I would never buy anything they made but I'm not part of their target market.

Yep! You pretty much nailed it. Audio geeks are not the majority, they are a tiny minority. Most people don't know much about audio technology and don't want to learn. They want a simple solution that they can afford and set up without a huge investment of their time. And Bose delivers all of that. Most people also either need the system to be unobtrusive (small rooms) or don't want a pile of equipment to take over their combination living/family/media room (women). So, Bose is solving a bunch of problems for the majority of people in the real world. And those people are no doubt very happy with their upgrade from TV speakers or a boom box. Bose isn't targeting audiophiles with "the ultimate sound". They are targeting Joe & Jane Average and those people are voting with their wallets. They said Bose is OK!
post #27 of 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpnblues View Post

rboster,

I do appreciate your suggestions. It's just more of a curiosity thing with me.
I'm not focusing on JBL speakers right now but I've done a lot of research recently on stuff that's a bit newer to the market. I'm not where I want to be yet, but I'm at least able to ascertain stuff that is consistently considered high quality by the forumites and "audiophiles". That's how I found out about companies like SVS, Energy, and Salk. My questions about JBL has been answered and the answer is pretty much what I expected...they make a very wide range of speakers both quality-wise and in selection.

Tom

The orignal post was concerning Bose and the "downfall" ...as to why? Well, running Bose through the search engine brings up 100's of thread explaining why audiophiles don't chose Bose as their speaker of choice and therefore why there has been a "downfall" in Bose reputation as a speaker of choice.
post #28 of 419
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rboster View Post

The orignal post was concerning Bose and the "downfall" ...as to why? Well, running Bose through the search engine brings up 100's of thread explaining why audiophiles don't chose Bose as their speaker of choice and therefore why there has been a "downfall" in Bose reputation as a speaker of choice.


Yeah, funny thing is I try to do searches to prevent redundancy on the forum but for some reason it didn't occur to me to do a search on Bose' tumble from grace. For most on this forum it's very old news. For me it was a bit of a surprise after a 3 decade absence from home audio. I'll try to become a little more intimate with the search function in the future.


Tom
post #29 of 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkuboy View Post

Well why waste money on R&D? What is the cost/benefit they will achieve by pumping money into R&D versus into marketing. Maintaining the perception among the masses that "Bose is the best" will bring in far more dollars than anything they can do to improve the sound or quality of their products.

But, but, Bose is all about R&D.
post #30 of 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkuboy View Post

Well why waste money on R&D? What is the cost/benefit they will achieve by pumping money into R&D versus into marketing. Maintaining the perception among the masses that "Bose is the best" will bring in far more dollars than anything they can do to improve the sound or quality of their products.

But never coming up with an improved version of their own product, they are losing repeat buyers by not giving a people a reason to upgrade. Right now I wouldn't be surprised if they sell more wave radio's and sound dock's than they actually sell speakers. The 901's probably rarely sell but they most likely keep it around for history more than anything.
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