Originally Posted by taichi4
Almost every forum discussion I've read or participated in regarding Bose always ends in a conflagration, or just smolders for a long time. Given this I nevertheless cautiously wanted to post an opinion.
It seems to me that the truth here is elusive, in that everybody is right in some sense. Or put differently, not every Bose product falls into one category.
I do agree with the criticism regarding pricing policy, absence of testing, and the difficulty of reviewers being able to freely investigate and critique the speakers, much of which seems to derive from Bose itself.
I was not at all impressed with the last Bose home theater system that I listened to. It was all high-frequency and appeared shrill to me, and like the one reviewer said, the system was situated in its own "island" seemingly placed away from any other potentially competing system on purpose. I also found that dialogue and placement of sounds was less than precise, probably because lower midrange was being handled by the subwoofer.
I also do not think that Bose products in general are priced at all competitively, given the performance of many of their products, and that there is a huge emphasis on marketing versus information and testing. As a result, many people buy Bose without thoroughly investigating the many, and often better alternatives. People that love music, whether audiophiles or not, are pursuing some sort of fidelity in sound reproduction, and are better served when some standards, benchmarks, or parameters are part of the consideration process. A marketing heavy approach is, in this sense, an obstacle to that knowledge.
However, the reviewer for Tone Publications makes some good points, though I'm not sure about his suggestions regarding wire gauge. This latter point doesn't constitute enough to judge him so harshly.
As he pointed out, Bose automotive systems can sound quite good, and it is improbable that higher end automobile manufacturers would include them if they were entirely without merit. I don't think that in the acoustical environment of a car a lot of the "rules" that apply to normal acoustical environments easily translate.
Then there are the 901s, which I don't feel are terrible speakers at all, but rather an interesting design with some real acoustical benefits. The Tone Publication reviewer's suggestions regarding room placement and raising them above the height of the included pedestals might indeed provide a more focused sound with more precise sound placement.
I've heard them sound very good, and the benefit in the design to me is its avoidance of crossover. Placed correctly the 901s can provide a very silky sound in the way that other crossover-less systems achieve.