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Considering Bose 301 for large living room

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi all,
I just got off the phone with Bose and they suggested setting up their 301 speakers with a receiver on my bookshelf.

Let me describe the room. It's a large, rectangular living room that's 22 feet x 43 feet. The ceiling is 14 feet high. The bookshelf is floor to ceiling and covers the 22' wall on the far end of the room. Moving away from that wall, there is a pool table, 2 sofas, a few chairs and a wooden table at the other end. The room can probably fit about 50 people in it during parties.

I just want the speakers to provide background music without getting overpowered. My concern is that I'm not sure the 301s will be powerful enough to provide good background music over all the people and the furniture. What are your thoughts / recommendations? Should I look into more powerful stereo speakers or are the Bose 301s good for the job?

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 5
This sounds like one of the few scenarios where Bose wouldn't be awful for. The 301s ought to have you covered for background music, although they still wouldn't be my first choice, far from it. If you have space for tower speakers, right now Fry's has the Infinity Primus p363 for $100 each, that will be far better than the Bose and you will not have to worry about them getting drowned out or overpowered. That sale ends on the 20th. Another speaker to check out is the BIC Acoustech and BIC America speakers, they will hold their own in any party, no matter how rowdy, and they are not very expensive either. I would go for those or the Primus speakers long before I would go with Bose.
post #3 of 5
I see no reason the Bose 301's wouldn't serve your purpose just fine as long as you don't expect them to play disco levels of bass and spl. Yes, there are other speakers you could buy (about a zillion of'em) but go with what you like. The 301's have been around a while and are solid, as is Bose' customer service. Plus, for their size and cost, I think they offer some nice advantages over the competition: 8" woofer (most competitors in this price range offer 5 to 6.5") and a second, rear-firing tweeter to provide a more spacious life-like sound. Of course, the rear tweeter may not gain you much if the speakers are in bookshelves. That placement may not allow the rear radiation to get out in the room.

One option to consider, just in case you want more spl and bass in your huge room: You specifically mentioned parties, so...a second pair of 301's on the opposite wall, plus a good sub or two, with your receiver's dsp set for "party" or any multi-channel stereo mode, should light the fire quite nicely!
post #4 of 5
I owned a pair of 301 series 2 over 25 years ago during college. They were wall mounted up in the air and worked very well for parties.

However, you are talking about putting them in a bookcase? The old model wasn't designed for that because it was intended to radiate some the music to the the side to create a more diffuse sound field. That's what I liked about them because they were my rear speakers in the room. Great for filling in behind the listening position when using my HK Hi-Fi VCR, too, much like a bipole. Here's a picture of what the configuration looked like:

Maybe the new ones are different and don't radiate the same way.
post #5 of 5
The basic operating principle is the same, but the rear tweeter is mounted on a rear corner.

I think how well the 301 would work in a bookshelf would depend on the bookshelf...how deep, how much space open to the sides and above the speakers, etc.
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