Originally Posted by Chu Gai
CR was mentioned in response to whether there were any independent reviews of their products. As to whether CR's speaker reviews have any merit, Sean Olive of Harman has been working with CR on ways their ratings can be improved upon.
Sure, you won't find specs on Bose and Bose doesn't actively seek reviews because they don't have to. There are no other competitors with the name recognition they have that provide a similar product. Someone earlier mentioned how a particular Philharmionic setup would be superior. But it doesn't have the same form factor, has only infinitemal brand recognition, isn't as slickly packaged, can't be found in stores, and wouldn't be as simple to set up.
Bose started making tiny speakers many years ago to meet the needs of consumers who wanted better sound than their TV's could provide and be unobtrusive. While everyone else was laughing, Bose was carving out their niche and it's a big niche. Their packaging is superb and things are layed out to create postive impressions. Installation is simple.
Bose has world wide brand recognition and spans a wide variety of demographics. They advertise everywhere and across all media. One can berate their emphasis on marketing and adverising, but a lot of people can take a few pages from their approach and learn from it. It's lovely to see all those finishes on Salk speakers but there's no personal emotional involvement. Just pictures with no people enjoying the product. If they're sexy there's no sexy babe around. There's no link between the product and a person or persons.
I actually agree completely.
I posted the phils to show the alternative if you're interested in excellent sound and a different decorating dynamic, one that includes large speakers extant. In my mind having a couple of good looking speakers is just as valid as having a couple of tables with pictures on them.
However, if you are successfully marketing a copycat lifestyle where the smaller the entertainment components, the better and people have bought into that and assimilated your name as the premier system for that, then life is good.
Bose has done an excellent job in becoming the name of sound. My problem with it is that it does a horrible job in representing good sound at the price point.
Having a frequency response of +/- 10db over the hearing range, with gaps between 200Hz to 280Hz and over 13k, when you pridefully trumpet your scientific achievements is not only disingenuous, to me it is dishonest.
Now if they were to say to the world "the smallest speakers that give you sound slightly better than most TV speakers", I'd have no problem with them or their pricing. It would then be right in front of consumers and they could decide to pay that premium for the ability to tell their friends that they own little speakers.
I understand that as a company built on the illusion of good sound and the reality of integration into a designer lifestyle, they can't do that, since the cornucopia of money would slow (and no marketing person would willingly do that).
So I do agree. Looking at it as a brutally realistic assessment of the reason for their success, they have feathered their nest with marketing and are sitting pretty in it. They just don't want reality as far as their sound quality performance to remove the twigs that make that nest up, putting the whole in peril because they are found wanting in performance.
In the end, I'm happy with my energy setup, and in some time may upgrade to Phils if someone leaves me a Bose system in their will that I can then flip to someone rabid for image.