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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For all you experts, can you please provide me with some reasons why I see "negativity" against the Bose speakers? The reason I ask is because I'm thinking about purchasing a satellite speaker package. The reason for this is when I get my 65 inch RPTV along with the entertainment center, there will not be enough room on the sides to place my huge Infinities, and I really don't know if I want to put the speakers inside the entertainment centers cabinets. Hence the reason for the potential of a sat speaker system. The plan will be to mount the sats both fronts and rears on the wall as well as mounting the center above the the tv. Are there any other manufactures that make sat speakers? What are the real pros/cons of having sats speakers vs full size? BTW, the speakers are 90% ht use and 10% other (radio/cd's).


For those of you that have Bose, say the "Acoustmas10's" and like them, please feel free to give you opinion as well.


Thanks for any advise, as I'm trying to do my homework.


Tazman
 

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Hi tsutaz,


I own the Acoustimass 10 setup for my family and enjoy it for HT use. I think a lot of negativity is a result of great marketing on Bose's part and finding a revenue stream that was not there prior to Bose (WAF Factored Speakers). I have to admit though -- I have a dedicated HT with Dynaudio Contours 1.8s for left right and T2.1 for Center with 1.3 for surrounds and it absolutely is mind boggling how much better it sounds than the Bose (especially the center Channel) -- my Sunfire MKII Sub is a much better sub as well. BUT -- you have to take into account that I paid under $900 for my Bose setup (with Tax) and I paid THOUSANDS more for my Dynaudio setup. People can Bash Bose but the reality is that they are relatively inexpensive and have a nice look to them.


I have a gentleman in a neighboring town who owns a shop, he is in competition with Circuit City and Best Buy his favorite thing to tell clients is that "If you buy Bose you may as well drive your car at 100 mph while holding your wallet wide open out the window so the money can fly out" -- I guess he is saying it is a waste of money.


The bottom line for me is that I did not do a ton of research on Speaker packages when I purchased these -- but they sound acceptable to me. BUT when I want to blow people away I take them to my basement and fire up my Krell and show them the Dynaudios!


Do not be discouraged -- but perform your due diligence and do some research. My understanding is that Energy makes a good speaker package as does JBL and they all have the WAF speaker look and feel.


Peace out,
 

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These points are likely covered in some of the threads referenced by Mike, but my biggest gripe is not the success or marketing clout, it is the design & quality of the speakers. If the satellite/cube systems were actually well-designed and constructed of high quality materials, then I would applaud Bose for being able to sell them for more than they are worth. But as it is, I dislike seeing so many people get ripped off.


Take the cube systems. The smallest cubes use 1.75" drivers and a bass module with about a 5.5" "woofer." The "woofer" handles a frequency range of approximately 50Hz to 300Hz. This creates a multitude of problems.


A) A 1.75" driver cannot adequately handle a 300Hz-20K range. The dynamics in the lower midrange will be significantly compressed. The highs will roll off well before 20Khz and will "beam" at moderately-high frequencies.


B) Bass becomes directional at around 150Hz. As the bass module's range extends up into the 250-300Hz range, this means that you will lose your multi-channel and stereo imaging across the 150-300Hz range. Voices and instruments in that octave will all come from your bass module, not your left/right or center speakers - where they were mixed to come from.


C) Some of these concerns could be partially alleviated if the manufacturer were using extremely high quality drivers, but this is not the case at all for Bose. They use cheap, mass-produced drivers that cost them only a few dollars (well less than $10) each.


If you use the larger cube systems, then they employ a 2.5" driver that handles from about 230-250 up to 20Khz. This driver can do a better job in some of the midrange, but it still can't adequately handle the lower end of its assigned range. On top of this, these drivers are very poor at high frequencies, rolling off at around 11-12Khz and providing poor off-axis response at around 7-8Khz.


The old adage of "No highs, no lows, it must be Bose" is not so much a criticism as it is a truism. These cube designs cannot reproduce highs or lows, and they are very poor across the critical 150Hz-400Hz range. This is not simply my opinion, it is a measurable fact.


Bose speakers fill a market niche. They appeal to people who want an easy to implement system that fits into their room decor, that can play loud, that is likely to be reliable for a number of years, that has an established company standing behind the product, and who are not very demanding upon the sonic quality of the sound - largely people who want a system that sounds a lot better than built-in TV speakers or boomboxes. As Bose sells a product that makes a lot of people happy, I don't begrudge them that. In the end all that matters is that the customer is happy.


Where the tension arises is when people start touting Bose systems as legitimate audiophile products. They are not. They don't aim for that market and they don't reach it. The audiophile market is only a small segment of the people who buy audio & HT gear, Bose does very well in the larger consumer segment of that market. There are a number of $200-$400/pr stereo speakers which have significantly better fidelity than even $3500 Bose systems. It is not hard to put together a HT package for less than $1000 that addresses several of the weaknesses inherent in Bose's design.


Take a look around at other competing small satellite speaker systems. Nearly all of them are a bit larger than the Bose cubes. That's because nearly everyone uses a two-way design in their small satellite speakers, usually at least a 3.5"-4.0" mid-woofer and a 1" tweeter. These allow the speakers to better reproduce high frequencies, the lower-midrange, and to reduce the directional "gap" between the satellites and the woofer/sub-woofer. These companies are not using a Bose-like design of a single small driver, not because of infringement of any Bose patents, but because they are not willing to accept the sonic limitations of such a design.


Before anyone rushes in to point out that Bose is the #1 selling speaker in the USA (which they are), let me point out that the #2 selling speaker line is Radio Shack. This is a classic example of sales not being perfectly correlated with quality.


Tom B.
 

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I think most of it is covered above, but at the price point Bose sell for one get can much better quality. Besides the above example, one could get the Mordaunt-Short sat/sub system for $899 which includes the powered woofer and it does not sound terrible on music. Their products can be viewed at www.marantz.com. There is also www.hifi.com and a host of others where one can get products at or below what Bose sells for that in my opinion would be a much better choice.
 

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Tom's point that Radio Shack is the #2 seller prompts me to say that I love my old $50 (often on sale for $40) minimus 7 speakers. They are in use in our family room, where our TV speakers provide the center, and the Radio Shack speakers provide the 4 surrounds. (An Inifinty subwoofer rounds out the system). It ain't bad at all. Probably outperforms the Bose, and it cost me (including the sub) less that $500. Decent WAF as well. Audophile sound? Of course not. Good value? Absolutely.
 

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After I read "No Highs, No Lows, Must be Bose" I thought I was in danger of spraying coffee all over my keyboard. That's good signature material right there :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the informative replies, especially the links to other Bose sites. While looking thru my July 2002 issue of Home Theater Mag, I noticed several Sat speaker packages that I would like to mention here in hopes of receiving some feedback First on page 29 are Definitive Technologys Studio Monitor series which they advertise in a complete StudioCinema System. On page 91 (lower half of the page) Morel is advertising there Applause speakers. On page 94, Velodyne advertises their DECO System. Any thoughts/experience or Cost of these packages?


thanks again

Taz
 

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No personal experience with those but I did check out some Anthony Gallo speakers at the HE Expo. They sounded very nice, look good and would be a replacement for Bose stuff.


They do run a little more...I saw someone quoting $1500 for a set of 5 + subwoofer.

http://www.roundsound.com
 

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Why do people like giving alternatives to Bose?


If you listen to a BOSE AM15 and like what you hear then buy it


They have alot of plus points pointed out above ( ok they have some negative points also )


Compared to other small speakers they sound as good if not better.


They WIN because they look miles better than other small speakers. If you want dull looking small speakers then go buy them


To say they sound absolutely atrocious is not telling the truth and is just rubbishing the product
 

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This is probably my only Bose post ever.


The most expensive mistake I ever made was buying Bose. FOR MY EARS (to each their own opinion) - mushy and so soft that I felt I was missing 30% (totally unacceptable) of the sound as intended to be heard. I tried them side by side with several other speakers and will tell you that if you like a crisp, dynamic sound you will find a very wide range of better products in the same price range. The list of better sounding speakers for the price is so large that most folks discount recommending any Bose arrangement.


As to most expensive comment - that is a biggie considering how little money I paid - it translates into a very strong dislike of the speakers. I am tempted to paraphrase Ralph Nader - "Unlistenable at any price"


Sorry - I'll be better next time....
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by timoth
Why do people like giving alternatives to Bose?
Timoth,


Did you go and look at the Anthony Gallos? They target the exact same market segment, are similar sized, look better IMHO and cost around the same amount. They also get rated better in sound. Why would you not be helpful and suggest them?


I agree, there are some out there that don't look any better, like Cambridge.


I don't own these nor do I have any interest in them being promoted. I simply would not want someone to purchase a Bose set because they believe they are the only thing available.
 

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I don't understand why people only think Bose is available - it doesn't make sense to me?


They do look very nice though - like the different colours - thanks for the link - only just reaching the UK and Europe by the looks of it
 

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I was too a believer that Bose sat speakers were great and was planning to get them for my HT. Public perception due to their marketing approach is very effective. After a lot of reading through this forum and some research I decided to spend my money on the Energy exl speakers: 25, Rear & C.


Thanks to the information posted here by experienced and knowledgeable members, we consumers can weight our options and make a decision that in the end would better meet our needs and taste. :D
 

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Tim,


Almost everyone person I talk to who isn't an audiophile thinks Bose is top of the line and high-tech. I bought a pair of Paradigm floorstanders and was carrying them inside and my friend was telling me about how he bets his uncle's Bose setup sounds nicer. Obviously some other people, like the ones here, think differently, but perhaps you aren't identifying with Joe Six-Pack
 

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I hadn't seen that web page before. He does a pretty good job of illustrating several of Bose' deficiencies. And his focus is upon the 2.5" cube systems, the smaller cube systems using 1.75" drivers are even worse.


People who purchase Bose don't know how badly they are being ripped off. If you purchased a Lifestyle system with 5 cubes and a bass module, even given that each of the cubes contains 2 drivers, the sum total cost of the drivers in the system is around $50-$60. Some of these systems, which do include mediocre amps, equalizers, and CD/DVD players, sell for up to $2500-$3500. It is a real shame that someone who drops that kind of change is left listening to such low quality speakers.


A friend of mine once worked on a Bose speaker driver testing line. As long as the drivers tested to within +-6dB to a specified response curve, they "passed." And the response curve was non-linear, with several dips and peaks, to begin with. With that extreme variation in drivers, each Bose system could sound very different from another Bose system.


I also once visited a speaker parts warehouse. They carried several high quality driver lines, like Focal, Audax, Vifa, and more. As I chatted with the guy, the topic of Bose came up. He said that he had a large shipment of Bose speakers in stock, but wasn't allowed to sell them under the Bose brand. So they had given them a different name and were selling them as general purpose/hobby drivers, for people to put into PA systems and garage & rec room speakers. He said he'd never recommend them for use in any serious music system as they were vastly inferior to even the lower-end $15-$20 drivers from several other suppliers.


Tom B.
 

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Well he was reviewing an AM15 system. Consider something very important that he left out which puts Bose in an even worse light. The AM15 system runs $1300. The top Lifestyle system is no more than an AM15 + a receiver/DVD unit and costs $3500. The receiver/DVD unit therefore costs $2200. The receiver does not decode DPLII or even DTS, is underpowered, has no preouts, no video switching, and about 2 inputs on the back. Featurewise, it should cost about $150. The DVD player is standard cheap non-progressive scan, certainly worth no more than another $150. That makes the electronics over priced to the tune of about $1600 at least. So as bad a buy as their speakers are, their electronics are even worse.
 
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