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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm using Bose MusicMonitor speakers to output the audio from my HDTV. I have space constraints, and this is the only 2.0 speaker system that has a remote. The speaker quality is generally good, but a little lacking in bass. If the speakers had controls for adjusting treble and bass levels I think I could adjust them satisfactorily, but they don't. They were designed to be connected to a computer which has these controls.


I wish there was a device with treble, bass, and balance controls that could sit between the TV and speaker so I could make adjustments. Does such a thing exist or is it possible to make one?


Thanks for any advise you can give me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I think I found the answer to my problem - an inline graphic equalizer. This is really cool. I had no idea you could buy such a thing. (I tried to post the link to the product for others but was told I'm a spammer and should go somewhere else. Very friendly.)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by permutations /forum/post/18134231


(I tried to post the link to the product for others but was told I'm a spammer and should go somewhere else. Very friendly.)

With only three posts to your credit you haven't 'paid your dues' yet to prove your intentions are honorable. Besides, I doubt 1% of the regulars here aren't well aware of what equalizers are. Probably most of them already have one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I understand why the rule is there. Forum spam is a pain in the neck. I just wasn't expecting it and it felt like a slap. I'm sure you're also right that my discovery wouldn't be news to anyone here. I came to this forum because I'm not that knowledgeable about audio and wanted help from people who were. I was quite thrilled to find an inline equalizer and wanted to share what I'd found. It was news to me!
 

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The only problem is that when you'll get the equalizer you'll find out that by turning up the bass you'll only get farts from your speakers. Those little gizmos can't produce any bass regardless of what you do to them. Keep in mind that 3dB of EQ demands double the power from the amplifier, and i bet that those things ain't got much amp inside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I understand that even with an equalizer, I'm limited by what the speaker hardware can do. I'm not expecting speakers this small to produce big speaker sound. But I have read that tweaking the settings - particularly with these speakers - can help quite a bit. Someone posted a comment on one of the reviews I read that when he was able to tweak the settings, the sound quality went from "pretty good" to "wow" (his word). That's what gave me hope and sent me on this search.


The MusicMonitor speakers are made with very high quality materials. Even the reviewers who pan it because of the price admit that much. As I understand it, the speakers are adjusted at the factory to produce what the company feels is optimal sound, but it may not be optimal for everyone and in all circumstances. If the underlying speaker quality is good, a little tweaking can help - not making the speakers something they aren't, but making them all that they can be.


I figure it will either help or it won't, and if it doesn't I can return it. So I don't have anything to lose. I can report back whether it was useful, if anyone is interested.
 

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Equalization always helps, but it's a matter of whether it helps enough to make you happy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I just found out that most every HDTV in the universe - except mine - lets you use the remote to control the volume through external speakers. If my TV allowed this, I'd have had many more audio options. I could have gotten a lot more sound for a lot less money. This feature (or lack thereof) never even crossed my mind as a consideration when I was shopping for which TV to buy. Oh well. At least it has an excellent picture.


Hopefully the equalizer will help enough - I'll soon find out.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by permutations /forum/post/18136490


I just found out that most every HDTV in the universe - except mine - lets you use the remote to control the volume through external speakers. .

My new Toshiba 52" doesn't, neither did my Sony 42" before it. It's pretty much assumed if you've got a good TV then you also have a good HT receiver and will use its remote to control it and its features. And there's the push by manufacturers to get you to buy everything from only them. So if I wanted to get a Toshiba receiver I could eliminate one remote, but IMO he who dies with the most remotes wins.

Quote:
I read that when he was able to tweak the settings, the sound quality went from "pretty good" to "wow" (his word).

No offense, but the only 'Wow' you hear about that brand of gear is when someone hears a good sound system and says "Wow, what ever possessed me to buy that ****!"
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice /forum/post/18136620


My new Toshiba 52" doesn't, neither did my Sony 42" before it.

I'm very happy to hear that. Now I don't feel so bad. Apparently Pioneer and Fujitsu TVs do have this feature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice /forum/post/18136620


It's pretty much assumed if you've got a good TV then you also have a good HT receiver and will use its remote to control it and its features. And there's the push by manufacturers to get you to buy everything from only them. So if I wanted to get a Toshiba receiver I could eliminate one remote, but IMO he who dies with the most remotes wins.

No contest when it comes to remotes. I found a solution that I love. Oh - was going to post a link to a blog post that explains why, then remembered I'm not allowed to post links. Okay, well, it's a Universal Remote that's comparatively unknown but excellent. I've configured the volume control for TV, Blueray, and cable box to punch through to the Bose speakers so the integration is seamless. I use just the one remote for everything. It was easy to set up, and cheap, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice /forum/post/18136620


No offense, but the only 'Wow' you hear about that brand of gear is when someone hears a good sound system and says "Wow, what ever possessed me to buy that ****!"

I'm aware from surfing around that there is a strident Bose-hating club out there, but I don't understand the reason why. I have a Bose Wave Radio and the sound quality is outstanding, especially for its size. I can understanding resenting their price points - I would not have paid full price for the MusicMonitor speakers. But I don't understand the disparagement of Bose quality. My experience is that the quality is excellent.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by permutations /forum/post/18136896


But I don't understand the disparagement of Bose quality. My experience is that the quality is excellent.

Ever read this?
http://www.intellexual.net/bose.html


From a purely engineering standpoint I know what their speakers are made of and how they work, and while they can hold their own against the typical Best Buy stuff that's not a very high standard to say the least, while their price/performance ratio is abysmal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The article you link to says that Bose speakers use "paper drivers" and "thin plastic enclosures" that are "very light and resonant and thus fail at its primary purpose." Neither of these statements is true of the Bose MusicMonitor speakers. Someone wrote a review of these speakers and posted it in this forum (among other places). Here are some quotes:

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucidd /forum/post/17734265


I was surprised at the materials used to produce these Bose MusicMonitors. Also fit very well - with no hint of previous bad habits of plastic/ paper drivers/ foam surrounds. I did take a picture of the driver - single driver - which looks like it is some sort of plastic-polymer driver with actual real RUBBER surrounds! Wow! The bass radiators are also plastic with rubber surrounds. I tested the air seal - and they definitely did a good job. I've seen Bose drivers before - namely their Acoustimass drivers... these are different... + no LDF!
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucidd /forum/post/17734265


The Bose speakers have metal [as appose to MDF] enclosure. They are advertised as aluminum...

This is his summary:

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucidd /forum/post/17734265


A few things surprised me. Mainly - how good the parts/ quality of parts that the Bose MusicMonitors employ. I'm impressed. Props to Bose for finally swaying away from untreated, small paper drivers with foam surrounds. They still do use small drivers in this set.. but at least they are high excursion, more stable drivers... with 2 passive radiators each speaker - which definitely helps with the lows.

He's right about the quality. Here are some quotes from a review on crunchgear.com:

Quote:
Brushed-aluminum cases are all the rage these days thanks to Apple, but Bose took it a step further and used stiff metal to help dampen vibrations.

...

Inside each speaker is a small tweeter and a pair of opposing passive radiators woofers that move in opposite directions squeezing air (sound) between them and out .5 by 2-inch slots on either side. That means bass and mids get dispersed horizontally, while the tweeters shoot the highs and upper mids straight out front. Combined with the sturdy enclosure and a DSP chip that beefs up the bass and the highs, this gives the Computer MusicMonitors surprisingly clear and full sound even at top volume.

The site gizmodo.com has actual pictures of the inside of the speakers. I'd post the link but I'm not allowed to post links. Search for: "Inside the Bose MusicMonitor Speakers (And How Bose Deals With the Bashing)". Here is a quote from that article:

Quote:
...engineer Santiago Carvajal used some serious terminology to describe how a fair amount of bass comes from the little speakers, specifically "dual opposing internal passive radiators." What does it mean? The two radiators face each other and vibrate in opposite directions, as air is released from the two slender ports on the sides of each speaker. The miniaturization was also aided by neodymium transducers (found in most or all headphones these days) and Class-D switching amps, which are small enough to hide out on a circuit board in the bottom of the right speaker.

The article you linked to also criticized Bose for using small diameter drivers. Bose specializes in putting big sound in small packages, so it doesn't make sense to criticize them for using small components. This is their niche. If you have room for larger speakers, then Bose may not be the best choice for you. But I needed very small speakers (with a remote), and the MusicMonitor speakers have amazing quality for their size - there's nothing else comparable.


The Bose MusicMonitor speakers are not cheaply made pieces of junk. I never looked into how the Bose Wave Radio is made (and I'm no audio expert, anyway), but it makes my ears very happy. I've got to go with my ears on this - sounds like quality to me.
 

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There's that saying you know, "once you go black you never go back". From an audio standpoint, once you get here, if you had no previous experience with true quality audio you change your opinion on most things.


Just use that EQ conservatively, you don't want blowing up those awesome speakers with "rubber surrounds, WOW!". I have a pair of speakers as old as my father that have rubber surrounds, that guy makes it look like it's the latest and greatest. Actually foam surrounds aren't that bad, if treated properly, foam doesn't rot either. But when you're just living off the hype you don't need any treatment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You don't have to get snarky about it. What do you care if I like my speakers? You get what you like, and I'll get what I like. I'm not judging Bose speakers by reputation or specs or technical information on their construction. I actually know very little about any of that. I'm judging strictly by how they sound.


The Bose Wave Radio has superior sound to the full stereo system I used to have, with amp, floor speakers, etc. The MusicMonitor speakers are extraordinarily clear - no comparison to comparably sized computer speakers I have from Altec Lansing. There is a muddiness to the Altec Lansing speakers that is nonexistant in the MusicMonitors. Also, the MusicMonitors somehow manage to spatially separate out the sound - though left and right speakers are the same distance apart as the Altec Lansing speakers. The sound is somehow more three dimensional.


The only thing I don't like about the MusicMonitors is that my ears detect a lack of bass in some circumstances - not always, but sometimes. I'm hoping the inline equalizer can correct this.


I certainly would not like to damage the speakers with an equalizer. Is that really possible? The MusicMonitor speakers do something to prevent damage and distortion at higher volumes - something about shutting down frequencies that get too loud for the speakers to handle. I'm probably explaining that wrong, but it was something like that. Wouldn't that make it safe to use an equalizer?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by permutations /forum/post/18134231


I think I found the answer to my problem - an inline graphic equalizer. This is really cool. I had no idea you could buy such a thing. (I tried to post the link to the product for others but was told I'm a spammer and should go somewhere else. Very friendly.)
http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/FBQ800.aspx
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by permutations /forum/post/18137978


I certainly would not like to damage the speakers with an equalizer. Is that really possible? The MusicMonitor speakers do something to prevent damage and distortion at higher volumes - something about shutting down frequencies that get too loud for the speakers to handle. I'm probably explaining that wrong, but it was something like that. Wouldn't that make it safe to use an equalizer?

Yes, it's called a high pass filter, which guess what it does? It cuts the bass.
I'm also pretty sure that they have a compressor to prevent overload at high volume and a delay effect too (which adds that spatialization you talk about) If the filter slope is steep enough as to not allow any damage to the speakers, using an equalizer will result in exactly no change. But of course, there is no such filter, so you will be able to dial some bass in with the EQ. Just don't use the EQ when you turn them all the way up and they'll be fine.


I've heard several Bose products and while they aren't bad, they're clearly overpriced. They're nothing i couldn't build myself in a pair of regular computer speakers, and i was *this* close to spending $100 on a 2nd hand pair of Bose PC speakers just to prove they aren't any better than the $15 kind (i'm talking about little 2.0 speakers here, heck, an ipod dock will probably be able to compete too). But i don't like artificial fx in my music. It's like SRS WOW effects, some people love them, some people hate them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
DL86 - Yes, that is exactly the product I ordered, FBQ800.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Th3_uN1Qu3 /forum/post/18138163


Yes, it's called a high pass filter, which guess what it does? It cuts the bass.

I knew that much. I'd rather it cut the bass than let it blow out my speakers and buzz. A small speaker is vulnerable to that, so it's a good idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Th3_uN1Qu3 /forum/post/18138163


I'm also pretty sure that they have a compressor to prevent overload at high volume and a delay effect too (which adds that spatialization you talk about)

I really don't have the faintest idea how the protection is accomplished on a technical level. Re the spatialization... I wonder if it has something to do with how the bass is produced. The treble comes out the front and the bass comes out the sides.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Th3_uN1Qu3 /forum/post/18138163


If the filter slope is steep enough as to not allow any damage to the speakers, using an equalizer will result in exactly no change. But of course, there is no such filter, so you will be able to dial some bass in with the EQ. Just don't use the EQ when you turn them all the way up and they'll be fine.

Which filter is it that you don't think it really has? The high pass filter that cuts the bass?


I actually never turn them all the way up. Believe it or not, these speakers can put out a lot of volume - enough to annoy my neighbors in this old (1886) apartment building. I can hear my next door neighbor's dog snoring at night.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Th3_uN1Qu3 /forum/post/18138163


I've heard several Bose products and while they aren't bad, they're clearly overpriced.

No argument from me there. I didn't actually buy the Bose Wave Radio that I own. My brother bought it for my mother, she died, and I got it. But I like it.


The price of the MusicMonitor speakers is completely absurd. They were my only option for the various reasons I explained (space constraints and need for a remote), but I refused to pay full price so I haunted eBay and Craig's List for a month. They retail for $400 (though a week ago Bose put them on sale for $350 until 3/13). I tried very hard to get them for $200, but the auctions always went above that. Then they turned up on Craig's List and I tried very hard to talk the seller down, but he'd paid full price, they were virtually new, and he would not go below $300. So I paid $300, which I think really is still about $100 overpriced, but at least it's better than $400. I would not have bought them if there had been some other product that would have worked in my space.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Th3_uN1Qu3 /forum/post/18138163


They're nothing i couldn't build myself in a pair of regular computer speakers, and i was *this* close to spending $100 on a 2nd hand pair of Bose PC speakers just to prove they aren't any better than the $15 kind (i'm talking about little 2.0 speakers here, heck, an ipod dock will probably be able to compete too). But i don't like artificial fx in my music. It's like SRS WOW effects, some people love them, some people hate them.

Overpriced, yes. No better than $15 computer speakers? No. What am I going to believe, pages of technical argument or my lying ears? I hear what I hear, and they sound good. I told you I did a side-by-side comparison with my comparably-sized Altec Lansing speakers, which are pretty good (and were more than $15). The MusicMonitors sounded significantly better.


What is SRS Wow? I looked that up and it sort of seems like an equalizer, but with something more involved - not sure what. Or is it just a software-based equalizer?
 

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My thoughts on Bose - ok sound but not ok price. I wouldn't have such a big problem with them if the price were more in line with what you get with them. With Bose, you're paying for the name.


Back when I was in my early teens, I was all about Bose. Every other word out of my mouth was either "Bose" or "Amar." I was so proud that the local fair was using a Bose rig for their outdoor talent stage... they were using 302's for "subs" and a combination of 802's and 402's for "highs." Me being who I was at the time, I thought there was no way on earth anything could sound any better.


Then, one day during the fair I went over to the talent stage. Beside the Bose speakers, someone had set up several big blue speakers. These turned out to be Turbosound TMS-4's, two per side. On top of the TMS-4's on each side was a single TMS-1. These were being powered out of the back of a van, and had music being played through them. The sound quality dropped my jaw and made my feet grow roots. I literally couldn't tear myself away from those massive blue monsters. I had to stand there and just listen. They didn't just sound better than the Bose pro audio boxes, they were in a totally different universe. Things were never the same between me and Bose ever since



I guess what I'm saying is, Bose is ok until you find something you like better. If you like your Bose speakers, keep 'em.


SRS stands for Sound Retrieval System... it attempts to get 3D sound from two speakers. Like QSound from the early 90's, only a hardware solution that is a fair bit less impressive. I once visited a theater that advertised SRS... they had surround speakers anyway, making SRS completely useless as it can never adequately replace a dedicated surround scheme.
 

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SRS is both hardware and software, it's been implemented in some car stereos, and it is also available as a plugin for multimedia players. IMO all it does is sound like crap.


@ permutations, i think you noticed that i tried not to get into any technical arguments. Of course everyone believes his own senses and that's how it should be. But i know what i can build.
And pretty much anything can go loud enough to annoy your neighbors if you clip it hard enough (or if you have really thin walls, i don't think your neighbor's dog snores THAT loud), but the question is, does it still sound like music when you do that.
 
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