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Why is Bose so good?

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Old 03-02-2009, 05:45 PM   #1
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Default Why is Bose so good?

I've heard many Bose sound systems before, and they are by FAR the best speaker setups I've ever heard. Even their standard speakers can sound as good as a surround sound system.

What allows Bose speakers to sound so much better than regular speakers? What's so different about them that makes them so special?
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:11 PM   #2
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You'd better have Nomex underwear on for this!

Bose is WAY overpriced and less than average sounding.
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:48 PM   #3
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And what speakers are you comparing them to?
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Old 03-02-2009, 07:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
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And what speakers are you comparing them to?
I'm comparing, say, a Bose SoundDock to an iHome.

I know someone with a Bose surround sound system and it sounds much better than either of mine. (a Sony and a Samsung) (I know they're not the best of the best, but I don't have any complaints.)
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Old 03-02-2009, 11:18 PM   #5
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Bose's smaller appliances like the SoundDock and WaveRadio do sound alright for the size, but the price set's me off.

As for the 'secret', it's all about sound porting. The inside of that sound dock or wave radio will look somewhat like a large intestine (for lack of a better descriptive word) with all the tubes and ports.
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Old 03-03-2009, 08:57 AM   #6
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Bose's smaller appliances like the SoundDock and WaveRadio do sound alright for the size, but the price set's me off.

As for the 'secret', it's all about sound porting. The inside of that sound dock or wave radio will look somewhat like a large intestine (for lack of a better descriptive word) with all the tubes and ports.
Interesting. Anyone have a link to a picture of this?
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Old 03-03-2009, 02:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kcgreatfox View Post
Interesting. Anyone have a link to a picture of this?
Page 8 of the owners guide....

http://www.bose.com/controller?url=/.../wms/index.jsp
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Old 03-03-2009, 02:40 PM   #8
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Old 03-03-2009, 02:42 PM   #9
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In the industry, "BOSE" is considered an acronym for "Buy Other Sound Equipment". So in that spirit, I have made it quite simple to shop for an outstanding home theater system using the same $1300 that Bose charges. Again, my opinion on the quote on quote "best speakers" cannot be relied on, nor can anyone else's. Since sound is a subjective quality, no one can answer that question but you. If in fact you are blessed with the inability to decifer Bose speakers from other premium brand speakers, then all the more power to you! I am not trying to promote or upsell you something fancier, nor am I here to play favorites. I'm merely suggesting superior alternatives to the Bose Acoustimass for the same price or less.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
This six-speaker unit costs $1299.99 USD MSRP. From dissecting it, I can tell you it costs $100, no more than $150 tops, to assemble. It performs similarly to a $500 Optimus-Radio Shack surround sound system and is very easily outperformed by a $350 Cambridge Soundworks system. For $1300, there are at least three dozen other configurations from companies such as KEF, PSB, NHT, Mission, Tannoy, Diva, Polk, B&W, Energy, Paradigm, M&K, Infinity, Mirage, Monitor, Jamo, Axiom, nOrh, Anthony Gallo, Dahlquist, Sound Dynamics, Acoustic Research, Phase Technology, Definitive Technology, Wharfdale, Boston Acoustics, and Klipsch that easily outperform all Bose speakers from the 151s to the 901. Bose equipment, even the flagship LifeStyle 50, resembles the sonic performance of the 11-year-old Aiwa minisystem in my garage. For $500, the Wave Radio is an overpriced alarm clock. If you're impressed by it, have a listen to a Henry Kloss radio for a fraction of the price! For $1000, the Bose 3-2-1 can not be described as anything less than a crime against sound reproduction. The message I want everyone to take from this lengthy review is that Bose, like Bang & Olufsen and Nakamichi, sell lifestyle and designer products whose prices are very heavily saturated by image and appeal. They are by no means, no means at all performance products. They have no cost-effectiveness, no bang-for-the-buck value, and draw no respect from any true audio enthusiests. If your goal is to appeal to and impress housewives, then this system gets the job done, but if your goal is high fidelity, high performance, high endurance, upgradeability, and fair market value pricing then I would very highly suggest you look elsewhere. I am by no means an elitist audiophile who touts golden ears about in gross snobbery. I am an audiophile in its purest and most basic form: one who is enthusiastic about high fidelity sound reproduction, which I think we all are to some degree. I've worked in hifi audio/video retail sales before (for two companies that offered Bose), worked on the manufaturing end, and have designed and personally installed home theaters for hundreds of clients of very diverse needs. I have no affiliation or financial ties to any competing speaker companies so I speak out of objectivity and out of a big-brotherly desire to inform those that don't already share my knowledge and experiences. Armed with this knowledge, you are now a more powerful consumer. So on that note, good luck and happy hunting!
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Old 03-03-2009, 02:44 PM   #10
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The frequency range of a high quality home theater system should be 20Hz to 20,000Hz with less than + or - 3dB fluctuation in volume level and be able to output 105dB during loud peaks. DVDs and CDs are produced in mixing environments that match these specifications and THX uses these specifications for the certification of home theater equipment and environments. Bose Acoustimass speakers are only able to produce sound from 46Hz to 13.3kHz at + or - 10.5dB. Bose Acoustimass, Lifestyle, and 3-2-1 systems are not able to meet standard specifications expected by DVD sound producers.
Because of a frequency gap between the bass module and the cube speaker, Bose Acoustimass speakers lose all sound material from 200 to 280Hz, often the frequency range of a human voice. Because the bass module has frequencies as high as 200hz, a user is able to pick out the location of the bass module within a room. The Bose bass module is unable to reproduce frequency ranges below 46Hz while DVDs have bass down to 20hz.
The Bose Acoustimass cube speaker has a frequency range of 280Hz to 13.3kHz at + or - 10.5dB. Compare this to the 72Hz to 20kHz at + or - 3dB of the B&W DM303 bookshelf speaker. The removal of high frequency ranges will result in a loss of accuracy in DVD and CD material. The large 10dB fluctuation in frequency accuracy results in inaccurate sounds between 280Hz and 13kHz resulting in sound being louder or softer than the original recording.
The Bose Acoustimass bass module and cube speaker remove 1/4th of the sound originally presented by DVDs and CDs. The remaining 3/4ths is presented with a high degree of error, up to 10dB louder or softer than originally recorded.
Bose employs a direct / reflecting design that supposedly creates a larger sound stage by reflecting sound off of side walls. Movie theaters, recording studios, and professional home theater installations attempt to reduce or remove side wall reflections because they create sound where none was intended. Clap your hands in a movie theater and you will not hear the echo from the side walls. Bose's reflective design creates an inaccurate sound stage that was not originally intended with the source recording, and promotes the installation of a home theater in an unideal listening environment.
Bose Marketing, Why Does Bose Sound Good?
The engineering behind Bose speakers is designed to play to the sounds the human ear hears best. Through acoustical wizardry, Bose is able to create the illusion of accurate and full range sound. Bose cube-based speakers remove the advantages of proper sound editing by purposefully changing the sound of original source material.
This illusion of "rich sound" is fed by the physical size of the speakers as well. The hidden bass module helps produce low frequency sound while the listener only sees small speakers. This creates the "small speakers, big sound" response that Bose has built their company upon. This does not change the fact that Bose speakers are not accurately reproducing music or movie soundtracks.
The cost of Bose is another part of the illusion. By attaching a high price tag, Bose creates an exclusive mystique to their product. Many consumers who have not seen the full range of speaker selections consider Bose "high end". The high price of Bose products actually helps their marketing.
Through the use of high priced marketing, wide availability, and sales promotions, Bose has built a massive market for their speakers. While word of mouth among consumers is often favorable, many owners have negative feedback. The $1300 Bose Acoustimass 15 speaker package has received a rating of 2.54 out of 5 averaged from over three hundred consumer reviews from Audio Review. In comparison, the Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 loudspeaker received a rating of 4.97 out of 5 in fifty nine consumer reviews. A full Ascend Acoustics home theater speaker package costs $1308.
Bose does not publish frequency ranges, accuracy, distortion levels, or power output for the Lifestyle or Acoustimass systems in their instructions, brochures, or website. Bose sued Consumer Reports for faulty testing procedures for an unfavorable report.
Instead of describing compatibility with Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS audio decoding standards, the Lifestyle system reports that it is "Digital 5.1 compatible". While higher priced Bose Lifestyle systems supposedly include native Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS decoding, they do not discuss it on their website. Bose product descriptions for specifications and decoding compatibility do not follow the industry standard format used by hundreds of other audio manufacturers.
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Old 03-03-2009, 03:06 PM   #11
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We know not to buy Bose for HT enthusiasts.

But some people have more disposable income and the wave radio is good if it suits your needs.

My dad has one in his bedroom and it sounds much bigger than it is.

It's not for me, but I wouldn't dissuade someone who wants big sound from something that small (with FM/AM tuners and CD player built in). The iPod SoundDock is also pretty good, but again, not something I'd shell out the $$$ for.


If he were asking about buying a Bose HT system, I'd rally against it too, but if he wants some small audio accessories and has the disposable income to afford them, Bose isn't a bad choice.

If it were me, I get a nice stereo receiver, some Paradigm Atoms and a good Oppo for the bedroom. But that's too much physical hardware for some peoples needs.
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Old 03-03-2009, 03:09 PM   #12
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In summary, compared to many low cost add-on systems, the Bose 'might' be competitive.
But for what a typical Bose HT system costs, you could be putting together a small high quality system with speakers that sound much better as they will reproduce music and soudtracks with greater accuracy and realism.
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Old 03-03-2009, 03:39 PM   #13
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$500 for a table radio. This, along with their cube speakers, have 98 cent 4.5 inch paper cone speakers with very little accuracy in the mid-range and no high or low end. And no power handling capability as well. No wonder they like to sell their stuff with proprietary connections. That way, they discourage the consumer from integrating real and serious equipment with their stuff.

When I saw the thread title Why is Bose so good?, I assumed the point of the post was 'why is Bose 's marketing plan so good'?
If I were a doctoral candidate in business school, my dissertation would be "Selling Paper and Plastic for Gold: The Ultimate Marketing Model."

Soon thereafter, everybody would be calling me Dr. [Anti]Bose.

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Old 03-03-2009, 04:31 PM   #14
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I'm glad I started this thread!

I never realized so many people dislike Bose. Now I'd be very hesitant to ever buy Bose over some other brand.
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Old 03-03-2009, 04:42 PM   #15
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Bose is so over priced it's almost laughable. They are the "Monster Cables" of the speaker world in my opinion.

I have an Onkyo HTIB 7.1 surround system and I abolsutely LOVE it. And from my personal experience with HTIB; the speakers have usually been so-so at best, and the woofer is no more than an over priced paper weight. But not so with this new Onkyo set up of mine. I have the older model though, the newer one even comes with an iPod dock.
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