July 09, 2006

Why Bose Sucks Review Resources

The following is a list of resources you should read before you let anyone you know buy a Bose system. You can get far better sound performance for a much lower price if you buy audiophile brands such as Epos, NHT, and even the more well-known B&W. For those in the market for a pair of affordable, high fidelity "audiophile" speakers, I recommend the Usher S-520. I bought a pair recently and I'm very very satisfied. Stereophile also has a good list of audio component reviews for under $1000. If you have questions for other smart early adopters, try our discussion forum.

Smart Money Review - http://www.klipsch.com/media/Newscenter/SmartMoney%20Reprint_062404.pdf
We turn up the volume on the Bose Acoustimass 5 Series IIIsystem ($500), which includes two tiny speakers—just 6.2-inches high— and a subwoofer. Bose is the No. 1–selling speaker brand in the country, likely due to the company’s hundred or so retail stores. But it’s certainly not this audiophile’s speaker of choice. “No, no!” Reed yells, not even a minute into “Rock Minuet,” furiously waving his hands back and forth for us to stop. His complaint? The speakers deliver high- and low-end sound, but no middle. Plus, they display a “harsh high end,” and although the subwoofer adds nice bass, “it makes the guitar sound thin.”

A Bose spokesperson says that the speakers are balanced and designed to reproduce low and mid-to-high frequencies “according to the artist’s original performance.” But this artist, for one, disagrees. Still, we give the Bose another shot, this time playing hip-hop artist Mos Def, to test how the speakers handle heavy bass. “Oh no, oh no,” Reed groans, sitting up to pet Lola, his Jack Russell terrier, who’s curled up on a pillow next to him. “I’d pay money not to hear that.” “Next,” Reed demands.

Why Bose Sucks - http://www.intellexual.net/bose.html
As a part of a small sect of audio enthusiasts who loathe the company Bose Corp. for its marketing deception, shortcutting in manufacturing, and shameless consumer trickery, I was recently passed on a website written by a "Bose-o-phile", who was defending the company. Upon reading his site, I vowed to represent our side: the TRUTH.. Popularity of a name brand doesn't equate to quality. Bose mystique feeds off of its well-targeted audience: the ignorant, ill-informed, mass-market consumers who search for simplified hifi audio solutions in "all-in-one" chain stores.. Audio newbies often throw out the "But I heard that Bose is good!" defense, to which I respond "From who?" Was it a sound engineer, electrical engineer, materials scientist, studio engineer, sound producer, recording professional, musician, Mark Levinson? Ray Dolby? George Lucas? Anyone credible? Or was it your neighbor with the GoldStar walkman, Teac boom box, Funai mini-system, and Sylvania receiver? Perhaps the ubiquitous Bose Ads that they find in completely irrelevant magazines such as Popular Science, Times, Playboy, GQ, People, Astronomy, etc, had some sort of subliminal effect against the better of their judgment?

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 enthusiasts. 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.

Former Speaker Salesman - http://www.hometheaterblog.com/hometheater/2006/03/what_about_bose_1.html
I’ll close in saying that Bose is very often an emotional purchase by uninformed (through no fault of their own) buyers looking to buy a ‘surround sound system’ and more often than not the size of the Satellite Cubes is what seals the deal. However if you’re after genuine sonic fidelity and aren’t limited to a speaker that’s tiny, I urge you to do your research, hear multiple systems and refrain from impulse purchases, your ears and wallet will thank you.

Leading A/V Message Board on Bose - http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=343759&highlight=bose
I currently have a Bose Lifestyle 35 System. I thought I had the best system until I heard a friends Klipsch system. It litteraly blew me away. Apparently I bought advertising.

My roommate a few years back had Bose 301's. He thought they rocked. I picked up some Wharfedale Valdus 400's for about $200 less for a pair that simply made him want to cry. He said it made him sick, that he wasted all that money on a set of speakers that he cannot even listen to anymore without getting FURIOUS. To say the difference was night and day is a GROSS understatement.

The thing I don't like about bose is that in almost all of their displays the speakers are right on top of you, and usually cranked up to a very high level. This gives the consumer the idea that speakers are full and and have a good soundstage, when it's just the opposite. Almost any speaker will sound good, in a crouded store, when the speakers are right on top of you and cranked up so loud they are distorted.

Bose Sues Consumer Reports - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_Reports
In 1984, Bose Corporation sued Consumer Reports for publishing a review in which Bose speakers did relatively poorly. The review stated that the stereo image of the Bose speakers was unstable and "tended to wander about the room", undermining the basic Direct/Reflecting concept behind Bose's products. The final verdict ruled that Consumer Reports had in fact libeled Bose by overstating its negative findings, which were, more precisely, that the stereo image merely "moved along the wall" behind the speakers. This was something of a Pyrrhic victory for Bose, as since then both Bose and Consumer Reports readership in demographic areas where Bose products are targeted have became bitter enemies, and the same may hold true today. Furthermore, the monetary award of $210,000 in libel damages was appealed to the Federal Supreme Court, who overturned it. Nevertheless, the case is believed to have had a chilling effect on publication of subjective preferences in reviews, both specifically by Consumer Reports as well as in the media as a whole.

Circuit City Employee - http://www.retailworker.com/node/10435
Friends Don't Let Friends Buy Bose.. I am really fucking sick of telling customers that the Bose speakers are really cheap cardboard and foam pieces of shit, and that Bose's high-tech "engineering" (if you can actually call it that) makes no sense at all. Also, small speakers (especially ones that are cardboard with foam surrounds) are not meant to handle any midrange or bass frequencies. My point to all this mess? Well besides hating companies like Bose (and sony too) that have no shame in ripping off people who don't know any better, I'm hoping that newer entertainment employees or CC employees in general will stop selling these pieces of shit. Permalink - Discuss