I'll admit it, I'm a Bose fan.

skydog

Silver Supporting Member
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12,787
Remember those demo trucks they'd send around with what looked like huge speaker cabinets that were only there to mask the ‘tiny’ little Bose units that were lurking there?
 

GreatDaneRock

Member
Messages
582
Actually I feel audiophiles get duped into paying tens of thousands of dollars for "hand wired speakers, toroidal transformer amps, blah blah". Sure, they are unique and boutique, but take it from me, a pro sound engineer, there's no need to pay that kinda money to get superior home theater/home audio/surround sound
 

skydog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,787
Actually I feel audiophiles get duped into paying tens of thousands of dollars for "hand wired speakers, toroidal transformer amps, blah blah". Sure, they are unique and boutique, but take it from me, a pro sound engineer, there's no need to pay that kinda money to get superior home theater/home audio/surround sound
As an engineer, do you think the quality of recorded media today warrants even a moderate sound system?
 

GreatDaneRock

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Messages
582
As an engineer, do you think the quality of recorded media today warrants even a moderate sound system?
It depends on genres. I.E.: if into Jazz, contemporary/modern jazz, progressive stuff, yes as the quality of those recordings is usually pretty pristine and full spectrum. If into garage rock (white stripes, The Black Keys, etc) or punk then definitely not needed and a good pair of entry level speakers (minimum 5 inch woofer) should suffice.

I know, two extreme cases. I mix on a pair of JBL308 MkI, if I had to buy new studio monitors I would go Yamaha HS-8 for the money, or if I feel like splurging then Adams monitors (ribbon tweeter).

GDR
 

okie

Silver Supporting Member
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1,647
I've got an ancient pair of Bose 401 speakers that I use along with some KEF's and the Bose hold up very well.
 

Markv7

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
183
I'm a bose fan. Their computer speakers sound awesome. I even played my line6 through them. Their bluetooth speakers are great as well. For the home theater and other rooms in the house, I have moved to Sonos. They(Sonos) are expensive, probably a bit overpriced. But they are rock solid for wifi/airplay/home theater usage.
 

Tahitijack

Member
Messages
4,430
Bose makes one of the best counter top clock radios with cd player and aux input. A bit pricey but mine are very old and still play as if new.

I have the Bose L1 Model 2 with B2 Base and T8S ToneMatch which has made our acoustic and vocals sound amazing
 

john weires

Member
Messages
787
Actually I feel audiophiles get duped into paying tens of thousands of dollars for "hand wired speakers, toroidal transformer amps, blah blah". Sure, they are unique and boutique, but take it from me, a pro sound engineer, there's no need to pay that kinda money to get superior home theater/home audio/surround sound

As the past owner of high end audio specialty stores for 45 years, there is more than a kernel of truth in your statement. Price does not always guarantee superior sound.

But Bose is not necessarily exonerated by your comments either. So to the OP, the historical comments below may help explain why Bose speakers aren't universally loved or respected.

Audiophiles aren't the only people susceptible to hype or being duped. So are mainstream consumers who are more than willing to embrace something that is convenient to believe. I.E. a single very small box and unpowered woofer that produces room filling full range bass.

In the hi-fi speaker market, Bose was probably first and foremost in recognizing the wife acceptance factor, or WAF, and marketing their products to this much broader market than college kids or audiophiles. Unfortunately this was done with more than a few corners cut in both the speakers design and in the truthfulness in their advertising. This did not burnish their reputation.

These demerits, in more knowledgeable circles, do not necessarily come from recent products they have on the market. So to be clear I am not talking about their computer or bluetooth speakers which are not true hi-fi products or meant to be. Nor does it come because they make products both women and men will accept.

It comes from their laughable engineering efforts and parallel marketing hype from the 70's well into the 90's on a number of their most popular home audio speakers, most notably their 3 piece cube / woofer system. Knowledgeable audio sales people recognized their sonic and measurable flaws and usually recommended something else. Not surprisingly Bose eventually chose not to distribute their products to audio specialty stores for this reason.

So in most cases Bose speakers were sold at the local big box store and asked for rather than recommended. Any easy quick sale. Why bother muddying the water with a demo comparison?

I often asked Bose customers if they compared them with anything else before purchase. Almost always the answer was no. I then would tell them I am glad they are happy. I could have mentioned that in my substantial experience they likely would have been far happier with something else had they taken the time to compare. But what have been the point? They had already bought them. Best to leave them blissfully ignorant rather than angry at me.

As the reader(s) may surmise, I would have loved to have saved the world from bad sound, but clearly I and others like me have lost. We've gone from a component system or at least a console being the minimum acceptable sound in the 70's to people being happy listening to music over a monophonic bluetooth table speaker or worse yet over their phone.

For all I know, Bose makes kick ass bluetooth and computer speakers and you have every reason to be happy. But how would I know? I haven't compared!
 
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CheckSix

Double Platinum Member
Messages
3,605
As the past owner of high end audio specialty stores for 45 years, there is more than a kernel of truth in your statement. Price does not always guarantee superior sound.

But Bose is not necessarily exonerated by your comments either. So to the OP, the historical comments below may help explain why Bose speakers aren't universally loved or respected.

Audiophiles aren't the only people susceptible to hype or being duped. So are mainstream consumers who are more than willing to embrace something that is convenient to believe. I.E. a single very small box and unpowered woofer that produces room filling full range bass.

In the hi-fi speaker market, Bose was probably first and foremost in recognizing the wife acceptance factor, or WAF, and marketing their products to this much broader market than college kids or audiophiles. Unfortunately this was done with more than a few corners cut in both the speakers design and in the truthfulness in their advertising. This did not burnish their reputation.

These demerits, in more knowledgeable circles, do not necessarily come from recent products they have on the market. So to be clear I am not talking about their computer or bluetooth speakers which are not true hi-fi products or meant to be. Nor does it come because they make products both women and men will accept.

It comes from their laughable engineering efforts and parallel marketing hype from the 70's well into the 90's on a number of their most popular home audio speakers, most notably their 3 piece cube / woofer system. Knowledgeable audio sales people recognized their sonic and measurable flaws and usually recommended something else. Not surprisingly Bose eventually chose not to distribute their products to audio specialty stores for this reason.

So in most cases Bose speakers were sold at the local big box store and asked for rather than recommended. Any easy quick sale. Why bother muddying the water with a demo comparison?

I often asked Bose customers if they compared them with anything else before purchase. Almost always the answer was no. I then would tell them I am glad they are happy. I could have mentioned that in my substantial experience they likely would have been far happier with something else had they taken the time to compare. But what have been the point? They had already bought them. Best to leave them blissfully ignorant rather than angry at me.

As the reader(s) may surmise, I would have loved to have saved the world from bad sound, but clearly I and others like me have lost. We've gone from a component system or at least a console being the minimum acceptable sound in the 70's to people being happy listening to music over a monophonic bluetooth table speaker or worse yet over their phone.

For all I know, Bose makes kick ass bluetooth and computer speakers and you have every reason to be happy. But how would I know? I haven't compared!
Your post is exactly correct and precisely mirrors my experience of 47 years in the hi-fi hobby. Thanks for typing that all out and saving me the effort! ;)
 

Tahitijack

Member
Messages
4,430
Sadly the days of spending hours putting together a complete audio system even as basic as a Marantz receiver, Dual turntable, Acoustic Research speakers and an Akai real to real tape player, stringing cords and wire are probably seeing a sunset. Those in their 20s don't have the passion we had about tone arm weight and which Shure cartridge was the best. Audio seems to be dumbed down to apps and instant connections. Bose and others recognize what the customer wants today, as they did with the wife approval factor....speakers need to be small and the gear needs to be hidden away preferably behind a cabinet door....don't talk to me about heat or beautiful blue dial with gyro fly wheel tuning... So there we are.
 

Teleking

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,229
I think the small stuff Bose does, some of it, is actually pretty good. Their smaller speakers, headphones, etc. Although, I can always find something I like cheaper.

Way back when, when Bose was making their first versions of say the 301s, 501s, 601s, they were actually good speakers. They weren't the best, but they sounded good. I never heard a pair of 901s I liked.

But now, I think almost all their regular speakers sound bad. One of the worst concerts, sound-wise, was watching Prince with a "Bose" system. Just horrible sound.

I'm also heavily into recording. I use Focal's for monitor mixing. There are a lot of really great sounding records out there, from really all eras of music. I think some of the best vocal sounds are from the 40s and 50s. You listen to Frank and Dean or Perry or a lot of those cats, and you'd be hard pressed to find better vocal recordings. Talent and voice clearly had a lot to do with that as well.
 

John Quinn

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,623
This did not burnish their reputation. These demerits

Seems to me you haven't left the narrow band market of 'audiophile' systems. Bose didn't succeed because of the WAF - IMO they succeeded because they sounded good to the average person - they were anything but complicated to set up - they worked well in the average person's acoustical environs - and they totally bypassed the perceived uppity environs that alienated the average buyer. IOWs the buyer wasn't punished for not caring that they could hear the second chair Violinist chair creek in the third passage - or in laymans terms they focused on what people wanted - which was music - not perfect God endowed clarity.

And it's no secret that Bose outsold everyone in the luxury market - by very large margins.

And Bose cracked open many markets with the Wave Radios - which people loved - with their foray into Noise Canceling Headphones - which among the many - business travelers embraced wholeheartedly and bought in the millions. And in the 90s/00s they rocked the Home Theater Market with the 2.1,and 5.1 systems - that again sounded great to the average guy paying a premium - and didn't disrupt their homes by having to rewire the family room just to get a decent sound.

Now days they aren't doing as well - and the reason I attribute it too is Companies like Sonos who are out Boseing Bose - they are in the same budget area - but don't have the Dad Vibe attached to them - but are using very similar sonic footprints but are combined with BLuetooth and Wireless connectivity. In many ways Bose became the Kodak of the home media market - although they still have a good foothold.
 

dave b-4

Member
Messages
210
I have some nice, mid-phile audio equipment. But, I have the Bose sound touch whole home audio speakers. Similar to the Sonos, but have blue tooth and line in so they will never be completely obsoleted by software support...

fine for the bathrooms and the kitchen!
 

john weires

Member
Messages
787
Seems to me you haven't left the narrow band market of 'audiophile' systems. Bose didn't succeed because of the WAF - IMO they succeeded because they sounded good to the average person - they were anything but complicated to set up - they worked well in the average person's acoustical environs - and they totally bypassed the perceived uppity environs that alienated the average buyer. IOWs the buyer wasn't punished for not caring that they could hear the second chair Violinist chair creek in the third passage - or in laymans terms they focused on what people wanted - which was music - not perfect God endowed clarity.

And it's no secret that Bose outsold everyone in the luxury market - by very large margins.

And Bose cracked open many markets with the Wave Radios - which people loved - with their foray into Noise Canceling Headphones - which among the many - business travelers embraced wholeheartedly and bought in the millions. And in the 90s/00s they rocked the Home Theater Market with the 2.1,and 5.1 systems - that again sounded great to the average guy paying a premium - and didn't disrupt their homes by having to rewire the family room just to get a decent sound.

Now days they aren't doing as well - and the reason I attribute it too is Companies like Sonos who are out Boseing Bose - they are in the same budget area - but don't have the Dad Vibe attached to them - but are using very similar sonic footprints but are combined with BLuetooth and Wireless connectivity. In many ways Bose became the Kodak of the home media market - although they still have a good foothold.

I feel you are helping making my point for me without realizing it. That they are far better marketers than speaker designers.
Once again I am referring to their home audio speakers from the 70's through the 90's not their headphones or bluetooth speakers.

Some people will always be intimidated or put off by upscale or specialty retailers which is one reason why big box stores thrived and most Bose products were sold through them. But this is another marketing question and is not about whether their speakers were in fact of sound design.
I will also point out that while lifestyle products are sold through big box stores, luxury products are not.

I stand by my earlier assertion that if Bose's products in fact sound good to the average person, it is only through lack of comparison with anything better.
When I was a kid I thought McDonald's had the worlds best hamburgers. And to back my argument, I could point to their giant neon sign that said they had sold millions of them. Since then my definition of a good burger has changed. Selling millions of something doesn't necessarily make it a superior product. But as the old saying goes "quantity has a quality all it's own".

If you worked the retail floor everyday like I did, it would be obvious that when home theater became popular in the late 80's and 90's the WAF became more important than ever due to 5 speakers and subwoofer taking up more living space and being more obtrusive. Bose was not first to market with small speakers and a subwoofer but they miniaturized the product so it was barely visible in a room and very successfully marketed it as a lifestyle product to people they knew were unlikely to shop around. The same phenomenon lives on to day where surprisingly large and expensive home theaters are bid out, sold and installed with out the customers ever bothering to actually listen to any of the components. Again sales based on marketing a lifestyle purchase not necessarily based on the quality of the product.

Speakers from other competing manufactures during the same time like Advent, EPI, Boston Acoustics, B&W, NHT, KEF, JBL, Infinity and others were just as mainstream as Bose and can hardly be called uppity products as they were similarly price and distributed at not only audio specialty stores but big box stores as well. Purchasing any one of these other brands would have hardly made you an audio snob.

At the end of the day we must also acknowledge that you and I have wholly different views of what good sound is or isn't and so coming to agreement is probably not possible. My view was based on the training one receives after going to work everyday for 45 years listening to thousand of products over that time period. Experience is important and comes in part not just by reading technical audio books but through controlled listening and product comparison, something most Bose defenders often can't be troubled to do.

Oh by the way, it does not take 45 years of listening experience to be able to hear the benefits of and appreciate a product better than one that is mediocre. It just requires an open ear and open mind and may go faster if a friend or knowledgeable salesperson is willing to take the time to point out the differences.
 
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83stratman

Member
Messages
6,216
Sorry, sound engineers have some of the worst ears out there. Why do you think there are so many bad sounding records and shows that sound like crap?

Actually I feel audiophiles get duped into paying tens of thousands of dollars for "hand wired speakers, toroidal transformer amps, blah blah". Sure, they are unique and boutique, but take it from me, a pro sound engineer, there's no need to pay that kinda money to get superior home theater/home audio/surround sound
 

GreatDaneRock

Member
Messages
582
Sorry, sound engineers have some of the worst ears out there. Why do you think there are so many bad sounding records and shows that sound like crap?
Speak for yourself buddy, not only is good ears that we have, but a good sense of direction with the mix, how to properly balance things with compressors, and even out peaks and dips with expanders and limiters, crazy busing techniques that would make your head spin in circles, etc. And again don't get me started on a room acoustics. 25 + years doing this professionally believe me you know nothing.

You think because you listened to a couple of poorly mixed records and attended a couple of poorly sounding shows that all of a suddenly pro audio engineers know little about good quality of sound?

Pffff
 
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