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Why does Bose sound so good?

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
I know how much Bose is hated by people who consider themselves audiophiles and Im fully aware of the whole no highs no lows must be bose saying.

Ive heard the Bose Acoustimass systems as well as the 321 at BestBuy and I agree they dont sound very spectacular. The speakers were placed very close. They were loud, but did not sound very clear or detailed and the bass was terribly boomy and muffled.

However, I was at an Apple store the other day and decided to listen to their noise canceling headphones as well as the Companion series computer speakers. I really thought there was something about the sound that stood out and made it sound very good to my ears. I am not quite sure how to describe the sound, but it sounded very "full" and the voices stood out. What gives? Do they use some sort of special equalizer? I didnt spend too much time listening, and as much as I want to hate them (after reading all the anti-bose statements), I really thought they sounded good to my ears.

Im not looking to start a flame war here or anything, but I am really curious. Anyone have a good explanation?
post #2 of 47
Check out this discussion.
post #3 of 47
Why Bose Sucks Review Resources.

This has links to the most popular resources explaining just how bad Bose is.

I don't know what experience you've had with other headphones, but after listening to and owning a variety of them, Bose headphones are terrible in comparison. I encourage everyone to listen to Bose and compare them to other headphones. The difference is not subtle.
post #4 of 47
one thing to consider is the test environment, the apple store is probably noisy or otherwise busy, its not ideal for critical listening on any system, so of course anything that can accomplish sound will be decent to your ears

honestly, bose systems don't sound that bad, in my experience, they're about right for the price, the over-ear headphones are probably a bit overpriced, but they *are* better than most crap presented to the consumers, the theatre/computer systems are, to be honest, not bad for the money

yeah, I know i'm now a pariah on head-fi, because I don't ride the party line and hate bose, but honestly at ~$1400 their HTIB systems aren't terrible, but yes, you can do better for the money

computer speaker wise, not a huge fan of computer speakers, and the companion series are masively overpriced, but they aren't bad sounding (if they were 60% of their current retail price, they'd be more fair, whatever the "big" sat system was (think its called Companion 5) is decently comparable to the Klipsch PC speakers, which are $130-$145, not $399)

straight up, they aren't the best, but they don't sound awful, I can enjoy music or movies on most Bose products, no, it isn't the same experience as Guarneri Memento's or K701's, but its still enjoyable, if you let the snobbiness go

now here's my plug to reality: if you don't own Bose right now, I would not suggest changing that, unless its free, or massively discounted
post #5 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post
straight up, they aren't the best, but they don't sound awful, I can enjoy music or movies on most Bose products, no, it isn't the same experience as Guarneri Memento's or K701's, but its still enjoyable, if you let the snobbiness go
It's not snobbiness. Bose does not sound like live music.

Try to find response graphs at the Bose website. Go pull up their PDF product data sheets. See any measurements? Any real performance specs? Any idea why those don't exist?

Want to guess why no Bose products are THX certified?

Bose products measure and perform terribly. They do not sound like the real world, everything sounds artificial.

Bose knows they're routinely savaged by audiophiles and serious music listeners. Bose has never, ever responded to criticism. Well, other than to sue Consumer Reports for pointing out their products weren't much good.

Yes, Bose gets picked on. But it's one of those companies that actually deserves it. It's like that co-worker who gets picked on all the time and you feel sorry for. But when you get to know that co-worker, he's a total a-hole who craps on you when you're trying to be nice. You might decide not to pick on him, but you understand where the hate comes from.
post #6 of 47
See, I thought Bose sounded that good too, until I got a pair of real non-Bose headphones. It's all an illusion.
post #7 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by nobb View Post
Why does Bose sound so good?
They do?

Its probably just in your hear...
post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post
Try to find response graphs at the Bose website. Go pull up their PDF product data sheets. See any measurements? Any real performance specs? Any idea why those don't exist?
Of course, Ultrasone doesn't make response curves either , not that it excuses Bose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post
Want to guess why no Bose products are THX certified?
I get your point, but hell, Logitech z-2300's are THX certified

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post
Bose knows they're routinely savaged by audiophiles and serious music listeners. Bose has never, ever responded to criticism. Well, other than to sue Consumer Reports for pointing out their products weren't much good.

Yes, Bose gets picked on. But it's one of those companies that actually deserves it. It's like that co-worker who gets picked on all the time and you feel sorry for. But when you get to know that co-worker, he's a total a-hole who craps on you when you're trying to be nice. You might decide not to pick on him, but you understand where the hate comes from.
I think Bose is just going for a different market. One with, ultimately, a great deal more dollars than the audiophile market. They could probably create an accurate-sounding product, but boomy bass sells.
post #9 of 47
have you tried other phone from Grado ,Sennheiser ,AKG for around the same price ?


anyways,Sound Quality is something very personal thing in my opinion .

Few people (almost none here ) will like Bose and few will hate(Almost all the here ] them ,if you have giving chance to other phones and you still like them ,then I feel you should get BOSE .
post #10 of 47
Thread Starter 
I agree that sound quality is very personal. I wasn't actually intending to buy Bose actually. I was in the Apple store with some friends and I figure why not have a listen.

I've owned a set of Shure e2c and right now I am using a set of Ultimate Ears Super.fi 5EB (which I am satisfied with). As for my home theatre, Ive got a Jamo C60 series + Energy s10.3 sub. Im sure many would love to argue these are not true audiophile equipment, but I am happy with it. Maybe I am too used to the sound of my existing equipment, but there was something about the Bose sound signature which stood out and actually sounded good to the untrained ear. The last time I remember the sound standing out so much was when I had a listen to a set of Jamo and NHT towers.

I went into the Apple store fully aware of the negative things about Bose, but as much as I wanted to hate them I couldn't. Quite frankly, I was surprised at how "big" the sound was from something so small (Companion series).
post #11 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by ph0rk View Post
I get your point, but hell, Logitech z-2300's are THX certified


Thats because Logitech z-2300 sounds better than any Bose product, you silly!
post #12 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaZa View Post
Thats because Logitech z-2300 sounds better than any Bose product, you silly!
ouch!
post #13 of 47
I hate to be the one to say it but bose speakers and home theater systems are make with one person in mind the person who cares more about how there room looks than how the speakers sound... aka the wife....
post #14 of 47
I have a pair of Bose Micro Music Monitors. I don't doubt that I was ripped off (to a degree) buying them, but to their credit, they do produce an amazing amount of bass without a separate, and large, subwoofer and they are metal, not plastic. For what I wanted them for, as something to use with the TV, they are overkill, but they take up bugger all space and are sturdy. At the time I got them, Audioengine weren't (and possibly still aren't) available in Japan, and I didn't want to fill up the room with hi-fi gear. For general music playing, without sounding like computer speakers, they are fine. The Bose headphones I tried in the Apple store, however, sounded like rubbish.
post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post
It's not snobbiness. Bose does not sound like live music.
never said it did, said it was something I could still listen to and enjoy

Quote:

Try to find response graphs at the Bose website. Go pull up their PDF product data sheets. See any measurements? Any real performance specs? Any idea why those don't exist?
because Bose doesn't wish to publish them, consider that there is no oversight for published specs, and most manufacturers lie or inflate their abilities anyways, $200 receivers doing 110WPCx7 all driven? you buy that? Bose doesn't publish numbers, at least my guess is, for a few reasons:

A) the figures wouldn't be massively huge numbers, i.e: wattage/ch is probably under 50W, most people are stupid and view less watts == less noise == less good

B) it'd be yet another thing for snobs to bash on them for

C) a lot of their tech is highly proprietary, just like Yamaha doesn't publish a whole lot of information on YSP's


Quote:

Want to guess why no Bose products are THX certified?
because THX certification is by manufacturer choice, the producer choses to send a product in to THX, have it checked over, and get the marketing approval to stamp that logo on it, given that Bose likes to control its own marketing, and that THX certification ultimately means nothing (you do know what actually goes into making a speaker system "THX certified", right?) honestly, I applaud Bose for not buying into that consumer-driven marketing nightmare (THX has got to be the most worthless pile of crap ever concieved, because heres the real rub: even if your receiver is THX certified, almost no speakers on the market carry any form of THX review, and even if you buy THX certified speakers and cables, in order to have a proper "THX" system, the room has to be THX certified, have fun with that one )





Quote:
Bose products measure and perform terribly. They do not sound like the real world, everything sounds artificial.
nothing sounds like the real world, thats why its audio reproduction, not audio production, as far as measurements, tube amps measure terribly as well, lots of people still like them, measurements tell about 40% of the story


Quote:
Bose knows they're routinely savaged by audiophiles and serious music listeners. Bose has never, ever responded to criticism. Well, other than to sue Consumer Reports for pointing out their products weren't much good.
yeah, just like McIntosh knows they're routinely savaged by videophiles, serious home theatre types, and 95% of the general public, for costing more than a new car, and offering almost no modern features (or in too small a number), compared to what else is on the market (for much cheaper, and yes, I'm comparing McIntosh to Bose, because imho, both companies are very similar in internal ideology and engineering philosophy)

Quote:
Yes, Bose gets picked on. But it's one of those companies that actually deserves it. It's like that co-worker who gets picked on all the time and you feel sorry for. But when you get to know that co-worker, he's a total a-hole who craps on you when you're trying to be nice. You might decide not to pick on him, but you understand where the hate comes from.
nobody deserves to be hated, not saying it doesn't happen, but I'm not saying it (or your point) is right, yeah, we get that head-fi doesn't like Bose, and I'm not saying I'm a fan, but I'm also not gonna sit here and tear them a new ass just because better products exist, thats like saying a Lincoln Town Car is a piece of trash, just because the MB S65 is nicer (and knowing the generally euro-centric attitude of this board, this statement will get X2'd to hell and back, nevermind that the Town Car is consistently a top pick in automotive journals, has a spotless safety record (despite all the features of the Merc, none of them are actually proven to keep you any more alive), and has a damn smooth ride, if you ask me)

yes, Bose caters to aesthetics as well as performance, they tend to compromise performance for the sake of size and looks, because of the cute-ness factor, because thats what moves units, the honest truth is, 95% of the general public could care less if something bulkier sounds slightly better by comparison (and we are talking, slightly better, remember, diminshing returns), when the Bose system is A) a complete package B) viewed as an item of wealth by the public and C) cute

none of this is to really make any single point, I'm just giving my collected opinions on the subject, take it or leave it
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