Originally Posted by cel4145
Yeah. It's pretty easy to say that "Bose does X, well someone else does that too." It's the sum of the argument against Bose HT speakers and their business practices related to them that is compelling, not any one individual point by itself. For example, they spend so much on advertising that they have influence over what gets published about them.
Bose is not the only company that directly controls media through leveraging it's weight - the print industry thrives on advertising numbers and nothing else, most "tech journalism" is PR copy (and has been for a decade). You're also basically dismissing your entire argument here - "no single point is the problem" (not that any single point holds water). Their business practices are no worse (and in many cases much more responsible and sustainable; notice they're not floundering right now, don't need a "bailout" and are otherwise a successful company - from an economics perspective, they're doing it right) than anyone else, but they get picked out because they're "uncool" to enthusiasts for various reasons (I think it's mostly just to be "edgy" and show that you can talk smack, but that's just my theory).
But granted, other audio manufacturers spend money on advertising and exert influence (although probably not quite so much).
You're making them into a big bad devil - they aren't. They're the same as everyone else.
And then consider Bose's aggressive litigation against negative reviews.
What "aggressive litigation?" They've sued for libel *one* time (in the 1980s, and it was founded (founded enough that they won the civil suit at least) but ultimately the decision was over-turned and reversed by the Supreme Court (and this was/is actually an interesting case in the history of free press and precedent in the US, sort of entirely unrelated)), there have been numerous negative or luke-warm reviews of Bose products published since then in everything from PC World to InnerFidelity. And they don't sue. They do not have an army of patent troll attorneys and copyrighters who hunt down and prosecute anyone who bites their thumb at them - and this is all public record, so if they did, it'd be relatively easy to dig up and expose. If you want to talk about mega-corps that are trying to control the entire world and everything in it, I think Sony or Google would be probably a far more interesting place to start.
I'm sure there are other companies that try to do that, too, although Bose has the serious financial clout to be scary and prevent voices from speaking. This is why there are no pro reviews with measurements of their HT speakers.
Bose does not prevent any "voices from speaking" - evidenced by how much nonsense is spewed about them online. You think we have protected freedom of speech here? We don't (Curra - I'm not trying to imply that MOTs run the board, but there is certainly a huge disjoint between what can be posted here and what I can say in a public gathering place). If they were the big bad monster you're making them out to be, what says they wouldn't just sabre-rattle with Huddler (or whatever other content provider) until all the negatives go away? And they don't. Never have, and likely never will.
Regarding "no pro reviews with measurements" - I'd like to hit this:
- First you start in about how published specs make or break a model, and they're a big deal. But in other threads I've seen you deride "acceptable" manufacturers (a few of the brands you rattled off earlier) for publishing made-up or unit-less specs (which are meaningless). Bose flat out stated about 15 years ago that they don't publish "specs" because they aren't going to play the number-invention game with everyone else. I'm not aware of any modern speaker manufacturer that publishes anything resembling "specs" either, sure, they can throw a bunch of numbers on the side of the box, but they're usually incoherent/incorrect and do not represent what the manufacturer wants to represent, do not reflect reality, or similar.
(leave it to Rane to come to the rescue though: http://www.rane.com/note145.html
- Regarding "pro reviews" - there have been a few measurements of Bose speakers published by reviewers over the years. None of them are what I would consider definitive (most reviewer measurement set-ups are quite frankly garbage - very few people have equipment like Tyll or Harman or similar, the "close mic response" stuff that you see in HomeTheater is not standardized or reliable), but they mostly seem to support Bose's claims that they don't have massively jacked up FRs (no insane boost or cut, no v-curve, etc) and they show speakers that are *relatively* flat through the mid-pass, with sub-bass roll-off (sub-bass really isn't all that), and some acceptable treble loss (so they're over a cliff at 18k - I don't think 7 year olds are that discriminating, and most of the rest of us don't have a dog in that fight). They aren't perfect, but they don't actually measure that terribly. Coupled with their generally linear phase and coherent wave propagation, they tick a lot of boxes on the "how to do it right" chart. The only real knocks against them are the treble roll-off (and I'm sure if we could talk to an engineer, they'd argue this was a trade-off because putting tweeters in would make the linear phase/point-source design much harder to pull off), and the bass extension (which is in-line with a lot of modern speakers, not great, but that's Hoffman's Law in action - if memory is serving me, their 8th order bandpass boxes (which are some of the Acoustimass passive modules) have an F3 target of around 40hz, and the 901 have a published F3 of around 35hz (this is right on their current spec sheet unless it's seen revision in the last year); I forget what AWCS and Panaray F3 targets are, but they're in-line with similarly spec'd gear from Mackie or JBL). Additionally you have to remember the golden rule of print media: advertising. Bose is not popular with the kind of people who read Home Theater or Stereophile or whatever else, so there's no point in reviewing it or talking about it - it will piss off customers. Same reason they don't review computer speakers or headphones for the most part in those publications. Their goal is to sell newspapers, not find truth, and you sell newspapers by printing things that your target dem wants to read, and then you take those numbers and get advertising bucks. There is absolutely no objectivity in there (if there was, you'd see more negative and luke-warm reviews, and you simply do not - the only things that grace those glorious gloss pages are new gadgets to buy and explanations of how much better they will make the world).
- Additionally there are published measurements of some of the raw drivers (some of which are being unofficially sold), and Bose does nothing about that. Not the "big evil litigation monster" you're describing, methinks. Finally, how did you say it? "I don't think it takes an audio engineer to..." figure out that a 2-4" driver run full-range is going to have some limits. The big one is the characteristic ~120hz dip in their overall system FR (this is room dependent and also the exact center-point on this dip depends on which itration of Acoustimass you're dealing with (Acoustimass itself is actually an over-arching brand-name that covers some very different box alignments (8th order double bandpass, parallel folded t-line, and folded slot vent)). Again, it isn't perfect, but given that +10 dB at 100hz is pretty popular these days, I'm somewhat inclined to say it's relieving to the ears compared to all the bass bazooka boom-boom shake the room "full size floor standing" speakers out there.
- Most of the MR issues mentioned above can be addressed via equalization to some level, and while this is considered a completely viable approach if we're talking Harman ARCOS, Trinnov, or even Yamaha YPAO-RSC, it seems that people get really bent out of shape when equalization is used to even-out the response of Bose speakers. I don't follow that logic at all. And remember that they're still more phase coherent and better damped than most of your current big-box offerings. Again, they are not perfect; they're the result of a lot of compromises with a specific target goal in mind: reproduce sound with the best fidelity possible in the smallest possible package with the best possible off-axis response at a given price point. Even if you don't like how their speakers sound (and this one gets me, if someone dislikes how a Bose or Beats product sounds, it's because "it's just a crappy product" but when we're talking about (apparently sanctified) brands that are "okay to own" it's just "personal preference - there is no right answer"), I think you can at least respect the engineering that goes into that feat. Thus far nobody else has managed to accomplish it - most of your "micro satellite" speakers from other manufacturers are either tinny/harsh or have equal or worse dips around that 100-200hz band. Sure, a legitimate full-range high performance monitor from Genelec or Mackie or whatever else is a superior speaker, but you're probably talking per-unit more than whatever the most expensive Bose speakers cost. And you're still going to be equalizing them.
So when one tallies up all the negatives, Bose represents so many things that are bad about the audio industry--and consumer marketing--not just one thing. More so than any other mainstream audio company.
What negatives? They're a profit-oriented corporation that seems to basically leave the rest of the world alone, doesn't try to bury customers with "trendazoid" marketing (have you looked at the face-plate of a modern receiver or Blu-ray player? or even a TV? egads!), provides end-user support to their customers, and basically just does their own thing beyond that. They aren't trying to leverage government policy to re-shape how media is delivered and make it easier to start nuisance lawsuits against consumers for attempting to use the products they've bought (e.g. Sony (and before anyone assumes that I'm ripping on Sony - I'm actually enjoying my Sony headphones right now, and own a number of movies, albums, and software products that Sony has produced; no they aren't a "good guy" all the time, but they make products that fill a need imho)), and they aren't trying to force everyone else onto the same page as them either.
I really don't see any negatives here beyond "I personally dislike them" - that isn't a founded, objective argument. It's just an opinion. And you're absolutely entitled to it (and if you'll notice, I haven't actually posited an absolute value judgment either about the company, this is not a "you vs me" discussion in my book), in fact I think it's probably best that you share your opinion - a variety of beliefs is what makes interaction interesting!
Well, I think there is a difference between being well-informed and "well-rehearsed." Even though you have labeled me as such, I'm not a Bose "basher." This would also imply an unreasoned, wanton attitude towards any of their products.
However you're simply repeating a very tired and worn-out old yarn about Bose being this "evil megacorp" that litigates their opposition, the press, the government, and everyone else into submission; brainwashes and lies to consumers by manipulating the entire market; and knowingly engages in fraudulent and other mischievous activities (and let's throw some direct criminal negligence and other stuff in for kicks, why not?). If you don't want to be labeled as a Bose basher, I can respect that (and yes, this means I won't call you a Bose basher again); but I'm still going to tell you that your entire "case" against Bose is neither original nor unique from my perspective, and that it also holds very little water when you actually look at a bigger picture (take emotion out of the game, that kind of thing) and consider actual evidence and historical precedent. It's not that I have any personal axe to grind with you (although I really do not appreciate being labeled a "shill" just for disagreeing with you), I just do not accept the evidence you're providing in support of your claims, as a result of having observed and digested stronger evidence to the contrary. And as I've said about a half-dozen times, I'm not even cheerleading for the brand - my thoughts on the performance of their products isn't a state secret - I'm just trying to look at the bigger picture in a logical manner. You're making a fairly impassioned case for them being "bad" or "the problem with the world today" and I'm really just not seeing that in the evidence. All I'm really seeing is "they're a lifestyle/luxury audio manufacturer, like B&O or Audio-Technica, and they make products that do not represent a high price/performance ratio, because aesthetics and cachet are a substantial component of their brand identity, and for performance oriented enthusiasts they likely are not the first choice."
I don't negatively criticize their headphones, which appear to be good products.
I'm curious, and this isn't meant to be an intrusion (I really hate that "I'm curious" has become a hedge for "hey buddy get bent" in recent years - that's absolutely not what I mean!), have you spent any real time with their headphones (outside of an in-store demo, which is a horrible way to try any headphone imho)? You've mentioned them as good products a few times - I'm just curious what your more direct thoughts on them are (what? don't look at me like that...we're all headphone geeks here, right?
And I recognize that when the Soundwave came out, it was a very good product for what it is (I think there are probably cost effective alternatives now).
I don't even know what that is.
But in the same way that I'm not going to shop at Walmart because of their bad business practices, when they also do some things right, I boycott all of Bose's products and will speak out against the company as a whole. Boycotting is one of the only methods by which consumers can exert any pressure against large companies.
I'll absolutely sit that one out if you don't mind - I have no political agenda or machinations of my own, and have no conception of why a technical discussion must become political (and you don't have to respond to this point - I'm not passing a judgment on you, just explaining my position (or, should I say, lack of position); if the political side makes sense for you, then as always, do what makes sense).