Originally Posted by daniel521
I know their headphones aren't good but are their speakers good? Im looking for a good surround sound equipment to put in my room. If bose isn't good, which one should I get? (I heard dolby is pretty good)
How much are you looking to spend here? For the $2000-$4000 that a Bose Lifestyle system will run you, you can probably do better (but we'll get to that), but for the $200-$400 that their stereo speakers cost, especially if space is at a premium, you're probably not going to find much better without spending substantially more time (and as small speakers go, Bose does sit above all of the clash-makers like Klipsch (Micro-Tractix is horrible), and various blatant rip-offs of Bose/Klipsch designs (Jamo, Polk, Infinity, etc)).
As far as doing good or bad goes - it depends on the room the speakers are going into. A lot of claims related to sound quality of speakers and the equipment behind them usually ignore that by and large, the LARGEST CONTRIBUTING FACTOR to how a speaker system sounds is the room it is placed within, and how the speakers are placed in the room. This doesn't mean buy crap gear, but it does mean that you need to spend some time considering speakers relative to your room and placement options. If you have a very small room and cannot place floor-standing towers appropriately, they are a bad idea, for example. If you have a very large room, any "small speakers" will probably be a bad idea. Etc.
Originally Posted by GREQ
Speakers being good or not is rather subjective as every ear and peoples needs are different - Bose have made a market for super tiny speaker systems with a "wow" sound (a lot of shiny treble and PHAT bass) - but for audio quality (bigger uglier sized systems included) you can do better for the money.
I would very strongly disagree with this. Apart from the re-enforced LMS equipment that they sell for churches and shopping malls, most of their systems run fairly lean on the low-end, and don't have tons of top end glare (the same cannot be said for many cheap horn speakers, unfortunately). I'm not saying they're the best ever, but this sounds like blatant stereotyping.
Dolby is just a company that is an audio industry technology 'standard' like THX, which also has a rating system of audio quality. I don't think they actually produce their own loudspeakers.
Dolby and THX are nothing alike. Dolby is a research lab/company that develops and markets encoding/decoding products as well as other processing and enhancement suites. THX develops and publishes calibration standards and manufacturing guidelines for professional and consumer cinema equipment. Dolby is not a "standard" - it's a series of data formats; THX as a standard is generally impossible to truly meet in the consumer space (there are no turn-key solutions).
I think even a cheap set of Creative/Logitech 5.1 computer speakers can sound more neutral than a low end bose system, but I wouldn't get those either.
I would strongly disagree here as well. It's been a few years since Creative has released a truly high-end multi-channel setup, and their current high end speakers look like clones of the Bose Companion systems - Logitech equipment is notorious for muddy boom-boom midbass and zero extension (mostly because most of their "subwoofers" use 4-6" drivers hidden behind a big passive radiator with a massively over-rated amplifier).
If money is no object then I'd look into getting a decent 5.1 or 7.1 AV receiver amp (good 2nd hand ones can be had for less than 100 euros) and pair them up with a half decent set of speakers like Wharfedale DIamond 10 and an SW150 subwoofer. That'd be a good entry level cinema system - anything cheaper just isn't 'audiophile'
If money is truly no object, contact a CI and tell them you want a theater that will meet JBL Synthesis Platinum (http://www.jblsynthesis.com/Info/Story/51
) and (consequently) pass THX Ultra2 with ISF calibrated video. Expect to start at around a half million dollars and include new construction in the budget accordingly.
More realistically - as I said above, if we're talking the $2000-$4000 Bose HTIBs, I would steer elsewhere, but if we're just talking the straight speakers, depending on the room and placement, it can work pretty well. But that's how I feel about most HTIBs - they all fall flat somewhere. So I agree with your argument up to a point - separate AV equipment is probably the best performance/price offering, but Bose speakers may be a realistic consideration (depending on personal tastes and room size/placement). To be completely honest, many Bose speakers stay far closer to the ideal way we'd like to see speakers designed than a lot of more esoteric audiophile designs (e.g. wrt phase interference/propagation, axial response, MR, etc).
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac
Dolby is a set of specifications standards for A/V but certification doesn't mean every gear will have the same performance and tolerances. In short, it's a bare minimum for "good" sound with a DVD or BluRay. It's good in so far as you think of "what kind of gear can't get a Dolby certification these says?!", but then again there's that (previously*) ridiculously low-price HLLY 5.1 decoder that can be paired with 5 monoblock T-amps, 5 speakers and an active sub and I don't think the HLLY (or maybe it does) doesn't have Dolby or THX certification. Plus surely the T-amps don't, but the one thread on it somewhere said it was an amazing and cheap (then, at least) combo.
Dolby is not a certification standard, and THX is not a certification standard that relates to quality or fidelity (per se - THX is an opt-in badging kind of thing, so only manufacturers who pay to participate will have badging, generally this only means manufacturers who care about home theater explicitly). Dolby is a set of container formats and encoding methods (and the company that developed them) that are licenced and required to support DVD and HDTV (the AC-3 codec), as well as Blu-ray and HD-DVD (the MLP and EAC-3 codecs) (among other things (Dolby also provided technology for VHS, Laserdisc, and provides IP for PC software and the cinema industry)), along with DTS (Coherent Acoustics and Master Audio). THX specifies baselines for cinema design in terms of A/V processing routes, power handling, and other design guidelines, but falls far short of "ideal" in the consumer segment in the name of aesthetics. Amplifier classing and other things are completely irrelevant in the face of THX certification (and many Class A, Class AB, and Class D amps hold equivalent THX certifications).
If a system has a Dolby or DTS badge, it absolutely will have the same abilities as any other device with that badge - it must meet the encoder specifications to wear that badge. However beyond the encoder, neither of those companies cares, and that's where you get into massive disparity between products and their abilities. Since Dolby Digital is required for DVD and HDTV support, it's probably one of the most common digital formats that decoders support, after PCM bitstreams.
More about Dolby, THX, and DTS:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac
Must have been the room mode/s in his apartment. Now that I think about it, since his idea of a car audio set-up was to put two JLW6V1's in the trunk powered by a 1,000w JL amplifier, a touchscreen receiver, and stock front speakers, that's probably how he liked the sound when it was set-up (sub smack next to the wall, etc).
Room design/layout and speaker placement are key here - there is no one-size fits all approach to placement or treatment either. Anyone who's selling you a prescriptive methodology is suspect.
Regarding the FR claims related to Bose speakers directly, I've seen some pretty wild variation in "published measurements" on the Internet, which leads me to believe nobody with a proper measurement environment has ever taken them to task. Simply close-mic'ing your speakers with an uncalibrated mic/preamp stack into your laptop is not suitable for making arguments about the system's actual response.
Again, I'm not trying to champion Bose as the best thing since sliced toast, I simply find the blind and misplaced vitriol directed at them (likely just because they're popular and their HTIB equipment tends to run on the very expensive side)...unsophisticated. Their "small speakers" are fairly suitable in a small space, like a bedroom, if placed well and hooked up appropriately (another fun thing I've observed over the years - most people who scream that Bose speakers are "shrill" and "over bright" or have "boomy bass" never even hook them up correctly!), but they are not suitable if your goal is a large multi-row custom theater with a huge projection screen and the ability to meet THX Ultra 2 or Dolby Reference output levels. For that, you need much more specialized equipment, and I'll point at Klipsch, Definitive, and so on (companies that design equipment for that very purpose). Most audiophile speakers will fall short of meeting that goal too, FWIW. HT and 2-channel serve different Gods.
So overall, my response to the OP would be: we need more information to give you informed advice (and it doesn't matter if that advice is coming from a subjective or objective camp).