In general terms, how do these two names stack against each other?
While I'm at it, is there another speaker system in the $1K-$2k range I'm should be looking into for my home?
If I was spending in your price range I wouldnt be primarily looking at Yamaha or Bose. Neither ranks very high on my speaker manufacturer list.
What are you looking for, tower speakers, bookshelf, micro? What are your sources, DVD, CD, TV? Do you have a receiver/amplifier?
Currently I have a Yamaha receiver/speaker system that I paid $750 6 years ago with the following sources in my living room:
TV/DVD/SACD & a LD system
My post is 2 folds:
-(Need to settle one argument) Is Bose that MUCH better than a Yamaha or are both equal?
-what others systems are up there in that price range?
me think Onkyo...
Bose IMO is a WAY overpriced overhyped brand. You should really go and listen to a couple of different systems and decide for yourself. I bought into the Bose acoustimas system as my first home theater, long story short I have since determined that they are easily some of the poorest performing speakers per dollar that I have ever owned.
Also HTIB are almost always a compromise. Less connections, lower quality electronics with little ability to upgrade. I would recommend you look at spending $600-$1000 of your budget on a good Receiver(Harmon/Kardon, Yamaha, Onkyo, Marantz). I would then budget the remainder on speakers, probably $300 - $500 on the subwoofer (Brands to look at: SVS, HSU, Velodyne), and the balance on the 5 speakers (There are literally hundreds of good brands out there, Klipsch, Polk Audio, Energy, Paradigm, Whaferdale, AV123, Home Theater Direct). Some of the online brands offer the best bang for the buck but the downside is that you cant see/hear them in advance, you may be able to trial them but would have to mess with shipping. Bottom line is seperates offer superior sound and an ability to upgrade. Go out and find a home theater store and hear what they offer, go online and find the equipment the meets your needs and budget.
I agree with cseyer. For the kind of money you're talking about spending for HTIB, you can buy separates which will sound much better and won't be a technological dead end. Good 5.1 home-theater receivers go for under $200 at the big-box stores (not the best stuff in the world, but better than HTIB); there are excellent speakers available for around $100 apiece, especially since the back (surround) speakers don't have to be that perfect. Other speaker brands to consider in this price range would be B&W (their 303 is a very fine speaker for the $$), Monitor Audio's Bronze and Silver lines, and NHT. If you live in an urban area, there likely is an independent shop that sells high-end audio that would carry some or all of these lines, so you could see and hear them.
If the budget is running kind of tight, think about used speakers (many shops and places like craigslist sell used gear that typically is way above garage-sale material) or even waiting to buy the subwoofer until later. I realize the subwoofer provides significant "oomph" to home theater, but its absence will not be as noticeable as poor speakers will be. Another option to save $$ might be to skip a purpose-built center-channel speaker in favor of one more of whatever you're using in the front. You have to have the space for this, of course, and there are some minor issues with the dispersion of the sound, but it should be okay, especially when compared to a HTIB.
Steve and others: I'm thinking about a shoestring-budget HT setup myself. I don't really even want the rear surrounds, at least right now. Main requirements are a center channel that I can control, as my wife has difficulty hearing the dialog. So in order to do that, it sounds like I could get one of the $200 HT receivers, and at least three speakers. I have two inexpensive Sony speakers that would do for the front, would just need the center channel. As you note the center channel speakers are expensive, but maybe it would be worth it to go ahead and start building the system from there. Would need adequate video switching as my HD TV has only one component video input. Also assuming that the $200 receivers have adequate audio adjustments to make this work with only the 3 speakers. Does all this sound ok? Thanks! The other Steve
Yes buying three quality front channels and a separate receiver is still preferred than most of the HTIB solutions. It gives you the option of adding a quality sub/surrounds later when you can afford to.
steve_a Sounds like a good plan, buy a good receiver and build around it as you can or want to. You can get by with mismatched speakers, however ideally especially for the front three you would want to have matched tonal quality for the best effect even the best adujstments cant make two different speakers sound the same. I have linked a good Denon AVR that comes in at $299 with 3 HD component video switching.
As far as speakers I own a set of these have been VERY impressed with them for the price: BIC Acoustech They are available online for around $800 for the entire 5.1 set and are an incredible value IMO.
Here is a link that might be useful: Denon Receiver
What cseyer said ... :-) I built my HT in pieces as well. I tripped upon a good HT receiver at a thrift store (!) and slowly added surround speakers, a center channel, and a subwoofer. For as many movies as I watch (not many) and the money I spent (around $400, excluding the two speakers I already was using), I'm quite satisfied with this system for HT and music. My receiver (older Sony) also could process a "phantom" Dolby Surround into three speakers rather than five, so what you're thinking about should be quite do-able.
I remember BIC speakers from "back in the day" and recall that they were a very good value even then.
I just read all of your posts and was impressed with the advice. I am the owner of a home theater company and have designed nd installed about 2500 home theaters in the last ten years. Bose and Yamaha are not brands I would use unless space is very very critical for speakers. Somebody mentioned not being able to hear the center channel and forgoing getting rears. This is due to a couple of problems. The first problem is that 75% of all movie soundtracks come out of the center channel and 90% of consumer grade receivers have underpowered center amps and these amps share power supplies with other amps inside of the receiver. My suggestion is 75% of budget should be spent on the receiver because what good is a porche with a honda civic engine. Second there are over 100,000 speaker brands in North America alone. most are sufficient. Stay in budget and those will be the ones for you. The subwoofer should be the second most expensive item due to cheap subs do nothing but sound like crap and make everything else sound like crap. If you hear the sub rattling don't get it. $500 minimum on a consumer sub is the minimum and %1000 is optimal
Thanks everyone for the advice. The Denon receiver looks really good. Steve
thank you guys- now I need to convinced wifey that Bose ain't all that, even thou she think they are the best and insisted on it!
(something to do w/ a Bose system in her Acura...)
If you do want to go the HT in a box route, I suggest going with Onkyo 1000 watt 7.1 system, or even 5.1. For $400 you can't beat it. Sounds as good as most $1000 systems.
Rav-tell her that BOSE stands for "Better Off w/Something Else." I, too, used to have an Acoustimass setup, and liked it for a while. Then I did a little research, and eventually bought some Infinity RS5's and hooked them both up together (Bose on the Left, Infinity on the right), and played some music. OMG, it was unbelievable. There were entire instruments that you could not hear at ALL on the Bose, because of the frequency gap that exists between the Bass module and the cubes. I couldn't believe my ears. That's why you'll never see a display giving Bose the Pepsi challenge. (Not by Bose anyway.)
I don't want to sound like I'm slamming Bose, lots of people like them...especially for very small spaces. I'm just giving you my example.
As far as receiver & speakers go, I concur with the above posts. I personally have an Onkyo, 3 years old, and still love it. You'll find that not that many movies are produced in 7.1, so you'll be fine with a 5.1 receiver w/DD & DTS. Also, don't be too impressed with high watts/channel specs., the better receivers are concerned with "clean power", not just power. Mine only puts out 75/channel, and it shakes the walls.
Bose technology is based on acoustic science. The hole that is present on many speakers is an acoustic trick that produces a larger bass response with respect to size. Bose reflects sound around inside their speakers in effort to obtain a large bass from very small speakers. Quite a bit of complex math goes into bose speakers and many people say their the best. Bose speakers certainly aren't the most accurate speakers. Recording studios don't use bose speakers unless they are paid to. Many studios use yamaha ns-10 speakers which are really a piece of junk but still more accurate than bose speakers. The reason studios use ns-10 speakers is simply availability back in the 80's, a common reference and price.
I have the Yamaha YSP-whatever-it-is. I'm quite happy with it. With my eyes closed, I can totally hear things behind me. Pretty neat. The wife won't let me install a bunch of speakers, so this was my only option. I'm quite happy, especially with my old Sony sub hooked up.
I also considered that Denon s301. Decided I wanted to get a separate upconverting DVD player and eventually bluray.
Just my 2cents.
I also find myself looking to stay with Bose 701 for my fronts and adding yamaha or to stay iwth Bose or ditch the Bose and go all yamha or another brand and introduce a sub as really is needed. Should I ditch the 701s and sell and move into easier to manage for space speakers instead of the frustraiting direct reflecting technology Bose use?
Should I ditch the 701s and sell and move into easier to manage for space speakers instead of the frustrating direct reflecting technology Bose use?
If you were going shopping for speakers at that price level above; you be shopping for middle end speakers; not junk like Bose and Yamaha. You need to go to your local audio stores and test some Klipsch, Velodyne, Definitive, JL Audio, B&W, etc....
It a big differences in sound. You get what you pay for in audio gear. More you pay the better the sound in general.