Bose, or something better?

cheerful1_gwDecember 16, 2008

Along with a Blu Ray DVD player, I'm interested in getting a surround sound system for my 40" Sony HDTV.

I had the impression that Bose was the gold standard in sound, but is there anything comparable, or better?

Looking into the $1,000-2,000 range.

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Choices, choices, there are so many choices. Take a look at Home Theater and Sound and Vision magazines if you want a good overview and some recommendations in your price range. Bose is probably OK but there may be some that are better...

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 10:14AM
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Bose is not the Gold Standard in sound quality. Many will tell you it is far from it. They do, however, have the Gold Standard in marketing of an OK product.

Do you need just the speaker system do you need an amplifier/receiver to go with it?

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 2:53PM
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Bose is junk!

Go to some audiophile forum websites and post your comments that "Boses is the gold standard" You will probably get over 200 replies in a weeks time tell you their harsh opinions concerning Boses. It will be "wild" to read them all!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 12:32AM
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If you are a "gamer", you might want to buy online a Sony PS3. It comes with a Blu Ray player. If you aren't a gamer, then either get the Panasonic DMP-BD35K 1080p Blu Ray Player or the Panasonic DMP-BD55K 1080p Blu-Ray Player. They are easily the best Blu Ray players at their price points--and better than many players that are many times the price.

As far as speakers are concerned, much has to do with personal taste, budget, and very much the size of your room. Let me know if it is a small, medium, or large room (give specific measurements--such as width, length, and height).

Onkyo AV receivers undoubtedly give more features and bang for the buck at their various price points. The Onkyo TX-SR706 THX Select rated receiver can be found online at under $500. The Onkyo TX-SR606 can be found at $335 and the
Onkyo TX-SR806 THX Ultra2 rated can be found at around $620. Onkyo receivers are one of the rare companies that offer their receivers in black or silver, depending on your taste.

Bose is very over-priced for their performance. There are a number of excellent speaker manufacturers available that sell directly online (cutting out the middle man). Names such as: Aperion (excellent speakers, but so-so subwoofers), Axiom (have a large line of all types and finishes of speakers and subwoofers), (makes gorgeous speakers and subwoofers), Hsu Research(makers of great subwoofers and even a very good bookshelf style speaker at a reasonable price), SVS (also a manufacturer similar to Hsu), Emotiva (makes a great value bookshelf speaker at $199/each and a surround speaker at $249/pair. You would need 3 bookshelf speaker for the left and right front and the center ($600) + a pair of surrounds ($249), but they haven't released their self-powered subwoofer yet. There are a few other companies too.

Of course, if you don't have the ability to hide wires for the front and especially the rear surround speakers, you might want to get in-wall speakers. While in-wall and in-ceiling speakers generally don't sound as well at their price points, sometimes they become necessary from a design stand point, or just a spouse acceptance factor.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 1:34PM
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First thing to consider is what are your musical tastes other than home theater? Second is how much space do you have available or care to give up? Third is to make a collection of music and movies that interest you and find an audio or home theater store that only does audio/video or specializes in it and do an audition. Fourth is get the main information about the different brands in your price range and then audition them with music and movie snips that you recall as being interesting. I would take the salespersons input into consideration.. but I would let the speakers sell themselves to you. One technique is to go and listen to a couple sets that are their high end speakers for a bit and then go back to what is in your price range after listening for awhile to make sure of your decision.

I would STAY AWAY from the big box stores if you want something to enjoy for years to come.

I spent about 4 hours listening to different speakers when I purchased my Klipsch Forte's over 10 years ago and I to this day have no regrets. I listen to almost everything.. rock, blues, country, classical, hard rock and very few speakers are able to shine through all of it. But there are quite a few that can and that are in your price range.

You should be able to close your eyes and hear the horn player operate the valves on the horn... hear the fingers on the strings of the guitar...feel the emotion of the singer..

What your ears might love mine might hate that is why in my opinion you need the salespersons input and then let your ears guide you. It is hard to explain but taking that extra time to find the speakers that you can wrap your ears around will be well worth it.

To some Bose speakers sound fine and in a big box store at low volume they aren't bad to listen to as you walk by. To actually sit in front and audition them using music that is newer country or rock at anything above low volume is horrible compared to other systems available at a comparable price range. That is why you need time to listen to things YOU are familiar with and I won't go anywhere that I can't take the time to listen to what I want.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 12:35AM
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My father has a Bose home theatre system and I think it sounds great (we were watching Polar Express last night) (not that we are experts). However, he has had a real problem with it not playing well with other components. He's not real technical and often has to have someone come and work on it. Last night the Bose didn't want to come off DVD and go back to TV. We had to keep playing around with it to get it to work.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 7:33PM
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Let me state that I am not a Bose owner. Never have been. But I have been around their gear off and on for 25 years.

Bose isn't junk. It is a very well marketed, average performing, speaker company. They sound OK, are built just fine, and are marketed to someone who doesn't aspire to be an audiophile.

Their various A/V systems sound OK, look OK, and usually perform OK. Yes, they are also usually expensive. No, you cannot get many specs to compare their gear to other brands.

If you are interested in spending lots of time listening to various speakers, reading spec sheets, etc., Bose isn't the brand for you.

More important, they aren't trying to be. Buying from Bose is a lifestyle purchase not a audiophile purchase.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 11:49PM
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The key to a good Home Theater System is the subwoofer.

Get the most RMS that you can afford not peak power; with the smalleest size. I been shopping for my second Definitive SuperCube and have settled on either the II or the III. It just a remarkable subwoofer but well worth the price. I think the II is 12" squared and III is 11" squared.

Many cheap subwoofer advertise like 400 watts subwoofer but they are close to 75 watts continuous power. Don't get fooled by the cheap price and the great power. It not true and if it is it will be very booming not tight!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 11:54PM
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jdbillp summed it up quite well and diplomatically in both of his/her replies. One of the old sayings used to be "No highs, no lows, must be a Bose". Many other systems outperform Bose dollar for dollar.

I would agree that the subwoofer is a very important component but equally important is the center channel speaker especially for home theater.

To hijack your post a bit, I amconsidering an upgrade to the Paradigm Ultracube 12 subwoofer (1500 watts peak/650 RMS). Any input from anyone here especially as compared to the Definitive eqivalent?

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 5:46PM
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I haven't played with any Definitive Technology gear in quite a while. When I did it was good stuff.

But I have played with the Ultracube 12's little brother the Ultracube 10. The 10 is a great performing subwoofer. Loud, deep, and tight bass. I would imagine the 12 goes a little deeper and a little louder.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 9:03PM
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