Originally Posted by Maestro
Speaker are like cars, you have these audiophiles who will tell you what is best and why one is better than the others and totally forget the fact that most people would never experience and lack the knowledge and appreciation to even know the difference.
I have a friend who is a real audiophile and still listed to his music from vinyl since he claims the sound is more pure. He will sit there and tell you how much better and show you how each sound different, problem is unless you have a trained ear you will not hear what he is talking about.
Most people, including me can not hear the things these experts are claiming are important. If you can not hear the difference do not pay or buy it or just buy what you like as you would do with a car.
I do not think anyone would argue that with enough time and money you can put together a system which will out perform any Bose system. However, if you are not a sound engineer or have a trained ear, buy what works for you because you most likely will not be able to tell the difference.
To refute a couple point this guy made on that website, to back up my point, he talked about how the Bose do now work from 20Hz to 25KHz, true but why do you care, he is trying to claim even if you can not hear it you body some how does, interest claim. However here are the facts, and you can look this up, and I can tell you my son did project on this as well, most people can not hear above 15K actually it is age thing the older you get the higher and lower frequencies drop off, kids under 18 can hear 17KHz and up to 19KHz and the few odd ones can actually hear 20KHz, once you hit around 18 or so your ability to hear above 15K decrease quickly. So if you can not hear it why speak money trying to produce the sound.
He also attempted to state that if you listen to music which covers the entire range you losing the highs and lows, again who cares, most music people listen to do not cover such a large range, why because most people can not hear it so most sound engineers do not bother.
Then this person went into what the speaker are constructed of, again who cares and plus he is making statements of fact and does not back them up other than to say it look to him. Did he actually go out and tear all the various speaks apart and send them to a lab and have them analysis, of course not, he just trying to make a point they some how use cheaper material then anyone else. Not sure how much that is true. The best comment was that the speaker box allow emission of EMI and Magnetic field. Yeah all speaker do that, very few actually put shielding of any sort inside them, again who cares, unless you put your speaker next to an old tube TV the magnetic field are not an issue nor is EMI. EMI is only an issue in the 100's of KHz not on the low end.
As with a car go test drive them and stop listen to the experts, because you will end up buying something that cost more, and you can not tell the difference. I test drove a number of speaker and went to sound rooms at a audio store and for the most part I could hardly tell the difference. Bose can fill a room with sound as with many speaker the interesting part is you could hardly tell where the sound was coming from. I know this is what bothers many experts, because the make the comment they want to know and feel where the sound is coming from.
I will tell you this much, generally a package deals are okay if you do not have the knowledge or skills to piece it together yourself. However, Speaker tend to last far longer than the electronics, so my personal view is to separate them, buy good speaker that sound good to you and buy the electronics that meet your needs and update them as time goes on.
I have a couple of speaker systems in my house, and I still like my Bose and they are 20 yrs old so they are not the complete system. and they sound as good today as they sounded when I first got them and they are smaller than any of my other sets and sound as good and I never had any one come to my place and said they sound bad or horrible other than my audiophile friend, but that is a personal issue of his.
Since we are on a car forum and you seem to like using car analogies, allow me to refute your points as well.
All cars/speakers are always advertised with precise and measurable specs. For cars, you want to see hp/tq ratings and more specifically dyno charts. The speaker version of a dyno chart is the frequency response chart, which measures the speaker's ability to accurately reproduce sound at the entire audible range (and beyond as you pointed out). All major/legitimate speaker manufacturers will publish this information. Bose is the only one who does NOT, and for good reason, because it is horrible. So would you buy a car without knowing what kind of hp/tq it was making?
A good speaker should be able to accurately reproduce all sound between 20hz to 20khz with less than 3db of variation, this is equivalent to a car making a wide/broad torque band from idle to redline. The independent tests mentioned in this article shows that the Bose Acoustimass System was only reproducing sound from 46hz to 202hz from the Bass Module and 280hz to 13.3khz from the Jewel Cubes and that is with +/- 10db of variation. So it is not capable of making any deep bass (under 46hz), any midbass (202hz to 280hz) and any upper treble (above 13.3khz) and even the frequencies that it can reproduce, it does so at a wildly inconsistent +/-10db when the industry standard is +/- 3db. So think of this frequency response as having a car with a huge torque dip at idle, mid range and at redline.
You also point out that the materials used for the speaker does not matter. Bose's price point puts their products in the high-end/premium range where exotic materials are pretty common, certainly not untreated paper, which is pretty common in cheap boomboxes and alarm clocks. So would you buy a $300k sports car with an iron block engine and low quality steel chassis when you can buy a Ferrari for the same price?
Finally, you pointed out that it doesn't matter that Bose is not capable of reproducing the entire frequency range since most people do not listen to music that utilize that range anyway. Based on that logic, I guess we could just make Ferraris redline at 6k rpm since most drivers won't rev above that anyway.
The one point I will agree with you on is that you should buy what sounds good to you. Most people, 99% of consumers, do not know/cannot tell the difference between most audio components anyway, so ignorance is bliss for them. However, if you cannot tell the difference anyway, I bet I could build a system for half the price of any Bose system that will sound as good if not better. So even if you cannot tell the difference, you can still save a bunch of money by staying away from Bose.
*Background - I have worked at Tweeter (a high-end audio retailer) as a salesperson and custom-installer for several years a long time ago. I have sold Bose along with some other big names in the industry (Mirage, Kef, Klipsch, Vienna Acoustics, Polk, Martin Logan, Sonus Faber, etc) and during down times, I have had 100s of hours of listening time with all of these brands. The top Bose Acoustimass system at the time retailed for around $3k and it could not perform better than most $1k systems I put together.