Consumer Reports' speaker ratings...huh?

 

edster922
Unregistered guest
I'm sure people on this board will find more than a few bones to pick here...

BOOKSHELF SPEAKERS

1. Cambridge Soundworks Newton Series M80
2. Sony SS-MB350H CR Best Buy
3. BIC America Venturi DV62si
4 Bose 201 Series V
5. Boston Acoustics CR75
6. Cambridge Soundworks Model Six
7. Boston Acoustics VR-M50
8. Cambridge Soundworks Newton Series M60
9. PSB Image 2B
10. Pioneer S-DF1-K
11. Pioneer S-DF2-K
12. Boston Acoustics CR85
13. Bose 301 Series V
14. Bose 141
15. Sony SS-X30ED
16. Polk Audio R20
17. KLH 911B
18. Klipsch Synergy SB-3 Monitor

http://www.consumerreports.org/main/content/display_report.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolde r_id=336107&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=333133&bmUID=1102902834199#bot2
 

Silver Member
Username: Elitefan1

Post Number: 983
Registered: Dec-03
What did they do, find the poorest group of speakers to test? Not much to choose from there.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Cornelius

Post Number: 78
Registered: Jun-04
I remember years ago (the last time I ever read the magazine), when companies like Allison and Boston Acoustics (the original design) were on the list.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jim_mcbob

Post Number: 15
Registered: Nov-04
Hmmm, Bose and Cambridge Soundworks made the list. I'm guessing frequency response and accuracy weren't part of Consumer Union's testing criteria.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 707
Registered: Dec-03
And they still want you to think they don't take money from manufacturers. I feel sorry for the people who actually listen to these morons.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jim_mcbob

Post Number: 16
Registered: Nov-04
I don't think they do take money, either formally or under the table, but since their test model acquisition process somewhat mirrors the typical consumer's experience, Consumers Union tend not to stray much from path of mass market offerings. The rare exceptions are in product categories where a CU editor has a special interest in a given product. But, since many out in the general public are passionate about audio, and therefore, so might some inside the CU compound, my theory might be flawed. Either way, I cannot imagine sub-$200 pair of speakers like the Paradigm Atom went head to head against the SONYs, Pioneers, and CSWs of the world... and lost.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 709
Registered: Dec-03
I rest my case............................
 

Silver Member
Username: Stone

West CoastUSA

Post Number: 128
Registered: Dec-03
Same thing for video equipment and digital transports. I bet most all the tested DVD/SACD/DVDA players were under 1000.00.
It's simply not geared toward audiophiles.
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
Well, I just hope their auto ratings are more accurate, since I tend to base my new car buying on their reliability reports...that's what led me to the Toyota Camry I bought a few months ago.
 

Silver Member
Username: Elitefan1

Post Number: 990
Registered: Dec-03
edster,
I don't trust their auto ratings any more than their electronics ratings. Look at JD Power and the NHTSA website for recalls and service bulletons for the real facts. This is not a auto site so I'll leave it at that.
 

CR Fan
Unregistered guest
I have to stick up for Consumer Reports here a little bit because it's saved me a lot of time and money over the years.

But when it came time to invest in a new sound system last year, I knew enough not to bother checking their reviews. As Stone and Jim-Bob mention, the speaker ratings aren't intended to assist the audiophile; they're geared toward the casual or budget-driven listener. There's plenty of folks out there who fit in one or both of these categories.

And the Camry is a great car, IMO. I love my '88 so much that when it finally gives up the ghost I'm going to buy a new one! Til then, it's amusing knowing that my stereo is worth more than my car. ;)
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2010
Registered: Dec-03
I just wonder if consumer reports tested the most bought speakers out there
instead of actually investigating what's suppose to be good and testing those
aginst the majority consumed speakers.

meaning that bose and others get bought a lot but are not neccasarily good.
so if they assembled a test bed of speakers from sales maybe this is what they got?

As most of us know the customer is not as well educated as they should be!
So a lot of inferior product gets putchased.
 

KBear
Unregistered guest
Exactly Kegger. CR is supposed to be educating consumers. At least that's what they yap about all the time. It's unbelieveable that when you start reading audiophile material it's a whole different world to what is presented in mass media and in publications like CR. I would have never learned about this stuff if I didn't take the initiative myself. I actually subscribe to CR though sometimes I wonder why.

IMO, CR, as part of their mandate, should be introducing consumers to these higher quality products, which, in many cases, are very affordable. They should compare them to the lower quality stuff, giving consumers the ability to decide if they want a better component for perhaps a little bit more money. People reading this mag probably don't even know they have the choice (that is their fault too but still reflects poorly on CR). Hell, this magazine reviews home theatre components very frequently. Maybe three times per year. They certainly could fit a few better products into their stories every once in a while.

And this theory that they test only what sells, what is known, what is mass market, is kind of hard to believe considering they test a vacuum cleaner that is like $700. I think it's made by an obscure company called Kirby or something like that. I can't imagine too many people own one of those things.
 

JonS
Unregistered guest
Keep in mind that CR started decades ago with the mission to educate consumers. This was long before computers and the internet made information readily available (and before ecoustics, epinions, amazon and buy consumer ratings, etc.) so they were really the only source of impartial information (do you trust salespeople for items you know nothing about?).

While I generally agree with their analyses and feature recommendations, I think their selection of products for actual testing and ultimate rankings could be much better. It seemed better in the past, but maybe there are too many choices now.
 

CR Fan
Unregistered guest
It would be very cool if CR narrowed its scope to researching higher end/higher quality electronics, or perhaps even better yet - started a spinoff mag geared specifically towards these types of items. In the meantime, it's impossible for for one entity to be all things to all people, and I'll keep my CR subscription because they have served me well.
 

Gaband27
Unregistered guest
Gee, I wonder which companies on that list buy the most advertising space on CR?
 

Gaband27
Unregistered guest
Gee, I wonder which companies on that list buy the most advertising space on CR?
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
> This was long before computers and the internet made information readily available (and before ecoustics, epinions, amazon and buy consumer ratings, etc.) so they were really the only source of impartial information (do you trust salespeople for items you know nothing about?).

Good point. However, even the user reviews you find at epinions, amazon, cnet are often very shady---any low-level advertising department person could very easily log on and post shill reviews, and they often do.

I suspect that it's probably a routine part of many manufacturers' product launch plans to generate "buzz" by 1. pushing their product to be (favorably) reviewed by audio mags where they advertise a lot and/or wine/dine/bribe the reviewers with free sampes, and 2. publishing a bunch of shill reviews on various websites and possibly on newsgroups like this, which allow unregistered people (like me) to post.
 

CR Fan
Unregistered guest
Right on, Ed. You really have to take most reviews with a grain of salt. Your own listening experiences really have to be the deciding factor

To Gaband27: Thumb through a copy of CR at a newstand. Sounds like you'll be surprised to see there is no advertising space at all.
 

eavesdropper
Unregistered guest
Good pts. by JonS & the subsequent post by CF Fan.

oh, and lol @ Gaband27: owned!

 

Bronze Member
Username: Touche6784

Post Number: 51
Registered: Nov-04
let me ask you guys this, if you are planning on buying a new car where would you look to get accurate reviews by qualified people? car magazines like car and driver or tv shows like top gear. a camry is a nice car, but it is in a different world compared to a german car. i would like to say that its the same in audio. bose may be ok, but nothing compared to B&W or Paradigm. and it all comes down to what you care about. many people could care less what their car's 0-60 time is, the weight balance of their car or how well it handles corners. so why would anyone bother spending money on something they dont care about just as in audio, why bother spending time to know any better when you can go to best buy and get something all at once. i mean, to be informed in this market you first have to learn about good speaker designs, crossovers, appropriate woofer materials, size. then there is recievers and separates. just like any hobby or special interest, most people dont want to take the time to be informed. so, why are you guys complaing about all this? those that are smart enough to want anything good will go look into specialty mags or specialty stores and not waste their time at big stores.
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
Christopher,

I guess for me it all comes down to what is the best cost-benefit ratio.

For example, a Camry to me is worth all the advantages (reliability, comfort, resale value) that justifies paying say $8K more than a Ford Focus. However the benefits I'd gain from owning a BMW 735i (better performance, style, handling, luxury features) to me do not justify forking out an extra $30-40K.

I'd use the same principle when buying audio. I don't want the crap sound of a low-end Sony receiver for $200 but I'd be willing to pay an extra $100 for the better sound of an Onkyo 601 or an extra $250 for a Marantz 5400.

If Consumer Reports is able to educate me enough to buy a Camry over a Ford Focus, it should be able to also educate me enough to want to buy the Onkyo or Marantz over the low-end Sony.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Touche6784

Post Number: 53
Registered: Nov-04
i dont mean to pick a fight, but who said consumer report is the last or only thing to read when making purchases? if i was to buy things as expensive as audio/video equipment or cars, consumer report would not rank high in my list of reading material. maybe its just me, but when i buy things, even a digital camera i spend weeks if not months going through reviews by qualified people to get a good idea of what it is that i want. when buying anything, reliability, ease of use, quality, resale value are all very important things. but the way i see it, when you buy thigns that seem more expensive than they should be its usually because you are buying more than that thing, whether it be a car, speakers, or even a vacuum. when you buy a bmw its not only the driving experience that you are paying for but the fact that you have a bmw and "ambience". consumer report doesnt care about that and thats because it is geared to those who are just as you are, looking for the best bang for buck. there is no need to explain the feeling of luxury in a 3 series because that isnt even a criteria for most buyers. if you are serious about buying a sports car, you will save up for a porsche boxster insead of a honda s2000. but you probably wont get that recomendation from CR. you are correct that some of the things dont belong in the list and many do belong in it. but that doesnt change the fact that general audience of CR is people who are not willing to spend extra time or effort to make an educated decision. people can look at that list, go to best buy and find everything that they think is top quality and not have to travels hours to each hifi store just to decide on what bookshelf speakers to buy. sorry for picking on you edster but this is how i feel about it. i only mentioned camry because it was mentioned earlier in this thread. and sorry for the lengthy car talk, its the only other thing i am remotely interested in with some knowledge in.
 

KBear
Unregistered guest
Why are you comparing a Camry with a Ford Focus???? One's a pretty small economy/sporty car, the other a large family sedan.

Camry vs. Grand Prix, or Camry vs. Malibu, or Camry vs. LaCrosse/Allure...that's more appropriate, and I'm not sure I'd want to spend the extra on a Camry...which for me is not nearly as nice and has poorer performance. I don't care for the low end torque of Japanese engines. CR is so giddy about Japanese cars it makes me wonder sometimes if they aren't on some sort of agenda. You read the auto press and they are much more favourable towards domestic cars than CR is. I do like the Accord though. Would even consider buying one. Anyways...

CR is about educating their readers and rating products that are available to them. If their mandate was to cater to lazy consumers that is news to me. They've never said so. On the contrary, they always yap about how their readers take that extra step (by reading them) to become better educated. As I see it then, CR isn't fulfilling their mandate.

To ignore such a big part of the audio market is doing their readers a disservice. They cover pretty much everything in automobiles, other than maybe exotic cars like Ferrari or Bentley. It's hard to fathom why they don't provide a more rounded view of the audio market.
 

Gaband27
Unregistered guest
Let me just state that I very rarely (only at the dentist) read CR. So I take back my advertising remark above. Funny, I never noticed they don't run any ad's.

It is funny though that I did happen to notice one of their speaker articles last year and it struck me as odd that Bose ranked as high as they did, considering that CR is supposed to be impartial. I had just assumed that they get monster kickbacks in return for the good reviews. I guess it's just that they compare them to some (Sony etc.)inferior speakers, or are tone deaf.

It just looks really fishy that they always give the Bose such glowing reviews. But like I said I'm not one of their regular readers.
 

KBear
Unregistered guest
It has crossed my mind that they could take kickbacks for good reviews. But who knows? There's really no way to tell for sure. Let's just say that it isn't inconceivable.

But, on the other hand, something like that is bound to get out eventually.
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
> i dont mean to pick a fight, but who said consumer report is the last or only thing to read when making purchases?

For car buyers, they and JD Powers are the only ones (as far as I know) who attempt to track long-term reliability, which for me is key.

I like that they tend to focus on reliability and value (features/performance to dollars ratio) rather than totally subjective and immeasureable quantities like the "ambiance" that you mention.

Guess what it comes down to is that if I had $60K to spend on a car (in my dreams) I'd be very happy with say a $35K entry/mid-level Lexus instead of the $60K BMW or Mercedes.

Those are precisely the same criteria I apply to all of my purchasing decisions, and if CR applied them to their audio reviews I doubt Bose would be anywhere near the top 10 listings.

As for car buying, CR also has a nice service where for a small fee ($20) they'll give you a list of dealers' invoice prices for a specific model and its options. After shopping around at about six different car dealers I found that their numbers were dead-on, I could predict pretty well how low I could haggle dealers on different configs.

So all in all I'm usually grateful for CR, you're right that they shouldn't be the ONLY resource but they are nevertheless a very useful one. It's just too bad that in some areas their reviews seem so off. (Vacuum cleaners being another.)
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
KBear,

> Camry vs. Grand Prix, or Camry vs. Malibu, or Camry vs. LaCrosse/Allure

There is no American large sedan in that price range that IMHO comes anywhere close to the Camry in any department except possibly performance (that's very low on my priority list so I never even bothered to research based on that).

The only other serious competitor I could find for the Camry was the Honda Accord, but the Honda dealers in my town were very resistant to downwards haggling! : )

I hate to say this because I consider myself as patriotic as anyone else, but the sad fact is that other than Ford trucks/SUVs, I have not known many people (friends or family) who ever had much luck with American cars in terms of long-term reliability. Plus I find that most American cars have hideous styling, just a peculiar deliberately tacky Walgreens-style aesthetic that completely grosses me out.

Chrysler has recently gotten better with that though, their PT Cruiser and the new 300 line is more attractive.
 

KBear
Unregistered guest
Well, I've never owned a Japanese car. The consensus is that they have much better reliability but I can't help but feel that's been overblown, certainly in recent years. By most accounts (JD Power being one) GM's initial quality/reliability has drastically improved and I think they are now ranked second. Which means they have bumped off either Toyota or Honda from the top two (I forget which one). Unfortunately, Ford and Chrysler are still lagging. And believe it or not, but I've heard of people (and know one personally) who have had Japanese cars that have been lemons.

I'm sure the Camry is a very nice car. I don't much like the styling and I do tend to prefer American styling which is less conservative. So these things are obviously subjective.

I think part of my bias is that when I got my Grand Prix, we also considered Accord and Camry. But to get one with a V6, you'd have to go over $30K Cdn. For $26K, we got a 4-door Grand Prix with a 3.8L V6, A/C, power windows, locks and keyless entry, ABS, 4 wheel disc brakes, traction control, rear dimming rearview mirror, etc. It's a really nice car and very fun to drive. I consider it a much better value. I guess the other side of the coin is that Japanese cars keep their value better...but this isn't a big deal for me as I tend to keep my cars for ten plus years.

I think two of the most beautiful cars have come from GM...the Oldsmobile Aurora and Cadillac CTS. Of course, opinions may vary!
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
> Of course, opinions may vary!

Amen, brother! : )
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jim_mcbob

Post Number: 19
Registered: Nov-04
Re: earlier posts about CU/CR taking kickbacks or advertising. I'll try to settle this matter once and for all: CR do NOT accept advertising, kickbacks, freebies, etc. Their revenue is provided by subscriptions and syndication, and a non-profit foundation that enables them to purchase goods as consumers would, and test them according the the appropriate benchmarks.

They are not audiophiles, nor automobile hobbyists, though a few of each group probably are in their ranks. They buy where the overwhelming majority of consumers buy, and focus on mass-market goods that cover the broadest swath of the buying public. Most of the controversy arising from their reviews comes from their applying objective criteria to decisions most consumers make emotionally.

I have no special love for CU/CR, but I do have a fairly high regard for their uncolored reviews of stuff. I work in the magazine field and know how easily swayed product review editors are when confronted with corporations' largesse--especially around the holidays. (Anyone who's bought a Volkswagen, aka "Recallswagen," in the past four years because of how well received their cars have been in the press might have some idea of what I mean....)
 

Gaband27
Unregistered guest
Jim,

I may not know much about CR....but how can you justify the Bose 201 at number 4 on that list? That's objective? They were ranked higher than Bose's own 301's which are a better Bose speaker.

They also ranked higher than the Boston Acoustics, Polk and Klipsch. I've haven't heard the Boston's but did auditon both the Klipsch and Polk's when I was looking for new bookshelves. Both are much better than the Bose, and I assume the Boston's are as well.

This rating system is far from objective. Not sure what qualities they based their desicion on, maybe it was the "attractiveness" of the new Series V Bose that got them. It sure couldn't have been the sound quality vs. price ratio(although the Bose 301 are probably the Bose speaker I dislike the least).

So please, someone explain to me what qualities they judged these speakers by? This ranking seems to make no sense to me.
 

CR fatigue
Unregistered guest
Why not try emailing your questions and concerns directy to CR? Those of us who are here scouting this board for useful speaker comparision information don't know what makes them tick, obviously.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jim_mcbob

Post Number: 20
Registered: Nov-04
Gaband: reread my post. CU/CR source what's most widely available. Read CR's site for their methodology. Near as I can tell, they rely mostly on mechanical measurements, i.e., efficiency/SPL, frequency response, dynamics and other metrics that can be taken in an anechoic chamber. Reviewers' impressions also factor, but these guys are CR reviewers, not audiophiles. Maybe they like the bright, exaggerated sound of mass-market speakers.

Not that I agree with them, but I have auditioned the BAs and a friend has Klipsch. Have found both of them sorely lacking--just a different kind of "lousy" than the Bose....

And CR fatigue, this thread is commentary on the possibly arbitrary nature of CR reviews, not a critique of the speakers reviewed by CR. You could try skipping this thread if it offends you.
 

Gaband27
Unregistered guest
Jim,

If they're going by the factors you mention " i.e., efficiency/SPL, frequency response, dynamics and other metrics that can be taken in an anechoic chamber" then the Bose more than likely get trounced by most of the speakers on that list.

For one...Bose will not publish any frequency response specs because they are woefully inadequate in both low and high frequencies, with a big bump in the midrange. You will never find a frequency response chart of even 70-20,000Khz +/-3db for any Bose product. Both the Polks, and Klipsch fall in that range and is it also likely that many of the others in that group do as well.

Also, if frequency response was a key factor wouldn't you figure the 301 would rate higher than the 201 as I'm sure that with the larger driver it must have more low frequency extension than the smaller 201.

Personally I'd view that whole chart as a complete waste of time as it seems to be arranged in no particular order.
 

Gaband27
Unregistered guest
Today, while at the doctors with my wife I happened to read the Christmas buying guide of 2004 Consumer Reports.

This has got to be the most subjective magazine on earth. They had an entire section dedicated to HT shopping, including TV's,DVD's,DVD-R,and HT Recievers along with a tiny note on speakers.
Most of their reviews had abolutely no techinical specs or testing at all.

Specifically on the recievers the only usefull facts they mentioned was how many WPC, cost, if they considered it a good buy.

For speakers, which are in my opinion the most important part of a good home theater they threw in a tiny note under recievers. They covered such important areas as size of bookshelves, and floor standing speakers, what a subwoofer is, and stated that most of the speakers out on the market will result in satisfactory performance for most consumers.

Then they topped it all of with a review of the Bose 3-2-1. They stated that it had great bass, and nice clean highs, and was pleasing for music. This was the extent of testing. There was no mention of "efficiency/SPL, frequency response, dynamics and other metrics that can be taken in an anechoic chamber" for this or any other product. I will give them credit for stating that although the Bose sounded very good (to them) you could get similar (better in my opinion) performance for less money.

I also read the articles on X-mas gift ideas, and the Wagon tests and found them all to be sorely lacking in any actual facts or testing. Just a bunch of opinions based on the information they obtained from the manufacturers press kits. Sounds very independant.
 

Anonymous
 
To state that Consumer Reports, which does not accept money from manufacturers, is biased for Bose and the like, and then believe that magazines such as Sound and Vision or Stereophile, whose pages are littered with advertisements for various audio companies (whose products they are then happy to give a glowing review) are completely unbiased is foolish at a minimum. Then again refined audiophiles such as yourselves are the type who believe that speaker wire can be optimized for listening to classical music or jazz...and then go out and pay a few grand for it.
 

Gaband27
Unregistered guest
I never stated that audio magazines were completely unbiased. Also, just for the record I am far, far, far from being a refined audiophile (I just don't have the budget for it). My entire HT including TV, reciever, speakers, and dvd player comes in at about $5000 total. Don't think that makes me an "audiophile" who pays thousands for cables (not that I have anything against those who do).

I've simply pointed out that the CR reviews seem to be based completely on subjective opinion with not one single technical test or specification mentioned. That would lead me to believe that their ratings are completely meaningless since they are merely based on statements like "good bass" or "pleasing for music". At least the audio magazines you mentioned above include actual frequency response testing as well as other tangible metrics that can be used to compare one product to another.

Tell me how usefull the CR report can possibly be when they rated even the Bose speakers in this review in the wrong order (most would say the 301, then 201, then 141). And in the article I mention above, they clearly made the statement that "most of the speakers out on the market will result in satisfactory performance for most consumers". What the hell does that mean? Guess we should all go out and buy the first speaker we see since they'll probably be "satisfactory".

I was just stating that these audio reviews in particular made absolutely no sense, and seemed to follow no logic.
 

Anonymous
 
Speakers are subjective. There are hundreds of manufacturers, each with numerous models. There is no one right speaker. If a speaker sounds good to you, then buy it, because you will be satisfied. If it does not sound good to you, then regardless of what the SPL meter tells you, it is not good. CR decided they would make a list of speakers that are readily available, resonably priced, and a good value. It is not a set in stone list of the best bookshelf speakers on the market, merely a guideline as to what speakers to look into for a decent sound system.
 

donny brasco
Unregistered guest
"It is not a set in stone list of the best bookshelf speakers on the market, merely a guideline as to what speakers to look into for a decent sound system"

Sure if all you want to look at is crap and ignore everything else
that is much better then the mag mentions!

What you fail to understand is most who have posted hear question how
did they decide to include those brands?

Did they actually go out and see and ask peoples opinions of what some of the
beter brands are then test them?

It looks like they just took a list of speakers that are sold at best buy
and compared them to see if any stand out!
Instead of actually doing research and understanding what and who
makes a good speaker!

So anyone who wants to use there list as a guideline just might get
the best speaker that best buy sells!

There are so many more speakers then what places like best buy/cuircit city/abc where house
sells not to mention those speakers for the most part are the lesser lines
of there respective manufacturers. That thing is so missleading , it does
more harm than good!

If they weren't going test a wider range of speakers they should
never had done the test to start with!
 

Gaband27
Unregistered guest
Have to agree 100% with donny brasco. That list does do more harm than good.

My main beef with that list is the fact that they bothered to rate them from 1 to 20, in what is a very hap-hazard way. Maybe they drew numbers out of a hat?

If they wanted to "make a list of speakers that are readily available, resonably priced, and a good value" then why bother ranking them. Secondly, how on earth could they mention Bose and good value in the same phrase?

 

Anonymous
 
Despite what you might like to believe, the market share of Bose is relatively high, while that of a company like B&W is relatively low. This means that the mass public probably believes Bose sells a decent product, as it can be easily compared at well known retail stores like Good Guys or other such stores which do sell higher end brands like the Klipsch Reference Series and Energy. While it may not have the frequency response an audiophile demands, the mass public does not know or care about frequency response. If it sounds good, then as I said, it is good. Something you might want to consider is that since you probably don't own the speakers that the recording studio uses, you yourselves aren't getting exactly what the various artists intended for you to hear either.

In addition to this problem, the majority of people out there are unwilling or unable to spend the amounts of money on a stereo that you personally would. The home theater of the majority of America consists of either the speakers on their TV or a Durabrand system from Walmart if they really go high end. For these people a Sony bookshelf speaker would be the high end. I would like to see a speaker that has no sub and that is cheaper than the $99 MSRP of the Sony SS-MB350H do a better job.
 

donny brasco
Unregistered guest
"Despite what you might like to believe, the market share of Bose is relatively high, while that of a company like B&W is relatively low. This means that the mass public probably believes Bose sells a decent product"

Excactly that is why cr is doing the public a diservice by printing that!

"While it may not have the frequency response an audiophile demands, the mass public does not know or care about frequency response"

Your right they don't know and that is what cr should be helping them understand
then maybe they would care!
Then the public might realize what a good speaker sounds like!

"Something you might want to consider is that since you probably don't own the speakers that the recording studio uses, you yourselves aren't getting exactly what the various artists intended for you to hear either."

Your right but if your educated correctly and get better speakers your
in a better position to judge the sound your hearing!

"In addition to this problem, the majority of people out there are unwilling or unable to spend the amounts of money on a stereo that you personally would. The home theater of the majority of America consists of either the speakers on their TV or a Durabrand system from Walmart if they really go high end."

For one there are affordable quality products out thereand thats what cr
should be talking about. then maybe cr could actually help people understand
what some may be and they would't have to serttle for "Durabrand system from Walmart"

as stated that cr report does more harm than good!

 

herb planter
Unregistered guest
donny brasco right on: If cr keeps telling the public that what they are
listening to at best buy and good guy's among others is good enough then
there is no need for then to venture further and educate themselves!
So they buying the same crap and thinking it's good because cr said so!
 

Anonymous
 
As I asked, name one speaker that is cheaper and better than the Sony SS-MB350H.

""While it may not have the frequency response an audiophile demands, the mass public does not know or care about frequency response"

Your right they don't know and that is what cr should be helping them understand
then maybe they would care!
Then the public might realize what a good speaker sounds like! "

They still wouldn't care. If people are happy with their Bose, they will have no reason to look past it. Beyond that, Bose is the only company that doesn't list frequency response. The rest of them have published specifications for their speakers. You might also note that Bose does get favorable reviews here and there in Sound and Vision and other such magazines.

"Your right but if your educated correctly and get better speakers your
in a better position to judge the sound your hearing! "

People aren't and never will be educated about what it "should sound like" as the majority of them dont care. They care about what sounds good to THEM, not you.

And again, there are hundreds of brands of speakers out there. Unfortunately, unless you make it a top 100 list, there is no way to include all the solid speakers out there.
 

Anonymous
 
I dont know about your Good Guys or Best Buys but out here in California, Good Guys sells brands such as Velodyne, Klipsch (Reference Series), Energy, etc. If these aren't high end enough for you than you folks are the ones with the problem. Best Buy on the other hand is partnered with Magnolia Hi-Fi and sells various high end brands such as Def Tech, Vienna Acoustics, Sonus Faber, etc.

"donny brasco right on: If cr keeps telling the public that what they are
listening to at best buy and good guy's among others is good enough then
there is no need for then to venture further and educate themselves!
So they buying the same crap and thinking it's good because cr said so! "

You are ignorant aren't you. A $5 speaker is good enough to experience 99% of the art that a musician has created. Good enough is in the eye of the beholder.
 

donny brasco
Unregistered guest
Never heard nor tor apart a sony SS-MB350H so I can't comment on the sound
or build quality or the parts used in the speaker!
But every sony speaker I have listened to sounds descent at best and are
built using inferior drivers/inferior parts in the xover and the cabinets
have little to no bracing or damping!

"They still wouldn't care. If people are happy with their Bose, they will have no reason to look past it. Beyond that"

You know that for sure? What if cr had stated that the bose is average at
best and named a few that were better for the same amount of money?
Would people not be curious and investigate?

"People aren't and never will be educated about what it "should sound like" as the majority of them dont care. They care about what sounds good to THEM, not you. "

To a certain degree your right but they are also influenced by others oppinions
including cr. So if cr points them in the wrong direction towards speakers
that are not that great but they find something they like that is where cr
is doing the diservice!

"And again, there are hundreds of brands of speakers out there. Unfortunately, unless you make it a top 100 list, there is no way to include all the solid speakers out there."

Again your correct there are 100's (or more) of speakers out there so they
can't name them all but it doesn't justify leaving out known good brands
and leaving in known not so good brands!


 

herb planter
Unregistered guest
"I dont know about your Good Guys or Best Buys but out here in California, Good Guys sells brands such as Velodyne, Klipsch (Reference Series), Energy, etc. If these aren't high end enough for you than you folks are the ones with the problem. Best Buy on the other hand is partnered with Magnolia Hi-Fi and sells various high end brands such as Def Tech, Vienna Acoustics, Sonus Faber, etc. "

The majority of those brands are very nice and not carried at there
respective stores in my area.

Why did cr not include those?

The best buys around me only carry the sinergy series of klipsch!
 

Anonymous
 
"Never heard nor tor apart a sony SS-MB350H so I can't comment on the sound
or build quality or the parts used in the speaker! "

As I understand it, Sony consulted B&W for their current speaker designs. In addition, you state you have never even heard this particular speaker. How many on the list have you heard? If you have heard none, then what room do you have to comment?

"You know that for sure? What if cr had stated that the bose is average at
best and named a few that were better for the same amount of money?
Would people not be curious and investigate? "

Again, Bose does get favorable reviews here and there, even from Sound and Vision, a dedicated magazine.

http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/article.asp?section_id=1&article_id=711&page_nu mber=1

I quote even "The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack was convincingly reproduced, with the satellites and Acoustimass bass module providing the kind of room-filling, high-quality sound that is a Bose trademark."

High quality sound a Bose trademark, wow. And from a professional reviewer at that!
 

Anonymous
 
"The majority of those brands are very nice and not carried at there
respective stores in my area.

Why did cr not include those?

The best buys around me only carry the sinergy series of klipsch! "

They are all fairly expensive?
 

donny brasco
Unregistered guest
oooohhhh I must change my oppinion then! lol!

Hey if you want to read and believe what they have to write instead of
understand what is and what is not a good speaker then I guess you're a perfect cr customer!
Keep up the subscription!
While the rest of us question how cr came up with this list!
See yu!
And go listen to those incredable sounding $5.50 speakers (gave yu a 50 cent upgrade)
 

Anonymous
 
"oooohhhh I must change my oppinion then! lol!

Hey if you want to read and believe what they have to write instead of
understand what is and what is not a good speaker then I guess you're a perfect cr customer!
Keep up the subscription!
While the rest of us question how cr came up with this list!
See yu!
And go listen to those incredable sounding $5.50 speakers (gave yu a 50 cent upgrade)"

Well thats a mature response. You folks argue that CR is not an "authority" and that things like "Stereophile" and "Sound and Vision" are. I show you that your "authority" also gives Bose favorable reviews and you turn around and decide to try to insult me. You say you have never even once listened to these speakers, yet you can judge them anyways. Art is art whether it is played through 5 dollar or 5000 dollar speakers. If you are too blind to see that then I do truly feel sorry for you.

Personally, I go out and listen to speakers instead of reading magazines to decide which ones I should like in the first place. If CR does me the service of giving me an informal list of affordable loudspeakers to look into, then that isn't a horrible crime for which they must pay.
 

donny brasco
Unregistered guest
"You folks argue that CR is not an "authority" and that things like "Stereophile" and "Sound and Vision" are."

Who said that? certainly not I! I take all the reviews I read with a
grain of salt and trust very little!

"you turn around and decide to try to insult me"

What was this?
"You are ignorant aren't you. A $5 speaker is good enough to experience 99% of the art that a musician has created"

If you can't take it then maybe you shouldn't dish it out!

"You say you have never even once listened to these speakers, yet you can judge them anyways"

Never said that, just gave you an honest answer to the one you asked about!

"Art is art whether it is played through 5 dollar or 5000 dollar speakers. If you are too blind to see that then I do truly feel sorry for you. "

If YOU truly feel that way about speakers then I feal sorry for YOU!
Because a very good sounding pair of speakers can give you an extrodinary experience!

"If CR does me the service of giving me an informal list of affordable loudspeakers to look into, then that isn't a horrible crime for which they must pay."

Agreed if they had done that!
But what they gave was a not very good list of cheap speakers!

"Personally, I go out and listen to speakers instead of reading magazines to decide which ones I should like in the first place"

So do I , but if I had an informed source to point me in the correct
direction to srart would be very helpful!
See these magazines are suppose to be used to give you info that you
can use to your benefit to help get what is the best for you!

Every magazine from time to time gives reviews of products that are suspect!
But to give a list and quote it the way they did, cr is doing the public a diservice!

That's all I'm trying to say about it!
 

Anonymous
 
"Who said that? certainly not I! I take all the reviews I read with a grain of salt and trust very little! "

If you believe little that is written about any speaker, then why post in the first place and specifically bash CR when ALL magazines have "suspect" reviews?

"If YOU truly feel that way about speakers then I feal sorry for YOU!
Because a very good sounding pair of speakers can give you an extrodinary experience! "

If all a person could afford was a pair of Sony speakers, they could still have a wonderful experience listening to whatever music they so desired. Just because you couldn't isn't their problem, it's yours.

Every single speaker listed by CR would more than likely satisfy the average consumer. You are not the average consumer nor are you who they are targeting with their article. A high end speaker is not possible for the majority of consumers out there and they recognize this.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2055
Registered: Dec-03
"If all a person could afford was a pair of Sony speakers, they could
still have a wonderful experience listening to whatever music they so
desired. Just because you couldn't isn't their problem, it's yours"

sure they could still have a wonderful experience but I feel it's the responsability
of people who know what a well designed speaker can add to your musical enjoyment
that I and others feal compelled to overturn the myths of others who don't.

I mean if you saw someone getting ready to eat a turd and they say they
were told by someone else it's good and all they've experienced were these
turds and they felt that they were good enough,
would you not feel compelled to show them something better!
 

Anonymous
 
Unfortunately things that are better are typically more expensive. At what point does one draw the line? 1000 dollars, 10000? 100000? I've listened to numerous speakers ranging from Sony's to Martin Logans and the like. Both got across the feeling of the music. You might get a little more detail in the Martin Logans, but is it enough to justify the price? To some people yes, but to the majority of the public which lives week to week on minimum wage, probably not. To them a 99 dollar Sony might be all they could possibly ask for.
 

Gaband27
Unregistered guest
Wow...look like I missed a lot on this thread.

I think the point Mr. Anonymous is missing is that these CR reports are supposed to help the avergae consumer make an informed decision.
What they lack in these speaker reports is facts.

Would you think it was a good idea if they put out a "Top Ten Large Sedans" list, and then didn't bother to menion fuel economy, engine size, horsepower, torque, cargo capacity, interior room, and warranty info. Instead they said this car is number 1, this one number 2 etc. because that's what we thought. Would that help any car buyer choose between 2 similarly priced cars? Of course not. If they don't do this kind of crap in a car review, why do they pass it off on electronics and in particular speakers?

While I do admit that they are geared towards the "average" consumer they should be educating them to get the best possible bang for the buck. A $5 dollar speaker does sound like crap, and so do a lot of the speakers on that list. Some are actually decent as well, and yes I have heard some of them.

Surprisingly there are a lot of very good speakers in the $250-$500/pair price bracket. Perhaps they should look into those more, rather than focusing on $99 speakers that are alright or "high end" Bose that are really good(lol). I know a lot of people when given the choice between crap for $100, or something truly good for $200-$300 would choose the more expensive option. Unfortunately it's a review like this that leads people to go out and buy the first piece of junk they see, because CR said it was a "Best Buy". Very few of them ever actually listen to a speaker before purchase once it has been labelled as a good buy. If they did Bose wouldn't be able to get away with selling $700 clock radios on infomercials.
 

Anonymous
 
Personally I don't agree with every selection on the CR list, but I don't agree with every selection on the Car and Driver 10 best list either. None of those speakers sound like complete trash, although some are certainly better than others. What you must keep in mind though is that people like different things. A kid who likes rap music is going to like something "with more bass".

I'll tell you right now, not a single person I know could give a damn about why a speaker works the way it works, and they will never want to know. Everyone knows more horsepower is better, like they think more watts is better. Very few people check to see if its a DOHC versus SOHC versus pushrod engine or 4 valves per cylinder versus 3 or 2, etc. We know that 20Hz = deep bass, 99% of people don't, nor do they wish to know, just like the majority of people don't know anything about how a car engine works. Size, wattage, and "has deep bass" in speaker reviews are about equivilent to horsepower, cargo capacity, and fuel economy in a car review to the average consumer.
 

Gaband27
Unregistered guest
Your statement of "I'll tell you right now, not a single person I know could give a damn about why a speaker works the way it works, and they will never want to know" is plain and simply idiotic.

The whole point is that CR prides themselves on "educating the consumer", so based on your statement CR readers have no desire to educate themselves prior to purchasing speakers and therefore CR shouldn't bother trying to educate them.

If all you, or your friends need to know is size, wattage and "how much bass" just talk to your local sales person at Best Buy.

I thought that these articles were meant to help the masses of technologically challenged to gain some meanigfull information to help in their purchasing desicions. That way they can actually walk in to a store, and know which products they should consider without having to rely on some pimply face kid who just wants to get them out of his department so he can go back to talking about video games with his buddies.

By your logic Car and Drvier should drop all those meaningless stats like DOHC, or 4 valves per cylinder, and just concentrate on the basics like price, size and colour. That would make your desicions so much easier.

It's people like you and your friends that keep companies like Bose in business, selling overpriced crap to uneducated consumers.

 

Anonymous
 
Again, the CR article is not aimed at those who are educated in the field of audio.

"Your statement of "I'll tell you right now, not a single person I know could give a damn about why a speaker works the way it works, and they will never want to know" is plain and simply idiotic. "

Despite what you might believe about how curious the average person is about how a speaker works, what percentage of CR's readership is women? How many women do you know that care about how a speaker works? How many people do you know that just get a glazed over look when you talk about speakers? CR tells people what they want to know. They tell people, these are speakers a team of people have listened to that are a good value for the money.

"The whole point is that CR prides themselves on "educating the consumer", so based on your statement CR readers have no desire to educate themselves prior to purchasing speakers and therefore CR shouldn't bother trying to educate them. "

Educating the consumer and giving them a PHd in speakers are two different things. The length of an article required to give a person even the slightest clue of how speakers work would be incredibly long.

"If all you, or your friends need to know is size, wattage and "how much bass" just talk to your local sales person at Best Buy. "

Unfortunately more than enough people do this. However, CR might be less biased than a salesman at Best Buy.

"I thought that these articles were meant to help the masses of technologically challenged to gain some meanigfull information to help in their purchasing desicions. That way they can actually walk in to a store, and know which products they should consider without having to rely on some pimply face kid who just wants to get them out of his department so he can go back to talking about video games with his buddies. "

They do. They give people a list of speakers to check out and listen to. If a person is too stupid to go and actually listen to a speaker before buying it then that is his or her fault.

"By your logic Car and Drvier should drop all those meaningless stats like DOHC, or 4 valves per cylinder, and just concentrate on the basics like price, size and colour. That would make your desicions so much easier."

Car and Driver has one specific topic of discussion and can afford to go more in depth than CR. CR is for general information about a variety of topics.

"It's people like you and your friends that keep companies like Bose in business, selling overpriced crap to uneducated consumers. "

I neither advocate or care about Bose. If people listen to Bose and choose it over other products in the price range, that is their decision not mine. If you are jealous of Amar Bose being the marketing genius that he is and the fact his company seems to wipe the floor with whatever brand you patronize in terms of sales, that is your issue.
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
ooh, this whole thread is getting a bit personal here isn't it?

Let's clean this up a little bit.

I think the main problem people are having with the CR list is that their idea of "high end" speakers consists of 90% Bose and 10% Klipsch.

For instance in the "Floorstanding speakers" list they list a Bose 701 at $700, which is the same price that say the Paradigm Monitor 7 goes for, as well as a host of other smaller speaker makers who are well known to be of far better quality than Bose, especially those who've listened to both.

Therefore CR does deserve flak for being too lazy to research the WHOLE market not just the MASS-market. Had they done so, they could've TRULY educated consumers as their stated mission claims.

They actually do so for many other product categories, for instance their small kitchen appliances lists include products that are not found at Walmart and Target but only online or at specialty home shops like Bed Bath & Beyond.

So this is just a pertinent heads-up to be aware of some of CR's deficiencies. Overall I think they are still a useful resource for other things, for instance they did some pretty convincing testing of HEPA air cleaners and declared that only the super-expensive ones made any difference and that all the mass-market Honeywells and Sharper Image ones were pretty useless. So I don't think they're really in thrall to anybody other than their own personnel's shortcomings.
 

Gaband27
Unregistered guest
"Despite what you might believe about how curious the average person is about how a speaker works, what percentage of CR's readership is women? How many women do you know that care about how a speaker works? How many people do you know that just get a glazed over look when you talk about speakers? CR tells people what they want to know. They tell people, these are speakers a team of people have listened to that are a good value for the money."

Who said anything about explaining how a speaker works? You don't need to understand how a speaker works to learn what attributes make a good speaker. Are you telling me the average reader is too unintelligent to understand that human hearing is capable of a frequency of 20hz-20,000hz, and that a speaker that reproduces ALL of those frequencies at approximately the same volume is generally better than a speaker that only produce a limited amount of those frequencies at various volumes? That's a statement most people could understand, and that WOULD educate most consumers. My beef is with the fact that they seem to know NOTHING about audio, and then act like authorities on the subject.

"They do. They give people a list of speakers to check out and listen to. If a person is too stupid to go and actually listen to a speaker before buying it then that is his or her fault."

The gave them a list that looks like it was fired out of a cannon. Why not give them a list of speakers that are considered a good value by the people who own them? They could very easily narrow down their choices by price range first, and then do a quick look at user opinions online (at a site such as audioreview.com for example), and pick the top 10 highest rated, readily available speakers in a budget range for example. From their they could go on and do some testing of their own, and explain to the readers why each of these speakers would be considered a good buy. This would be a usefull review, that would actually be "the 10 best bookshelf speakers". The list they had was useless.

Care to mention why they had 3 Bose products on their and ranked them in the obviously wrong order? The only decent speaker Bose make is the 301, and it's ranked behind the 201? Make sense to you?

"I neither advocate or care about Bose. If people listen to Bose and choose it over other products in the price range, that is their decision not mine. If you are jealous of Amar Bose being the marketing genius that he is and the fact his company seems to wipe the floor with whatever brand you patronize in terms of sales, that is your issue."

Shouldn't a company like CR who claims to be impartial, and claims to help people get the best value possible steeer people as far away from Bose as possible? They offer poor performance vs. cost, and yet CR puts them on their top 10 list. There are many, many speakers out there that for the same amount of money offer far superior performance to Bose. That is my beef with Amar Bose. Marketing a $5 speaker for hundred times that, and calling it inovation. I can see that magazines that get paid for advertising occasionaly put up with his crap, but based on their mission CR should not. They should expose him for what he is.


 

Gaband27
Unregistered guest
"Despite what you might believe about how curious the average person is about how a speaker works, what percentage of CR's readership is women? How many women do you know that care about how a speaker works? How many people do you know that just get a glazed over look when you talk about speakers? CR tells people what they want to know. They tell people, these are speakers a team of people have listened to that are a good value for the money."

Who said anything about explaining how a speaker works? You don't need to understand how a speaker works to learn what attributes make a good speaker. Are you telling me the average reader is too unintelligent to understand that human hearing is capable of a frequency of 20hz-20,000hz, and that a speaker that reproduces ALL of those frequencies at approximately the same volume is generally better than a speaker that only produce a limited amount of those frequencies at various volumes? That's a statement most people could understand, and that WOULD educate most consumers. My beef is with the fact that they seem to know NOTHING about audio, and then act like authorities on the subject.

"They do. They give people a list of speakers to check out and listen to. If a person is too stupid to go and actually listen to a speaker before buying it then that is his or her fault."

The gave them a list that looks like it was fired out of a cannon. Why not give them a list of speakers that are considered a good value by the people who own them? They could very easily narrow down their choices by price range first, and then do a quick look at user opinions online (at a site such as audioreview.com for example), and pick the top 10 highest rated, readily available speakers in a budget range for example. From their they could go on and do some testing of their own, and explain to the readers why each of these speakers would be considered a good buy. This would be a usefull review, that would actually be "the 10 best bookshelf speakers". The list they had was useless.

Care to mention why they had 3 Bose products on their and ranked them in the obviously wrong order? The only decent speaker Bose make is the 301, and it's ranked behind the 201? Make sense to you?

"I neither advocate or care about Bose. If people listen to Bose and choose it over other products in the price range, that is their decision not mine. If you are jealous of Amar Bose being the marketing genius that he is and the fact his company seems to wipe the floor with whatever brand you patronize in terms of sales, that is your issue."

Shouldn't a company like CR who claims to be impartial, and claims to help people get the best value possible steeer people as far away from Bose as possible? They offer poor performance vs. cost, and yet CR puts them on their top 10 list. There are many, many speakers out there that for the same amount of money offer far superior performance to Bose. That is my beef with Amar Bose. Marketing a $5 speaker for hundred times that, and calling it inovation. I can see that magazines that get paid for advertising occasionaly put up with his crap, but based on their mission CR should not. They should expose him for what he is.


 

Anonymous
 
"Who said anything about explaining how a speaker works? You don't need to understand how a speaker works to learn what attributes make a good speaker. Are you telling me the average reader is too unintelligent to understand that human hearing is capable of a frequency of 20hz-20,000hz, and that a speaker that reproduces ALL of those frequencies at approximately the same volume is generally better than a speaker that only produce a limited amount of those frequencies at various volumes?"

Yes. This is what I am telling you. Not only do they not understand this, they don't want perfect reproduction in a lot of cases, hence the "has more bass". Lots of youth in particular "like more bass" for their music. For example, techno, rap, heavy metal, are all over exaggerated rampantly. Most people do not sit and critically listen to the average techno song.

"Care to mention why they had 3 Bose products on their and ranked them in the obviously wrong order? The only decent speaker Bose make is the 301, and it's ranked behind the 201? Make sense to you? "

Percieved value to the testers at CR perhaps.

"Shouldn't a company like CR who claims to be impartial, and claims to help people get the best value possible steeer people as far away from Bose as possible? They offer poor performance vs. cost, and yet CR puts them on their top 10 list. There are many, many speakers out there that for the same amount of money offer far superior performance to Bose. That is my beef with Amar Bose. Marketing a $5 speaker for hundred times that, and calling it inovation. I can see that magazines that get paid for advertising occasionaly put up with his crap, but based on their mission CR should not. They should expose him for what he is. "

It is only a small population of people that truly hate Bose. This is what you fail to understand. What you look for in a speaker is different to what others look for. You look for accuracy that is as pure to the original as possible. Other people may not care so much about the original so much as how they feel the song would sound good. While Bose is by no means the last word in accuracy, they do appear to deliver what people other than audiophiles like to hear. Otherwise Bose would be bankrupt.
 

Anonymous
 
"Therefore CR does deserve flak for being too lazy to research the WHOLE market not just the MASS-market. Had they done so, they could've TRULY educated consumers as their stated mission claims. "

Then perhaps instead of complaining on some obscure message board, write an email to them instead.
 

Anonymous
 
"Therefore CR does deserve flak for being too lazy to research the WHOLE market not just the MASS-market. Had they done so, they could've TRULY educated consumers as their stated mission claims. "

Then perhaps instead of complaining on some obscure message board, write an email to them instead.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2064
Registered: Dec-03
Anonymous: Do you realize it's only you in this thread who feal people
don't care to know if a speaker is doing it's job correctly by reproducing
the frequencies it's suppose to and at the proper levels among other
things that make speakers better than one another?

I think it's you who have the public wrong and don't give them enough credit.

I believe cr's objective is to educate the public and if they do the
public would understand and care!
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
> Then perhaps instead of complaining on some obscure message board, write an email to them instead.

Already done and sent.

And if "obscure message boards" are wonderful outlets for complaining, then why do they exist at all? ; )
 

Anonymous
 
"Anonymous: Do you realize it's only you in this thread who feal people don't care to know if a speaker is doing it's job correctly by reproducing the frequencies it's suppose to and at the proper levels among other things that make speakers better than one another?

I think it's you who have the public wrong and don't give them enough credit.

I believe cr's objective is to educate the public and if they do the public would understand and care! "

Do you realize I am making these statements because Bose has a hold on the market that would appear to be unbreakable? Do you realize that the simple fact that Bose is still in existance despite the fact that a five minute comparison with a Klipsch Synergy series speaker in Best Buy would prove it trash by your standards proves my point? Do you realize that all it takes is a ten minute read of a website like stereophile.com or comparable magazine to introduce a user to other speakers that would give more bang for the buck and that most people STILL buy Bose? And I don't give the public enough credit???? A sucker is born every minute. No one ever lost money betting on the stupidity of mankind. These quotes ringing any bells there? I give people the amount of credit they have earned. Did you know that the recordings you listen to on a daily basis were recorded by a microphone that without a doubt colored the music forever so that you will NEVER get a reproduction of what you are listening to that is true to life. Did you realize that during the mastering process things get edited. Did you realize that no matter what, your eternal quest for the perfect system is horseshit because there is no such thing and never can be so long as the recordings are tainted. You are "educated" enough to want a perfect reproduction of an already tainted recording and are willing to spend thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of dollars to get it. Who is worse, the man who has a crappy speaker and is happy because he is ignorant, or the man who calls himself educated, has so called "high fidelity" speakers, and is on an impossible quest of making a perfect reproduction from something that is imperfect.

"And if "obscure message boards" are wonderful outlets for complaining, then why do they exist at all? ; )"

So people like us can argue for weeks at a time about absolute crap because we have too much time on our hands.
 

Anonymous
 
In addition, do you also realize that as you get older your ears get worse. Your ability to hear certain frequencies becomes impaired, especially if you listen to a lot of loud music, as you folks probably do.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2066
Registered: Dec-03
"So people like us can argue for weeks at a time about absolute crap
because we have too much time on our hands."

No it's only you who are arguing for them.
everyone else agrees that you and them are wrong!

Your right that bose has a giant hold, because of
stupid magizines like these that don't tell the
public the truth!

If the magazines would tell the truth and point the public in the right
direction than maybe companies like bose would start to loose there market share!
That's the whole point that the rest of us are trying to tell you!
And again that is the diservice cr is doing!

It's really not that difficult to understand or see!
 

Anonymous
 
Funny that you so called audiophiles dont like to talk about the flawed nature of recordings and the fact you will never get an honest reproduction.

"No it's only you who are arguing for them.
everyone else agrees that you and them are wrong!

Your right that bose has a giant hold, because of
stupid magizines like these that don't tell the
public the truth! "

Yes, CR, a good number of audio related magazines, and a majority of the public must be wrong because you and your friends are so awesome. Its people like you that keep a shithead company like Monster Cable in business.

"If the magazines would tell the truth and point the public in the right
direction than maybe companies like bose would start to loose there market share!
That's the whole point that the rest of us are trying to tell you!
And again that is the diservice cr is doing! "

Yes those damned magazines....even the ones that don't take money from Bose!!!! Its all a conspiracy to make you whine to your friends online.

"It's really not that difficult to understand or see! "

It's really not.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2067
Registered: Dec-03
"Yes those damned magazines....even the ones that don't take money from Bose!!!! Its all a conspiracy to make you whine to your friends online."

If It wasn't for you this thread would of died a long time ago!

You happen to be the one that keeps digging this thing up and whining about it!

Try not posting on it and see how much action it gets!
More than likely not much without you.
 

Anonymous
 
Good response, no content whatsoever.
 

2 Cents
Unregistered guest
Just an FYI, Consumer Reports buys all the products it tests. I do believe they try to focus on what's most readily available on a nation-wide basis. Unfortunately that has to include Bose.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ca_convert

CardiffUK

Post Number: 11
Registered: Jan-05
:-) for what its worth, in the UK the equivalent "magazine" is Which? This is intersting since it shows how big the gap is in comsumer expectation between Europe and USA.

I doubt they (Which?) have ever featured Bose speakers or similar, since at least in Europe there is nothing remotely Hi about their Fi. Even their ICE gear which is often marketed as premium audio systems over the standard version (often made by the likes of Clarion and HK) is off the mark, and often actually inferior to the standard systems. I dont think anyone can take seriously a company that claims a CD clock radio can sound like a concert hall.....

I dont know what you guys over that side of the pond make of What Hi-Fi for example, which is very Joe Public consumer orientated and in most audiophile's opinions, represents the trashier end of hifi journalism.
 

mikek
Unregistered guest
After reading all these posts, it looks like a bunch of people here are stating;
How dare CR state some $200 pair of bookshelf speakers are better then my $1,000 pair. The audio magazine I read (insert here) states they kick butt(read the article right next to the speaker ad).
Maybe CR is on to something? CR does a GREAT job of informing people about products they are shopping for but lack knowledge about. If CR wants to focuss only on mass-market products and rate products however they like, let them. If you guys don't like the mag or the ratings, buy something else that you like.

P.S. A lot of CR's Audio writers also write for high end audio magazines such as HT and SV, but then again they don't need to write fluff pieces for CR.
 

New member
Username: Stealth_c

Dublin, CA USA

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jan-05
For my 2 cents, I'd have to say that while I havn't listened to all of the above mentioned speakers, some of them are at a minimum respectable in their price range. Ive owned a pair of CSW Model Sixes for a few years and in my opinion they do excellent work for setting me back 125 bucks. They are comparable or superior to everything in their price range. I wouldn't hesitate to place them head to head against the Paradigm Atoms for sure, especially in terms of bass extension.
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
Something that hasn't been mentioned on this thread is Bose's long history of suing the hell out of magazines which review its products poorly and/or try to actually test their products and publish the resulting specs.

Bose did sue CR for an unfavorable review of its 901 speakers once, so I wouldn't be surprised if that influenced CR's inclusion and relative kid-glove handling of Bose in its ratings.
 

Gaband27
Unregistered guest
That is too funny, suing a magazine for reporting the truth about your crappy product. How about building a better product? Isn't that "Better Sound Through Innovation"?

If that's the case then maybe that does explain CR's handling of Bose. They don't want to feel the wrath of the Bose legal department...."How dare you say our clock radio sounds like a clock radio. That's slander. We want $10 billion in damages. It fills the room with sound like a concert hall...blah blah blah...."

Funny how you don't need to make a good product to be succesfull, you just need great marketing and good lawyers.
 

New member
Username: Philly_fishman

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jan-05
The fact that Bose dominates the CR list does make me raise an eyebrow, but I understand their #1 choice; Cambridge Soundworks does not have the cachet of other manufacturers and I think fewer audiophiles take them seriously. I think that most of you would be impressed by the CS M80s if you heard them. I think they rock. They match really well to legacy hi-power receivers like my Pioneer SX-1250. They are not very efficient speakers, but if you have wattage to feed them, they reward you. Great sound and superb build quality for the price. Super-detailed mid-range & mid bass. I've heard better tweeters, but only in much pricier packages. I can't believe there is an equal speaker at $300/pr (their regular sale price).

I can't speak to the other speakers on the list, but I am not a fan of Bose and I haven't thought much of newer Boston Acoustics I've heard.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Jim_mcbob

Post Number: 31
Registered: Nov-04
The Bose Wave radio actually does have pretty punchy sound--the bass "sounds" like bass; the highs are more obvious and well-defined than one would expect in a table radio. In short, it sounds hella better than a clock radio--and it's fast becoming the must-have gadget for the junior executive on the make's office, fast replacing the flat monitor and the Aeron chair.... That said, one could get a much better compact music system for half the price--About.com's stereo maven picked out a passel of such units for under $200. (Disclosure: I do not own a Bose Wave radio, but I have heard more than my share.)

I've gone on record about my personal misgivings about CSW speakers too many times hereabouts to reiterate. (They do have nice veneers, especially for made-in-China mass produced speakers) Hey, CU loves them, so what do I know?
 

Stealth C
Unregistered guest
To each his own Jim Bob...No point in going into an argument about it. Some KEF's get produced in China too.
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