If you called up ten of your best friends and asked them to name a couple of speaker companies, nine times out of ten you would hear BOSE mentioned. Why is this? Is it a clever marketing campaign or are they actually a great speaker innovator? To figure this out we need to start at the beginning. Dr. Amar G. Bose founded Bose Corporation in 1964. At the time he was a professor of electrical engineering at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). While a grad student in the 1950’s, Dr. Bose purchased a new stereo system. He was disappointed to find that speakers with technical specifications failed to reproduce the realism of a live performance. He started BOSE and built an empire on innovations in the audio industry.
Through the years almost everyone has either owned BOSE speakers or experienced the sound whether it was in your own home, your neighbor’s entertainment room or at a BOSE demonstration. With the long history of BOSE, it’s easy to see why the name is so recognizable and widely marketed. They have been around for years and are sold in many electronics stores. You can’t fault BOSE for delivering what they believe is a great product for a good price. Plus, they still come out with new innovations every year.
Due to my familiarity with BOSE, I went back to them for my next entertainment system. For the last twenty years I have enjoyed the 901 and 301 series. I was looking for a reasonably priced system for my bedroom. The BOSE system is a little more expensive than some other systems in the same capability range, but I had the confidence it would handle my needs for this project.
Once I unpacked the speakers and set them up with the stands, it took a couple of minutes to follow the directions and set up the wiring. The set up process went along without any major hiccups. Getting the right wires to the right speakers was a bit confusing since the wires are all incorporated into one cord that plugs into the Acoustimass module. I was powering the BOSE Acoustimass 10 Home Entertainment System with an Onkyo TX-SR504 receiver.
The Acoustimass 10 speaker system features a powered Acoustimass module that fires two downward facing 5 1/4″ drivers. You can put the module virtually anywhere in the room, but I would recommend placing it in the front facing the listener about a foot away from the wall. After moving the module around the room, I found this was the best placement. The five 6″ speaker arrays can be placed in a standard 5.1 system layout. I would recommend separating the front stage at least eight feet apart. When I placed them any closer I found that the system didn’t sound as good. The speaker arrays are very small, can be hidden anywhere and don’t take up a lot of room. I attached the arrays to the BOSE stands for the front and rear sets. They are nice simple stands that run the wire down the back in a groove cut into the metal.
When I powered the speakers up it was very apparent that the speakers have their limitations. After a couple of weeks and plenty of tuning the system, I believe I optimized their sound in my room. But the highs weren’t as high as you would like them to be — I guess that is what happens when you don’t have a tweeter. The midrange was mostly not there, and the lack of a true subwoofer really hurt the whole system. But you really can’t expect the world from such a small package. These speakers also need a decent amount of power to sound their best. If they are underpowered they will not sound as good as with a receiver with 75 watts or more per channel.
They delivered a great performance for my spouse and friends. For those that don’t demand audiophile speakers these definitely fit the bill. They are able to fit in small spaces and still fill the room with sound.
As with any major purchase, you have to find the speakers that work for your needs, budget, space and listening pleasure. You also need to listen to the speakers to see what best fits you. Take them home, set them up in your house, and test them out. If they aren’t what you are looking for, return them and find some that are going to fit your needs and sound great in your room. Some Audio/Video stores even offer trade ups within a year. You can bring the speakers back and buy new ones usually at the next level or two up – and just pay the difference.
MSRP: $999 (check price)
BOSE advertised on eCoustics.com from 11/1/04 – 12/31/04. BOSE is not a current advertiser, and has not planned any future advertising as of the publication date.