1. Time for some upgrades in server hardware and software to enhance security and take AK to the next level. Please contribute what you can to sales@audiokarma.org at PayPal.com - Thanks from the AK Team
    Dismiss Notice

Bose 141....why the hate?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by betamax, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. betamax

    betamax Active Member

    Messages:
    113
    just curious, why do people generally crap all over Bose? I had the 141 for 5 years and it took finally getting a good amp (Sansui 5900) to get them to sound good. I’ve since upgraded to NHT super zeros, but the bose still sound pretty darn good.
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  2. 0Hz

    0Hz AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    265
    There is a thread around here I think... which kind of goes into this.

    I think in general it's just people being snobs, bose being an easy target for figuring out how to sell speakers of questionable quality at a premium price, and people just weary of bose because its very hard to find technical data and specifications for their speakers.

    That's kinda my takeaway. I have a pair of Companion 2 Series III desktop speakers on my desk and for what they do, I like them a lot. I am very surprised at the low end I get out of them at times especially on youtube videos where I am not expecting it. But for my main system I probably would not buy a set of bose unless I heard them first.
     
  3. Justgotohm

    Justgotohm AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,426
    Location:
    Savannah Georgiaish
    Bose is designed to appeal to the masses. It’s an ok product at prices people can afford. Bose gives the impression your buying up market gear and it’s the leader in cutting edge audio, that’s the part that stings some people. Sites like AK are a rough place to solicit opinions on mass market gear such as Bose. The members are dedicated to audio so the bar is set much higher than some mass market box store gear can deliver. There are other audio sites on the web where products like McIntosh, B&W, Magnapan, Klipsch Heritage, etc are considered for the masses, the gear is relative to the company you keep.
    I personally use an Acoustimas 10 series 5 for my AV set up in a small space, it preforms it’s job exactly how I wanted. It’s basically invisible and sounds fine for AV, no complaints here. I have to add while you do get some haters, which is ok, people can like and dislike how they feel, this is a very diverse crowd. It’s refreshing to read about some super badass 35k JBL studio monitors from some obscure shop in Tokyo, then the next post will be about a fellows Goodwill score of some Zenith Allegros, both threads met with enthusiasm.
    I look at it as comparing Bose to let’s say a Toyota Camry. It’s a reliable product that will last probably forever, it does what you bought it to do and nothing more. Auto enthusiasts don’t go to car shows to look at Camrys, even though the new Camry looks like a NSX, it’s a Camry. People don’t build dedicated garages for a collection of Camrys.
    On top of that you can’t mod or really do anything with Bose products, you can’t really incorporate them with other gear, it’s super frustrating sometimes at how proprietary their products are. To me this comes off as more of an appliance than audio gear in the traditional sense.
    I had some 141’s, they didn’t do it for me, I have some 601 series II from Habitat for Humanity waiting for some love in my mothers garage, looking forward to having a listen. I think it’s far from being snobby it’s just a product that doesn’t create any excitement in this crowd.
     
    galactus2, jwrauch, Wes_in_VA and 2 others like this.
  4. savatage1973

    savatage1973 Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,208
    Location:
    NW Pennsylvania snow belt
    I am not a "Bose hater" nor a "Bose fanboy", and I consider myself pretty open-minded in that I will listen to anything (at least once--preferably at length) before rushing to any conclusions--I have been both amazed by some seemingly pretty pathetic systems, and disappointed by some uber high-end systems.

    I think you have hit on a couple important points. Lack of technical data and specs does leave a bad taste in the mouths of many people. In pretty much every post starting out with "what have I just found?" or "what do you know about these?", typically folks are looking for a little more than just a brand/model number, driver count and subjective reviews. Could be that they want to protect their "magic formula" or could be that they would be embarrassed to publish them--IDK.

    Bose is (more than ever, these days) a marketing machine first and an electronics manufacturer second. They are not after the "audiophile" market, they are after the "mass market". "Bose" is everywhere--every retailer at pretty much every market slot, every "big box" store, every "lifestyle" publication, and even emblazoned on every NFL headset (talk about a free SuperBowl commercial). They have been around for over 50 years, and have been quite successful--but success often breeds contempt, and I think that somewhat applies here.
     
    Dazaa likes this.
  5. swechsler

    swechsler Frog Whisperer

    Messages:
    5,131
    Location:
    7th row center
    You are correct that on many "audiophile" forums, Bose is held in low regard. However, most AK members are a lot more accepting, and are of the opinion "if it sounds good to you, it's good". We even have quite a few members that are enthusiastic about certain Bose models - I can recall recent favorable discussions about 301s, 601s and 901s.

    However, you've probably noticed that many, if not most, AK members are enthusiastic about vintage (i.e. "used") equipment. When you consider the sheer number of speakers made over the years, and the fact that most old speakers retain very little monetary value (even high end ones), your money can buy a lot better equipment for the same price as Bose, since the Bose name will normally command a premium, even in the used market, to those that aren't audio enthusiasts. It's also worth saying that modern Bose systems do have certain advantages - if you have very limited space, the sound that Bose can get out of that space is certainly amazing, if not 100% accurate.
     
    maxhifi, gdmoore28 and 0Hz like this.
  6. maxhifi

    maxhifi AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,976
    Location:
    Edmonton Alberta Canada
    The 141 is a single full range 4.5" driver, in a small plastic and thin particle board enclosure, with limited damping material. They were sold new for $60 a pair or so in the late 90s.

    While it is pretty good for what it is, what it is, is a cheap speaker which isn't capable of the sort of performance which people interested in high fidelity sound are after. It has limited dynamic range, limited frequency response, and audible distortion if you push it.

    I wouldn't say I hate it, just that it is what it is. The 141 is most useful as either a surround speaker, or perhaps as an upgrade to the cheap speakers which come with a mini system.
     
    roadrunnerx likes this.

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  7. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian Super Member

    Messages:
    3,559
    Location:
    Iowa
    If I had a low budget driver or two and a lightweight box and needed the speaker to sound acceptable, I'd want to call Bose for their advice. Their expertise is this and in marketing. They would make it sound as good as it could sound.
     
  8. RamblinE

    RamblinE (╯°□°)╯彡┻━┻

    It’s easier to generalize things like Bose, Beats, Apple, etc than it is to consider individual products on a case by case basis.
     
    cratz2, soundmotor and musichal like this.
  9. GregDunn

    GregDunn Active Member

    Messages:
    159
    To me the issue is that a Camry is not priced as an upmarket car, whereas Bose's higher end products are priced as though they are something special. The original 901 was as expensive as a pair of AR3a, yet had a frequency response badly lacking at the extremes compared to it. Yeah, if you pumped enough power into it (thanks to the EQ's 18 dB bass boost) you could get some air moving at the low end, but it was massively distorted. It sounded impressive in a quick demo, but I lived with a pair for several years and after a while the faults became intolerable.

    Likewise their 1801 amp - very expensive, with mediocre specifications and not super reliable despite the massive array of output devices. I think a lot of people bought Bose gear for the image, not for the actual equipment. I'll have to admit it was seductive.
     
    slimecity and stish like this.
  10. Cadillac Kid

    Cadillac Kid Addicted Member

    Messages:
    7,128
    I saw pair of Bose 141s at the local Hospice Thrift. Some dude was carefully prying off the grill. Turns out he worked as a speaker design engineer for many years. He was showing me the star driver and explaining the theory involved and the faults in the 141 design. His technical knowledge was impressive. We talked speakers for about 20 minutes. He said he had some some Hafler speakers for sale.

    Despite his opinion, I paid the 8 bucks for the pair. Why? Because I have a problem with speakers. OK? I like to play with them, learn about them then toss em back. Not expecting too much from them.

    Right now they are hidden in the garage. Yup, I got it bad.
     
    Dave1384 likes this.
  11. Justgotohm

    Justgotohm AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,426
    Location:
    Savannah Georgiaish
    I’m guilty, I’ve had two 1800 amplifiers running four 800’s I bought just for the hell of it. It was really really loud, I did a full test outside in a very rural community.
    My experience beyond that was with some 901 series III’s which didn’t do it for me. A couple pair of 301 series III that had a nice sound, I could have lived with them in a secondary system but the value of the series III was well worth selling them.
    The 141’s showed up on my door step instead of the trash, I pulled the drivers and eBayed them. I’ve been given an Acoustimas 10 system, a Cinemate system, and a 3-2-1 system. I used the Acoustimas, gave the 321 and the Cinemate to friends who love them. I would say 90% of the people you start a conversation with about audio immediately mention Bose under the assumption it’s the best you can get, for a company, that is brilliant. Like I said previously I have the 601 series II’s that I’ll get up to snuff. I’m curious about these given past sales are above JBL 100 Century’s with trashed pairs still going for 3-400.
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  12. maxhifi

    maxhifi AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,976
    Location:
    Edmonton Alberta Canada
    I was able to sell my 141s for 40 dollars last year, by listing them locally. Can't argue with how bose stuff holds value.

    The bose speakers I always wanted to hear are the original 701, they just have so much going on, and they look great in an early 90s tech kind of way.
     
  13. HarmanKardon

    HarmanKardon Tubes still smell funny Subscriber

    Messages:
    57,667
    Location:
    Schwarzwald, Deutschland
    I am not familiar with the Bose 141. But I am owner of the Bose 205; 301/1; 501/I; 601/I, 901/II, 901/III.

    Sir, if you ever encounter Bose bashing at AudioKarma, please report it.

    I will never accept any bashing or sentiments based on hatred in this forum!
     
  14. jazzmans

    jazzmans Super Member

    Messages:
    2,312
    Location:
    devils playground, NV
    IMO, you aren't missing anything. I grew up with the 301 series II and 601 series II, have owned a pair of 151 (same as 141, except kevlar cones) for twenty five years, 301 series IV that my little brother now owns, and I seriously disliked the sound of the 701 you are referencing.

    There is something to the sound of the 141/151/901 3.5" driver, that is a fact. I suspect the lack of a crossover is why they sound as seductive as they do, but as noted a pair of NHT super zeros are far better speakers.
     
  15. toxcrusadr

    toxcrusadr AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    32,897
    Location:
    Central Missouri
    If you already think 'people crap all over Bose' then you must have read some threads where the Bose Debate occurred. If so, you have already seen lots of people explaining their love or hate or indifference for Bose. So I wonder what new revelations are to be gained by yet another thread along the same lines. :dunno:

    Maybe we need a sticky thread to collect links to all the Bose Debate threads, for easy reference. :rflmao:

    Carry on!
     
    MJB1959 likes this.
  16. RamblinE

    RamblinE (╯°□°)╯彡┻━┻

    I have listened to $30k speakers, $12k turntables and $1500 headphones. I am not in the market for any of those things but I believe it’s valuable context which shows that Bose is not actually high end priced. At most Bose is mid-fi priced. But that’s not even an adequate comparison because a lot of what they make are lifestyle products and some of them are the best in the industry. Not to mention their wireless noise canceling headphones are averaged priced and quite competitive. They should be seeing as that’s one of the products they’re known for.
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  17. maxhifi

    maxhifi AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,976
    Location:
    Edmonton Alberta Canada
    It's a tradition of audio discussion forums, it's been going on for 25 years, why stop now?
     
    thurber likes this.
  18. alteclipsch

    alteclipsch Super Member

    Messages:
    1,629
    My father in-law had a pair of them years ago, I coveted them because I was "supposed to," given the marketing hype of the day. When we inherited them, I hooked them up and immediately hated them. On to CL, and never looked back. I do remember some really old 901s that sounded ok, so I'm not a hater.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
  19. cpt_paranoia

    cpt_paranoia Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    811
    Those (and similar) brands don't do themselves any favours by the massive marketing hype and inflated prices. Apple probably being the least offender in that trio.

    The hype and prices are major contributory factors to the negative opinions, and it's very easy to develop the impression that such companies are exclusively hype and prices, and have no technical merit. That's an issue of trust. Once trust is lost, it's very hard to recover from.
     
    slimecity likes this.
  20. toxcrusadr

    toxcrusadr AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    32,897
    Location:
    Central Missouri
    It's a golden tradition!
     

Share This Page