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Sound Better Than Klipsch or Polks!
Posted by: Mike9237 from: Annapolis, MD on
I have been researching speakers for my 5.1 surround setup for the past two weeks online (I have a Panasonic HTB that I paid very good money for about 7 years ago). My focus has been the front main speakers, so I was thinking along the lines of a floor speaker. My research drew me to Klipsch and Polk for top quality speakers at fairly good price points. I'm a value shopper, but this time around, I was willing to spend more for a quality component setup I expect to have for 5 or more years. As to listening preferences, I like my music to have crisp highs in the foreground, not buried and mumbling into the bass, and my bass to be slightly boomy but set in the background, where it belongs.
After long hours of online research I decided to just go out and listen to various brands of speakers at Best Buy. Week nights are a great time to do this, as the staff are more attentive and very accommadating to letting you play with the speaker selectors. And you can crank the volume without disturbing many shoppers.
I started out listening to the floor speakers in the "affordable" section. I listend to the Sony 3-Way SSF5000s, Polk TSI300s, TSI500s, and a set of a Klipsch Icon 2-Way VF-35 speakers. Unfortunately, or fortunately, the Best Buy sample CD was filled with wretched heavy metal rock that just didn't do anything for me. But I listened anyway to form an objective opinion. The Polks seemed just okay, the Klipsch nice and crisp, as expected, and the dirt cheap Sony's didn't sound so bad either.
Then I went over to the bookshelf section just to play around, not expecting to find anything there, and that's where I met up with the Bose 201s. I listened to a pair of Klipsch Icon VB-15s, Polk OWM3s, Bose 201s and 301s. I was really amazed at the full range and crisp sound of the 201s and the sound dispersion was very good no matter what angle I was listening from. And they projected well even at low volume levels. The Polks were a very close second, but didn't seem to display the full range of sound the 201s have. And the Klipsch? Well, I just don't think they delivered that well. The Klipsch and 301s seemed a bit on the muddy side. You had to push the volume on both to get them to "sing", but even so, the highs were not well separated from the lows. And they did not project very well.
I decided to take the 201s home and hook them to my Panasonic 100 watt receiver, which also has a Klipsch Sub 12 hooked up (just bought the same evening as a great scratch and dent deal). For music, I have played Rush, Boston, orchestral and jazz. For movies, I have played Black Hawk Down (constant shooting action) and Perfect Storm. And I pushed the volume, looking for weak points. Let me tell you, I haven't found any. Whether the volume is low, medium or high, you will hear a crisp full range of audio from these speakers. They're a bit wide for a frontal setup, but they are attractive and I love the sound so much, that is where they will stay.
To sum it up, Bose was not even on my radar as a result of my online research. Many reviewers just seem to think they can't stand up to the likes of Polk, Klipsch and other relatively high priced brands. But, when I let my ears have their say, the story became very different. I still have a lot of respect for Polk and Klipsch (I love the Sub 12, it shakes the house if you want it to) and will likely incorporate one or the other into my remaining 5.1 setup.
47 out of 52 found this review helpful.
Excellent Sound Reproduction
Posted by: Elftay from: St. Peters, MO on
I was initially leading towards the Bose 301 speakers because of the bi-polar speaker system. In a listening comparison, the 201 were much clearer and reproduced the sound more accurately. The 301 seemed bass-heavy and I had to strain to hear the upper ends. These 201s are bright and clear, making string quartets, singer/songwriters, and rock bands sound like they are in my living room.
Fantastic speakers at an incredibly reasonable price.
The only downside is the lack of stand to elevate the speaker. If you use them truly as bookshelf speakers, no worries! If you don't have the "bookshelf", a pair of stands for the speakers are a definite must, but cost half as much as the speakers.
14 out of 16 found this review helpful.
worth the price
Posted by: Soundsgood from: Lake Delton, WI on
This product is an excellent choice if your looking for large sound in a small space. The BOSE 201 set is best used as rear surround if using a 5.1 channel receiver or better. The 201s compliment the BOSE 301s very well. I would not recommend using the 201s as main speakers or loud speakers only because of the limited amount of bass and power they produce unless you are using a powered subwoofer. I do recommend this product if used correctly.
12 out of 13 found this review helpful.
All I can say is WOW!
Posted by: ras57 from: Pacific North West on
We picked up a 50 inch Plasma TV a few weeks ago, and wanted to upgrade our older Sony entertainment surrond sound system we are using with it.
We looked at a set of Polks and similar speakers, but we did not quite feel like shelling out $1,000 for a pair of speakers.
We researched and found that the Bose although smaller and able to fit on a bookshelf. Should fit the bill for us.
With the way they bounce the sound around we thought they should work well for us.
We wanted the 301's but since they were not in stock so we opted for the 201's.
We were not disapointed.
These are matched up with my older Sony system, and with a DVD like
Iron Man playing you will blow your socks off.
We have sound everywhere just like hearing a THX system in a movie.
I will likely pick up a smaller set of Bose for the back speakers now, and ditch the cheapo Sony spekers my old system came with.
These are well worth the money.
14 out of 16 found this review helpful.
Speakers sound great!
Posted by: AnotherDaniel from: Peoria, IL on
I am very happy with the Bose 201's and have been using them a lot. Sound-wise, they are sized well for being centrally located in my home providing music to an open-plan living room, dining room & kitchen. I am not an expert, but I have been very happy with the sound quality as well.
Aesthetically, my wife and I disagree. I think they are fine and unobtrusive on top of a long 7' tall cabinet. She thinks they are too large and draw the eye. (We also looked at the Bose 161's but she was concerned their output would be insufficient for our space.)
I am happy with my purchase and would recommend these speakers.
7 out of 7 found this review helpful.
Very clear sound
Posted by: Kholl from: Bakersfield on
Just bought 4 of these last night along with a Bose VCS-10 center channel and Klipsch - 10" 420W Powered Subwoofer. They are powered by Yamaha 7.1 RX-V661. Watching Casino Royale on Blue Ray was almost better then watching it at the theater. The sound surrounds you making the movie experience that much better. Putting on an old CD that you have heard a thousand times is like listing to it again for the first time because of how crisp and clear it is.
8 out of 9 found this review helpful.
Grat Speakers for a Music lover
Posted by: AVDude from: Charlotte NC on
These speakers are great. I have had them for 5 mounths now and I haven't even considered sending them back. I love the sound coulity in my 4 speakers. I like to sit in the middle of them and listen to the clearness and sourond sound efect they can give off. Worth the money. I LOVE them!
7 out of 8 found this review helpful.
Overall Good speakers
Posted by: Dalvie from: NJ on
I was looking for a 2.1 stereo setup for a Panasonic receiver. Finally I had to choose between Bose 201 and Definitive promonitor 1000. At best buy they do not keep these speakers side by side to compare and take a decision which is better. So I had to buy both Bose and definitive to test them at home and keep only one which I like. What I noticed is that the highs and mids are better in definitive where as the base is better in Bose. Also I wanted to check out the fatigue levels of long time listening. At the same treble settling the definitive is sharper, that means that you can lower the treble to match the softness of bose 201. The mids are much better in definitive at the same volume levels. Since I was looking for a speakers which can deliver good highs and mids at very low volumes. I choose to keep the definitive speakers.
10 out of 13 found this review helpful.
Posted by: burnedfaceless from: Savannah, GA on
I was told by a lot of people Bose is a high quality speaker. My first experience with Bose was a pair of computer speakers I bought my Freshman year in high school. I pawned them for $20 and the speakers I replaced it never really sounded as good. Really disappointing.
When I bought a box and needed speakers I knew I'd go with Bose. These were within my budget and as soon as I heard them I was in heaven.
I'm a music major and in my not so humble opinion they replicate a wide variety of genres, or reproduce the sound very accurately.
People hate Bose because it's cliche, and they argue they spend money on a marketing campaign which who knows they're a private company. Who knows how much. In my opinion those people don't really know what they're talking about.
If these are within your budget buy them. They're loud and I have played cd, apple tv, blu ray, dvd, and vinyl audio through them. Great speakers.
As far as setup if you've wired speakers they're not any different than any other speaker you would wire. That section of the review is kind of unnecessary for speakers.
8 out of 10 found this review helpful.
Posted by: TheJerzyKid from: New Jersey on
Bose has floored me again. To make it short and sweet you will not be disappointed. These 2 compact speakers produce major bass and crystal clear mids and highs. Low volume or high, these speakers are amazing!!!