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Bose® - 161™ Speaker System - White-Front_Standard

Bose® - 161™ Speaker System - White

Model: 161 WhtSKU: 4337444

Customer rating

Rating 4.7 out of 5 stars with 376 reviews

97%
would recommend to a friend

Pros

Cons

Customer ratings & reviews

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Page 1, showing1-20 of 376 Reviews
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Perfect speaker...for the right scenario.

    Posted
    Coleman
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    I picked up a pair of these to use as rear surround speakers. These speakers, although larger than the cheap "cube" surround speakers you'll find in some surround kits, are made to be configured as "small" speakers (confirmed by the manual). Take this note as a forewarning...you're not going to get a load of bass out of these speakers. Mids and highs? Absolutely, and they're crystal clear. Cranked to uncomfortable levels I've not been able to cause them to distort. Highs are clear without being tinny. Overall a very solid platform, and the design allows for broader broadcast of the sound across the room. The included brackets are well thought out, but be aware that they only pivot in two directions (if mounted horizontally, they'll pivot up and down). If you need more articulation than that, you'll need to buy a different set of brackets. These brackets are sturdy, and once adjusted to the desired angle, they can be locked into place via Phillips head screw. BEAR THAT IN MIND WHEN MOUNTING! If you place the speaker too close to the wall, you could leave yourself no room to insert and tighten the screw. As far as speakers go, you'd be hard pressed to find a better set for the money, or even double the money. I'm no Bose fan boy...I've always leaned more towards Polk and Klipsch for home audio, but these two have made a believer out of me. If you're expecting these to rattle the windows, you'll be disappointed. If you're looking for a solid speaker with great range and excellent clarity to use for surround speakers, you'll be impressed.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Front Speaker Replacements and They Work Great!

    Posted
    Experiencedbuilder

    I realize that these units are specifically engineered to be rear and side surround satellites when interfaced with other Bose hardware; however, that comes at a high price. Since I needed to replace my receiver with an HDCP 2.2 unit, I decided to go ahead and change out my front speakers from my surround sound system with these. I also purchased a new center speaker (Polk Audio) with another sub woofer (Yamaha). My 13 year old speaker system (5.1) was included with a receiver package and I have no complaints whatsoever but these new Bose units are notably crisper, clearer and more dynamic. I left my old speakers as the 2 rear channel components. Even Bose claims that these speakers can be used for front or rear applications. That statement is certainly valid from my experience. Moreover, if they can be used for a 2.1 system, why can't they be used as front channel for surround sound? Don't get me wrong, having a $1500, or more, home theater audio system is fantastic but if you're looking for mixed and matched hardware that does the job and sounds terrific, these can be part of that system.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Superb Bose sound for the average user!

    Posted
    knostic64

    If you want top-notch, immersive sound but you don't have the space or the budget for a state-of-the-art, high-end home theater system, pick up a pair of these babies and you will be amazed at the results. Simply using them as the left and right channels for our basic stereo TV has enhanced our entertainment experience 1000%. They are an ideal, affordable option for any would-be audio connoisseur, and they are more than adequate for almost anything the average user might want them for. Best of all, if you have ambitions for growing into a more elaborate system, these are an excellent entry-level choice, because they are fully capable of delivering outstanding audio on their own and are still integratable into a larger, more complex home theater later on. There are less expensive speakers out there, but come on- these are BOSE! And if you're going to buy some nice speakers, why not do it right? The best value for your money, without doubt!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Perfect speakers - looks small sounds big

    Posted
    jaimac
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Tested out this speakers as front speakers at home. Contenders were Bose 201 series V and Definitive Pro Monitor 800. The speaker sounded as good as the other two supposedly superior products. I connected the speakers to a high current receiver, set the speakers to large to allow full range sounds to be passed to the speakers. Bose sounded more clearer than Definitive. The Bose 201 series V had more bass. I then set the speaker setting to small in the receiver. And Lo there was no difference between the two Bose. Another thing to note is the Definitive although had been rated a low bass frequency, I couldn't find any difference between settings of large and small in the receiver. This is strange because the receiver has a cut off of 100 Hz when the speaker setting is set to small. The Bose 161 like the Definitive did not have any sound difference between the receiver settings of large and small. Since Bose 161 worked similar to Defnitive, I deceided to keep it. Only issue was the shape was awkward. As surrond speakers these are great and a must for every custom configured Home theater.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Nice Rear Speakers

    Posted
    Bharvy
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    These are great little speakers for the money. I normally roll with JBL. Have all Jbl speakers however Best Buy does not carry em anymore. So I gave these a shot because I wanted something small, They are my 6th and 7th speaker for crying out loud! Great purchase. Sound you expect from bose in a small speaker. They might not do the job by them selfs. but as the "extra" speakers they are awsome, my stereo is rated at 130 watts per channel and these little bad boys are rated at 100 watts. So they sound great! Not lacking power! Makes a diff., Would buy them again, no regrets. AS far as the review that bashes the mounting hardware, if you put it together right it is EASY AS PIE. You first determine where you want them. there is a left and right. Mount the speaker bracket to speaker, wall bracket to wall. Plug your speaker wire in and then hang them on the ALLREADY MOUNTED WALL BRACKETS. After you simply hang them on the wall bracket, attatch the provided screw to tighten, Cmon.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

    No definition, distorted sound, feeling ripped off

    Posted
    NarcissusNarcosis

    Out of the box, these speakers look funny, but the looks grow on you. The design seems solid, but the build quality feels sub-par for a brand which carries such a following. They sound alright, but there is no definition in the sound. If you get these speakers, plan to use them with a subwoofer if you want to feel the music, or be in the movie. I tried first without a subwoofer, and almost all the music in my library sounded anemic. Added my cheap Yamaha subwoofer to the mix, and it got marginally better. I don't know if I just got a bad set, but when you turn the volume up when your favorite song comes on, or your favorite scene comes up in a movie, the 161's started to distort very badly, almost like the drivers inside were blown. I didn't turn the volume to Maximum, and before halfway, they began terribly distorting the music I was listening to. I tried adjusting everything I knew to adjust and nothing helped. I wound up returning the Bose 161's and left with a set of Klipsch Quintets. SO far, I am very pleased with these.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great value at a good price

    Posted
    Brad44
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    These are great little speakers if you don't have a big space. I put them on top of my entertainment center in my living room and hooked them up to a Marantz CR510 receiver so I could AirPlay my iTunes music. You get a great sound out of these little guys and they aren't your typical bookshelf speakers. Yes, they might cost twice as much as other brands but the sound is outstanding. And the size is probably about half the size of the regular speakers you might purchase. They are made by Bose you know you're getting what you pay for. You can't go wrong with them. It comes with a wall mount kit if that's what you want to do. They also include some little rubber feet to keep the speakers stable if you decide to put them on top of some furniture instead. Don't forget to pick up some speaker wire if you don't have any! I am running 16 gauge on my pair instead of 18.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent direct connect speakers WOW!

    Posted
    Robb
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    Greetings! So I already have a set of Accoustimass 10 speakers in my home and decided to upgrade my Home Theater system from 5.1 to 7.2. surround sound. I needed one extra set of speakers and wanted the excellent sound of BOSE! These speakers are stand alone and hook directly into the receiver and NOT to an accoustimass or sound processor. I used them as my rear set of speakers (separate) from my Accoustimass 10's. WOW the sound is fantastic. And because they are a little bit bigger they really kick the deeper sounds needed for the rear sound. They are clear and very clean sounding as you would expect from Bose. The price I thought was a little cheap for what your getting. Very nice and attractive set of speakers for the money!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Perfect For Surround Sound

    Posted
    robw
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    After online and in-store research I found myself back in my local store to purchase these speakers for surround sound in my movie room. They're small, lightweight, and carry enough bass to be surrounds. The fact that they include mounting hardware is an additional plus. I was happy to have the search for compatible brackets removed from my to-do list. My only minor gripe is that I couldn't use a banana clip attachment to connect speaker wire, but rather had to directly connect the wire on the speaker. This isn't a deal breaker and the quality isn't hindered in the slightest, but I do prefer a tighter connection and simplified installation. Note that I would NOT recommend these for mains, either as stand-alone speakers, nor as part of a 5.1 or 7.1 setup. They simply don't have the bass-producing capability or larger bookshelf or floor speakers.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Not worth the price

    Posted
    DEC1981
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Purchased these to be the surround back speakers for a 7.1 System. I already have a set of Bose 301 as my Front Speaker, A nice Polk Center Speaker, a pair of Klipsch Synergy I as the surround left/right. First the mounting bracket takes 2 screws or anchors for each, instead of only one for nearly every other wall mounted speaker I've used. Once the bracket is mounted on the wall, the speakers are directional. 1 left and 1 right speaker so make sure you want them there before mounting the brackets. There is almost no clearance between the speaker and the wall to access the screw that tightens the speaker to the bracket. You have to use your left hand to tighten both speakers to the bracket no matter left or right. Awkward if you're right handed. The sound is only ok. If I paid no more than $100-$125 for them, then fine, but not @ $165. I replaced them with a pair of Polk OWM3's and I prefer them much more than the bose 161..

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Good sound, looks good!!

    Posted
    Dexter999

    Bose continues to impress with these speakers. While a little weak in the bass area as it sounds sort of muffled, that could just very well be the poor quality speaker wires I have. Yet, when I lower the bass, I hear pristine clear quality music. I have not yet hooked up my receiver to my television to hear the sounds of a movie. The only complaint I have besides the muffled bass is that the speaker wires tend to come out a lot and I have to keep putting them back in. Once again, this could just be the poor quality speaker wires I have. Once I purchase better ones, I will update my review as to whether the bass is improved or not. Overall, a very good speaker, but until I purchase the new speaker wires, I cannot upgrade the quality of the Bose 161's.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

    Extremely disappointed

    Posted
    CatManSJ

    I've always loved the sound of Bose products. A while ago, I went to buy a portable speaker for my phone, saying I would not spend THAT much money on a speaker, but buying the Bose because it sounded SO much better than anything else. I can't even describe how disappointed I was in these (I couldn't listen to them in the store). They sounded way worse then a cheap pair of speakers from some old boombox unit I had been using. They sound like $20 speakers. I have no idea how anyone is saying they are good. I exchanged them for a set of Klipsh speakers that were on clearance. The Klisph sound amazing. I never thought I would say it, but this Bose speaker is horrible.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Used for home theater

    Posted
    Sublimefan661
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Im using these for my rear surround speakers for my home theater system. I have them mounted on the wall pointed downwards towards the center of the room. They look nice, feel solid and high quality. I have not tried using these and stand alone shelf speakers so I cant tell you how powerful or loud they are. For surrounds they work great, I would not use these without a sub if your looking to hear that bass given they only have 2.5" drivers. Got these for $169 at best buy so for the money I cant complain. If they were say $50 more I would take em back or pay a little more for a higher end bose model.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great addition to my home theater

    Posted
    JoeServer

    I spent a lot of time looking for just the right surround sound speaker. I already had some Bose 301's as my fronts and needed something else to put in the wings for the full surround effect. Most bookshelves are too bulky or you can't find a good stand. Many of the small surround speakers that are available only come with speaker systems and really didn't seem to be the right fit. These are perfect in this setup. I used these speakers in combination with the RocketFish rear speaker kit. These small speakers when tuned with your AVR put out high and mid range that complement the front speakers for both music and movies. They really sound great when you increase the volume!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Nice rear 5.1 speakers!

    Posted
    BruceMan51
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Got these to augment my Denon AVR-1912, Bose 301's, Klipsch center, and Pioneer sub. Mounted these on my back wall at about 10' high. Since in the rear, I reversed the L & R, so the "R" speaker is actually the L Rear. My autosetup mic detected these were out-of-phase, so I reversed the + & - wiring; worked like a charm afterward. These bring a nice, mid-to-high-end touch to my system. These were the clearist speakers in the store and sound great at home. I am now a huge fan of Denon's auto-setup to calibrate your system. Great that they included the mounting brackets; essential as these are not very good free-standing. Best of all, very inexpensive at apx. $ 160.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great value

    Posted
    Brodiebean

    I bought these speakers to use in two rooms of my house to provide surround sound. The sound quality is great and the small size allows the speaker to be mounted on the wall discretely. The only issue I encountered was the mounting hardware included does not allow the range of tilt I needed in some areas. So I ended up having to purchase additional hardware. Being on the low end of the Bose price range, I wasn't sure what to expect. However I am very satisfied and would recommend these speakers to anyone. Great value!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Awesome speakers

    Posted
    NicholsFam
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    My wife and I bought these as we were redoing our living room and we decided to get rid of our aging LG floor tower speakers. We bought these as front speakers and were amazed at the sound quality and how they looked mounted under our new 60" sharpe TV. We used them for a week and decided to up grade the other speakers. So we bought 2 more sets. For the rears and the center. Yes we used two speakers for the center and have to say it works amazing. We love the way they look and love the way they sound. They are just the right size and everyone that comes over is just impressed with them.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Make great Surrounds

    Posted
    InfiniteT
    • Top 25 ContributorTop 25 Contributor

    These speakers sound excellent. I use them as my rear speakers in my surround system and they work awesome for that. The sound is clear and well defined. I would not realy use these for anything other than a surround set however. They lack the power and bass responce, as you could probably guess from the low profile and small driver. They mount easily on a wall or celing with the provided mounts. I have had these speakers for several years now and they are rock solid, they will last. They are a great high end lower cost choice for a set of rears.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Bose 166 Speakers

    Posted
    AvidCubFan
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    If you want great sound and you don't have space for large speakers, this is an excellent option. We moved to a town home and didn't want to have our Boston Accoustic speakers taking up a lot space standing on the floor next to our stereo cabinet. Shelf speakers was our best solution. These Bose speakers give you great un-destorted sound in the high range with great volume. When you partner them with a sub-woofer, you have a great sound without conspicuous speakers. Our subwoofer could easily be hidden and the Bose shelf 166 speakers blended in nicely.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Fantastic

    Posted
    patrick

    For the price, these speakers are fantastic. Great value, good appearance, for the size, great bass. Makes deep sound affects well. Hard to make these speakers distort. Fairly easy to set up, but you do have to wire them. Pretty good build quality. Great sound coverage. Speakers get very loud. In some electronic bass pop songs, the bass is sometimes weak. Consider getting a sub woofer with it. Overall, these speakers are a great value for the sound quality. Great for music.

    I would recommend this to a friend