Bose 901 loudspeaker Manufacturer's Comments

Sidebar 2: Manufacturer's Comments

Our technical analysis of the theory behind the 901 differs from Stereophile's in a number of respects. Since the final test of a speaker is in its sound with actual program material, we urge Stereophile readers to audition the Bose 901 and then judge for themselves whether Stereophile or the 15 other US and foreign reviews, which draw completely different conclusions, is correct.—Bose

Mountain Road
Framingham, MA
(800) WWW-BOSE

dalethorn's picture

So far I haven't been able to find the original Bose 901 review on the Internet - the review which contained the phrase "Bose is best, big or small, high or low."  I've always wanted the 901, just like I always wanted a set of Klipschorns.  But getting the best that either of those systems are capable of (and the only reason to have them) requires a listening room the likes of which I've never had.

buickgeorge's picture

i've been reading stereo review magazine since the early 70's!i would think that that magazine would have the original review! but i do remember reading in that magazine saying the 901's are' cadillac quality in a volkswagon space'!!!!

GKearny's picture

I've had some BOSE 901s since 1999, and they ROCK when set up in my front yard. With the complete ABSENCE of room resonance, and connected to an ACURUS linear power amplifier, they SOUND LIKE WE ARE ATTENDING A LIVE CONCERT! I have rocked my entire neighborhood with Wagner's Ride of the Valkyrie, and the original BOSTON album! I think that the BOSE 901s are, with the addition of a LOT of horsepower ala a linear power amp, sound WONDERFUL. Our house is made of concrete blocks, and we have a solid rock veneer wall, and when we set up the BOSE 901s to reflect off of this heavy, rock-hard surface, the amount of sound that is projected is worth WHATEVER it costs! WE LOVE OUR BOSE 901s ! Gerry K in Arizona

drblank's picture

I know a lot of people want to get their audio system sound like they are at a concert. The problem is that concerts don't have really good room acoustics or sound systems.  Obviously, if the recording is a live recording, we hope that it sounds like we are at the concert, but having the speakers basically rely on bouncing audio from the back as the main source is actually bad.   Some people like omni directional speakers like MBL, or others that are simlar in design, but they don't rely mostly on bouncing the sound from the rear.   With the 901's, you are actually listening to what you want less of, reflected sound.

I had an acoustic engineer come to my home to take some measurements and give me his recommondations for room treatment as my room measurements were probably the worst you could have.  a square room with a pitched vaulted cieling with a drastic slope to it.  He explained to me that it's good to have reflected sound, but you don't want too much as it removes detail and coherancy from the music.

When companies like ASC and others work with a client to measure room acoustics, they work with Articulation measurements of the room and they measure the direct sound compared to the reflections and they want to create a natural room sound rather than having it too dead, too live where the reflected sound is as loud as the direct sound coming from the speakers.

The 901's just simply do it wrong.  If the front had a bunch of drivers and the rear sides had only one driver, that might be better.

One thing to note.  When you walk into a Bose dealership or Bose Store, don't let them use those CDs that are produced by BOSE.  I talked to a dealer that carried BOSE for a short period of time and they explained to me that BOSE produced demo CDs that were mastered to sound good on BOSE systems, but when you listened to the same CD on another, they sounded like crap so those demos they use to sell the speakers mislead the consumer because most of the recordings you listen to weren't mastered specifically for BOSE speakers.  The local dealership that told me this doesn't carry BOSE anymore and the only reason why they carried the line is they got a lot of people asking for BOSE because of BOSE marketing and they seccumbed under the pressure of customers, and in the process, they got ribbed by their higher end customers like myself, but in the end, they dropped the line as people would actually walk into a higher end store and once they started listening to companies like Paradigm and others, they became disinterested in BOSE and then sales started to wain.

Best advice I can give someone is use your own CDs, and go to a variety of audio stores (not the big box stores) and start REALLY listening to a variety of speakers, there are plenty of really good products on the market that walk all over BOSE.  Paradigm is just one of many, there are Martin Logan, and many other small companies that make nice affordable products these days.  If I wanted the omni directional sound, but couldn't afford MBLs or something in that price range, I would be looking at Martin Logan, Magnapan and a few others that sound so much better than 901's.

machelp's picture

@dalethorn - try here:

smileday's picture

I do not understand the claim in the review that single small woofer system results in flatter response than multi-woofer system.

Contrary to that claim, we can achieve flatter in room response by increasing the bass radiating area. That is because we can make the dip (cancellation null) in bass in the frequency response curve less deep. Some designers utilize large bass radiation area. Real world product examples include PSB T3 that was reviewed in Stereophile. PSB T3 has multiple woofers for frequencies below 450Hz. Moreover, the woofers are placed apart, not as close to each other as possible.