Bose 3-2-1 GS series (black) review: Bose 3-2-1 GS series (black)

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CNET Editors' Rating

2 stars Mediocre
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Tiny; easy to set up and use; surround-sound effects from just two satellite speakers and a subwoofer.

The Bad Overpriced; poor sound imaging; so-so midrange sound.

The Bottom Line This system is an option for less critical listeners who don't want speakers littering their living rooms.

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Leave it to Bose to buck the current fashion that calls for more and more speakers in home theaters. The signal processing built into the company's 3-2-1 Home Entertainment System gives the impression of surround sound from just two small satellites and a subwoofer. Although you won't mistake this pseudosurround for the full-fledged surround of a more complete home theater in a box (HTIB), you may be willing to accept the 3-2-1's sonic shortcomings because of its simplicity. Leave it to Bose to buck the current fashion that calls for more and more speakers in home theaters. The signal processing built into the company's 3-2-1 Home Entertainment System gives the impression of surround sound from just two small satellites and a subwoofer. Although you won't mistake this pseudosurround for the full-fledged surround of a more complete home theater in a box (HTIB), you may be willing to accept the 3-2-1's sonic shortcomings because of its simplicity.

Simple setup
Between the well-written manual and the setup poster showing how to connect the system's two small, 3.5-by-7.75-by-5.4-inch speakers, the Acoustimass subwoofer, and the combination DVD player and AM/FM tuner, the setup is a breeze. The DVD/tuner box is smaller than most DVD players. However, the 3-2-1 System employs a proprietary Y-cable to connect the speakers to the DVD/tuner, which may limit where you can place the speakers in your room. A 10-foot proprietary cable connects the DVD/tuner box to the subwoofer.

The DVD/tuner can decode Dolby Digital and DTS movies, as well as MP3 CDs. Bose is really promoting this system's simplicity, so it should come as no surprise that only basic connectivity options are built into the system. There's one composite and one S-Video input. If you have two devices that have only composite-video outputs, such as a VCR and a game console, you won't be able to connect both to the 3-2-1. To connect the system to your TV, there's a composite and an S-Video output. For a list price of $999, we expect component video outputs. But unless your TV is larger than 32 inches, you'll find the video performance acceptable. For audio connections, there's one optical digital audio input, as well as two coaxial digital audio inputs. We'd prefer to trade a couple of those digital audio inputs for more video inputs.

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Where to Buy

Bose 3-2-1 GS series (black)

Part Number: 27724
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Components (for S.D.) radio / DVD
  • Built-in Decoders Videostage 5 decoder
  • Additional Features Midnight Mode
    magnetic shield
    on-screen display
  • Functions DVD player
    radio
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Components DVD player
    Media center
    Speaker system
  • Type DVD surround system
  • Dimensions (WxDxH) / Weight DVD player / AV receiver : 13.3 in x 10.2 in x 4.1 in / 8.8 lbs ¦ Speaker system : 5.5 in x 2.5 in x 4.1 in / 1 lbs ¦ Speaker system : subwoofer : 8.7 in x 19.1 in x 14.4 in / 23.4 lbs