Bose Acoustimass 6 Series III (black) review: Bose Acoustimass 6 Series III (black)

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.0
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 7.0

Average User Rating

5 stars 1 user review
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Bose Acoustimass 6 Series III is a 5.1 speaker system with tiny, stylish satellite speakers and a large powered subwoofer. It creates a big, dynamic sound (especially for its size) and requires very little tweaking to sound good.

The Bad The Acoustimass 6 Series III is more expensive than competing systems that sound better and look just as good. It also has an unusual configuration that requires more wires than other 5.1 speaker systems. And although the satellites are tiny, the subwoofer takes up more space than many competitors' subs.

The Bottom Line The Bose Acoustimass 6 Series III speaker system delivers a big sound from exceptionally small speakers, but its high price keeps it from being a good value pick.

Editors' Top Picks

Bose is one of the most polarizing brands in home audio, especially on the Internet. Some home theater enthusiasts are quick to dismiss Bose products as overpriced and overhyped, but user reviews for Bose's products are often overwhelmingly positive. That makes it tough for buyers to separate truth from fiction.

Whatever your opinion on Bose may be, there's no denying the company's products are expensive, which is why we couldn't include a Bose system in our recent roundup of 5.1 speaker packages for under $500. The Bose Acoustimass 6 Series III ($700 street price) was the closest we could get and we compared it with its more affordable competitors. For all the vitriol hurled Bose's way, the Acoustimass 6 Series III held its own in head-to-head testing, especially considering its satellite speakers are among the smallest we've seen. On the other hand, it's hard to justify its $700 price, especially when an excellent alternative like the Energy Take Classic 5.1 system is available for just $400. The Bose Acoustimass 6 Series III definitely isn't our top choice for a budget 5.1 speaker system (especially for value-conscious buyers), but those who have to have the Bose name won't be disappointed.

Design and features
The Acoustimass 6 Series III is a six-piece system: five "virtually invisible" (that's Bose's term) satellite speakers and a large subwoofer. The satellites are perfectly visible to our eyes, but they are tiny at a mere 3.1 inches high, 3.1 inches wide, and 4 inches deep. Each sat houses a single 2.5-inch "Twiddler" driver, but no separate tweeter. The black plastic speakers weigh 1.1 pounds each; the cabinets are attractive and have non-removable black cloth grilles.

Bose Acoustimass satellite speakers
The Acoustimass 6 Series III satellite speakers are exceptionally small.

While Bose refers to the speakers as cubes, their backs are curved and have threaded inserts to facilitate wall-mounting. No brackets of any kind are supplied with the Acoustimass 6 system, but Bose sells cast-metal UB-20 wall/ceiling brackets. These brackets allow horizontal and vertical adjustment of the speakers, so you can direct the sound where you like. We placed the sats on stands and put the center-channel sat on the shelf in front of our TV.

Bose Acoustimass speaker connectors
The speaker connectors toward the bottom of the speaker are extremely small, although they work with Bose's included speaker wire.

We were disappointed with the quality of the sats' spring-clip wire connectors. The spring clips' grip on the wire is even less secure than for most connectors of this type, so a moderate tug may dislodge the wire. However, once the sats are in position the wires will stay in place. The clips only accept skinny bare wire ends, which is fine in this case since Bose supplies all the speaker wire.

Bose Acoustimass speaker wire
The Acoustimass comes with even more wires than a standard 5.1 speaker system.

Editors' Top Picks

 

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Where to Buy See All

Bose Acoustimass 6 Series III (black)

Part Number: 29275 Released: Apr. 6, 2006
Low Price: $699.00 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Apr. 6, 2006
  • Speaker System Type home theater speaker system
  • Speaker System Configuration 5.1-channel
  • Color black
  • Nominal Impedance 4/8 Ohm
  • Amplification Type active subwoofer, passive satellites
  • Connectivity Technology wired
  • Type Home theater speaker system
About The Author

Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Home Theater, Inner Fidelity, Tone Audio, and Stereophile.

About The Author

Covering home audio and video, Matthew Moskovciak helps CNET readers find the best sights and sounds for their home theaters. E-mail Matthew or follow him on Twitter @cnetmoskovciak.