General discussion

Poor sound quality with Bose

Last year I purchased a Samsung UN-55B7000. It's the 55" ultra-thin TV. It's fine, but since the sound wasn't great I decided to buy speakers. I bought the Bose CineMate GS Series II. I'm very unhappy with it. Every 5 minutes, I have to replay to understand what's being said, and I have to get within a couple feet of the speakers. It's especially bad on DVD and BluRay. The room I watch it in is quite large, with 20 ft ceilings. But I thought this was a good enough system to handle the room. I don't know if this has anything to do with it, but my blu-ray player is an inexpensive LG that I got for free with the TV. Any input on this would be appreciated. Shouldn't this $800 set of speakers be performing better?

Discussion is locked
Reply to: Poor sound quality with Bose
PLEASE NOTE: Do not post advertisements, offensive materials, profanity, or personal attacks. Please remember to be considerate of other members. If you are new to the CNET Forums, please read our CNET Forums FAQ. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Reporting: Poor sound quality with Bose
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
- Collapse -
Loaded gun here

Bose is all about marketing. Period. That's why the sell quite well. Most folks unknowingly purchase them w/o doing proper comparisons w/ other similar products in the same price range. My first surround system was purchased back in the day as such <vbg>. Live and learn, I say. OTOH, it's a fine unit for a second bedroom/non-primary home theater/entertainment space. But you have discovered in this sense it will not give you the best sound quality by any means. You will require a real 5.1/7.1 system for that. There are some very helpful audiophiles here that can help give more specific recommendations to other speakers/systems that might work better for your needs. 20 foot ceilings require a little more effort to get things right IME Wink.

Regarding pricing, it's generally accepted that the most money should be spent on speakers/sub when building a surround system/home theater.
$800 won't generally cut it, although at that price point, you can get certainly obtain better sound quality from another brand like Paradigm IME and O. You would gain real surround sound at least from an entry level perspective. Check out the Cinema 90-

- Collapse -
Trouble with Bose

Thanks for the response. I agree...I think I'm going to have to spring for a better (and more costly) system.

- Collapse -
That's a big room, and those speakers are small.

Not to mention, like most Bose systems, they are more about style than sound quality. Tiny speakers when pushed hard can introduce distortion. They also may have trouble reproducing certain frequencies if the gap between the sub and the small drivers is too great (Bose has a policy of not publishing frequency responses which sends up a red flag in my book).

Long story short, you really need a larger set of speakers for a big room. And with surround sound mixes, a really good center channel speaker makes all the difference in whether you can hear dialog clearly and cleanly.

Either retire the Bose to another room or sell them on eBay and get a speaker system (and an AV receiver) that can stand up to a large space.

- Collapse -
Room is too big

Thanks for the reply. I definitely should have taken the room size into account BEFORE I bought the system

- Collapse -
Wanna sell it?

Email me from my profile.

- Collapse -
Bose thoughts

I'm not familiar with the CineMate series speakers. Are they speakers only or are the speakers part of a Bose system with an amp. If they are speakers only, what receiver are you using? Most HT receivers allow you to adjust the speakers individually to increase the volume and frequency, especially the center-channel. The center-channel is the most important speaker when if comes to dialogue. Two of my relatives have Bose speakers, and if I recall correctly, the center-channel Bose speaker is tiny, just like the surround and satellite speakers, and I was not happy with a tiny center speaker.

- Collapse -
Cinemate doesn't require a separate receiver or amp (link)
- Collapse -
Would amp help?

I apologize for my ignorance on this. I have the speakers, the TV, and the blu-ray player. Would the TV be acting as my amp? Would getting a separate, good quality amp improve the sound? Thanks.

- Collapse -
The speakers connect to the TV

According to the link that Pedro posted, I see the speakers connect directly to a TV. I guess it depends on how the TV passes audio from your DVD player out to these speakers. Many TVs don't pass anything but 2-channel audio, but in theory, the speakers should be OK for that. I'm not a fan of these connections. I prefer connecting a DVD player's audio to a receiver and having speakers that connect to the same receiver. That's the way it's been done forever in the world of HT.

- Collapse -
Bose uses a proprietary amplification system and

proprietary connections making it virtually impossible to add another companies amp or speakers. You are sort of stick with what you buy with Bose.

- Collapse -
Throw it up on Craigslist, etc.

Just plan ahead for an upgrade next year if your budget permits. You would probably get back roughly 50% of what you paid new. Get yourself a budget A/V receiver (Onkyo fits the bill nicely) and see if you can find a store with the Paradigms I suggested to hear the difference.

- Collapse -
If you live in a major urban center with a good stereo store

nothing beats a real audition of a system. Good shops will sometimes even work with you to let you tryout speakers in your home before you commit.

If that's not possible (my Best buy doesn't even have a Magnolia section so I am out of luck for anything other than cheap home theaters in a box) there are some good internet speaker companies that will give you 30 day trials (some with free shipping both ways).

- Collapse -
such as Aperion Audio.
- Collapse -
How big is your room?

My Great Room is about 30' x 20' with 22 ft ceiling. I've accepted the fact that I need a much better system. The good news is, BestBuy said they'd do an exchange. I'm buying a computer anyhow so I'll just use the credit towards the new computer, and begin researching better Home Theatre systems.

- Collapse -
Great news about Best Buy.

My living room is actually rather small (less than 2000 cubic feet.. 20 x 11 x 9) but I have a system that could fill a medium to large room. Aperion 6B's for my fronts, a 5C for my center, 4B's for my surrounds and a 10D for my sub. I'm running it off an Onkyo 706 amp. I spent about 2000 on my speakers and 700 on my receiver.

30x20 with 22' ceilings is a really, really big room so you'll likely need a pretty stout system to fill it properly. If its all hard surfaces, you may also need a bit of sound absorption (carpet, rugs, curtains help) to help minimize reflections. Even the best systems can have trouble overcoming a really "live" room.

Do you have a budget in mind? $700 is way too small for a room this size but you could easily spend up to 5000 dollars on speakers so having a number in mind helps you narrow down the choices a bit.

CNET Forums

Forum Info