You've got to hand it to Bose - they consistently come up with great looking designs for their gear, and their new 3.2.1 GS DVD Home Entertainment System is no different. The GS is made up of two Bose Gemstone speakers, an Acoustimass Bass Module and a Media Centre - or in non-Bose speak, that's two speakers, a subwoofer and a DVD player.
In typical Bose fashion, the two Gemstone speakers are quite compact (and are screaming to be wall mounted), measuring in at only 64 x 140 x 105mm, and weighing less than half a kilogram. The Acoustimass is slightly smaller than typical subwoofer size at 367 x 222 x 485mm. Unfortunately, Bose don't give out any other specs (such as power ratings for the speakers) so it's difficult to tell how they'll stack up against other systems. Our experience in the past though is that despite their petiteness, the tiny Bose speakers can pump out a lot of volume. Bose claims this 2.1 speaker set-up can also recreate a full 5.1 system, but we'll have to wait for our full review before we can vouch for it.
The Media Centre incorporates a progressive scan DVD/CD player and an AM/FM tuner. Once again hard specs are pretty difficult to come by, but it does feature a composite, S-Video and component output, as well as three audio inputs (three analog, three coaxial digital, one optical digital) and two video pass-through inputs (composite and S-video). This main unit is 83 x 349 x 254mm and weighs in at three kilos. The entire system comes in a graphite grey finish.
Bose is also crowing that the 3.2.1 GS is a cinch to install and operate. All it needs is three wires to plug in (and the power cord), and you're away. A set-up DVD is also included to make the whole process easier. This GS system also features the company's proprietary Bose link circuitry, which means it can be plugged in as part of a whole house music and video system using the Bose Lifestyle 38 or 48 systems.
Bose has always been a premium brand, and the AU$2399 asking price for this 2.1 home theatre system is par for the course. You also really have to trust in the truck loads of proprietary technology Bose has packed into its products to buy this without a decent test run, since it's hard to compare this with other systems without more specs information from the company. And keep that word 'proprietary' in mind - Bose systems really only work with other Bose systems, so don't expect to be able to mix and match any other manufacturer's gear if you decide on expanding your home theatre kit anytime soon.
We can't wait to get our hands on this system for a full test run. It's large asking price means the 3.2.1 GS is definitely aimed upmarket, but Bose usually makes that price difference worthwhile.