Large Speakers that Sound Full
Jul 23, 2008 (Updated Jul 23, 2008)
by Guy Techie
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
As some of my fellow readers know, I've been using a stereo desktop speaker set (though a good one - Klipsch ProMedia 2.1) for my modest home theater system. Basically it consists of a PC running Vista Media Center and a modest sized LCD HDTV. My friend also have a TV the same size as mine, but paired with an 5.1 surround system. After playing a few movies as well as playing Age of Conan (excellent support for surround sound!), it's finally time for me to step up to the plate. Gotta keep up with the Jones, right?
Recommend this product?
I head off to Best Buy to see what they have to showcase. They seem to have a lot to play with, from stereo bookshelf speakers, to a set of 5.1 speakers, even complete "home theater" systems. I've decided to go the "put it together yourself" route, and checked out a few receivers, speakers, and sub woofers.
The Best Buy in my area have a nice set up to showcase their bookshelf speakers. All speakers and subwoofers are connected to an A/B switch, which allows for you to turn on or off. These kind of speakers are perfect for a front stage speaker set, and can also be used for the rear surround set up as well. They are expensive, but sound much better than the small speakers typically found in most 5.1 speaker set (such as Klipsch's Quintet series).
For $330, I could get the Bose 301v. They are the largest speakers in the bookshelf speaker area of Best Buy. Then again, unlike most speakers that stand straight up, they seem to have been designed to sit squat on what would traditionally be on it's side. They measure about 15" x 9" x 10".
For a bookshelf speaker, it has a large 8" woofer along with dual 2" tweeters. The tweeters are angled in a way where you'd have to position both speakers so that the tweeters are angled towards the listener or outwards to reflect off surfaces. The woofer is covered by a cloth grill, while the tweeters are left exposed.
The Bose 301v push out clear mids and brilliant highs. This is surprising because of the large woofers. Without a mid-sized driver, I didn't expect the mid-range frequencies to sound they way they did.
The tweeters are directional and fixed. They are pointed inwards in the set up, which creates a pretty bright sound. It can be tiring to listen for an extended amount of time. Since they are directional, if you are not in the direct path of the sound waves, the overall quality is muddy since you'll only be hearing the mids. It may sound different when the speakers are oriented in a way where the tweeters are directed to reflect off walls, but there will still be a sweet spot created for the listener.
Compared to the smaller Bose 201v, the 301v can get louder while still creating what sounds to be a flat frequency response. The 201v seem to gravitate more to the mid range at louder volume, while the tweeters are being drowned out by the mid range driver. Overall, it is best all around compared to smaller Bose 201v and have a brighter sound than the Klipsch B-3 and B-2 speakers in the same bookshelf category.
Wow, speakers are expensive! A pair of these Bose 301v is currently running at $330 at Best Buy! Just a few minutes ago, I saw that they are on sale, making it an even $300.
As good as they sound, I may find myself gravitating towards those 5.1 speaker sets. After all, if I went with the Bose 301v, I'd still have to buy another pair of speakers for the rear surround, which adds to the already hefty price. Don't forget the subwoofer! Cha-ching! I'm not even going to mention the receiver...
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Amount Paid (US$): 330
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