Bose 301 Bookshelf Speakers Reviewed

By |

Page 1 Page 2

Bose301_speakersreviewed.gif

Founded in 1964 by Amar Bose, a professor of electrical engineering at MIT, Bose has generated tremendous success - as well as a large volume of criticism - for its approach to sound reproduction. Bose believes in creating sound that mimics a concert hall, regardless of the artist, material, or soundfield present on the recording itself. While this philosophy has advantages and disadvantages, depending on the tastes of the listener(s), Bose's success speaks for itself. When combined with its world-class marketing and lifestyle packaging, Bose's actual sonic performance almost takes a backseat within the buying decision and the brand's overall reputation.

The Bose 301 Bookshelf Speakers utilize one front-firing eight-inch woofer, one front-firing two-inch tweeter and one rear-firing two-inch tweeter. The 301 also has two ports on the back to increase bass extension. They have optional matching stands and wall brackets and will easily fit on a bookshelf.

Additional Resources

 

The build quality of the 301 comes up short of the standards set by many of its competitors. The knuckle rap test revealed a hollowish, much-too-alive sound. The dullish vinyl overwrap and somewhat cheap, push-pin speaker jacks don't suggest value, nor do the paper woofers and lightweight construction. Also, while offering the security of Automatic Speaker Protection circuitry, such an approach adds circuit complexity to the expected need for overall purity in signal reproduction.

Sound
The 301s present a scattered sonic presentation lacking clear focus. The 301s don't excel at any one aspect of the frequency band - the rolled-off highs, hollow midrange and muddy bass get smeared all over the soundstage and the loudspeakers themselves don't remotely disappear. Certainly, the 301s sound big, and even expansive at first, but the lack of real palpability hurts music playback, and even movies and games. Speaking of movies and games, the 301s are not magnetically shielded, meaning you must place them at least 24 inches from a television display (according to the manual). The rear-firing tweeter also mandates at least an 18-inch placement from walls, according to the manual, although the sound didn't seem to vary that much with lesser distances, down to at least half of that.

On the plus side, from a background music and casual listening perspective, the 301s do a credible job. The big sound and seemingly good sensitivity make it a good fit for that crowd - although it should be noted that I could not find the actual sensitivity specs (and frequency response, for that matter) anywhere.

Competition and Comparison
Please be sure to compare the Bose 301 speakers against the competition by reading our reviews for the Boston Acoustics CS 26 speakers and JBL's ES20BK speakers.  There is also information available on a wide variety of products in our Bookshelf Speakers section.

Read on to Page 2 for the High points, Low points and Conclusion . . .


  • Comment on this article

Post a Comment
comments powered by Disqus

HTR Product Rating for Bose 301 Bookshelf Speakers

Criteria Rating

Performance

2

Value

2

Overall

2

Disagree with our product rating? Email us and tell us why you think this product should receive a higher rating.


Latest Bookshelf Speaker Reviews

Sep 20
MartinLogan Illusion ESL C34A Center-Channel Speaker Reviewed I recently had the pleasure of reviewing MartinLogan's Expression ESL 13A, an electrostatic speaker that uses a relatively large panel...
MartinLogan Illusion ESL C34A Center-Channel Speaker Reviewed

Jul 26
PSB Imagine XA Dolby Atmos Speaker Module Reviewed Partnering with speaker manufacturers to develop the Atmos-enabled speaker module with up-firing drivers was probably one of the smartest things...
PSB Imagine XA Dolby Atmos Speaker Module Reviewed

Apr 10
RSL CG3 5.2 Home Theater Speaker System Reviewed Dennis Burger explores RSL's CG3 5.2 speaker system, which includes four of the company's CG3 bookshelf speakers, the CG23 center channel, and dual Speedwoofer 10S subs for $1,478.
RSL CG3 5.2 Home Theater Speaker System Reviewed

Feb 01
Atlantic Technology LCR3 Bookshelf Speaker Reviewed Atlantic Technology is a Norwood, Massachusetts-based designer and manufacturer of home theater loudspeakers since 1989. The LCR3 compact loudspeaker ($275...
Atlantic Technology LCR3 Bookshelf Speaker Reviewed

Jan 23
MarkAudio-SOTA Viotti One Bookshelf Speaker Reviewed Brent Butterworth reviews the $2,995/pair Viotti One from MarkAudio-SOTA. This two-way bookshelf speaker combines a 5cm tweeter/midrange driver with an 11cm woofer in a well-built cabinet that comes with a matching stand.
MarkAudio-SOTA Viotti One Bookshelf Speaker Reviewed