There’s a reason people say
That BOSE stands for Buy Other Sound Equipment. I guess these folks have found it.
Firmware updates to Bose TV soundbars don't seem to have fixed the problems for everyone and have even managed to add some new issues. Owners of the reassuringly expensive sound kit are finding that their universal remote controls no longer work and the £700 soundbar either won't connect to the TV or randomly disconnects – a …
BOSE does appear to be a product set that looks pretty, relies on "premium" reputation to demand a high price, and offers moderately limited functionality when compared with competitors.
Got sucked into buying a Soundtouch speaker (would've rather had a Sonos, but SWMBO overruled) and remain bitterly disappointed to this day. Can only cast to it from an iDevice, can only play Spotify if you have a paid subscription, connection to my music library on Synology seems to have died, can't just make it a Bluetooth speaker....
At least I got it at a Black Friday price, not regular price so I don't feel too shafted
As a counterpoint to this, I've had Bose headphones and speakers since 2010 and have been very happy.
QC15s - excellent at the time, ANC is a little outdated now though.
Replaced with QC20i's in 2012 - stunning headphones.
QC20s broke last year when a fat German bent the 3.5mm connector in an aircraft in-seat entertainment system.
Bought Sony WH-1000XM2s to replace; nothing fundamentally wrong with them but just didn't do it for me.
Went to a Bose shop last year (to buy QC35IIs, showed them my broken QC20s and they offered me $94 trade-in. Brilliant.
I've also had a SoundLink Mini (gen1) since 2015; absolutely stunning little speaker.
It’s a 4 pole+GND elbow connector servicing audio L+R plus mic and volume controls, on a 5cm long wire (of which 2cm is strain relief) going into the ANC unit which is thermally welded with a Bose-imprinted heatshrink sleeve. Look up some photos and you’ll see what I’m talking about. It’s an absolute pain to replace, although I did manage to somewhat repair it enough to get the audio working - and I was buying the QC35s anyway so the $94 trade-in was just icing on the cake.
To paraphrase Maurice Switzer; When you have no clue what you’re talking about, better to stay silent and be thought a fool than speak up and remove all doubt.
I'll say upfront that I've never been a Bose fan, ever since I first met their 802 "PA" speakers back in the 1990s - you know, the ones with the eight small drivers and a massive bass labyrinth in an oddly-shaped box that didn't work properly unless you powered them from Bose's own amplifier which included some very tricky EQ.
The Bose home products I have heard certainly have an "engaging", "appealing" and "big" sound when you first hear them, but after a while they begin to grate on me, and there's no way I could justify the cost, personally.
I wonder if iFixit has ever taken a look at these headphones. If I'm going to pay that sort of money for a pair of headphones I'd hope that they were at least repairable, but then again I'm not the sort of person who shells out a grand for a totally unfixable phone either. As an example, Beko is not exactly a "premium" white goods brand, but I have to say I've found it a much more satisfying experience getting sensibly-priced replacement parts for Beko kit than for "better" brands over the years.
In a similar vein, I didn't think the Beyerdynamic DT100 (and siblings) headphones that were the "industry standard" in broadcasting for many years were particularly brilliant headphones but every single part was replaceable, from the cables (which plugged in) to the drivers, to the headband padding and foam inserts. Very useful in a studio context.
I'm fascinated that Bose was able to offer you a trade-in, but the very fact that they could, without question, does make you wonder what their margins are :-)
Most of my HiFi kit comes from Richer Sounds - who do now sell some "lifestyle" stuff, but still have the good quality basics - and most of my PA kit comes from Studiospares, who seem to have people on the end of the phone who actually know what they are talking about and don't turn up their noses when you buy a mix of Sennheiser and Behringer kit*.
*Sennheiser radio microphones - because they're rather good, even in their cheaper forms, and Behringer X32 mixers because likewise. I even had one client send a tech spec. which forbade the use of Behringer kit, but encouraged the use of Midas kit, despite the fact that the small digital desks are, in fact, near identical other than the price (slightly different form factor, very minor pre-amp differences and a promised 96kHz "firmware update" that never seems to have materialised).
You're right about the repairability - I'm sure that a professional, or even someone with experience (and small fingers) could have replaced the plug better than I did. I was impressed with the trade-in offer, but even more impressed with the way the shop dealt with it; it was the Bose store at the Woodbury Common mall, and I sat there for nearly an hour while the sales rep was on the phone with head office, between them looking for a way to arrange the trade-in on the basis that Bose products shouldn't 'just break' and they wanted to keep the customer happy.
I had the same question you did about the margins; my assumption was that the $94 trade-in was very close to cost price - so the difference between that and the retail price of $229,95 is all profit. A part of where that profit goes is providing an (in my view) excellent customer experience.
It’s a 4 pole+GND elbow connector servicing audio L+R plus mic and volume controls, on a 5cm long wire (of which 2cm is strain relief) going into the ANC unit which is thermally welded with a Bose-imprinted heatshrink sleeve.
So because it has shit design engineering and is impossible to repair, that suddenly makes it OK??? Let me guess, you're an iPhone user.
The headphones are designed very well - they worked fine until a fat German broke them. If he hadn’t, they’d probably have gone on for several more years. And I never said it was ok - I was just happy with the service.
You hear what you want to hear, make blind assumptions that fly in the face of the facts, and are clearly insecure enough to lash out at anyone who you think might make different purchasing choices than you - let me guess, you’re an Android (l)user.
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> would've rather had a Sonos
Sonos quietly changed their T&Cs a while back, such that if you own one you authorise them to sell your data+tracking.
Retroactively applied it to all existing Sonos owners too. You either lumped it, or switched off all the Sonos aspects to become the pissedoff owner of a dumb speaker of average quality yet premium price.
This is one of those situations where Europe has come to the rescue with it's mandating 2 year warranties on all their electrical gear, provided by the distributor you bought it from. The best solution to this problem isn't to complain on a forum for months on end, it's to take the unit back to the retailer for a full refund.
The UK goes one step further tho than Europe. We Brits have the ability to take kit back for refund for up to 6 years after purchase if we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the quality of the gear is substandard to the price paid for it. This product has a history of 12 months worth of problems looking at the forums so it would be quite easy to argue the equipment is sub-standard and the manufacturer is aware of it.
The only thing available to you guys on the other side of the pond is class-action. Group up together and hit them with your lawyers.
It makes sense to me what BOSE stands for. I owned a BOSE speaker set in the past and was very disappointed with the sound output. Please note that BOSE never reveals the output frequency of their speakers. I can't understand why the REG calls BOSE products "Lexus." I am assuming it refers to the 2002 Lexus SC 430 which is rated 3rd worst car ever made:
Grossly over-priced and poor performance - they are like "Beats" headphones - distorted and just plain nasty-sounding. There are very good reasons for them not revealing the actual technical measurements for the "performance" of their products!
Way back in the 1970s, Amar Bose produced the 701 speaker. It actually worked pretty well for its quite small size, but every subsequent product just rode on the back of that initial success. Then the man himself sold his name, and the rubbish that we've seen since the early 1980s began to be produced...
After hearing the 701's in person, I must say that they were really, really overhyped. I don't know what their original pricing was like, but other speakers from the period (Mission, EPI) absolutely blow them out of the water, IMO. (A friend of mine collects hifi stuff from that period, and it's amazing how good some of it genuinely is!)
The later Bose systems with the tiny cubes dotted about and the sub in the corner.... No midrange. No clarity. Ugh. Works okay for a fairly hidden setup for the back half of a home theater surround setup, but past that I will give them no credit whatsoever.
My car (not a Lexus; they equip Mark Levinson) came factory equipped with a Bose sound system. It sounds fairly decent, but then it's not a bunch of under-sized drivers dotted around a room; it's designed for the task. The listening environment is a very noisy one, and I listen to very noisy music, so if there's a lack of subtlety that doesn't really matter.
And the "subwoofer" hiding inside the spacesaver spare wheel is a silly thing, but does a reasonable job within the car's fairly small cabin.
"Works okay for a fairly hidden setup for the back half of a home theater surround setup"
It has what is known as a high WAF (Wife Appreciation Factor). Guys are perfectly content to have a set of large speakers set at an optimum distance from the listening position and away from the walls where the wife will insist on putting them in a far corner with a potted plant in front to hide them.
Grossly over-priced and poor performance - they are like "Beats" headphones - distorted and just plain nasty-sounding.
My understanding is that Beats headphones are only good for listening to hip-hop. Which is understandable as they were designed at the behest of a rapper (AKA not designed for listening to actual MUSIC).
I applied for a job at a BOSE store when between positions. I filled in an application form and handed it in. I then heard nothing and decided that I obviously wasn't suitable for their shops. A full 6 weeks after the form went in I had a call from somebody thanking me for applying and saying that I was more than perfect for the job. "When can you come in?" I told them I had found another job in the vast amount of time it had taken them to get in touch. He seemed rather shocked by this piece of news.
"I told them I had found another job in the vast amount of time it had taken them to get in touch. He seemed rather shocked by this piece of news."
That happens all over the place. Companies have been trained that they need an HR department and those people have to look as busy as possible and process each piece of paper very thoroughly. An application has a very exciting life for those 6 weeks as nobody in HR has any idea what the job is about nor how to tell if an applicant is fit for the post. Somebody will eventually mention casually to the engineering manager that they know somebody that has a particular degree and experience and asks if that sort of person might be a good person to fill a job.
What would often happen to me is I'd get a letter six weeks down the road thanking me for applying but they've decided to not fill the job or they have frozen any new hiring for a period. Gee thanks, but I wrote you off 5 weeks ago. Even more usual is a form letter acknowledging the submission of an application and then complete silence.
One of the reasons I wouldn't buy a soundbar that's capable of firmware updates at all (or would firewall it off immediately).
It has to take.... audio data and produce... audio. There's nothing in there that requires anything more complicated than that.
I bought a £23 kit for an arcade cabinet project, consisting of speakers and amplifier. I use it with a Raspberry Pi that - while doing everything else that it does, including playing games - can act as a Bluetooth audio sink. Additionally, I have a £20 HDMI splitter that also provides a separate audio out (i.e. one HDMI -> two HDMI out, SPDIF out and 3.5mm audio out).
Combining the above does... well, pretty much everything a soundbar does. For way less than £100. Even as a cobbled-together solution. And is more than good/loud enough to fill my entire living room with deafening-but-clear sound.
Given that if you really wanted to, the Raspberry Pi could easily be replaced with, say, a tiny Bluetooth->audio adaptor (£10?), where in there is there a need for firmware, updates, or anything else?
I judge you for buying "Bose", thinking it's a premium brand (it's the Haagen Dasz of audio, as far as anyone who knows about audio has ever told me).
I judge you for buying devices that have Internet connectivity or updates, or even a smartphone for what should be a basic connection (even if over Bluetooth from your phone) and an audio-only stream.
I judge you for then not returning the equipment to Bose as not fit for purpose if it's been off for MONTHS and been unusable in that time, and/or taking them to court. Imagine if someone did that to your car, or your bank account?
"I judge you for buying devices that have Internet connectivity or updates, or even a smartphone for what should be a basic connection (even if over Bluetooth from your phone) and an audio-only stream."
So you used a ras-pi as the core of your amplifier and then complained about kit that doesn't have a simple connection...
have gone to shit due to greed and little to no customer service?
I was about to start a very long list like Sony, Craftsman tools, Samsung, etc but it would take too much of my time.
I will just go with:
All of them!
Hit 'em in the only place that matters to 'em... Don't buy their crap and warn all your friends and family!
I know that Bose is now off my list.
(It's a damn shame too)
To be fair to BOSE, their customer service in the UK is exemplary. Broken headset? Warranty replacement sends you a new (not a fixed) set. But then again, Sennheiser does the same. As for hardware, that's a different animal... Can't comment there. I find those gadgets too expensive anyway.
Sorry to hear about your QC25s! It seems it's the later/newer products that have more and more flaws as if not enough product testing is being done.
The old QCs I had were replaced twice under warranty, once for a cable problem, once for earphone cushion delamination. Their SoundSport earphones are very very good for the purpose in mind, so I'm happy they've lasted as long as they have.
Was Bose, Beats, Sonos etc ever other than hyped style & price & size more important than function.
Also €250 for Apple earbuds that you can't change the battery on and are less adaptable than €6 wired earbuds for your ears. I'll stick with a phone that has a 3.5mm socket and my €12 earbuds + mic.
I solved TV sound issue (both TVs have like laptop speakers) by using a Chinese HDMI/Optical/RCA Digital to 5.1 analogue adaptor, with also a stereo down mix. Feeds regular dumb amps and speakers.
I do generally agree, however despite Sony being on my shit-list for many years, their current noise cancelling headphones are excellent. They have also surprised me by listening to customer feedback and actually releasing a couple of software/firmware updates that actually fix common gripes and which add requested functionality.
Yes, I'm surprised as well - especially after being burned in the past by the dreadful software Sony provided with their NetMD players. Still, a rare kudos to them for releasing a solid product and supporting it properly for once...
In my opinion the only Bose product worth looking at is the QC35 NC headphones (wearing some right now), and the only alternative that comes close is the Sony WH-1000MX models. For me the difference was only in comfort, I liked the fit of the Bose ones on my head better, I know people who had the opposite.
I really don't understand why people would spend this much money on a soundbar like this. And then accept it when a manufacturer shafts them as hard as Bose is doing. Take them to bloody court if you have to and get your money back.
I sold my QC35s. The noise cancellation was fantastic, but the drop in audio quality compared to Non-NC open-backed/baffle headphones I've owned was very noticeable.
It was what I've come to expect from Bose, good tech, but losing focus on the main aspect, the sound.
” ... but losing focus on the main aspect, the sound.“
That’s your main aspect, not theirs. Bose QC headphones are primarily targeted at travellers, who want top quality NC first, and nice relaxing sound second. If you care enough about quality to buy open backed or baffle ‘phones, Bose were never going to be right for you.
I bought my lady friend some Bose Sleep Buds, because I snore like someone cutting down trees. Pretty pricey, £240 a pair, and rather than just active noise cancelling, these buds cancel noise and play a little background noise directly into the ear canal. At least, that's what they were supposed to do. Every time you use them, you have to pair them to the app on your phone, and they didn't use standard bluetooth headphone profiles, so that involved using the app. The process was this: start the app, remove the buds from their charging case, and they would connect.
Except.. they just don't. The process for retrying this was to put both buds back in the case, wait for the charging light to come on, take them out again. It would take about 30 minutes to get this shitstorm to connect both buds, at which point one or the other of us would be incandescent with rage "WORK GODDAMN YOU", and sleep was out of the question. After a month of this, I asked for my money back - which they did do, at least. A few months later, they announced they'd cancelled the whole line and were giving everyone who had bought them ever refunds as well, as they just couldn't make the technology work reliably.
Chances of buying anything Bose again: slim. It's a shame, because when they did finally pair, they were quite effective at blocking and replacing noise.
Shame. I've had several iterations of their noise-cancelling over-ear headphones, and they've been pretty good.
Never had any of their other products though. Don't need soundbars - output from everything goes through my amp into proper speakers (which aren't Bose either).
WTF do your soundbars need firmware updates for in the first place?
I had their noise-cancelling headphones once. QuietComfort 35 I believe. When I bought them I was quite impressed by the noise-cancelling ability, the sound was OK, but not great - especially given the price.
One issue I had was that when I had my table fan on it would sometimes lead to crackle if noise-cancellation was on. Luckily they had a firmware update to fix it, by giving you control of the noise-cancelling level. Installed the update and noise cancelling more-or-less stopped working. It still did something, but not anywhere near its original level.
I, of course, downgraded the firmware, which did not solve the issue. When I looked online, it was an issue which had apparently persisted for months already. Returned the headset and bought a sennheiser instead. Noise-cancellation is not as great as the bose originally were (but better than after firmware upgrade) and they have much better sound too.
The Sleepbuds weren't shit at what they did (they were actually very effective) - they were cancelled because Bose couldn't get the special silver-zinc batteries to work reliably.
In my view this is a success story for customer service. Company tries to build a new and innovative product, it doesn't match expectations so they offer unconditional refunds to all buyers. This is the way it should be done, and other companies could learn a few things from it.
I'm generally an Apple fan, but honestly they should have done the same thing with the 2016 MacBook Pro. Should have said sorry, the butterfly keyboard is bollocks and doesn't meet the standard we set for ourselves, bring it back for a refund and we'll let you know when the next gen is out.
The best advance in small speaker technology was the Philips "Motional Feedback" system that achieved virtually distortionless sound and very wide frequency response (way below what the size of cabinet would ordinarily permit) and did it all in the analogue domain back in the 1970s.
I built myself some small "active" speakers, with 3-way low-level crossovers before the three power amplifiers themselves, and including motional feedback for the bass speaker - they still sound fabulous nearly 30 years later! My design was published in a European hobbyist electronics magazine, and I got considerable royalties from sales of the PCBs to replicate this design, so quite a lot of them were made.
Unfortunately the guitar world was a bit hipster-y even before hipsters were a thing. The analog-digital debate (particularly with delay pedals), the insistence that old instruments are better and the age-old vintage vs reissue Ibanez Tubescreamer debate being just a few examples.
Speakers definitely shouldn't need software.
I have the same speakers for my home audio since 1996. They just work, and that's what is supposed to happen.
Personally, if any salesperson tries to sell me a speaker of any type that requires an Internet connection I'll just respond "are you actually shitting me ?" and leave.
Soundbars are not just speakers.
They are av receiver and speaker. Firmware updates are usually to add things like spotify etc and new audio format support.
Speakers have no reason to have updates, they should have no software at all. But AV receivers have always had firmware and sometime need or are provided updates. Sometimes those updates are really downgrades, and sometimes they don't allow you to go back.
I certainly have not heard any difference in speakers since the 1970s.
It's called Progressive Hearing Loss.
For me it's got some benefits; my hearing is bad enough that *ANY* sort of crap speaker is going to be as good as the expensive kit. Same thing with headphones. Pop down to Staples and pick up the latest ones they have on sale for $10. When they break toss them and get a new set.
Not from Thin Lizzy shows for me, but in the 80's my favourite place to stand was in front of the speaker at the nightclub.
I don't see the problem. If it won't get a firmware update, just buy the next model up. Problem solved. Everybody's happy.
Seriously though, this is indicative of the way the whole tech market works. Nothing is meant to last. You get beautifully designed and impressive items incredibly cheap and they are inherently faulty. Some manufacturers will release updates. Other won't. They'll just wait until the device is too old before saying 'sorry, it's been sunsetted' or some such utter bullshit. Two cases in point: I have a very new Hitachi (not really Hitachi of course) TV. The firmware is dated January 2019. I just know that I'm never going to get an update for it, because Vestel (who make dozens of different models for dozens of different companies) haven't got the resources to do it for these bottom-of-the-range TVs. Never mind that the TV is so far in advance of anything that was around even ten years ago.
And a more interesting point. I have an HP-41CX calculator that is 31 years old. By today's standards it is severely lacking in features. But it has an excellent set of maths routines, is programmable, can display alphanumeric stuff on its 12 character screen and can interface with printers and things (if you can find the equipment on ebay). It had very few updates during its 8-year manufacturing run. The point is that it doesn't really need them. It does its job today just as well as it did in 1988, and in fact just as well as its predecessor (with fewer functions and less RAM) did in 1979. Not only can it still do its job, but its job is still relevant. It calculates. The batteries last years on standby.
So how did we get from designing stuff that actually works, and keeps working for 30+ years, to stuff that goes out of date so quickly because it can't get updates and yet needs updates?
Look at the apple watch. When it first came out, there were versions that cost several thousand pounds (or dollars). Everyone knew there's be a new watch, making the old one pretty much useless. If I spent £10000 on a really nice Breitling or Rolex or Patek Phillipe, I would expect it to last a damn sight more than 5 or 6 years. But now, a device we call a watch lasts just a few years before it's out of date.
My iphone (last year's model) is a rather impressive people of tech. It's been superseded, but I know that in a few years it'll be a pointless paperweight. It's a lot more useful than an HP calculator, and a lot more expensive, but it's got such a short lifespan.
I wonder if the problem is the "just-get-whatever-crap-out-the-door" Agile approach.
Almost all companies are pushing out products that then need to spend the next few years downloading updates to get them to the point that they should have been at in the first place.
If we stuck to CRT tellies none of this would have happened. LCDs created the need for a soundbar because they were too thin to have a decent speaker in them, then some bright spark thought it was a good idea to use Bluetooth instead of a wire to connect it. That requires a CPU and complex software to implement the Bluetooth network stack which created the need for firmware updates. One problem leads to a solution which leads to another problem...
The article suggested that the problem was in the ARC -- audio return channel -- of the HDMI interface.
And there's your problem -- its more important to implement copy protection and interface controls than it is to produce functional equipment. Many people have noticed that it really doesn't take a whole lot of technology to get audio from a TV to the loudspeakers but once you've got 'interfaces' involved -- especially proprietary ones -- then the whole thing becomes a crapshoot.
Indeed this does stink of problems created by DRM / Copy protection. None of this equipment is simple any more primarily because of all the misguided anti piracy measures in place.
The digital rights holders spend time lobbying the manufacturers who in turn design all sorts of complex and clever ways to stop people watching the wrong region of disc or ripping the audio or video for whatever purposes.
They all seem to miss the fact that just about any modern content is available illegally despite all this shit inconveniencing the regular punters, in top quality with no forced adverts, no annoying menus and the ability to just plug in to any TV, monitor or projector plus any old 1970s speakers and go..
Aaah HDMI - we used to call it Hardly Defined Mostly Intermittent back in the day..... it's still tricky to implement 15 years later and if you choose the wrong part as the equipment manufacturer you may just be stuck. I have a (small) amount of sympathy for Bose in this instance.
it's still tricky to implement
Tell me about it.
I have a reasonable Pioneer AV amplifier acting as the "hub" in my TV/HiFi system, but I have a problem on switch-on. We normally watch TV through an ageing Humax satellite receiver on an LG television. The TV switches on pretty quickly, as does the amplifier, and then sits there saying "no input" while the Humax takes about a minute to get going.
At some point during this process the TV sends a signal down the HDMI (ARC) cable which forces the Pioneer to swap from the "SAT/CABLE" input to the "TV" input so, even once the Humax has booted, there's still no picture or sound and you have to swap the Pioneer back to the correct input.
Interestingly, when I first put this system together this didn't happen. Instead, when watching DTT via the TV with ARC into the amplifier, the TV would randomly decide that ARC wasn't the done thing, and re-enable its (awful) internal speakers. I think I may have done a firmware update in the first year which seems to have solved this problem, but caused the second.
Thank goodness for the Logitech multi-remote.
> LCDs created the need for a soundbar
No that was rewmoving the bezel.
My old 720 lcd with bezel had great sound.
I missed the really crap era where they thought back facinf was a good idea! (your neighbours will love you for it ;-) )
Now they are ok, down facing thoughthe thinness does not help.
If only they could just puit a bezel at the bottom and have decent speakers and a budlge at the back at the bottom.
Oh yes, they can.
Why don't they. Well my current 50 inch LG $K TV being about half the cost (or maybe even less) than my old 720 LG. They needed to find a way to claw bakc the cost. The soundbars probably have a 95% markup.
So how did we get from designing stuff that actually works, and keeps working for 30+ years, to stuff that goes out of date so quickly because it can't get updates and yet needs updates?
Because the companies that made well made equipment went out of business because we are still using their products 30+ years on, and therefore don't get any more sales from us. (This typed on an IBM Model M, just for reference)
Meanwhile, the purveyors of cheap crap which doesn't last 6 months tend to sell the same bit of hardware to somebody every 3 months, resulting in approximately 60 sales in 30 years.
This works up until people like me start setting up people with antique tech that just works. I told somebody how to wire in a pair of ~fifty year old Wharfdale XP2 speakers as replacements to one of these fancy soundbars. Cost him about £30 for the speakers, another £20 for the amp to drive them and he's delighted with the better sound quality and the fact that it just works, no questions asked.
Look at the apple watch
I'd really rather not, but if I were to then i'd be forced to comment that it's a fashion accessory and not a timepiece. If you want to wear a watch to tell the time then you wear a casio. When you have people wearing Rolexes etc then it's an attempt to demonstrate your wealth without looking like a pretentious prat.
Wearing a (this years) apple watch is really no different to decking yourself out with lots of gold chains etc to show street cred; it's merely tacky and unsophisticated. Something that one doesn't do in polite society. Just don't dignify it, and it becomes as socially unacceptable as it is.
I've only ever had good experience with Bose kit; maybe I'm just lucky. Try getting a Denon Receiver (ie 23-07 amplifier) to work with Dolby, HDMI and a multi speaker system for Blu-Ray, X-Box etc. It knows it has a centre speaker and left/right and sub connected but will not accept that it can use the same outputs for a different HDMI input, and the manual is completely incomprehensible.
Same here, though all my BOSE kit is in the 5-20 year old range now. Wave Radio CD, Acoustimas 10 speakers for TV/amp, Companion 2 speaker for Mac, QC15 cans for the rare occasions I find myself on a long haul flight etc. They sound good enough to me, YMMV etc.
The are NOT wireless and there were never any software-updates.
They work very well.
Apple will soon eat their lunch in the earphone-department. Because unlike Bose, they do issue firmware-fixes and if in the rare case these brick a device, they'll issue a fix to unbrick it soon after (or actually give you new hardware).
The AirPod Pro's are already almost as good as the Sony ANCs.
Back in the early neolithic era we had a gig supporting Otway & Barrett who had a really tidy Bose PA - just one driver per side and it completely toasted our Malcolm Hill multi speaker PA.
Before they tried to get too clever Bose kit was really very good if rather expensive.
That parallels my own experience; deafening but crystal clear sound out of a couple of speakers not much larger than suitcases. Not just great for gigs but also discos (yes, that dates me!).
Bose were Masters of Acoustic Arts; from 3-inch cube speakers with ridiculous power output to their 12-foot Bass Cannon. Not so hot on the software these days it seems.
Otway and Barrett - There's happy memories and both still gigging. Was there when they started and I got to see both of them in the last couple of years.
As far as I have heard, their Pro gear is still awesome as is their range of sound suppressing headsets, but those in the consumer division appear to only hire idiots who could not find their own d*ck with a flashlight.
We've had some issues with them before which resulted in a purchase ban of the brand. About the last remnant of Bose here is a Bose Companion 5 hanging off a PC. That, by the way, needed some serious tuning before it sounded right - that "Bass Overwhelms Sound Experience" is about right.
We like Sennheiser, though :)
This is the IoT in action, this is the future. Everyday items that won't work without a fucking data connection or a fucking app even though it adds nothing to the core function of the device. What it does add is massive complexity and therfore an exponential increase in the number of possible failures, it also adds an opportunity for the supplier to make your device cease to function for reasons other than its core function.
Apps in cars scare me. My car phones home to its builder not me. Some can be opened by a fucking phone app. Does no one see how absolutely batshit mental that is?
Back on topic, I have some BOSE QuietComfort Headphones, They're wired so dumb as rocks, they just work, I like them a lot.
I have a soundbar and a sub for my TV. I have an LG tv so I got an LG soundbar and sub. They talk to each other over bluetooth and optical cable. Nothing smart no internet, no firmware. They just work. I hat to switch to a Panasonic TV, I connected up the LG soundbar. It just works.
I hate 'smart' devices.
I'm very happy with this: https://www.whathifi.com/dali/kubik-one/review
I think that Bose gets a lot of flack from "audiophiles" due to its reliance on commodity drivers and software tuning rather than hand-built, beautiful-to-behold units made in a shed in Wiltshire. To my ears at least, Bose delivers a pretty inoffensive sound that can be listened to for prolonged periods without problem. It's only when you compare what else you could get for the investment that the whole Bose proposition falls down.
The abysmal software/customer service thing is just the future I fear, since most people *won't* vote with their feet, they'll just upgrade after a little moan on FB etc.
"I need to powercycle/reset it every 2 days."
I smell a user-manual update in the sidelines - "Turn it off and back on again one a day to ensure a full BOSE experience" maybe?
Seriously though - If it were a paperweight no amount of turning on and back off again would work for any useful period of time would it?
Can I just add - do you (the quoted speaker - from the article) do anything else other than watch TV? Like Sleep, eat, have a life outside of your TV space? What I'm getting at is, don't you turn it off and go do something else at least once a day anyway?
I'm busy with a few restaurants (cool side effect: you never go hungry) and we're busy installing sound that is 100% compliant with music licensing.
Where they are, one of the easiest ways to do that is setting up a Tunify Blue account for the sound feed (although they need some kicking for mixing in too many covers), and then pay the remaining local fees. Using Sonos, that's a simple exercise (apart from the fact that Sonos groups refuse to be permanent, but I digress), but when we asked Bose when they would add the Tunify service we got back a fairly snotty reply that they were not even considering it (they suggested setting up a music library or use Bluetooth, the exact thing we were trying to avoid as that is just extra cost and maintenance).
In other words, they actively denied themselves the ability to sell multiple units into places where their cost would be a minor consideration.
Obviously we simply bought 10 Sonos One SL (the ones without the microphones) and brackets and installed those - all works fine. It took more time to get power supplied and mount the brackets than to get the speakers set up.
The owner of the chain, meanwhile, has booted out every other bit of Bose gear. Judging by these reports, that was none to soon..
Still using ALL the speakers that I have had for 30 years. Really! Amps have come and gone as features have come and gone. But I can get a new 7.2 amp RIGHT NOW that spews 180w/channel into my 7 20-30 year old speakers... for $220. And I GUARANTEE that it sounds better than this $900 paperweight.
Although I've never owned any Bose kit.
So it have just been a fancy rep, and a very few quite good early products?
Or is it they are good at the core electronics but s**t at the whole running software updates thing?
IOW yet another tech company that hasn't realized it's now in the computer biz, with proper upgrade testing and roll out cycles.
Not really. Bose's real "contribution" was psycho accoustics - basically colouring the sound with complex wave guides and resonant enclosures, to make certain types of music sound subjectively "better" on Bose units - a bit like Beats. Boost the bass and people think the sound is fuller, or richer.
Beyond that, they've traded for years on the idea that if it's expensive, it must be good. Generally, they do no R&D (their biggest expense line is marketing), and they fill their, often quite poorly constructed, units with generic, low cost components.
But the boxes are always shiny shiny.
A few years ago, BOSE ran into a fiasco when they released an firmware update to their flagship QC35. The firmware update degraded the ANC performance of the headphones.
The update wasn't the fiasco. It was when several people started posting the issue at the BOSE website. Those people who started the thread noticed that, without any notice, the threads were deleted by the moderators.
Fast forward, the moderators came clean and, using lawyer jargon, "did not admit any wrongdoing" and "BOSE website is owned by BOSE and we can do whatever we want (including deleting threads that bad mouth the company)" finally caved in.
BOSE finally issued a world-wide recall of QC35 headset regardless of age in order to stop the issue getting worst.
I don't get why people would even update the firmware. (Or install the BOSE app, which DEMANDS location service is turned on when you open it, yes, really, for an app to control the EQ and settings on a pair of headphones!) They work fine without the app, and I don't see why they'd need new firmware. Ever.
The wife works in retail.
Occasionally she gets 'returns' from unhappy customers.
I have a standing request to always buy the 'used' BOSE gear.
Dirt cheap, no complaints from me yet.
BOSE noise cancelling headphones
BOSE wall mounted pool room speakers
BOSE SoundTouch wifi speaker *
* although their software update process is definitely iffy.
I blame Bill Gates and Microsoft.
Microsoft started the pattern of releasing stuff with the thought of allowing customers to find the bugs which they will then fix with a patch at a later date.
Then software companies and game companies started doing the same. Release bugged to hell software with promises of a software fix or two further down the line.
Now its hardware with firmware updates being pushed out the door without proper testing and it's 50/50 if it gets a firmware update to fix the fault and if so how many patches they will get to fix the various issues that should have been fixed before the product was released.
As much as im all for patching quickly for best security practises, there is no way I would update firmware on my TV or other electronic equipment without reading reviews of others using it first to see what new problems have been introduced. It can be weeks to a month later I update now, if at all.
Bose was always overly confident in its rightfulneess and ignorant in paid customers opinions, im interests and rights, reluctantly refusing to acknowledge product design issues. The QC35 noise cancelation firmware saga here:https://community.bose.com/t5/Around-On-Ear-Headphones/Bose-QC-35-ii-firmware-4-5-2/td-p/213820 , the design flaw of the newest Bose 700 headphones hinges https://community.bose.com/t5/Around-On-Ear-Headphones/Bose-700-hindge-noises/m-p/252104#M50523 , this thread. Very dishonest on Bose side. I will never buy another Bose product again.
Delivered green to ripen at the customers', who have agreed to do the testing according to the small print in the manual. Ever since computing has become cheap enough to replace dedicated hardware, customers demanding replacements under warranty get told that their problems will be solved "in the next update" until their warranty expires.
Hacked or open source software is available for more and more devices, so whenever I have the choice I go for those products which have already been hacked - no problems with updates anymore, the open source community is far better than any company.
Once upon a time I received some training in electronics and sound performance at government expense ( US Navy ) and that led me to the viewpoint of evaluating audio gear by manufacturer's performance specs AND observed performance. Even when Bose DID publish specs on their gear, my comparisons led me to products that had better performance and prices. Even 30 years after doing performance comparisons I still re-run the process to confirm that the conclusions are still valid with current equipment. The most recent example is that when upgrading to home theater setup last year I picked up 3 Polk Audio speakers to go with the existing two Polk column speakers. Good prices with performance that satisfies ME, and the fact that the logos match on all of the speakers is just a cute little bonus.
Ideally this wouldn't happen.
But really, there's two abilities I would like my devices to have which would help with this kind of problem. 1) Be able to download firmware (including past versions), and load it onto the device. 2) This does of course mean having the capability to disable automatic updates, since otherwise you'd flash an older firmware on and it'd just autoupdate itself.
If the Bose allowed this, then it'd still be pretty weak to have something broken for that long, but if it had previously been working they'd be able to simply load the older firmware on and shut off automated updates.
I am the sad owner of a Mini Link Bluetooth speaker, well it WAS a speaker until the internal programming made it a "brick". What a load of crap, the factory forced this perfectly good remote speaker into "brick mode" which means it needs a "reboot" from the factory to work. Well, the speaker is not "supported" after a total of 14 months from new and the factory pretends this bastard child never existed and provides no support or "reboot". I have a stylish POS, why did I buy from this shoddy company?
Bose isn't the only one breaking their products. Every HP printer "security update" is very likely to stop you from using third-party ink cartridges, until the ink cartridge vendors find a new way around it. They do this quite regularly now.
Thanks to this method of security, and the abilities of 3rd party ink hackers, I will never use HP ink in an HP printer aside from the required "setup cartridges".