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A Bose Question, They hurt my ears
richardk
post Dec 28 2003, 15:52
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I got a pair of little Bose PC speakers for Christmas. They sound great at first. Really clear, good bass...

Something about how Bose speakers make up for being small and try to sound large. All Bose speakers I have heard have a kind of shrill, piercing aspect to their sound.

As good as my speakers sound, and they really do sound good, after a while my ears get "tired". This is especially noticable with rock n' roll music, more so at higher volumes (not that lound either- I'm sitting right in front of the speakers. Less than 25% volume). It gets to be no fun listening to them.

Anybody else notice this effect or quality of Bose speakers? Any suggestions for audio settings to minimize the unpleasant, shrill part without damping out the treble from the music?

To be completly open about this I am partly deaf, lost some hearing, mainly at the higher frequency end of the sound spectrum in an explosion in the 70's. I am sensitive to piercing, loud music in general. Raging case of tinnitus. Still long before I got blown up I have always preferred the sound of acoustic suspension speakers to any others.

Richard
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DigitalMan
post Dec 28 2003, 16:49
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This is a garbage post. No data, generalizing about a manufacturer's products from one subjective opinion...

What is your point? You don't like the speakers return them. Speakers are very subjective. I think Bose's commercial success shows that many people like their sound - are you looking for validation?


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Xenion
post Dec 28 2003, 18:12
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bose is too expensive for what you get. i have a bose wave radio/cd. i love it because it sounds good (even loud) but i had never bought if i had to pay the regular price.

btw: i got b&w 703s for christmas. this is what i call a speaker wink.gif

edit: a bose lifestyle 40 music system coasts 5.100 . for 5.100 i can buy b&w 703s a nice sony sacd player and an rotel preamp/amp combination. and then you have THIS and not THAT

This post has been edited by Xenion: Dec 28 2003, 18:19
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dBeltway
post Dec 28 2003, 18:51
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If the speakers are of bass-reflex design, you may want to try stuffing or partially blocking the ports. Some high end bass-reflex speakers come with port-blocking materials for listeners to adjust or tune according to their preference, and given your own preference for acoustic suspension, this could conceivably help with the 'piercing' sound that mass-market speakers often produce as a side-effect of exaggerated response in some frequency bands.

I tried this with a pair of cheap Chinese PC speakers my wife bought that are probably very similar (in all but price and cabinet design) to the Bose units. Blocking the ports with wadded paper napkins sufficiently attenuated their exaggerated low-midrange.

If you use Winamp, there's an EQ built in as well as an architecture for third party EQ and sound-shaping plugins ranging from a few bucks to hundreds each. Many other audio applications have an EQ/plugin architecture also. This is probably the easiest and most enjoyable solution, at least for me.

Another solution is to move them behind you, or put them to use as rear speakers in a quadraphonic or 5.1 surround configuration. I have an old pair of Bose 101's from my younger days behind me in just such an arrangement.

Your injury-related hearing impairment likely has something to do with this also. You mention having a sensitivity to 'piercing' sounds and so forth. I highly suggest visiting a retailer with speakers set up for A/B listening which will allow you to discover what appeals to you and minimizes your impairment the most.

Finally, as the person who calls discussion of problems with Bose products "garbage" due to their commercial success also suggests, you may want to get rid of them if you can't adjust or manipulate them more toward your taste in some way. Given what they probably cost, I'm sure you could exchange them for much more even-tempered speakers that, instead of having such a characteristic "sound" of their own, allow the material played through them to dictate the sound to a greater extent.

Good luck.

This post has been edited by dBeltway: Dec 28 2003, 18:53
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cabbagerat
post Dec 28 2003, 19:16
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I wouldn't agree with you about Bose speakers being shrill or piercing, all the ones I have heard have sounded pretty good. However, I do tend to agree with Xenion that bose kit does not present good value for money.

Have you heard your lossy music files through decent speakers before? Listener fatigue is a recognised effect of the artifacts introduced by bad lossy compression. I have found from personal experience this effect with music containing overdriven guitar. When I bought my first decent speakers (Logitech Z series) I was really dissapointed for the first few hours, then I realised I was actually dissapointed by many of my MP3s.

Try listening to some uncompressed music through your speakers, and if you still don't like them then get your money back. If lossless music sounds good - then replace all your crap lossy music with good lossy music. There is plenty of information on this site (start at the FAQ) if you don't know how to do that.


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zenker
post Dec 29 2003, 07:46
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guys, it's not a speaker issue, it's an ear issue. For many people with hearing loss - and it doesn't have to be serious loss - high frequencies cause acutual phyical discomfort so the solution is to get rid of them. It has nothing to do with speakers other than demonstrating whether or not the ones in question actually reproduce sounds at the higher frequencies.

Richard: Use an equalizer with your player. Some people like this one with winamp but the default will probably work. Start by cutting off all the frequencies above 16k. You probably can only 'feel' them more than hear them anyway. Listen for a while and see if that helps. If not, adjust the cutoff up/down to find a match between the sound quality and your phyical comfort. Good luck!

This post has been edited by zenker: Dec 29 2003, 07:55
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