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Bose Home Theater Systems: Much to Be Desired in Sound Quality

Bose Home Theater Systems are the latest offering from the Bose Corporation which is engaged in a bewildering range of activities. While on the one hand, it develops and manufactures all sorts of audio equipment like speakers, headphones, amplifiers and automotive sound systems to be used by luxury cars, on the other, it makes automotive suspension systems as well as conducts cold fusion researches.

The company was established in 1964 by one Amar G. Bose, then an electrical engineering professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2005, the year of his retirement from MIT, the company had a strength of 8,000 employees worldwide, of which 2000 were in Massachusetts alone, and earned over $1.8 billion in revenue. It has contracts from the US military as well as NASA.

Amar G. Bose is the Chairman, Technical Director as well as the primary stockholder of the company that spends more than $100 million a year in engineering research. It has a building with 70,000 square feet floor area in Framingham exclusively for this purpose. The company has also acquired an additional site in Stow, Massachusetts, for the growing needs of its automotive and marketing wings.

As a graduate student at MIT in 1956, Bose bought a high-end stereo system but was rather disappointed with its performance. It was then that he began his research to overcome what in his view was the fundamental weakness of the high end stereo systems – the failure of the system’s overall design and its electronics to take into account psychoacoustics, the concept that the listener is not an outsider but a part of the system. And eight years of research led to the birth of the company which has the motto ‘Better Sound Through Research’.

Taking into account the individual users’ preferences, the company has come up with an audio calibration system, named ADAPTiO, that adjusts their settings for their room’s specific acoustic qualities and the Lifestyle uMusic system that can store up to two-hundred hours of music.

Using the all inclusive Bose Home Theater Systems packages, the Lifestyle DVD systems’ customers can use Bose link to connect additional speakers in as many as fourteen rooms and even outdoors. The Lifestyle series includes Lifestyle28, 35, 38 and 48 systems. All these systems have the same Bose quality in sound and adaptable sound feature. The Lifestyle 48 can also store an additional 140 hours of music taking the total to more than 340 hours of music organized on your system without any need of computers or fancy controllers.

However, the tag line of the Bose Home Theater Systems, “small speakers, big performance” seems an anachronism as the sound lacks that clarity and crispness which would be expected from the price tag as well as the company name. In fact, users of Bose Home Theater Systems will largely be paying for the name of the company and the aesthetic appeal of the system, not the actual sound quality.