Customer Reviews: Bose Acoustimass 10 Series IV Home Entertainment Speaker System (Black)
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on August 28, 2011
I'm probably like many of you -- I didn't know much about television audio but wanted something better than what came with the television. Initially, I was thinking about one of the Bose Cinemate products, but I realized after a little bit that DTS-HD Master Audio (the Blu-ray sound format) wasn't supported by this product (it supports solely DVD quality sound). Since I was planning to use my PS3 as my Blu-ray player and saw another review on here chastise the vocal quality with PS3's, I was pretty scared to make this purchase.

I did end up buying this product and absolutely love it! If you are planning to use this with a PS3, make sure to go through the PS3 Sound options and enable all the sound formats. If you don't, it will be transmitting the sound at 44.1 KHz which won't sound very good. One of the other reviews said it sounded terrible with his "Harman Kardon AVR 154" receiver, but that is because the "Harman Kardon AVR 154" only supports sound formats such as DTS 5.1 and Dolby Digital (which are all DVD sound formats). Basically, he was popping in a blu-ray and his receiver was doing its best to convert it down to DVD quality sound, so of course it is going to sound terrible! WHEN BUYING A RECEIVER, MAKE SURE IT SUPPORTS "DTS-HD MASTER AUDIO" IF YOU WANT TO PLAY BLU-RAY MOVIES WITH IT!

I'm using the Bose Acoustimass 10 with an Onkyo TX-NR809, and boy is the sound incredible! My neighbors probably hate me (I live in a 650 square foot apartment and also recently bought a blender), but I'd definitely recommend this product! I've always played music through the tv speakers or through computer speakers, and the first thing that hit me is that there is a fair amount of lower frequency sounds that I was missing out on.

A few tips that I have to pass along after my 3 months of tv audio research:
1. I got my Bose Acoustimass 10 new for $899 instead of $999. I found out that sometimes between the hours of 11:30pm - 2am, the price on this Amazon site drops $100. If you aren't in a rush, wait a couple days and see if you can save $100 :)

2. One of my biggest questions was what to do with the middle speaker? Most diagrams have it above the television nailed into the wall, but I live in an apartment and can't do that. The solution I used, after talking with a myriad of people, was to place the speaker on the television table-top (so it sits just below the tv) on a piece of black felt from Walmart. This solution worked for me!

3. Pick a receiver with a low THD and higher power. The THD is a level of distortion, so the lower the percent the better. I heard from a representative at Best Buy, although I don't know if it is true, that the higher the Wattage of the receiver (90W, 135W, etc) the better you can hear vocals at lower sound levels. Again, I bought a Onkyo TX-NR809 and it has been great! I'd recommend buying either an Onkyo or a Dennon.

4. Another concern I had was that I didn't want a massive cord going down the middle of my living room from the acoustimass module to the back speakers. The only HD solution that I found was the "Rocketfish HD Audio Starter Kit". Best Buy sells these for $200, but just buy it online and get it for substantially cheaper. You should be able to get it new for around $100 or a little less.

5. I was debating between table-top and floor stands for the speakers. I went with the floor stands and would definitely recommend those as well. If you decide to go with floor stands, buy them on Amazon because they are about 50% off.

6. The acoustimass module is deceivingly long -- make sure to do a few extra measurements :)

I hope this review has helped answer some of your questions.
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on June 28, 2011
Bose are like the Toyota of speakers. If you ask the most elite professionals if they are the best, the answer is no. There are much better speakers to be had, just like there are better cars than Corollas, but there are tradeoffs. Size, price, appearance, and personal tastes should all be considered. Bose speakers are extremely compact, setup is quite simple, and while they do not have a perfectly linear response curve, they are quite loud and distortion free at high volumes. Very few speakers of this size can be used at such high volumes without causing damage, and the others that can cost as much or more. Of course with unlimited money and unlimited speaker sizes you can make something that sounds better or has a more linear response curve. However, if someone wants a very compact speaker system to mount on the wall away from children, has a relatively modest budget of $1,000, and isn't worried that a clarinet may sound eight to ten decibels quieter than a flute in an orchestra, by all means they may want to consider this Bose system. Don't believe all the haters. Bose speakers sound very very good for their size and price. In response to the statement, "They're not the best." I say, of course they are not the best! In a world with million dollar home theaters, who would think that $1,000 is going to get them the best system in the world?! If you bought this system only to later rant that it is not the best, you didn't really do enough research. Compare apples to apples. Don't compare large $10,000 systems to tiny $1,000 cube systems. They do not serve the same market segment. For people who just want to have a nice out of the way system, and a no fuss buying experience, this is for you. For those who want to sit in a sound booth and spend hours comparing response curves and tonality, obviously you should get something else. These are the Toyota Corolla of the speaker world. Not the cheapest, not the best, but very nice for the money and they will work just fine.
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on May 13, 2013
There's an old saying that the problem with a foolproof product is that fools are so inovative. I have an Acoustamas 7 in my home theater room. It's an old system, archaic compared to the 10. Not long ago there was a young man installing carpet in my house. He saw my Bose and immediately said his Polk speakers are better than Bose. I asked him why he thought that way, and he said the salesman who sold them to him said so. He listened to my Bose, and then asked how much I would charge to make his system sound like mine. It's popular to bash Bose lately, and simply put,the reviews are valuable,but someone who bases their purchase solely on word of mouth, without giving the speakers (any speakers) a fair listen, is a fool. The last thing you should do is base your purchase on what the salesman says. He may make more commision on Polk, so of course they're better, at least that day. That said, the Acoustamass is good stuff. In a properly installed system, they'll knock you off your feet.
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on January 10, 2010
I hooked up the acoustimass speakers to Harman Kardon AVR 154 receiver. If you are into audio, you will know that although this receiver is not very powerful, the sound quality it delivers is excellent.

Purpose: My purpose in purchasing this system was two folds: Music and movies.

Setup: Setting up this system is a breeze. All cables are color coded and there's plenty of it (20 ft for the front speakers and 50 ft for the rear or surround speakers). All you have to remember is that all the cables first go into the module, and then one single cable (actually a set of 5 joined together) are connected to the receiver. I think this system was up and running within 20 minutes of me unpacking it.

What's included: You will get 4 cube array (vertical) speakers, one center speaker (identical to the cube arrays, just horizontal) and one BOSE module which houses all the connections and the sub woofer.

Sound Test: I own an IPOD touch and a PS3. I do own a cable box, but that is not ideal to check a $60 AIWA system, let alone a BOSE 5.1 speaker set. I connected my IPOD using an RCA cable and my PS3 using an optical cable.

IPOD: This was an analogue audio test, and I knew that this system will not perform its best with this setup, but since this is how I listen to music, I had to perform this test. The bass was great. It sounded balanced and did not over power the other aspects of the song. The instruments sounded nice, if not great, and the initial impression was one of utter satisfaction with the sound quality. However, once I started playing a song where vocals were the focal point, the system really disappointed me. The voice of the artist was just not crisp or clear. When the bass module was allowed to contribute, the sound quality was decent, but a song where the bass module had very little to do, the system sounded almost like a boombox, which was really disappointing.

PS3: I tested this system with Dark Knight's Blu Ray disc. I wanted Matrix, but Blockbuster didn't have it at time. I am sure a DVD would have done the trick, but since I own a Blu-Ray player, I thought it would be a great test. In the beginning when the Joker started killing all his compatriots during the Bank Heist, the system astounded me. Not only could you hear the sound, but feel it. Every gunshot, every bang was distinct, crisp and clear. It was like being in a theatre and I almost forgave BOSE for not giving me my vocals during the IPOD test. But then I heard the dialogue, and I ran into the same exact problem. You had to turn the volume up to hear the dialogue, but then it was too loud during the action sequences. I even tried turning the bass way down, but then for some unknown reason whatever clarity the dialogues had, disappeared. Then I tried playing an MP4 file from my PS3, which had the exact same problem. For some reason, this system has trouble with treble or highs. I know nothing about audio, but I know what sounds good, and for the amount of money I paid, this was not good.

Troubleshooting: The room where I had placed the BOSE system is not very big. It is around 12x20 feet and I had placed three speakers on the tv stand and 2 right on the wall behind my sofa. I played for hours with changing the direction of the cube speakers individually and together. I also tried different sound settings (DOLBY, DTS, NEO etc) but the vocals and dialogues were just not there. In the end I just packed up the system and returned it.

Conclusion: The system is barely ok for the movies, and horrible for music. I actually went to some independently owned audio stores and heard some other speakers. Before I bought BOSE, I hadn't even heard of companies like Mirage, Paradigm and KEF. I always assumed that BOSE was the best, but after buying the system realized that BOSE is the only one saying it. Even CNET doesn't have an expert review of this "excellent" system. I ended up buying KEF 2005.3 5.1 speaker system and couldn't be happier with it. The vocals are crystal clear, sound is crisp, and dialogues are powerful. The bass is great and does not interfere.

IMHO, please go and listen for yourself to other systems before you buy BOSE. Ask the dealer if its at all possible to play BOSE and another comparable system next to each other. Try listening to the speakers without the bass module or the subwoofer. Take your favourite CD, IPOD or a DVD with you and listen to the system at low, medium and high volumes. Don't let the salesperson blast the manufacturer's CD or DVD in your face while you are standing 2 feet away from the speakers. It's just like singing in the shower, everyone sounds good.

In the end, BOSE was really disappointing for a system that claims to be the best. I did some research and found out that BOSE sued Consumer Reports and eventually lost because Consumer Reports criticized one of its systems. Also the lack of expert reviews on the BOSE systems should be a clue that there is something fishy. To me BOSE is all marketing and not a good bang for your buck.

Also go the AVS forums or any other audio video forums and read about BOSE and other speaker systems. You will be shocked as I was. And if you are a BOSE owner, and in love with the sound quality, I am very happy for you. I just couldn't spend that much money and not be happy with my system.
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on May 13, 2013
If you are interested in a small inconspicuous 5.1 speaker system all I can say for those of you as confused as I was on what to get, don't be swayed by all the negative Bose posts you will run across on the net. I'm not going to compare these speakers to floor standing full range speakers as that is not what they are designed to be. But I will compare them to other small 5.1 systems and in my opinion the Bose system is very impressive. Yes I did listen to numerous other systems and actually ended up purchasing the highly rated Energy Take Classic 5.1 system that is suposedly better than Bose (per the online reviews).

Well I set up the Energy system with a Onkyo TX-NR515 receiver and although clear and crisp sounding they simply seemed to lack power and that bass thump I've heard in the Bose system at the store. So I then decided to buy the Bose system as they provide a 30 day money back guarantee. I hooked them up to a second receiver (same model) and ran them in direct comparison with the Energy speakers, it was not even a close contest. Granted Bose was nearly twice the price but if you could hear the difference it was an easy decision. The Bose system was capable of a much deeper full sound and the acoustimass module thumped so hard on Pirates Of the Caribbean you could feel it in your chest. Dialogue was very clear and the rear speakers carried the surround content well. The Bose speakers are nearly invisible in the room and are very easy to set up. The acoustimass module is located behind the TV console yet you can't tell where the rumble and low tones are coming from. The family room is about 18'x 15' and adjoins a kitchen so it's basically a great room, the Bose have no issues filling the room with sound. In fact the sound I can get from these speakers can be heard from my neighbors house! For those who say the music is flat or lacks mid's well their ears must be better than mine, or all my friends ears for that matter, as we had a party recently where I played Pandora through them and everyone was impressed with the sound. So the Energy speakers were returned and I kept the Bose. I'm extremely happy with these speakers and wanted to share this for others who were like me and questioning if Bose is really that good or all experience they are really that good don't be swayed by the "anti-Bose" folks.
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on October 16, 2007
I had bought this to be used with my new entertainment system comprising of Samsung HLT6187S 61" Slim LED Engine 1080p DLP HDTV, Sony STR-DG910 7.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver, Bose® Acoustimass® 10 Series IV home entertainment speaker system, Pioneer DV-400V HDMI Multi Region DVD Player, Rocketfish Universal Wireless Rear Speaker Kit and a custom HTPC.

The speakers are Bose satellite speakers. So they are very small, but they deliver excellent sound quality. You can swivel the top speaker to bounce the sound off walls to customize the feel you want for surround sound.

All connections are made from the massive sub woofer which then connects to your A/V Receiver. Too quite a bit of work to get this all working, but it was worth it in the end.

The speaker cable lengths are incredible. A little too long for what I needed. I ended up shortening and binding up more than 70% of the cable just so that I wouldn't have a crazy mess behind and around my HDTV.
If you plan on getting this system, save your self the trouble of dealing with cable mess and buy some Velcro straps for cable management.

This system works perfect with the Rocketfish Wireless speaker set.

The sub woofer is so powerful, at highest volume it shakes the entire house. You can feel the vibrations in the ground at the other end of the house.

Not much else to say. Setup was painless, just took some time, lots of cables going around.

Remember that the speakers are satellite speakers, if you get speaker stands, be sure they work with and fit with the satellite speakers.

Before buying this sound system, do your research and make sure you buy the right equipment!
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on December 16, 2012
This product makes my home a dream theater,
Movies are great and sound is what i dream of.
Connected it to my Denon AVR 1713 Reciever
and it does the Job right....
No doubt i would recommend it to anyone thinking of buying
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on May 10, 2013
The Acoustimass 10 lives up to the Bose name and my expectations. Instructions are easy to follow and, when paired with the recommended Onkyo A/V receiver in my 12' x 12' Man Cave, the first tune I played when finished with the installation brought a huge smile to my face. It's a substantial amount of time and cash getting this system installed correctly but, that first tune told me it's all worth it.
So, to all you Bose haters, what the heck are you talking about? Correctly paired with recommended components, correctly installed and balanced - this system delivers all the high end crispness, midrange clarity and that low end boom you feel in your whole body. In short, it delivers that believability all true music lovers long for. Oh - and it does a great job on HD, 5.1 digital video content too.
If you are not getting great performance out of the Acoustimass 10, then something is not right somewhere. Call the Geek Squad or some other home theater installation pro to diagnose your installation to pinpoint the problem. The great sound is in there. Maybe it just needs a little expert help to coax it out.
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on November 30, 2012
My 1st time writing a review ever. I feel this system deserves a review. This is my 1st Bose system. After having a cheaper $400 surround sound, all I have to say about BOSE is WOW. My old one doesn't come close. Love it!
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on March 17, 2013
I went a long time without ever buying Bose anything, mainly due to price. Now that I have gotten a little older, and my finances in order, I am able to splurge a little. My first Bose system was the "Companion 5", for the PC. I have to say, after years of having various Creative Labs/Logitech/Corsair speakers for my PC, the C5 blew them away.

I decided to replace an 8yr old surround sound system I had in the living room. Since I was so impressed by the C5's, I decided to make another Bose purchase...the Acoustimass 10. I just finished installing the system yesterday. After a bit of tweaking my Yamaha receiver, and the Acoustimass module, I found the sweet spot. It sounds fantastic, especially considering the size of the cubes.

I have read through a lot of reviews/forums, and have seen the typical "Bose hater" responses, basically saying anything but Bose is better. Whatever.

If you have the dough, and want good quality, this system is a worthy investment.
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