“People who don’t know audio know Bose” is a well-known quote among commoners. However, there’s another phrase that’s quite famous among audiophiles. You probably either heard of it by now.
So, What does it mean by No highs, no lows, must be Bose?
When compared to what audiophiles are used to hearing, none of Bose products keeps their promise. They like deep, powerful, sustained bass, and smooth highs. Unfortunately, Bose products have a very flat and dull frequency response regardless of the high price. Hence, the slang was popularized.
However, that’s not all. We’ve dug deep into the proverb to know if Bose is really bad or not. Spare us five minutes to understand why Bose is hated by audiophiles so much.
What Does “No Highs, No Lows, Must be Bose” Mean?
No highs, no lows, must be bose has become a famous pop culture meme. This is usually used to mock Bose sound systems and peripherals. Even Cerwin Vega is a better brand than Bose despite being rather obscure.
Some audiophiles don’t like Bose at all. They think Bose manufactures inferior audio components. Regardless of the quality, they sell them at a high price.
From a technical point of view, Bose products really dull out in high and mid ranges. They sound very mundane and flat, hence the joke.
Although Bose has done a good job in their marketing. They’ve been convinced that their products are top of the line by over-the-top marketing.
But this misconception has led to a negative reputation among those familiar with competing brands.
Are Bose Speakers/Headphones Really Bad?
Bose audio speakers are not really really bad. They may be a touch costly, but that does not make them that awful.
However, Bose is disliked by a substantial number of audiophiles. This is due to the company’s tendency to market its products with an emphasis on lifestyle. Examples of such brands include Beats by Dr. Dre, Harman International & Monster Audio.
That’s why many audiophiles bring the pricing issue. They often say that Bose products are overpriced.
So, is bose overpriced?
Yes, Bose products are definitely overpriced because of their intense marketing. Some even think that they spend more on marketing rather than researching sound.
They hardly focus on absolute sound quality. Audiophiles are fans of high-fidelity sound who are trying to get studio-quality sound at home. In this regard, Bose fails to meet the expectation.
4 Reasons Why Is Bose Hated By Audiophiles
Beats products are hated for several reasons. Here we’ve discussed the major reasons behind the hate. Let’s review all those one by one.
Audiophiles claim that Bose’s products are made to mimic better sounds.
Most people know Bose invests a lot in it. They emphasize making sound designs that work well.
Bose does research on Psychoacoustics to make their sound realistic and natural.
They know that most people don’t bother to listen to a high-quality recording from the studio.
Hence, they create an artificially optimized sound for everyone’s ears. An avid listener will always hate these fake sounds. They’d rather hear music as the artist intended.
Parts & Materials:
Bose claims to focus on great quality sound. However, they don’t pay heed to high-end components for the build.
Their products can sound great to a regular person. This would cost a fraction of an audiophile system’s materials.
It’s also said that Bose does not display their product specifications publicly. This adds to the distrust among audiophiles. They think bose is a scam like the pop market.
Why buy a product without knowing its components?
There are a lot of audio brands on the market that make much better sound. Still, they often cost much less than comparable Bose products.
The main reason for the hate is the frequency of responses of the speakers and headphones. Here the technical aspects are compared with other products to find the better ones.
For Example, we take Bose soundlink revolve, a Bluetooth speaker. The product is listed at around 200-250 dollars.
The Bose speakers have average frequency responses. But the speaker doesn’t have low bass, which can disappoint fans of hip-hop and EDM.
This particular Bose speaker has a flat mid-range frequency. It’s a bit off from the target frequency of 2000 Hz. Hence, the sound output is very dull.
The stereo soundstage of this speaker is fairly decent. It has speakers all around it, so it has a large and wide range of directions.
Due to its lack of left and right channel speakers, stereo content is downmixed to mono. This makes it harder to get into what you’re listening to.
Just look at how sad this user got with its Bose Bluetooth speaker. We can surely feel his misery.
Overall the Bose SoundLink Revolve doesn’t have very good dynamics. This speaker doesn’t get very loud either which is an absolute bummer.
When the speaker is played at full volume, a lot of compressions happen. It may not be the greatest option for use at gatherings with many guests.
Hence, the Bose speakers offer a sub-par performance at a very high price range. Why buy low-quality products with more money?
If Bose is so bad, you might wonder why their products are so expensive. The reason is very simple, it’s their advertising.
There’s a reason why Bose is a name everyone knows in the audio world.
Bose spends a lot of money on marketing, advertising, and the way its products look. They have been accused of doing the same thing as Beats. They sell low-quality products for a very high price.
This is because people are paying more for the brand. Bose’s advertising is so effective that many people now think of Bose as premium, high-quality audio.
Even though most people might think Bose is great, audiophiles don’t agree.
What Are the Best Alternatives of Bose?
We’ve talked all over the place about why Bose is so bad. You might be thinking, “So what are the alternatives of bose?”
There are other wireless speaker and sound bar brands. Examples include Audio Technica, Sennheiser, Bowers & Wilkins, Marshall, Sonos, Definitive Technology, and Denon HEOS.
Audio Pro Addon C10 MkII is a great wireless speaker that offers Hi-Fi sound. Klipsch Synergy Black Label is another great choice if you’re okay with bookshelf design.
Marshall is a great brand that’s lauded by many famous musicians. So, their Bluetooth speaker like Marshall Emberton Bluetooth Portable Speaker has no complaints whatsoever.
Now, that’s only some wireless speakers, what about headphones? Well, there are plenty of great headphones other than Bose.
Take GRADO SR325x Stereo Headphones for example. You will be blown away by its sound and it’ll exceed your expectations. If you’re one of those in-ear people, there’s something for you as well.
Shure Aonic 4 is a great choice in the budget IEM segment.
They sound just as good or even better than Bose at a fraction cost.
This is great for parties or large gatherings where there are a lot of people talking.
The sound will still be loud enough to be heard by everyone.
Hence, you understand why bose is hated for its higher price and poor quality. It’s gradually declining like the dying house music.
So, What Should You Feel About Bose?
So, we know that people are willing to pay more for Bose products. This is because they look and feel high-end and sophisticated.
This makes some people feel like they are part of the audiophile community. However, they don’t really know what that means.
This is the biggest reason why audiophiles dislike Bose, even though Bose isn’t really to blame.
This is just a side effect of the popular ways that companies advertise these days.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Where Are the Bose Products Made?
The United States, Mexico, China, and Malaysia are all places where Bose makes its products. The company’s factories in the United States are in Framingham, Massachusetts, Westborough, and Stow. Framingham is also where the company’s headquarters are.
What Music Do Audiophiles Listen To?
Audiophiles play music from a variety of sources, like phonograph records, compact discs (CDs), and digital audio files. They can be either uncompressed or losslessly compressed.
What Is the Bose Acoustimass?
To put it simply, the Acoustimass 16 is Bose’s finest and most powerful multichannel system. It has all the magic that Bose employs to squeeze huge sounds out of tiny speakers. But when applied to speakers that are merely small, the output is gigantic.
That will be all from our side on the No Highs No Lows Must be Bose debate. Despite being a popular company, Bose is hated by audiophiles for its cheap quality.
It all depends on the perspective of the listener to judge a company on their basis.