Bose 201 Series IV Bookshelf Speakers

3.13/5 (102 Reviews) MSRP : $249.00


Product Description

2-Way Bookshelf Speaker - 6.5" Woofer and 2" Ferrofluid Cooled Tweeter - 120 Watts


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Reviews 1 - 5 (102 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Myndliss a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: August 24, 2014

Bottom Line:   
Kids these are Bose 201's. If you want to get the most out of these speakers, you not only need to understand the specs, but also a little Bose history to understand the true intent of each product they make! Speakers, like cars, are designed for a specific purpose in mind. I would definitely NOT expect my new Mustang to perform like my 2000 Explorer. even if they have relatively the same size engine. The Bose 201's are mid priced bookshelf speakers. expect nothing more than what comparably priced speakers would offer in build quality. Book shelf speakers are intended for small to medium spaces. Trying to use them for any other intent than filling an decent sized apartment living room with sonically correct stereo music played at a reasonable (or slightly above reasonable) volume, they may leave you disappointed! But also like the automobile, you need the right fuel to get the desired results. My Explorer does exactly what I need it to with 87 octane, but I definitely want more octane for my Mustang! if you're going to use the 201's as any part of a surround system, or even a digital system, yes,they are going to need tweaking and help of some sorts, but with the right stereo receiver and a few minor tweaks these speakers will deliver a nice rich full sound. I have a very simple Harman/Kardon HK3380 stereo receiver. This receiver has a passive sub output on it, but find that for my needs, it would just be overkill, and irritate my neighbors. The 201's have a 6.5" woofer (NOT sub-woofer) if you get your kicks irritating the neighbors by rattling their pictures off the wall with your bass, these aren't those speakers! They would compliment a compatible sub-woofer though. Also keep in mind, to get the most out of any sound system, speaker placement is very critical! These are pretty unidirectional, but placed in the corners at ear level, angled about 30 degrees, the bass reflects nicely off the walls, and the dispersion tweeters fill my 20'x25' living room with beautiful easy to listen to music. But I also switched left and right speakers around to bounce the tweeters off the outside wall, which expands the dispersion field a little. I have to boost the treble slightly more to compensate, but then again some reviewers complained that the 201's had too much treble, this might be a way to control that a bit more for them. The 201's aren't for everyone. But if used correctly, they are truly a joy to the ears, no matter what you enjoy listening to (currently listening to Fall Out Boy doing a cover of Beat It. Sounds great!)!! But this is all just my opinion!!

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2000



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by audioarcheology a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 3, 2012

Bottom Line:   
I have Bose 201 IV. I think I paid no more than a price of an average restaurant meal for them. Construction is OK. They are fairly small, so vibrations of thin walls are not as bad as in 301s, especially when seams are missing some glue. 6 1/2" driver actually has a cloth surround!!! I suspect (and others here confirm), that these don't really have any crossover network inside, typical Bose. "Woofer" cone suspension seems kinda stiff. They do not sound very efficient (seem to take more power than my other speakers). I find their highs too harsh and muddy (they don't really have sophisticated crossovers, may be one capacitor, so that HF most likely gets a big chunk of full range signal and it's not filtered well). Small room does reflect some bass, but only in some spots. I do not hear the same sound in every corner of my room as Bose advertises; they are fairly direct as most of the port-design speakers are (well, speaking about reflected sound, I am thinking about 901s here ))). Not an audiophile grade speaker, for sure; with tone controls flat, they sound way too compressed, I mean "baseball" size, almost white noise. Most of the people here seem to use them in HT setups with subs, which makes sense. Despite all the drawbacks, I believe they are a good "investment", because Bose marketing is so penetrating, that their speakers sell like hot cakes, new and old.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004



Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by panchoramos a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 17, 2010

Bottom Line:   
Bought the Bose 201 Series IV a year ago, they are the predecessor to the current model, Bose 201 Series V. If you are experienced in home audio, its obvious that just picking up one of these 201's feel much lighter in weight than your typical higher-end bookshelf speakers, of comparable or even smaller size. Cheap construction, the cabinet was only partially laminated, leaving exposed fiberboard. When you connect your wires, you'll notice Spring loaded terminals, lacking the Binding posts found in higher quality, comparably priced brands. I removed the grille and inspected further, the tweeter and woofer cones are all made of paper. Just for fun, I unscrewed the 6 1/2" main Driver and inspected the inside. There were no connectors on the end of the wires, instead I find that the wires are hand tied to the woofer's terminals (See for yourself!)

I connected the Bose 201's to my Denon AVR-1706 7.1 Channel receiver in Stereo Mode. These speakers have no enjoyable high nor low frequencies. There is no improvement in sound quality between the Bose and my HDTV's internal speakers. These speakers seem to augment the sound in an unnatural manner, and the direct-reflecting feature is bogus. I proceeded to connect my Klipsch SB-1's bookshelfs and ran an A/B test through my receiver on a variety of movies music and games. The Klipsch's blew away the Bose's. Sold them on craigslist a few weeks later.

Dont be suckered into any of Bose's products. If youre looking to break into high end audio, go for Infinity, Polk Audio, JBL, Boston Acoustics, Klipsch, which can be had for much less than comparable Bose models. The only thing Bose should get credit for, is their world class marketing strategy.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ericchanning a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: February 8, 2009

Bottom Line:   
Picked a pair up at a pawn shop for $20. They were basically straight. I had some high end Optimus book shelve speakers on my back channels of my 7.1 surround.

Relatively speaking, they bring volume and a warmer tone than the Optimus in a bookshelf. In my house, the front speakers are the drivers and the rear speakers for effects. If you look at a $4K Bose system with those little 4" midrange for surround, they are okay but lack the full thrust of sound as a 7.1 swooshes through your home entertainment system.

I run 3 subs. One with the sub out, one with the 7.1 fronts and one with the two back centers. the two back sides need some bass to fill out the low response. I also run on a separate amp some Bose 901's to augment the front channel Optimus speakers. It's a much better "warm" sound, not brassy or crisp like horns give, but more like someone actually talking in front of you.

I'm a amateur musician but a overly zealous audiophile. I've got to say that the more I listen to Bose, they more I like them. I've owned pretty much every major brand of equipement out there. I think they think things through versus just heart pounding bass and screaming highs. There's a quality of sound, like a good wine, that only a person who listen to a lot of systems can appreciate.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by manlystanley a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: May 19, 2008

Bottom Line:   
Bought these because they fit perfectly mounted below the cabinets in my kitchen. Without running my receivers 'Auto Setup' they sounded really flat (huge middle and no highs). After running the Setup they sounded just OK.

In general, I'm sorry that I bought them. The Bose 301 Series IV is just a little bigger and cost about the same on Craigslist. So, the old saying is true: Buy in haste repent in leisure......



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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $40.00

Purchased At:   Craigslist




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