Bose 301 Series III Floorstanding Speakers

2.76/5 (99 Reviews) MSRP : $370.00


Product Description

Direct/Reflecting


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Reviews 1 - 5 (99 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by talldude777 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 31, 2006

Bottom Line:   
If you are thinking of buying these, just do it. If you can get some for less than $100, you will have gotten yourself a great deal. I personally think Bose overprices their speakers, and I would never buy a new pair. But you really get a good deal when you can pick them up used.
They sound great when pushed by a 2 channel stereo receiver with good clean watts. I mate my 301's with a 12" sub, and they sound fantastic!

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $53.00

Purchased At:   E-Bay



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by rocky_grass88 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: June 9, 2006

Bottom Line:   
I don't know what you people are whining about with these speakers I have the series 2 and they are brilliant. The bass response is incredible if they are hooked up on a decent amp. I've got mine on a technics 80's amp and the sound is incredible. The room isn't just filled with sound but its exploding. The speakers are in a room sized 4x4 and the bass shakes all the fixtures and doors. Get the most out of these great bose speakers, the best you'll get for the mid ranged price. Just connect them to an amp for an awesome home theatre/music experience. Make sure your amp has an equaliser so you can actually crank up the bass output and thats when you'll say damn theses speakers are awesome. By this if you love club, dance and R&B to fully enjoy the sound range they offer. If you can't afford an amp look elsewhere.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by dude8370 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 9, 2006

Bottom Line:   
Completly Distorted speakers lacking in bass, I would stay away from this speaker. It is over-priced for what you really get. Audiophile people know to stay away from bose though. I would recommend Going for the better brands Like Paradigm, which I've had some of the best experiences with (now those people now speakers). I sold them after having them for a month.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $270.00

Purchased At:   genesis Audio



Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by bobfromla a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 16, 2004

Bottom Line:   
Summary: A pleasant sounding speaker for back ground listening but over priced and out classed by the competition. Tonality is distorted to produce pleasant sound rather than accurate sound. Base is loose and wumpy sounding. The 301’s can shake the room but only over a limited range of base frequencies. Direct-reflecting design hurts imaging. The combination of bad imaging, unrealistic tonality and loose base make them a poor choice for home theater. Fit and finish are only OK for the price.
My roommate has a pair of 301 series III (I’m not certain of the series but they were new in ’96). Here’s my take:

They are not *bad* but you can do better for the same money. I don’t expect these to match the various speakers in my side room system while my roommate had these in the living room (Meadowlark Kestrel, Vandersteen Model 3, Magnepan MMG, NHT 2.5i, Pioneer HPM 100), but I’ve also heard similar priced models that are better (PSB, Paradigm, NHT, Boston Acoustics, B&W) Many high end manufactures extend their lines and expertise into the Bose price range.

The sound:
Well we can forget imaging. As Bose says, these are sound everywhere speakers. That means you don’t have a dispersed sound rather than tight imaging. This is not really a disadvantage if you aren’t the type who sits in the sweet spot to listen for a while or if you don’t care about home theater. If you turn on the music while walking around the house they will be fine.
Tonality: They don’t have a very clean tone. Bose has tuned this speaker to make everything sound pleasant if not really true to the recording. Again, if you just want something nice to listen to in the background they will serve this function well. These speakers are excessively warm. They boost the mid base and roll off the highs. Music will never become fatiguing but you traded realism for that tonality.
Base: Several compromises were made here. The Bose can make the room shake with a moderately powerful receiver. This was great for college parties and OK for movies but it has limits. First, they have very limited base range. These speakers do not go deep. They excel at turning Watts into mid-base but they just can’t go really deep. I would guess they are done around 50 htz. This is not shameful given the size of the speaker and /or price but people are often surprised when they learn how much base is still left untouched whey they hear better speakers. The problem is the 301’s lack controlled base. A tight thunderclap sounds like a suggestion of thunder. One of the true marks of a good base speaker is the ability to *stop* producing base in a heartbeat. That’s what makes thunder clap and a kick drum kick (tight Bang! versus a loose wump). The 301’s wind up their base then wind it down when they are done. The price competitive speakers from the companies above are far more nimble with the ability to start and stop quickly. Think of a bullet train vs a sports car. The bullet train Bose may be fast but it takes a long time for the driver to get to speed (generate the desired frequency and amplitude) and a long time to stop. NHT, PSB, Paradigms are like sports cars. Their top speed may not be as fast as the train but they can accelerate, turn and brake so much faster (dynamics and transients). Which is better? Well if you just want to shake the room at one frequency go for the Bose. If you want to have tight, crisp base, get something other than the Bose.

Home Theater: Due to the warm forgiving sound of these speakers I found them OK for music. Home Theater is a different story. These were used in a 2 channel set up with the living room TV. For home theater, I agree with Richard Vandersteen, if your funds are limited, buy a good two channel home theater rather than a so-so 5 channel. The 301’s poor imagining comes back to haunt. Voices and sounds are smeared across the front of the living room rather than staying in the TV where they belong. The loose wumpy base does little justice to explosions and mechanical sounds. The distorted tonality strips believability from every day sounds.

Overall I can see people saying they like the speakers because they sounds pleasant. They really work as background speakers. The problem is they can’t deliver anything more even when asked. I accept that if they were $150 a pair but given the good choices for the $300+ asking price… well Bose is lucky most consumers don’t bother to cross shop. The current series V are pleasant looking but their fit and finish is only so-so when compared to the previously mentioned companies

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1996



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Inetman1 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 9, 2004

Bottom Line:   
Mega super electronic stores do not have a display setup that gives any indication of the sound that is expected from a set of speakers. So I decided to buy a pair to see how they sound....

One thing that Bose has been critizied is the use of paper drivers. A well designed unit can sound good no matter what driver material. I've heard speakers with state of the art cone material that sounded bad. One important attribute on a cone is smooth frequency roll off, esp at the cross over point. I'm guessing Bose woofer,tweeter roll offs and dispersion are correct for the application.
Highs are better than one would expect with a paper cone tweet, BTW a tweeter's upper frequency response does not need to go to the statosphere to sound good to the human ear. 15KHZ with good dispersion up to that frequency is all that is required.
Bass is good, I preformed some in room frequency response testing and found bass peaks at frequency of 40 and 60 HZ with a useable low frequency limit of 35hz(-6db). This confirmed the wall shaking bass at high levels along with the not so welcomed boom that can happen on some material due to the small cabinet size for the 8" woofer. I did notice some port noise in the 20-30HZ range while testing.
In room Frequency response, 5' from speaker proved a smooth response. 40-16khz within 3db. Low and high response afer these extremes drop off quite rapidly

Imaging is very good, the rear tweeter provides some spatial information, I tested this by putting a cloth cover over it.

My ear is finicky when it comes to the sound coloration speakers make. Human voice should not have accentuated vowel sounds in mid to mid bass, excessive shrill, lisp and cupped sounds in the mid to high treble, chestiness in the mid bass. The 301V has a spacious sound with very little of the coloration that speakers can make. This speaker's sin is that of omission giving the preception that it lacks dynamics. Boom in the bass is present in some material though it lacks chestiness on male voices. I would say this speaker provides fatigue free listening.

When I bought the Bose 301V, I had every intention of returning the speaker if it sounded terrible on my system. It's been a little over a month and couldn't be happier, very unexpected. IMHO, Bose has a winner with this speaker.

Setup: Speakers are mounted with BluTac on concrete blocks 24" off the ground, 14" from the rear wall, several feet from the side walls, with the small cabinet size setup away from the side walls is important.

Equipment, AMC2030 Tube amp, Sony DVD-CD player, Crate Preamp, monster cable. The speakers did require an initial "breakin" of at least couple hours to sound good.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004

Price Paid:    $328.00

Purchased At:   Circuit City




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