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Bose 501 Series V
82 Reviews
rating  3.01 of 5
MSRP  599.00
Description: 5.25" Woofer and (2) 2.5" Tweeters - Direct/Reflecting Design


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Reviews 1 - 5 (82 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: February 26, 2014

Bottom Line:   
Ok, first off, anyone who says these are bad speakers hasn't heard them setup properly (which is the case in most stores that used to sell these). Back when I bought these 20 years ago, I thought they sounded OK in the store. When I got them home I was floored by the omnipresent and HUGE sound that comes from these little things.
The bass is exceptionally clean and omnipresent. You can't tell where it's coming from, it's just everywhere. That's the nature of this style of speaker enclosure. That same style makes it not as "punchy" as other speakers (that and the fact that it's only a 5.25" woofer). It won't shake the place but it will move a ton of air. Like another reviewer here said, they will kill 40hz all day long, but i've noticed with a test cd that they will just barely squeak out 30hz. (but it's not the 30hz you'll hear from a car system that's shaking body panels and stuff).
The treble is pleasant and accurate but not painful like newer speakers. I run mine with the treble all the way up and they're not hurting my ears or anything (I've heard some newer speakers that hurt). But I’m not sure if this is the receiver or the speakers.
I tend to keep mine at least a foot from the wall in the back and 2 or 3 feet on the sides. I turn them slightly outward and this seems to widen out the soundstage and make a larger sound. If they're too close to the wall in the back, the bass will sound funny. The further away, the cleaner the sound.
They're 500 dollar speakers though. If you compare them to other 500 dollar speakers, you'll like em. If you try comparing them to >$1500 speakers, you're not gonna be impressed with them (as is the case with people I know who brag about how much better their Bostons or their Paradigms sound- they're Bragging because their $2000 speakers sound a little better than my $500 Bose 501s).

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1995



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Julian K a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 4, 2013

Bottom Line:   
The Bose 501 Series V is an interesting speaker. It doesn't really fit well into any category. A bit of background. I use these speakers in my basement which is a rectangle 12x18 room. It has a sofa and carpeting and is a pretty decent sound room.

WHAT IT IS: A good speaker with a fairly accurate representation of the music, a good sound stage, and the ability to fill up the room even at lower volumes.

WHAT IT ISN'T: A super accurate studio speaker. You won't feel the thump of the base pounding on your chest, and you won't hear the "tst, tst, tst" of the tweeters inside of your head.

Why to get this speaker:

When someone buys Bose, they are purchasing an "effect." Direct/Reflecting isn't just marketing. Set up correctly, people who hear these speakers keep looking for the "rear" speakers. Its that good of an effect.

It doesn't take up much room for a tower speaker. Using the technology learned from the Acoustic Wave boom box, they're able to make 5" woofers sound like they're much bigger. And the tweeter array sounds a bit more like a conventional speaker without loosing the direct/reflecting effect.

A secondary effect of the direct/reflecting design is that you get very little in the way of ear fatigue. High end stuff is nice, but after awhile your ears and brain get tired of the extreme highs and lows. You can comfortably listen to just about any Bose system for hours. Its the nature of the design.

The bass is the cleanest I've ever heard from a speaker system. No booming, and almost no distortion. Which at first sounds kinda weird until you realize what you're hearing.

They are REALLY pretty speakers. They're like a work of art in your living room. Not many speakers look as nice as these do.

Lastly, because its got such a bad rap in the press, these speakers are now dirt cheap.

SPECIFIC TO THE BOSE 501 SERIES V:

You will need power. Preferably at least 50 REAL watts, so I guess on todays stuff, maybe 100 to 150 watts per channel. The 5" woofers may be small, but to get those base enclosures to work, you need a lot of clean power. And when they work, people are always surprised how much CLEAN base comes through. Alternately, if you have a loudness button, that works on some systems, but lots of clean power is better.

The bass port is facing rearward. You can tune the base by where you place the speaker relative to the wall. However, I suspect that some of the direct/reflecting effect relies on the sound coming out of that port relative to the wall. So speaker placement is critical.

That being said, these are great speakers for what they're designed for. If you're an audiophile, move along and pass these up. If you're an audio enthusiast and are looking for some artwork that also happen to be speakers for your living room (or personal space, these only have about 7"x7" footprint), these are a great value for what you can get them for. Oh, also great for a home theater.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000



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

Date Reviewed: March 6, 2013

Bottom Line:   
one person wrote that they picked up a pair for $70...lucky dog! I just picked up a pair from a pawn shop.a review I saw stated,that anything above 200,isn't worth it.well, at 150,in excellent condition,they are totally worth it.although Bose will not give out the frequency specs,i have found that they easily give out a 40hz frequency.granted,they will not rattle the place,they will sound.it is not a sub,but,it will drop.i have a 5 foot span between them,and they sound awesome.with the sub added,it just gives rattle to the already existing 40 hz.they may drop even lower,but,i didn't see any reason to go lower.overall,i agree with the $200 theory,even used.well worth the money.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by The Bose Man a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: October 31, 2012

Bottom Line:   
I just picked up a pair of BOSE 501V for $70 Bucks Man Thats better than sex

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2008



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

Date Reviewed: October 15, 2012

Bottom Line:   
Amazing sound if placed or positioned properly.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2008




Reviews 1 - 5 (82 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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