Bose 601 Floorstanding Speakers

4.06/5 (89 Reviews) MSRP : $650.00


Product Description

Discontinued Bose speakers (1977-1981)


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Reviews 1 - 5 (89 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: September 16, 2014

Bottom Line:   
if you have the bose 601 you don need all thouse sattelites speakers - you got the best trully soround in one side and precize sound in mater of locations of the orchestral instrument and the precize sound with the real bass when it in the music and not second before.
in my leaving room i almost dont know where are the speakers becouse the sound is all over from wall to wall and from flor to ceiling but as i said still the precize locatins of the orchestral instruments.
just today i started to thing about what would be when those speker would gone and i search for same sound but no loudspeaker like that today so i have to keep them strongly know there is no substitute.
last word - amazing loudspeakers!!!!!!!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by victor rugg a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: January 4, 2014

Bottom Line:   
today is the last day I will hear my 601 III I bought them new in 1987 and have loved them for years. I am moving and have M&W matrix and Carver A III in my two main systems in the house. These ended up in the garage so I had great sounds while I worked on my several cars. Walm,rich detailed sound. Never needed any repair. I know why they are selling for more than I paid for them, ever buy a used Bertram from the 60's Not quite the same thing but you get the idea. Buy them you will love them

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995



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

Date Reviewed: August 1, 2012

Bottom Line:   
To start with the fact i always kept my hands off Bose because of the critics in most of the reviews that can be found. As i could buy a bose 601 series III set for about 50 euro's from someone, who even warned me not to buy them, i gave it a go.

At home i plugged them in on my small amp, 105 w channel, started a cd and walked towards another room. When it started to play i had to turn arround because i was truely amazed, quite shocked honestly, by the warm sound and detail that was blown through the room. I sat down and enjoyed it for a bit, with a big grin all over my face.
Next thing was to hook it up on my main amp which values about 250 w channel and they seemed to 'open' even more with a fabulous high tone, classic mid and a bass level that fits it all.

I owned, and listened, a lot of speakers but this discovery got me almost emotional.
Since that day they stand where i set them up, awaiting compagnon from another set i hope to purchase soon.

Probably the lack of a decent amp or the later Bose generations make some people haters.
The 601 III concept was way ahead for it's era, it handles all kinds of music but is very sensitive to the quality of recordings as the sounds seperately are very detailed.

If you see them for sale, buy magic!
Thanks for reading


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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by bill van dam a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: June 19, 2012

Bottom Line:   
purchased a pair of bose 601 series three new back in 1986. here i am sitting here today 6/19/2012 listening to the these 26 year old speakers and they sound just as good as the day i bought them. no foam rot, nothing. matter of fact, they look brand new. not a scratch on either speaker. i listen to these speakers thru all sony es components. this review is short and sweet, just as sweet as these speakers still sound today. thank you for your time.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995



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

Date Reviewed: June 10, 2012

Bottom Line:   
After reading the entire 84 reviews on these speakers, here is what I have to say...

I have been collecting speakers for over 30 years, so I personally know and have experienced with my own ears:

1.) Many different brands (Klipsch, KEF, a/d/s/, Polk Audio, Carver, Altec Lansing, JBL, EPI, Velodyne, Bose, Definitive Technologies, Cerwin Vega, Infinity, McIntosh, Mirage, B&W, Pioneer, Sansui, DCM, Fisher, Motorola, Magnavox)
2.) Many different types (paper/polypropylene/pulp fiber/kevlar/Stifflite cones, titanium/silk dome/horn/ribbon tweeters, Alnico/ferrite/samarium cobalt magnets, ported/bass reflex/passive radiator enclosures, electrostatic, tube powered)
3.) Many different types of music played through all of the above:
60's-70's classic rock- Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones
80's heavy metal- Metallica, Def Leppard, Quiet Riot
Classical music- Enrico Caruso, Leontyne Price, Luciano Pavarotti, Phantom of the Opera
Jazz music- Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz
80's dance music- Trinere, Shannon, Will to Power
Relaxation music- Enya, Yanni, John Tesh
60's rock- (too numerous to list!)
4.) Many different types of relatively high-end equipment [not Krell, Mark Levinson, etc... but "normal-everyday-guy" high-end stuff] used on them (Denon HDCD/receivers, Yamaha pre-amps/Class A amps, Carver amps/cd, Harmon Kardon amps, Pioneer & Sansui old school receivers, Sony SACD/Bluray)

The Bose technology in the 601 Series III's from the mid-80's was good, really good. I've heard almost every different type of loudspeaker design out there & these specific speakers sound great at what they do, play life-like music as if you were there.

Some "anti-Bose" guys like to use the old sayings,"All highs. No lows. It must be Bose!" or "No highs. No lows. It must be Bose!". Trust me, that is USUALLY TRUE when it comes to the newer stuff from Bose, especially the over-priced Acoustimass systems, which basically consist of 2" tiny "upper-midrange" cubes [made out of paper & NOT capable of ANY real midbass nor highs much over 10,000-12,000hz] & midwoofers [that cannot go anywhere near 20hz-30hz] in a fancily-ported, female-frendly box, NOT "real" tweeters, midranges, & woofers, like most guys are used to when considering buying good speakers.

Admittedly, the those systems do fit into a few certain niches:
1.) Guys who are whipped by their women into getting "cute" speakers that sound okay yet cannot be seen easily
2.) Wealthy people who want to spend money on a name, only to compete with their friends by saying they spent $3,000 on a new Bose system.

We have to admit:
They DO sound better than using the speakers in your tv.
They DO give one the 5.1/6.1/7.1 sensation, better clarity & bass response than tv speakers, & are very inobtrusive compared to larger floorstanders.

Do they sound better than high-quality, larger floorstanders or even good bookshelves... not even close!! Especially in 2-channel critical listening!

Now, take the "old-school" Bose 601 Series III's:
They ARE a floorstander, yet have a relatively small footprint. They DO surround you in stereo music via their "direct-reflecting" technology (ie. tweeters/mids firing in specific directions to reflect off of the surrounding walls). They DO sound better than any old or new Bose speakers out there, including the almighty 901's! They DO have (2) real 8" woofers, one on the front lower panel that is only a woofer & one on the upper angled panel that is a mid-woofer & woofer. They Do have multiple 3" tweeter/midranges (2 double-cubes in each speaker) also called "twiddlers" by Bose. This is where Bose got the idea of their infamous "double cubes" mounted to the walls, by removing them from the 601 III's, putting them in cute little plastic boxes, relocating them around the room & then, unfortunately, using smaller "wanna-be-woofers" in a single box in a corner. The 601 III's DO perform better than their predecessors, the 601 I's & II's, due to their better designed, rear-firing, slotted bass port. Instead of using a round port on the top, which interfered with the twiddlers sound & made a "chuffing" noise when driven hard, the slot port utilized the wall behind the speakers as bass reinforcement, like a sounding board. It improved the bass response dramatically & eliminated the chuffing noise. They also look more modern.

Now, some say that the paper twiddlers don't go that high, but most people cannot hear above what they play anyways. They play more in a realistic range of human hearing. What in real music instruments (or even in nature) produces sounds in those extreme ranges anyways?! They also were not built or necessarily intended to be used with "booty" music that has EXTREMELY LOW, artificial bass. They were designed back in the mid 80's when 60's-70's classic rock was popular & 80's rock/dance music was emerging, which did not have near as much artificial bass like the newer stuff. Also, synthesizers have been used more & more to artificially replace real highs/lows that instruments played. These speakers were more designed for actual live music which is performed by artists, not artificial, computer-generated music. They can play that stuff well, but weren't necessarily designed for it. The 601's III's go deep in the bass region & play the mids/highs very naturally. There really isn't a need to go much higher than what they do already... ie. you are not "missing" anything super critical. Some guys say that the tweeters are cheap because they are paper & not titanium or whatever. Most "old-school" speakers have paper cones (like my JBL L100's) & I believe that Bose utilized them due to a more life-like, smoother tonal quality instead of a harsher, crispier tone, to make them sound more natural.

Either way, the 601 Series III's will put a smile on your face when you listen to them. Anywhere you stand/sit in the room will sound like your are in stereo, not matter which way you face. I traded a set of Bose 501 Series IV's to a guy awhile back & when he set them up in his place, his whole great room sounded fantastic! 501 IV's have a 10" woofer & a single 3" double-cube in each, about 1/2 of what the 601 III's have in them! They sit lower on the floor, making their imaging good, but not as good as the 601 III's because the 501 IV's tweeters are firing lower down, around knee level, not at ear level when seated, like the 601 III's.

The 601 Series III's are a great speaker, even when compared to the other speakers I own, over 100! Certain speakers are better at certain types of music than others. My a/d/s/ L1290's, Carver AL-III's, Polk SDA1's & Polk Monitor 10's are so smooth when listening to jazz. My JBL L96, L100 Century's, L110's slam when you play rock through them. My Altec 604c's... well, they are unlike anything you've ever heard. My Cerwin Vega RE38's bass hits so hard when playing club music that it makes your liver vibrate! Certain speakers need lots of power to sound good while some need much less higher quality power to sound great.

It's very simple... first, get some good, clean, low distortion gear for your front end (ie. the pre-amp/receiver, amp [solid state, tube, or hybrid], cd player, interconnects, speaker cables, etc...), acoustically treat the room to reduce unwanted sound reflections, use a room EQ if at all possible, & then test out different speakers with the music you prefer. Buy what you think sounds good to you based on the type of music to which you listen. If you think one set of speakers will sound great on all kinds of music, think again, unless you plan on spending HUGE money, enough to buy a new car or even a house! If you think that one set of speakers will sound really good on most all music, & you come across the Bose 601 Series III's, then don't feel reluctant to grab them... they sound wonderful!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995




Reviews 1 - 5 (89 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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Bose 601 Series 11- Vintage Model

I am interested in Bose 601 series 11 -which is a vintage model, TO COMLEMENT MY CURRENT COLLECTION OF SPEAKERS AND SOUND. I would appreciate should someone, help me in location a pair of 601's in Melbourne, Australia please. Thanks, Crispin:2:Read More »

Speaker spikes for bose 601 series iv

Can anyone recommend suitable speaker spikes for my bose 601 series iv's? They came with plastic feet which screw into the base but these don't sit well on carpet. Thanks SteveRead More »

Kenwood KA-601 or KA9100

Hi I can buy one of this...I know KA9100 is highly praised but is KA-601 any good to? I think they are lovely nice looking amps...to bad they dont make them any more like this. I want that 70`s sound am also running a little midi studio and want that warm sound from a amp. Sorry if my engl ... Read More »

Bose 601 series 1

I just picked up a set of Bose 601s and all the surrounds are rotted but every thing works. Question; are they worth repairing and keeping or should I fix and sell them, I don't know any thing about the direct reflecting system, running them on a Realistic STA 2000, also a set of Mach ones. Music ... Read More »

Subwoofer to match Bose 601 vcs10 161 please share knowledge

Currently I am looking to add a sub to my pieced 6.1 Bose system containing the following: Front: 601 IV Center (front and Back) vcs10 surround l and r: 161 I need something powerful enough to go beyond the 601's which have alot of bass already. Ive looked at mirage, infinty, ect. Im lo ... Read More »

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