Bose 701 Floorstanding Speakers

3.16/5 (225 Reviews) MSRP : $900.00


Product Description

(2) 8" Woofers, 6.5" Mid and (2) 2.25" Tweeters


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User Reviews

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Frank Robertson a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 12, 2017

Bottom Line:   
I'm coming a little late to the party here about Bose 701's but they do come up for sale quite a bit so this information is for those obviously who are considering buying a pair of used Bose 701 speakers.

I'm am an audio enthusiast, not an audiophile, but was told from a recording studio owner after listening to various recordings that I had a fantastic ear for sound. I use to work for Circuit City back in the mid 90's and got to actually take speakers home, except they didn't carry the Bose 701's so I had to go to Frys and "buy" them and try them out, so I would hooked it them up to my brand new HK PA2400 with 170 watts rms going through an HK PT2300 preamp/tuner. I also at this time could borrow speakers from Circuit City, and I would connect several different Bose speakers and other speakers and A/B them back and forth.

The worst sounding speakers I heard were the Bose 701 and the Bose 901 (which Circuit City carried the 901 but not the 701...odd). I like all sorts of music, from classical to smooth jazz to blues to classic rock to even some metal, so as I listened to a variety of music through various speakers it became apparent that the Bose 701's were very boxy sounding (901 is for a different review, while not boxy they were shallow, and yes the Bose equalizer was on). I set up the speakers according to the instructions that Bose had, I can't recall what those were now but I think they were a lot like other speakers, 2 feet from the side walls, a foot from the back wall, and 6 to 20 feet apart, I placed them 12 feet apart due to the set up of my room.

Sound wise the base was not strong, the midrange was shallow and defused, and the highs were weak, there was no imaging! just sound everywhere that made it sound a bit scrambled if setting in the suppose sweet spot. I did listen to some live concert recordings and in those instances the speaker did a slightly better job than with a studio recording but I couldn't get past the inaccuracy of the sound that I was hearing. The best genre of music for this speaker was smooth jazz, where the base doesn't get too low and the highs don't get too high, so the sound doesn't stress the limits of the speaker showing it's huge flaws when more aggressive music is being played. Even with classical there are certain instruments that can reach deep base levels, and high treble levels that the 701 simply could not handle well. The speaker failed to handle fast attacking drums, they came out muddy and boxy sounding, just irritated me to no end, and highs would almost fade off to nothing, the sound of brass cymbals sounded like someone hitting a tin can is about as close of a description I can come up with, the mid end wasn't too bad, but still had some of that boxy sound like the bass but not as bad.

I think some of the issue with the speakers was the wood box should have been thicker/denser/heavier and insulation added to prevent that boxy sound could have helped somewhat to make it better sounding. When I took the grill off I could see that Bose had used low end speaker designs in the construction of the speaker. So basically Bose used thin particle board for the box, failed to use any insulation to dampen sound artifacts from bouncing around inside lending to the boxy sound, and low quality speakers.

The Bose 701, (and 901 as well as others they made) are not anywhere near worth the price they were selling for, and on the used market they ask too much for them as well because Bose over the years has done a better job of marketing than any other speaker company has done and people recognize the brand and think because it's Bose it's got to be good so they run out and buy it. Well don't buy it! There are people here that rave about them, but unless they took the speakers home and tried several sets by A/B them back and forth as I did they never will think there is anything wrong with those speakers and will brag about them. The best place for a Bose speaker is in the garage where the sound quality doesn't matter but you want the sound to be everywhere.

So what speakers did I end up with enquiring minds want to know? I eventually narrowed it down to 2 speakers, JBL L7 and Infinity Kappa 9. The Infinity did better at classical and smooth jazz, virtually tied with the JBL on blues, and the JBL did better at classical rock and metal, the wood cabinet on the Infinity was beautiful, but the Infinity used polypropylene for their speaker material, which my experience with that material was not good, after time that material would get brittle and crack so I got the JBL, and I'm glad I did, because years later I ran into a guy who bought the Infinitys and one of his speakers cracked about 7 years after he bought it, it was out of warranty, he had to send the speaker back for repair, but then others failed eventually he gave up and bought something else. My JBL L7's are still going strong after 20 years, and evidently are highly desired because the used market is quite high on them, about 4 times as much as the Bose 701, and about 3 times as much as 901!

There are of course a lot of speakers on the market, they all have different sound characteristics, you have to listen to them with music you like, not whatever music the store has; plus in a store they won't sound the same as they will at home due to different electronics, wire, and acousticals of the room, not to mention everyone's ear for sound is different, so it's best to take them home and compare with the ability to return them if you don't like them. Also if you decide against used vintage speakers and go new, almost all new speakers sold in box stores today requires a powered subwoofer, they no longer make speakers with good low base response. Lastly, those small little cube speakers called satellite speakers will pale in comparison to sound coming from any full size speaker, but if you don't compare you'll never realize there is a huge difference.

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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 P a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: February 21, 2013

Bottom Line:   
For stereo listening this set is a phenomenal performer, really puts on an impressive show for two speakers when placed right. Also people have to make sure there receiver setting are correct because unlike most other speakers these run at 6 ohms and your receiver or amplifier must be notified of this manually (most.). Alot of the negative reviews out there are a result of this commen error. The direct reflecting technology works good, sometimes when playing a movie track it sounds like the surround sound even when all it is is just two speakers. There are some flaws that can be heard in the details. This is not really a detail oriented speaker in the highs, (not bad though ) but overall I am impressed and satisfied. You can't have everything. Speakers that project amazing realistic detail, usually require a sub on the side (unless your budget is limitless.). This set puts on a show! In the same price range there are speakers that will sound maybe more real in a lot of ways, but will not produce the bass and full sound that these will. So like I said you can't always have anything, but I am glad I have owned these. These are a power hungry speaker, give it as much clean power you can and you will be pleasantly surprised.

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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 sam a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 16, 2012

Bottom Line:   
I got a Bose 701 and I like it very much. It soounds great...looks great and added a lot of aesthetics to my home theater/music room.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Troy a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: May 27, 2012

Bottom Line:   
I'm overwhelmed with my 701 s. I have always owned Bose. The unit, receiver, you name. At the present, my 701s is juiced up by a Poineer sx 980 and I have them backed up by two cerwin v 400. No matter how loud or low I put the volume, the 701s give me the pure pleasing sound I now expect from them. Unless you have the true power that's needed to really hear how they (701s), you will never truly understand what the bad boys are really made of. I will continual listing to them until my place in heaven is needed. Until than, I'll give them five stars.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   2004



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

Date Reviewed: February 11, 2012

Bottom Line:   
This review is for Bose 701s series I with a front and rear subwoofer port. I have auditioned a pair with the front port only and the two port configuration is substantially better. The thing to remember about this product is that you must provide an adequate listening space. The speaker cabinet is a hybrid open baffle design for the tweeter and mid range which is intriguing to me. If it carried a name other than Bose, the audio community would be very interested. The sound of the speakers is very non fatiguing. I can listen for hours at moderate levels while working on paper work without annoyance or the need to readjust placement. They do not get congested in complex orchestral passages as some other speakers I have used extensively (Newform research 645's, Magnepan MG Is Improved).The treble is not as beamy as in the Bose 10.2 series 2, (considered by most to be Bose' best floor-standers) and the mid range is in fact better. Imaging is decent if you have them within 1 foot of the wall. Don't toe them in. My speakers are placed about 8 feet apart and I sit about 12 feet back. Do not have items or equipment in between the speaker pair or the channel mix is eliminated. You may also need to tune the rear base port, or the base can become overwhelming and unnatural. I use some water line pipe insulating foam to fill 2/3s of the 1 rear port. The speakers are easy to drive and they play loudly if you'd like. The full range of a grand piano is easily achieved without a stand-alone subwoofer. There is a natural weight and heft to lower register bass notes that most floor standers lack. They are decent mains for 5 channel too. I'm certain they're not perfect, but neither are $50000 Wilson Audio and I'm about $49700 to the good. Don't be afraid to try a pair if you find them used. I've A/B tested them against many other speakers and I keep returning to these.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998




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