Bose 401 Floorstanding Speakers

401

Direct/Reflecting Floorstanding Speaker - (2) 6.5" Woofers and 2" Tweeters

User Reviews (56)

Showing 1-10 of 56  
Bartz   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 15, 2017]

Just listening to some music through my 25 year old Bose 401's. I've owned them this whole time, they have been dragged around the country, worked hard, stored at times in likely substandard conditions. They have some chips, the Veneer is lifting in some places and there's some swelling of the particle board. I inherited some even older (likely 35+ years) 501's which took their place for a few years but an back to my old 401's. I originally ran them through a Luxman amp and now have the Yamaha RX-A2000. This amp continues to impress after 5 years especially since I've remembered the Direct Pure function which cleans up the sound so much.
Recently I was listening to a friend's $15000 Focal Utopia's and coming back to the Bose left me wanting, so I found myself in an audio shop listening to Focals in the 2-5k range plus some other offerings. I liked what I heard but coming home and listening to the old faithful and sure I can notice some lacking in the finesse of mid and high range but overall I'm still not happy to fork out $5k to replace them, I'd likely get away with $3k with a subwoofer.
So we all hear the "Bose is crap" line repeated over the decades, I'm not sure if current Bose floorstanders but know I never liked the older acoustimass type but these old crappy 401's have put a smile on my face for a quarter of a century.
So I guess I'm no where near an audiophile, I'd maybe argue I am as close as you can get but even though I'd love to listen to perfect sound I just can't see my way clear of spoiling my ears to the tune of $20000+ for a setup I might not be able to pick fault with.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Frank   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 24, 2015]

I purchased a pair of Bose 401 speakers back in 1994, as of today these speakers sound great. They sound great for any application weather is just music or for surround sound while watching a movie, the sound that comes out of these speakers is great. You cant go wrong with these speakers.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Froze   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 01, 2014]

I read some of the reviews here and in fact found myself stunned over all the gushing on these speakers, so I located a set of used ones and thought I would try them out. First I took the speakers over to Speaker World to make sure they didn't need any repairs done first because I did get them rather cheap, then took them home and hooked them up to my smaller Fisher 800C tube receiver and popped in a few CD's and the speakers sounded boxy on every CD. The base was muddy and mid range was boxy or hollow sounding, and the highs were not that clear.

So ok, maybe it was the Fisher so I hooked them up to my main system which consists of two amps so I was able to try both separately since there is no biamp'ing possible with these, the first amp is a MacIntosh MC275 (a tube amp that normally runs the mids and highs on my main speakers) and the other is a Harman Kardon PA2400 (which normally runs the base speaker on my mains). First I connected the Mac and got the same dismal sound, thinking perhaps the speakers just don't like tube amps so I connected it to the HK and it sounded worse in the mids and highs but the base went from muddy to punchy with a hollowness to it.

So back to Speaker World I went to find out if something was wrong that the physical inspection missed, they hooked them up to some of their stuff and the owner said something quite amazing, he said there was nothing wrong with those speakers functionality but they sounded just like Bose had built them...crappy. He said they used cheap drivers which is why with the cabinet and speakers combined only weighed 29 pounds. So back on Craigslist they went and I sold them a week later for small amount more than I paid.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
1
Darren   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 12, 2014]

After reading all the bad reviews about these speakers I was a bit concerned about buying 401s but I picked up a pair for 40 dollars in good condition and have to say that I am pleasantly surprised at how good these sound. I have had Magenpan 1.6, Martin Logan Source, B&W DM1400, Dali, Mission Elegante and Final electrostats so have a reasonable background to compare and I can happily sit and listen for hours to these. I find the imaging, tonality, dynamics, bass, treble and midrange to be very acceptable to me and they are quite revealing of micro details which I wasn't expecting. I was expecting to hear a dull lifeless unbalanced bass and treble shy sound going by the reviews but that hasn't eventuated at all. I do get the feeling that they might not be very amp friendly though, which is just a feeling. I am running these on Denon POA-S10 monoblocks and a Micromega Mydac, so you could say that amplification is ample and I would think that you would want something reasonable to get good results (GIGO). I bought these as a fill in until I can get some more Maggies but I am having to seriously rethink that now considering I got these so cheap. Anyway time will tell.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
BOSE401   Casual Listener [Mar 30, 2013]

These speakers were wonderful when I had them plugged in... I've had them sitting in my living room, no more have an amp, and want to sell. Contact me? andreacostadesign at gmail

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
john   Casual Listener [Feb 28, 2013]

I have a set of floor modle bose 401 speakers.and I also have a set of early bose 501 speakers and they are also the floor modle speakers I had to re cone the bose 501 speakers does that hurt the value on my bose 501 speakrs

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
5
Purtain   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 21, 2012]

IMHO, these are great rock speakers and great speakers, in general. Mainly, though, for those folks who think they need a sub with these, are you kidding?!!. Maybe, it's your amp. Check it out. I'm running these with a Carver 6200 and I practically have to turn the bass EQ all the way down, and I'm into rock with a serious amount of bass. I'm listening to the Stones 'Sympathy for the Devil' (on the radio, no less) and the bass line sounds awesome!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Brian Chew   Casual Listener [Mar 28, 2011]

I just scored a pair of these speakers today at a thrift store for only $27.99+tax!! The grills were completely intact without any wear, rips, or holes. None of the speaker domes were "pushed in". The speaker cabinets have just a few tiny, tiny scuffs. (Nothing a black sharpie pen can't fix/hide.) When I walked by these speakers the first time, I noticed a man was already "clearly interested in them". He had removed a few of the foam grills to look at the speakers. That's when out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the BOSE logo. I thought to myself... "Aw crap!! I got here minutes too late!!". I went around the corner and down the aisle that was parallel to where the speakers were on the floor and the man was gone! So I made my way back to the speakers and looked at them myself. They were not priced but one of the speakers had "X2 AS IS". I located the manager and asked her how much the speakers were. She told me that they worked and they were $39.99 with 30% off. SCORE!! I'll take 'em!! Brought them home and connected them to a little "bookshelf" stereo system (just to see if they worked) and they sound great!! Awesome pickup!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
lzufelt   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 16, 2010]

I worked as a Bose sells rep in West Germany (5 stores) and I can tell you that the Bose 401 speakers were some of the best sperakers that I have ever listened to and that says alot due to the amount of speakers that I worked with over the years. I had an DBX mk 400 amp with 400 watts and I hould turn up the volume to as high as I could and leave the room for about 40 min or untill someone came into the store and after 2 years they were sold for about $25 less than retail market price. The 301 and 201 I did the same thing and they rocked. I would put on Deep Purple Led Zep, The Who they never sounded better at such a high volume. Kick up the jams. I put the 901's with the 401 in a home theater and when laser disk first came out with Star Wars OMG what a sound. If and when my basement gets fixed up next year I will try to fine a pair of 401's as part of my theater.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
mosfetaus   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 27, 2009]

Bose 401 was part of my first real hifi system when I bought them wayyyy back in 1992. I always loved them and was never unhappy with their sound. First I drove them with a NAD 25W Power Envelope amp and they really rocked. After a couple years I got a somewhat more serious amp, a Technics suvx920. That mother pumped out nearly 200 watts of REAL music power into 4 ohms which is what the 401's are. I ran them with that amp for the next 4 years and they soaked up everything the Technics could through at them and spat it all back out with aplomb (without making my ears bleed). One night I had them cranking at a party and had the police knocking on the door telling me my neighbours had complained - my nearest neighbour was about 20 metres away!!!!!!!! SADLY I sold those speakers and have since moved onto many others, trying out everything I can. My memories were so fond of the old 401's that I recently started searching ebay for another pair and guess what - I got myself a pair once again about 4 months ago, they're circa 1994 models in still brilliant condition. My anticipation of what I would hear when I first fired them up was huge, hoping I would still be impressed after all these years and different systems I have gone through. Well let me just say this - I'm still massively impressed, they sing better than I ever remembered!! I've got a pair of 301's at the momennt as well and the 401's destroy them in every way. The 401 was truly one of Bose's greatest creations and I obviously recommend anyone to give them a go if you ever get to score a pair. Please don't take any notice of the Bose bashers. After owning 2 pairs of 401's over a period of 17 years and countless other speakers, I know what I'm talking about!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 56  

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