Bose Acoustimass 5 Series III Home Theater Speaker Systems

Available At:
Acoustimass 5 Series III

* two video-shielded, dual-cube speaker arrays (6-1/4"H x 3-1/8"W x 4-1/8"D) * Acoustimass module with two 5-1/4" drivers (7-5/8"W x 14"H x 19-1/4"D) * spring clip connectors * recommended power 10-200 watts with receivers rated from 4 to 8 ohms * warranty: 5 years

User Reviews (16)

Showing 1-10 of 16  
shyju   Casual Listener [May 17, 2011]

I AM LOOKING A WOOFER OF AM 10 BOSE .

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Available At:
boost17601   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 20, 2011]

Listen to the new Acoustimass 5 Series III speaker system with your eyes closed. What you hear will sound like it's coming from much larger speakers. Yet when you open your eyes, you'll discover the spacious sound comes from two tiny Direct/Reflecting® cube speaker arrays and a hideaway Acoustimass Module. By incorporating new technologies, Bose® engineers were able to improve the sound of these Acoustimass speakers and make them sleeker and smaller. Proprietary Direct/Reflecting® speaker technology helps these speakers re-create a natural blend of reflected and direct sound. They deliver a sense of spaciousness that conventional speakers cannot match. Using patented Acoustimass speaker technology, the improved Acoustimass Module can be hidden anywhere and delivers deeper, fuller bass bringing life to your favorite music.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
tvb6597   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 12, 2010]

Well I am not here to bash Bose or the "Boseos" out there who think that Bose has engineered the greatest speakers ever manufactured. I have used the AM5 system for over 10 years and I have to say that I have been satisfied with my experience. I am more of a 2-channel enthusiast because of my fondness for music, and owning these speakers has been a pleasant experience. However, here are some things to consider before buying into the Bose mystique.

On ebay I have seen different sets of Bose Model 501X speakers (as AM5's were called upon introduction in 1987 before the term "Acoustimass" was coined) and the frequency response listed on the back panel of the "bass module" was listed as 48-20,000 Hz. However, AM5's suffer from some noticeable roll-off...as you can probably tell when watching a movie or listening to rap/hip-hop/top 40 that the "mid-bass" only goes down to about 48 Hz and there are some gaps in the overall depth of sound. I have used these speakers with a few different recievers...the best had to be my analog Kenwood KR-V8040, then a Kenwood KR-V7060 and then with a Pioneer VSX-D710S Dolby Digital reciever. Overall I have been satisfied with my purchase, as I got my AM5 speakers on Ebay for $90.00. I don't think I would feel great spending the full $359 for them as they are listed on Bose' website, but I have been content for the most part considering these pack a punch for such small drivers. Musically they are dynamic and fill my large (15 X 25 foot) family room with warm sound. Some of that is probably from my Kenwood KR-X1000 THX reciever with left over power to spare. Complements on these speakers are study construction and a lifetime of problem-free performance. The four 20' sections of 18 AWG wire came in handy for placement as well.

I have to give it to the guys up on the Mountain in Massachusetts...not too badly done. Upon inspection and removal of the side panel on the module there was a decent quality MDF enclosure with more than enough glue to survive massive temperature shifts and a good drop from 3-4 feet. The 6" woofers couldn't have cost more than $15 bucks a piece with semi-stout paper cones and foam-rubber surrounds. The same goes for the 2.5" paper cone "mid-range" speakers found in the satellites. If Bose speakers were so "elite" as they claim in all their mass magazine and TV ads, I honestly expected better driver materials.

The most impressive part of this system is the crossover itself, armed with an arsenal to handle a hefty 4 ohm load. It is crystal clear and really hits some frequencies really well. Since lower resistance can carry more current you need quite an amp to drive these speakers to hear the difference from your traditional mid-fi home audio competitors. The crossover is packed with capacitors, resistors, inducers and glass fuses for overdrive protection. Frequencies above 150 Hz, as best I can measure, go to the satellite cubes, which blast a room full of mid-range "reflected" sound to give you the "lifelike listening experience" Bose describes in detail. Below 150 Hz "harmonics" are synthesized by the crossover and go to the low frequency drivers, which act like "pistons" to push and pull air into and out of the module, which creates pressure waves to resemble "bass." What you are actually hearing are "pitches" below 150 Hz that your ears perceive as bass, even though they are not actually producing these frequencies. When your brain hears the mid-to high frequencies, most people's brains compensate and "fill in" the missing bottom half with the perceived low frequencies. These are simply "overtones," and not actual deep bass, which accounts for the psycho acoustic perceptions of the brain by filling in the low missing portion of the sound spectrum. The AM5, 6 10, 15 and 16 operates on a non-linear electrical system (Bose's specialty), which is why Bose doesn't release the actual frequency response and sensitivity of their HT and stereo speakers (including the 901). Now, their PA system and Pro sound products are a totally different story...

Bose knows this, and they have taken steps to "research" how to make small speakers sound big. The bass module almost acts as a resonance chamber, and the "pitches" it produces resembles deep bass, even though it is simply an exaggeration of mid range frequencies. Bose understands the way the brain perceives sound, and they claim to be more "dynamic" by doing so. They were one (not THE) first companies to produce cutting edge products, including the "small speakers/big sound" concept. Come on...you can't change the laws of physics. However, something had to give to create this illusion. The Bose Corporation simply knows where and how to spend its money. They are great marketers and even better business people. The "direct/reflecting" technology is a marketing technique...since the cubes produce the same frequencies due to the crossover being in the module, you can turn them wherever you want and you won't notice a huge difference. Pair that with the four 20' speaker wires provided and a small speaker package that is aesthetically pleasing and sounds "pretty good most of the time" and you have roughly 80% of the market for audio buyers in your pocket. Bose understands the market and knows how to give people what they want. They spend the money they make well and make good investments. Isn't that the secret to any good business?

The fact of the matter is that in most cases, Bose speakers satisfy because they are form over function...the fact that they can blend in to your decor satisfies most people's need for a speaker system in their home. On average most people will pay to sacrifice sound quality for the pure, white "unobtrusive" upscale look and long sections of speaker wire that come with them for ease of placement rather than the best quality sound. For the audio enthusiast, I would look into the competition. Companies like Paradigm, Klipsch, B & W and JBL offer competitive products at reasonable prices, especially online. People who have paid top dollar for Bose AM-10's and claim to have the best HT setup did not shop around to do an A-B listening comparison. You will find that they are missing some fundamentals compared to other speakers.

If primary music is your taste, then I would give these speakers a try at a reasonable price. Otherwise, if you are into home theater, I would shop around before I spent my tax return or hard-earned cash on AM-10's or a Lifestyle system. If you want "real" sound for movies and a good sound stage for imaging, check out a real powered sub and some tower/satellite speakers with a flat frequency response and listen to them side by side and compare to a Bose system when watching. If the Bose still wins...then I would go with what you like best. Listen for yourself, and then decide.

In almost every store you go into, the salespeople will try to sell you Bose. Ask around, listen, and you'll be surprised about what you discover. Bose created efficient speakers for the average listener...that is the market they strive to reach. "Different" Sound Through Research...that doesn't mean that it's better.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Available At:
oziel   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 27, 2010]

I bought them for $50 dollars at garage sale. The foam around the speaker was obviously ripped so i hot glued it worked for about 2 weeks. Today I opened them (dual 6 inch speakers) and I knew i had to buy the foam that solves the problem for them. I love them good bass & the two small speakers are loud. Do you think I made a good purchase?

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
dankwa   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 04, 2009]

I PURCHASED THE ACOUSTIMASS 5 BACK IN 2003 IN LONDON AND I HAVE NEVER REGRETED. SOME ONE WAS COMPLAINING THAT SOUND ENGINEERS DONT LIKE IT. PLEASE LISTEN BEFORE YOU COMPLAIN ABOUT SOMETHING YOU DONT KNOW. LET ME TELL YOU THIS STORY, WE WERE WACHING A MOVIE AND IN THE MOVIE IT WAS RAINING THIS FRIEND OF MINE WANTED TO GO HOME HE SAID BUT ITS STILL RAINING SO I DECIDE TO TURN THE VOLUME DOWN AND YOU CANT BELIEVE IT IT WASNT RAINING, IT WAS THE SOUND EFFECT FROM THESE SMALL THINGS. FORGET ABOUT SO CALLED SPECIALIST, WE ARE ORDINARY PEOPLE WHO LOVE NICE AND GOOD SOUND.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Blueskin   AudioPhile [Jul 13, 2009]

I bought a set of AM5's a few years ago brand new for €400 from a local store that was closing down. They normally sold for €650. Theres no way I'd pay that for them, even €400 is pricey. The reason I bought them was for there versatile size, and they give a decent scale of sound.
Floor standers would be too big, book shelf speakers dont give you the low frequencies. I wanted a tidy system for my wifes salon with good low bass so it would give that surround spacious effect. I didn't want a chest punching mid range, so the AM5's fitted in nicely. Now, I have heard these speakers on budget amps and they were crap. You do need something with a bit of drive. Mine are hooked up to a Denon PMA201SA style system, dont laugh, the little Denon is only about 50 watt a channel but they are lively little systems and they look very sexy (which is just a bonus).
The result is a very pleasing
open sound stage, with a decent level of detail, really nice bass. The sub must be placed behind a sofa for best results, the cubes are mounted at thirds across back the wall at head height, room size is about 16x12 feet. Upgraded wiring to oxygen free cable. Personally, I do think they are over priced, they lack mid range but they fitted a certain criteria for me.

Strengths:
Easy placement. Sub sat intergration is good. Ooh they look lovely.

Weakness:
Too expensive, mid range is lame. Not for real hifi heads.

Similar products used:
My €30 Yamaha pc sub sat speakers nearly sound as good.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
2
1Inventor   AudioPhile [Dec 18, 2008]
Strength:

" Better Sales Through Advertising"

Weakness:

" No highs, No Lows, must be Bose."

As an audio engineer and an avid speaker builder, they are definitely mass market, consumer speakers. The drivers on the satellites are roughly 25 cents worth, and the woofer, around $5.00. And you're paying how much? Most of that cost is advertising expenses.

This is not bashing by any means but fact.
You can't have quality with inferior parts. The knowledge of the parts cost should infuriate any level headed, sane consumer.

You can't put a Yugo engine into a Corvette body and expect it to perform. S&*t in, S*&t Out.

Bose will not perform frequency plots or divulge other information besides power handling because it would make an informed/knowledgeable customers that their drivers can only go as high as 10 khz (shy of another 10 khz) and only as low as 40 hz. It would also show frequency anomalies that would deter costumers. Instead of educating their consumers, they program them to think ( in this case, not consider specifications ). Specifications are not the entire picture but they tend to represent good engineering.
I would not buy a car just because it looked good, not know what engine is in it and what its capabilities are, to justify its price.

Most consumers have never listened to a good system, and would not know any better. " Better Sales through Advertising." So most would buy what the masses(as ill informed) would buy.

If you truly want to know what sounds good, try listening to speakers from companies like Pradigm, Magnepan, PSB, Thiel and the likes...not necessarily to buy, but to have an idea as to what good is. then go back to your bose units and see how you've overpayed for them.

Better yet, due to your extreme loyalty to Bose, call to confirm how much the drivers cost, if they will even divulge that info.

They are average speakers that will amaze or satisfy or amaze the average joe.

25 cents each for the satellite speakers, $5.00 per woofer = $12.00 + particle board with laminate, wires and connectors, $18 manufacturing cost being sold for over $380? WOW!

Seriously folks - either you are so brainwahed by Bose, are you are just too cheap to buy a real system.



Similar Products Used: I don't buy cheaply manufactured gear.
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Luis Ramos   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 13, 2008]
Strength:

Space factor, construction

Weakness:

mediums.
Be carefull with the sub. At very high volumes you can hear the net inside shaking. Not good. But to ear that you need to abuse from it.

I have these speakers for about 10 years and they still work as they should.
We must understand one very important thing. To analize this product we have to go for what we expect from it.
Getting 2 floorstanding speakers is diferent from getting 2 satelites and a sub.
BOSE knows what to do with sound!
With this you can get reactions that you don't get with something else.
I have them being drived by a wonderful Nakamish RE-10
and have them compared with my other speaker set JBL E80
On the AC5 the high tones are crystal and defined and the sub is strong enough.
The sound spreads perfectly but you need to choose a very good place for the sub or else you'll have too much, too less or a very pronouced place where it's comming. For me, that's the funny part. You can mold your sound. Even turning the satelites for a diferent space distribution.
In other hand, everytime that I turn the system on, I need to ear it loud cause that's what it was made for. At low volume u loose too much base and in general you don't have good mediums (lowd or qt low volumes)
Maybe not the best for Norah Jones and voice dedicated songs.
With my JBL E80 the sound is more compact, the puch has more attack and the mediums are much better, but I miss the space factor on this ones.

Acoustimass is great! You just need to know what you want from it.
I'm taking the JBs as my maestro for music cause they can accept be-wiring and let the accoustimass being driven by an YAMAHA for a complete home cinema set.
That was my choice and I'm very happy with it.

Similar Products Used: JBL E80. Same sound philosofy but better for music.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Mark   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 05, 2008]
Strength:

Small space requirements, pleasant sound, great spatial characteristics and a good bass line. Cubes look really cool on the Bose stands, and the 5 year warranty is pretty good. No placement problems here, the room is a small rectangle and plenty of reflective surfaces.

No ringing ears, just nice sound.This point can't be emphasized enough, the cube technology and the separate bass module make for a nice sounding room, as bass is not at all directional, so you end up with a good sonic envelope, that just blends into the room. As I say, spec for spec, my Heresy's will beat the pants off anything in the Bose line, but it is the intangible factors that make these such a joy to listen to.

The Direct/Reflecting technology really does a neat job of creating a sonic envelope that encompasses the room with a good quality sound, In Pro Logic or whatever mode I choose to run them in. At the price they are a bargain.

Weakness:

Inefficient, like most Bose products they take a little more juice to light up, a little mid bass weakness. Required stands for optimal placement. I still have doubts about the quality of the system as I have had one pair of speakers for over 20 years, but time will tell.

Spatially great, nice personality and good response range. As an owner of a couple of pair of Klipsch Heresy's (II's and III's) I appreciate the pleasant (read non ear ringing) sound and the spatial qualities of these speakers. No they can't compete with the Heresy's(II's or III's) in terms of sheer acoustic output, but they have a nice clear sound that makes movie watching more than just a "sounds like the theater affair". More of a light and airy sound, not as easy to localize a voice to" left midrange horn".

Bose is not all about specs, they are about making products that just sound good. In fact, they really don't make anything near efficient or high output as my Heresy's (either the II's or the III's), but in my little 12'X8' listening room they sound nice. Sure pound for pound the Heresy's are killer speakers, designed in 1957 the Heresy's have been around for a while, sure they have become more efficient and listen able (99 db 1 watt/1 meter, 116 db continuous output), but they blast you from either direction, the Acoustimass 5 III's surround you. No, they do not have the same high output capability as my other stuff, but they are a pleasant listening experience for hours of enjoyment on end.

For my little room they are just what the doctor ordered.

Customer Service

Excellent, Bose has a great guarantee, and since I live about 10 miles east of the factory, they said that if I were dissatisfied with the purchase they would send over a Fed-Ex person to help me box them up and ship them back. As far as warranty service goes, my mom has had one of their table radios for years, it has never required service.

Similar Products Used: Klipsch Heresy III's
Klipsch Heresy II's
Klipschorns (1962, still cherry)
Yamaha RX-V361 receiver, 105 watts/channel x 5 channels.
Dell Dimension E521 with SoundBlaster X-Fi card driving SPDIF input on receiver, at 48Khx, 24 bit as music and movie source.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
audio-fan   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 30, 2008]
Strength:

everything you can expect from a higth quality speakers and subwoofer

very good sound

clarity,crystal and loud sound

nice design,and small size

the subwoofer is really good and have a lot of power

Weakness:

nothing

very good stereo speakers,if you want good speakers bose is the best choice for you.dont matter about the stupids bose bashers.

these speakers are very good at all types of music,and these speakers can make you feel in a concert hall.




OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 16  

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