Is the Bose brand considered high quality or low quality?

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bose-logo-vectorAmong the masses, Bose is one of the most respected, trusted and beloved brands when it comes to audio speakers and headphones.  That’s what their core target market would say. But to serious Audiophiles, with a discerning ear, Bose is total crap, with inferior technology, shabby production standards and resulting poor value. This might be the equivalent about asking a Foodie what they think of Morton’s Steakhouse or Ruth’s Chris.

Bose has a great word of mouth reputation. I remember when I first heard of Bose, it was a guy at work, who seemed to know more than I did say definitively “Bose are the best speakers you can buy”. I immediately believed this to be true and have felt that way ever since. I proudly own Bose headphones, a Bose docking station and Bose speakers in my car. I am a highly satisfied Bose fan.

I wanted Bose Speakers for my TV, having drooled over the idea for years. So I went into a Bose store, listened to a few different options and they all sounded amazing. So I looked on the Bose box, and there was no mention of Watts at all or really anything. My first thought was “wow, Bose is just such a great brand, they don’t really need to get into those tiny details like watts”. But I wanted to compare brands just to ensure I was spending good money. So I went on-line and here’s the Bose specs: still nothing.

 

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That brings us to The Bose philosophy: Unlike other audio product manufacturers, Bose does not publish specifications relating to the measured electrical and objective acoustic performance of its products. This reluctance to publish information links back to the classic Amar Bose paper presented in 1968 “On the Design, Measurement and Evaluation of Loudspeakers”. In the paper, Bose rejects these measurements in favor of “more meaningful measurement and evaluation procedures”, and considers the human experience the best measure of performance.

For Bose, sound is an experience, not a statistic. Bose spends all their effort and dollars on perfecting the in-store sound demo so they can show off Bose’s great sound quality and let consumers be the judge of their sound.  And yet it’s arguably tough for the average ear to distinguish. Bose invests a lot of money into their own retail stores as well as the store-in-store concepts. That way, it can control the experience the consumer gets with its products–ensuring the consumers hear Bose at it’s best.

Bose has figured out how to make their brand work to their advantage–the proof is in the sound you hear in the store. There’s a certain magic that happens in store when listening to the Bose stereo system. Despite what Audiophiles say, consumer feedback from the masses is definitively in favour of Bose with very high scores. And in a most recent poll, Bose is the #3 trusted brand in Consumer Electronics, so they must be doing something right. It’s tough for consumers to separate Product from Brand, even a brand like Apple has had success in this confusion where consumers think Apple has “great products”. To the masses, Bose is a great brand and has great products.

Is Bose a beloved or hated brand? You be the judge.  

 

Beloved Brands: Who are we?

At Beloved Brands, we promise that we will make your brand stronger and your brand leaders smarter. We can help you come up with your brand’s Brand Positioning, Big Idea and Brand Concept. We also can help create Brand Plans that everyone in your organization can follow and helps to focus your Marketing Execution. We provide a new way to look at Brand Management, that uses a provocative approach to align your brand to the sound fundamentals of brand management.

We will make your team of Brand Leaders smarter so they can produce exceptional work that drives stronger brand results. We offer brand training on every subject in marketing, related to strategic thinking, analytics, brand planning, positioning, creative briefs, customer marketing and marketing execution.

To contact us, email us at graham@beloved-brands.com or call us at 416-885-3911. You can also find us on Twitter @belovedbrands.

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Graham Robertson

Graham spent 20 years in Brand Management leading some of the world’s most beloved brands at Johnson and Johnson, General Mills and Coke, rising up to VP Marketing. In his career, he has won numerous Advertising, Innovation and Leadership awards. Graham played a major role in helping J&J win Marketing Magazine’s prestigious “Marketer of the Year” award. Graham brings a reputation for challenging brand leaders to think differently and to be more strategically focused. Graham founded Beloved Brands in 2010, to help brands find growth and make brand leaders smarter. He leads workshops to help define your Brand Positioning, build your brand’s Big Idea, and write strategic Brand Plans that motivate and focus everyone that works on the brand. Our Beloved Brands training programs will help your team, produce exceptionally smart work work that drives stronger brand growth and profits. We cover everything a brand leader needs to know including strategic thinking, planning, positioning, execution and analytics. Our robust client roster has included the NFL Players Association, Reebok, the NBA, Acura, Shell, Miller Lite, 3M, Jack Link’s and Pfizer. His weekly brand stories have generated over 5 million views.

5 thoughts on “Is the Bose brand considered high quality or low quality?”

  1. Graham – no question, Bose has a great brand – but the product under delivers for what you pay. My feelings though – why burst the bubble for those who have already purchased. They are generally thrilled with their purchase, think they have premium products – so I just let them be! The products aren’t bad – they just aren’t great. Sound quality is so subjective – and the majority of people don’t have an ear that’s trained well enough to discern good from great – so for most Bose is terrific. Unfortunately (through ABX testing) I’ve confirmed I have an above avg. ear and bad sound quality does bother me … hence I have spent a little too much on my speakers and headphone collection (yes – headphone collection). And my bose noise reducers sit quietly dormant. I think where bose does excel is style … certainly the small cube speakers are impressive for what they are – but the sound can’t match up to a well produced speaker.

  2. I’d have to agree that they do have a nice name. I bought QC2’s years ago, and just purchased a $1500 soundbar from them. The sound is quite excellent, but I do wonder if my money could have been better spent. Other than the magic wand speaker the Bose rep at the Best Buy the thing that sold me on the system was the fact that it needs just 3 plugs, sold me on the system. I can place the sub where I want, just need to power the bar and plug it in (the speaker came with all extra cables as well) I won’t argue that $1500 is cheap, however the sound is quite phenomenal. It fills the room perfectly and the fact that I own a smaller townhome where too much sound would be a bad thing. I love the complaints when I read someone bought a $800 or $1500 Bose system and it doesn’t sound good in their massive living room with 20′ ceilings. I’m sure if they spent a couple thousand to have a system installed, they’d be fine, but they cheap out and buy a system not meant for such a large room. I agree Bose is for the masses, most of us don’t have 20′ ceilings or 10,000 sqft homes.

  3. This is nonsense. Bose is crap by any measurement. People are “thrilled” with the sound because they have had a chance to do a side by side comparison and even then Bose knows how to manipulate the sound which will later prove to be a complete disappointment. That is why measurement is important. I’ve been there and regretted buying Bose.

  4. The foregoing comments relate to individual opinions/experiences with the product. They don’t address the question of whether Bose is a beloved brand. Bose has identified a very large market of consumers that just want reliable, uncomplicated home entertainment equipment. Most consumers are not “audiophiles”, i.e. those who like to collect and assemble components, who read about/research sound technology, and perhaps care more about owning the latest equipment than about the music that plays on it.
    Bose has communicated, through consistent advertising, a simple positioning: good quality and easy to use. Judging by their print ads and media selection, they are targetting Adults 35+, maybe 45+. They often use black & white ads, direct mail/direct response. They do not discount, but often use value-added PWP (product with purchase).
    The product delivers on its promise: good sound, easy to install/use, portable, discreet visually.
    I think Bose is a beloved brand.

  5. Well, it is the ears of the beholder if you are satisfied with the Bose sound go for it! each and everyone of us has difference in taste….Haters are hater…The important is you are the owner, the user , the listener…I bought the Acousticmass 15 series iii it is lack of midrange for my hearing and added 2 more speakers to make it 7.1….I love it the creepy and the boomy sound. For me Bose is the best,

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