Marketing over Quality
Easy to Use
The Acoustimas 10 Speaker System is the same speaker system used in Bose's Flagship Model, their Lifestyle 3000 system. That system includes a DVD/CD player, this speaker system is designed to be used with your own receiver. About 4 years ago, I did a long and detailed test on the Lifestyle System that uses the Acoustimas 10 Speaker system. The following are the reasons I would never recommend this product.
1) Bose is very overpriced. They put most of their money into advertising to people who don't know any better about home audio. There are literally dozens of companies that offer products of 2 to 3 times the value for the same or lower price. If you are considering Bose, try out Cambridge Audio Soundworks or Polk Audio. Both of these companies offer entry level systems for the same price or lower than Bose with much better sound.
2) Shoddy construction. Bose uses paper cones in their tiny little cubes. Paper easily rips. While companies like Bower & Wilkins and and Boston Acoustics just to name a couple work hard in their labs for stronger materials for their speakers, Bose still uses paper.
3) Bass Response Nowhere in any of Bose's specs will you find how low their bass goes. I can tell you that it doesn't go down very far, the Acoustimass module is a very poorly designed bass module. I listened to several movies on the Acoustimas system to hear how the bass sounded. Submarine movies like Das Boot and great bass scenes like "Darla Taps the Tank" in finding Nemo sound weak and non existent with this "subwoofer". I've listened to the same movies on my Velodyne sub, and the home theater experience is incredible and dramatic. If you like your metal or your hip hop, or even your classical and jazz with the live sound that includes those heavy double bass drums, those thumping beats, the timpanis or the double upright bass, you are not going to get it here. I know, I tried out Metallica and Diana Krall and its just not there.
4) Sound Quality of the "Cubes" The problem with cubes is just that they are physically incapable of reproducing much of the audio spectrum. If you listen to Bose cubes side by side with any well made book shelf speaker, you would immediately notice the difference. In a Bose store, you will never be able to test side by side, they don't let you. I listened to my favorite movies and music on this speaker system and they just don't sound nearly as good as they should.
5) Surround Sound capacity It is with surround sound that the cubes have their biggest failure. Today's spectacular films have some great surround sound, but you need good full response speakers all around you to appreciate them. These cubes failed to deliver for example the "bean" scene in House of Flying Daggers. On my home theater system, you could hear the beans bounce off the drums all around you. On the Bose, you could only hear it vaguely from the front, because that is where the acoustimas sat. Any low end that belongs in the rear channel gets missed. The great cannon battle in Master and Commander was similarly woefully deficient. What can be an intense naval battle brought right to your living room just loses its magic.
Summary For the reasons above, I would never purchase this speaker system. If you really care about your home audio, please do what I did. Don't believe the hype from Bose's advertisting. Pick some of your favorite DVDs and CDs. Go to a few stores that still carry real stereo equipment and compare how they sound. Really listen for the low end. Listen for the instruments that you know are there. Listen for the spatial separation. Once you see how the Bose speakers sound compared to real speakers, the choice will be clear. The choice is not Bose.