Bose is closing ALL retail stores in US, Australia, Europe and Japan

Thunderdolt

Limp Gawd
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I remember going into a Bose retail store at their peak. It was depressing and disappointing. It's hard to imagine that the experience got any better in the 15 years that followed.

On the one hand, it's a wonder that the stores weren't canned a decade ago.

On the other hand, it's been clear for a long time that they have some pretty stupid and pigheaded folks steering the ship - and the company has been suffering for it. They've been paying the NFL how much each year for exclusive sideline use? Motorola offered $50MM and got turned down by the NFL, so let's wager that Bose has been paying and average of $75MM/yr since 2014. That's equivalent to a million QC35s since 2014. Does anyone actually think a million football fans saw the coaches wearing Bose-branded headsets in games and decided to go out and buy QC35s in response? LOL.

At the same time, Bose is getting their technological ass handed to them by companies who aren't [currently] staffed with dinosaurs. I haven't used my QC35s ever since I got my Airpod Pros - outside of letting friends do side-by-side demos to see how bad the QC35s are in comparison. As the multi-decade self-proclaimed leader in ANC, shouldn't Bose have been the clear winner compared to some fruit company making its very first ANC product? It's the same story with another bread & butter product from Bose: the Wave radio. It was brilliant when it came out in 1993. 27 years later, the product is essentially unchanged while a slew of competitors (Sonos and Apple, for example) offer markedly better sound quality with massively expanded consumer-friendly feature sets, and they do it for the same price or less.

Bose is basically the undisputed leader of 1xRTT while the rest of the world is playing with LTE. It's time for them to either move to 5G or just retire.
 

VIC-20

Gawd
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As other people have pointed out, no one is pretending bose hasn't had innovations in the past. The problem is that their marketing is a joke(I still remember those bose TV commercials where they would "demonstrate" their superior audio by just playing music louder when it's over the same speakers in your TV anyway), and they haven't done much in the way of innovation for years, certainly not in the realm of audio quality and DEFINITELY not bang for your buck.
They switched their focus from home hifi to PA in the 90s, so I get some of the hate. They tended to refresh designs too long, too many times (sometimes for the worse) and home hifi became more hype and marketing then innovation because they basically stopped innovating in that space. But they did continued to innovate equipment for small live stages and massive stadiums / arenas and portable audio. Outdoor business background music speakers. Ceiling speakers for PA. They were class leaders in the iPod speaker dock era with rave reviews. Same for early bluetooth portable audio. Noise cancelling headphones wired and now wireless.You still see these products in top ten lists with stiff competition. Now they have speakers built into sunglasses, which may not be amazing, but they work and its innovative.

Also, if you pick up a lot of their old stuff used, much of it is still quite good. People still buy 301s, 501s, 601s, 701s, etc and enjoy them. Are they respected as much as some brands like Accoustic Research and vintage JBL? No. Do they cover all frequency ranges? No. Are they reference class? But are they trash? No.
 

Grimlaking

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At the same time, Bose is getting their technological ass handed to them by companies who aren't [currently] staffed with dinosaurs. I haven't used my QC35s ever since I got my Airpod Pros - outside of letting friends do side-by-side demos to see how bad the QC35s are in comparison. As the multi-decade self-proclaimed leader in ANC, shouldn't Bose have been the clear winner compared to some fruit company making its very first ANC product? It's the same story with another bread & butter product from Bose: the Wave radio. It was brilliant when it came out in 1993. 27 years later, the product is essentially unchanged while a slew of competitors (Sonos and Apple, for example) offer markedly better sound quality with massively expanded consumer-friendly feature sets, and they do it for the same price or less.
My only issue is you say the fruit company has the better headphones really that fruit company is a trillion dollar tech company that purchased beats to have decent headphones... and I still don't think Beats are worth the price people are paying.
 

SuperSubZero

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The idea of buying Bose stuff at retail price is insane. I have the little desktop speaker set which I got on eBay for way less than retail.
 

Domingo

[H]ard as it Gets
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17,549
Their stores actually present a pretty impressive sounding demo. The whole thing is obviously meticulously setup, but it sounds on par with the home theater retail shops in their showroom.
The trick is, I think people treat that store just like Best Buy. They go in and demo the product only to buy it online for like 25-30% cheaper. No clue if Bose is hurting for sales, but I think this closure is mainly because people aren't actually buying at their store. I still see plenty of of their headphones around and I have friends with their soundbars and bookshelf speakers.
 

VIC-20

Gawd
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
988
I remember going into a Bose retail store at their peak. It was depressing and disappointing. It's hard to imagine that the experience got any better in the 15 years that followed.

On the one hand, it's a wonder that the stores weren't canned a decade ago.

On the other hand, it's been clear for a long time that they have some pretty stupid and pigheaded folks steering the ship - and the company has been suffering for it. They've been paying the NFL how much each year for exclusive sideline use? Motorola offered $50MM and got turned down by the NFL, so let's wager that Bose has been paying and average of $75MM/yr since 2014. That's equivalent to a million QC35s since 2014. Does anyone actually think a million football fans saw the coaches wearing Bose-branded headsets in games and decided to go out and buy QC35s in response? LOL.

At the same time, Bose is getting their technological ass handed to them by companies who aren't [currently] staffed with dinosaurs. I haven't used my QC35s ever since I got my Airpod Pros - outside of letting friends do side-by-side demos to see how bad the QC35s are in comparison. As the multi-decade self-proclaimed leader in ANC, shouldn't Bose have been the clear winner compared to some fruit company making its very first ANC product? It's the same story with another bread & butter product from Bose: the Wave radio. It was brilliant when it came out in 1993. 27 years later, the product is essentially unchanged while a slew of competitors (Sonos and Apple, for example) offer markedly better sound quality with massively expanded consumer-friendly feature sets, and they do it for the same price or less.

Bose is basically the undisputed leader of 1xRTT while the rest of the world is playing with LTE. It's time for them to either move to 5G or just retire.
People claim firmware updates ruined the QC35. Now they are claiming the same of the Airpod Pro. But that doesn't change the fact that the QC35 wasn't class leading. Bose isn't the best, but lets not pretend it's Beats.
 

zamardii12

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I remember going to malls rarely when I was a kid and early teens and always making a point to go into the Bose store. The one in the mall had a small room which could seat maybe 20 people? It was a demo room that had a Bose system perfectly calibrated for it. The "show" started off completely pitch dark in the room, and then you could hear a thunderstorm getting closer and closer. To this day I fondly remember that because it was incredibly realistic and it truly sounded like the sound was all around you at like 360 degrees. It was very very convincing.

The very last time I went to a Bose store maybe about 6 years ago or more they came out with a TV that was off in a corner of the store. The rep asked me to walk over to it and started playing a Michael Buble concern and the sound was incredible coming from all directions. I started looking around me for the Bose speakers, but couldn't see any... not on the ceiling or near the floor... So I asked the rep "So where are the speakers?" And he walked me over to the TV and he said right there... and he pointed to the rear of the TV and while it was I guess an LCD TV it was quite thick because all the Bose equipment was built into the back of the TV. I honestly couldn't believe it because I could have sworn there was sound coming from behind me.


In any case those are my Bose stories. I still have a set of Bose computer speakers I still use that cost like $99 off eBay a couple years ago, and I also have Bose speakers in my car and that's the extent of my personal experience with Bose. Still surprised at times how good my computers speakers sound when playing music, but not so impressive when playing games. I am surprised Bose stores have still been around for so long, but it really does makes sense because Bose has always been one of those things that you had to hear to believe.
 

Thunderdolt

Limp Gawd
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My only issue is you say the fruit company has the better headphones really that fruit company is a trillion dollar tech company that purchased beats to have decent headphones... and I still don't think Beats are worth the price people are paying.
People claim firmware updates ruined the QC35. Now they are claiming the same of the Airpod Pro. But that doesn't change the fact that the QC35 wasn't class leading. Bose isn't the best, but lets not pretend it's Beats.
The Airpods and Airpods Pro were done independently of the Beats acquisition. The distinguishing feature of the Pro is the ANC, and that's really the only feature that's a direct hit to Bose. But oh boy does it blow away Bose's ANC.

Similarly, I grew up with different incarnations of the Wave radio. Now, I have a Sonos and a HomePod and both of those blow away any Wave radio I had in terms of sound quality. The sound on the HomePod in particular is enabled by technology that Bose had actually explored internally a decade earlier but the dinosaurs killed any program that utilized it. And that's just for the sound creation - consumers have been begging for good wireless (BT, WiFi - we don't care, just make it work) integration for a long time. Sonos has offered that and was eating Bose's lunch as a result. If the Wave radio had offered wireless connectivity, then Sonos never would have existed as a company.

"If" a soundbar blows away your TV speakers - your TV is more than likely low end garbage.
I have a reasonably expensive TV (Samsung Q8FN), and most Bose-level soundbars blow it away for sound.
 

Merc1138

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"If" a soundbar blows away your TV speakers - your TV is more than likely low end garbage.
You do realize that just about all built in TV speakers are shit, right? Even on expensive TVs they're shit which is why even an average soundbar can be an improvement. Other than a couple models of TV that include soundbars(there's a couple LG models that spring to mind), I can't think of any TV I've ever heard that wouldn't be improved by not using the built in speakers.
 

Mega6

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You do realize that just about all built in TV speakers are shit, right? Even on expensive TVs they're shit which is why even an average soundbar can be an improvement. Other than a couple models of TV that include soundbars(there's a couple LG models that spring to mind), I can't think of any TV I've ever heard that wouldn't be improved by not using the built in speakers.
Always can tell a great comeback when it starts with "you do realize".
My samsung sounds great without a crappy soundbar and if I need high fidelity, on goes the surround sound stereo. Soundbar really? What's the fuking point?
 

cjcox

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I will miss the Bose store (not that I've been where in quite some time). Why? They usually have a great selection of cool stuff you can actually try out and you unlike Best Buy, it's somewhat monitored to keep the 8 year olds from over cranking gangsta rap. Thus the equipment isn't destroyed. Btw, due to this fact, you often times can't try the nicer Bose stuff (when they have it) at places like Best Buy.

If there's any good news, even the few Best Buy stores that are left seem to be dying.... unrelated, but last time I was at Best Buy, I tried to do an impulse buy and they couldn't even manage their cash registers (I left).
 

Merc1138

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Always can tell a great comeback when it starts with "you do realize".
My samsung sounds great without a crappy soundbar and if I need high fidelity, on goes the surround sound stereo. Soundbar really? What's the fuking point?
The fucking point, is that built in speakers are shit. No one is arguing that except you. No one is arguing that a proper hifi setup is better than a soundbar.

Apparently this is beyond your understanding, but not everyone has the space for a full hifi setup, gives enough of a shit for a full hifi setup, or can convince their SO to go for a full hifi setup and thus soundbars generally have a much better WAF.

Seriously, get your head out of your ass. Smug asshats like yourself when it comes to audio discussions are why it's fairly common to assume that anyone who prefers better quality audio is some sort of snob.
 

Mega6

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The fucking point, is that built in speakers are shit. No one is arguing that except you. No one is arguing that a proper hifi setup is better than a soundbar.

Apparently this is beyond your understanding, but not everyone has the space for a full hifi setup, gives enough of a shit for a full hifi setup, or can convince their SO to go for a full hifi setup and thus soundbars generally have a much better WAF.

Seriously, get your head out of your ass. Smug asshats like yourself when it comes to audio discussions are why it's fairly common to assume that anyone who prefers better quality audio is some sort of snob.
Soundbars are shit. That's the point.

Now that you've degraded to your real personality of a two years old. - There is really no point in continuing a discussion now, is there?
 
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Grimlaking

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The fucking point, is that built in speakers are shit. No one is arguing that except you. No one is arguing that a proper hifi setup is better than a soundbar.

Apparently this is beyond your understanding, but not everyone has the space for a full hifi setup, gives enough of a shit for a full hifi setup, or can convince their SO to go for a full hifi setup and thus soundbars generally have a much better WAF.

Seriously, get your head out of your ass. Smug asshats like yourself when it comes to audio discussions are why it's fairly common to assume that anyone who prefers better quality audio is some sort of snob.
Merc... did someone else post something directed toward you between your last post and this one? I don't see anything so if they did they deleted it and your post here looks a little coocoo for koko puffs.
 

VIC-20

Gawd
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The Airpods and Airpods Pro were done independently of the Beats acquisition. The distinguishing feature of the Pro is the ANC, and that's really the only feature that's a direct hit to Bose. But oh boy does it blow away Bose's ANC.

Similarly, I grew up with different incarnations of the Wave radio. Now, I have a Sonos and a HomePod and both of those blow away any Wave radio I had in terms of sound quality. The sound on the HomePod in particular is enabled by technology that Bose had actually explored internally a decade earlier but the dinosaurs killed any program that utilized it. And that's just for the sound creation - consumers have been begging for good wireless (BT, WiFi - we don't care, just make it work) integration for a long time. Sonos has offered that and was eating Bose's lunch as a result. If the Wave radio had offered wireless connectivity, then Sonos never would have existed as a company.



I have a reasonably expensive TV (Samsung Q8FN), and most Bose-level soundbars blow it away for sound.
I don't think you aren't wrong at all.

I'm sure Bose executives look at Sonos now and kicks themselves in board meetings. Apple is a bit different. They have huge hits, and some misses. But they always mange to far outsell whatever they make far more than anyone else. They are in a league of their own.

Bose keeps their products a long time. Which in the era of constant change means competition eventually beats every (often initially class defining) product they release. But they have also watched countless thousands of competitors come and go throughout they years. Some manage to hang on. Sony, Polk, Harmon / JBL group, Yamaha, and McIntosh. Most, like Sansui :( are gone. So I suppose its hard to say Bose doesn't know what they are doing. People have been saying they are doomed for years, but they are still around.

Maybe the stores closing is the beginning of the end? I guess we'll see.

Audio is a weird thing. Being subjective, its a really unpredictable industry.
 

Grimlaking

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Audio is a weird thing. Being subjective, its a really unpredictable industry.
And really that is the ONE thing that has me wondering if this is the beginning of the end. Unless they are joining ranks with custom system designers and builders like what Atlantic Technology does I don't see how they will demo their units without a proper shop.

If they are going high end they are going to have to figure out how to raise back up the brand in the ears of audiophiles. And sadly because of the years of what has happened with the Bose brand that will be difficult to do.

I can't log on to Amazon and demo a Bose home theater setup.

I can go into a best buy and try out the ones they carry. Or in DFW at least a local Star Power store to try out Atlantic Technology speakers and other brands as well. And unless Bose has a high end line being carried by those folks... I just don't see how they plan on competing. Unless they are counting on riding out the wave of brand recognition that Bose has until everyone old enough to have fond memories of the brand forgets/dies.
 

nilepez

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So a guy continually invents, innovates, educates and contributes to an industry for 50 years and everyone shits on his company because other companies improved upon his concepts years after the fact?

There was a better party speaker than the 901 in the late 60s? Way better bipolar designs in the mid 70s? There was a sounding tiny speaker radios in the late 80s? There was vast array of choices for tiny satellite and sub systems in the 1990s? A way better bluetooth portable speaker then the Soundlink mini in 2013? Hell its still top rated. Quietcomfort headphones have always been top rated on release as well. Their array systems in PA and long throw stuff for stadiums were ground breaking.

Whats with the hate for this company? Just because they sell designs too long after release and eventually someone makes something better so you hate them in retrospect? wtf?
From a speaker perspective (no comment on their satellites, as I'd given up on bose 20 years before they existed), they haven't been good in decades. I sold audio in the 80s. We had bose. Not a single sales person liked Bose speakers given the prices. Pick a model and you'd find significantly better speakers available at that price point.

I'm sure the 901s were awesome in the 60s. In the 80s and beyond? Not so much.

I haven't compared models, so maybe their noise cancelling headphones are the best. I have CIEMs, so I can't justify paying hundreds more headphones that I"ll never use in any other situation.
 

M76

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I did more in store shopping when I lived in the city. After moving out to the country and the nearest best buy or walmart is 30ish mins, I just spend a couple clicks and have it shipped, and now with amazon having a lot of same day items, makes the delay even less and costs me a lot less of my own time.

It is sad seeing a few of the malls around me shutting down, but sometimes change has a bumpy road.
It's not just about efficiency and cost. I like to see what I'm buying with my own eyes. When I need something, 60 mins drive is not that bad. We don't have same day delivery here, you're lucky if you get your stuff in a week. More than once I had fallen victim to ordering something on Tuesday or Wednesday expecting to get it by the weekend, and ended up not getting it until next week. So yeah, I buy 100% percent walk in if I can help it. Not putting it to luck and the whims of the delivery driver. And don't even get me started on delivery drivers.
 

DejaWiz

Oracle of Unfortunate Truths
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Bose products are cheaply built trash donned with flashy gimmicks wrapped in fancy packaging with a recognizable name stuck on.

How they've been able to get away with selling lower tier products for upper tier pricing for decades now proves that most consumers don't care about quality, but instead the brand name.
 
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