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Bose Acoustimass 6 and 10 9/10 - Date Posted 30/08/2002

I am reviewing the Acoustimass 6 and 10 systems. The Acoustimass 6 system has three double speakers and an Acoustimass bass module. The Acoustimass 10 has five double speakers and an Acoustimass bass unit (above in black). All Acoustimass speakers are available either in white or black. The Acoustimass 6 and 10 are primarily designed for home cinema use - although they sound impressive when listening to music. They are passive units (that is you need to plug them into an amplifier). The Acoustimass bass units are powerful subwoofers and are thus ideally suited to a home cinema setup. By using a dedicated bass module, Bose have been able to make the speakers smaller. Essentially you connect your amp to the Acoustimass module, and then connect your speakers to that.

There is also an Acoustimass 15 system, which is basically like the Acoustimass 10, but the bass module has an additional power supply in addition to your amplifier, thus turning it into an active subwoofer. As a result the Acoustimass 15 should offer more bass; however, I cannot see that you would want to have more bass given the ordinary bass unit delivers more than rumble!

My Acoustimass 6 speakers are the older Series I models, and the Acoustimass 10 speakers are newer Series II models. I could not tell the difference between the sound produced by the Series I and Series II speakers. The only difference I could spot were the differing speaker connectors! The sound is not distorted even at high volumes and coupled with a Dolby Digital system. You can enjoy action films with a near cinema experience. In fact these speakers are probably better than the ones in my local cinema, perhaps that's pushing it! The speakers are very small, but are remarkably powerful, quoted at over 200 watts each. There are Bose speakers which are even smaller than the Acoustimass speakers. Those are known Jewel speakers available with certain Bose Lifestyle hi-fis and these are said to be better quality than ordinary Acoustimass speakers. Both speaker sets come with cabling and are easy to setup with the getting started guide and various labels. However, it might be worth using the Acoustimass system with more expensive cabling to see if that can improve the sound quality. However, I have always been a firm believer in using cheap cables! I connected the Acoustimass 6 to a Fine Arts amp and the Acoustimass 10 to a Yamaha RX795 amp (output 75W). Both of which are fine amplifiers, but using the Acoustimass speakers together with a more powerful Bose hi-fi system would probably produce clearer audio.

What you notice with these speakers is the way they spread sound, in a way many larger speakers seem unable to do. Usually with speakers, you have to sit in a specific place to get the full benefit of stereo audio. With the Bose speakers you get near perfect stereo sound in a bigger area. Bose have long had the reputation for producing good looking hi-fi equipment. However, they also sound good too!

Bose also has a reputation for producing hi-fi equipment at the more expensive end of the market. To save money though look out for the Series I models on clearance at Bose Factory Outlets and other discount shops.