Bose 3.2.1 GSX
- Good mids and treble
- $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$, 2.1 system, Lacking bass, Will require it’s own mortgage
We cannot in good faith recommend this system to anyone. Even if the sound quality was exquisite, a similar level can be achieved at a much lower price and in full surround.
Price$ 2,999.00 (AUD)
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After having had a look at the Bose 3.2.1 GSX system, we began to speculate on the price. The question being asked around the office was "How much do you guys think it should be worth?" We eventually came up with a figure of around $600 to $700; a relatively high, but not unimaginable price tag for a standard 2.1 home entertainment system, keeping in mind Bose's hefty markups. So when our colleague read the price tag and began to laugh, we knew something was up.
Whilst this system is a perfectly respectable 2.1 surround sound product, the price tag just skyrockets it right into unaffordable. If you need a name system to fit into your gold plated entertainment cabinet then maybe this will be for you, but we cannot imagine how any normal person can justify spending this much on any sort of home theatre system, let alone a mere 2.1 setup. You can get a great 5.1 system for barely more than an RRP of $1500 so this price is just too extravagant.
The system sounds quite nice, don't get us wrong. It wasn't mind blowing sound like the Sharp SD-AS1W but the sound was clear and detailed. The strengths of the speakers were most noticeable in some of our Dolby Digital surround clips, really highlighting the clarity and sweet sound of the mid and treble ranges. Unfortunately the bass was somewhat lacking. Despite sporting a massive subwoofer most of our movie tracks lacked any sort of impact; it simply wasn't visceral enough to make film watching as enjoyable as it could be. Whilst an over-prominence of bass is a problem for most music listening in movies it is far more suitable and we were ultimately left unsatisfied in that regard.
Similarly, whilst we found the surround elements of the sound to be great for a 2.1 system, they are never going to compete with the immersive sound field created by a proper surround package. In the limited area that this system covered, sound was well distributed, with a fairly three dimensional feeling to it, but the inability to throw any sound behind you really limits how effective it can be. For those who cannot utilize rear speakers, due to space constraints, then yes a 2.1 setup will probably do the job, but with the prevalence of small, wireless 5.1 setups these days, space is not as bigger limitation as it used to be.
Generally with Bose, you are paying for style. Whilst with some of their other products they really are the market leaders in terms of design, in this situation they came up a little lacking. The receiver unit is fairly plain, with a black and silver colour scheme and a clear, tinted front panel containing the DVD tray. A minimal set of buttons are present along the top of the unit. The speakers are a tiny affair, barely extending outside of our cupped hands. Bose products have been noticeably growing smaller as the years have progressed, and so no real surprises here. Overall the unit will take up a minimal amount of space in your lounge, although the sub is a fairly standard size (ie: chunky) so do factor that in if you are thinking about a purchase.
The 3.2.1 GSX supports a fairly minimal number of connections. Though it has a single component output for your television connection, that is where the high definition signals end. The remaining connectivity comes in the form of three RCA ports and an optical audio input. Hardly a stellar package considering the prevalence of HDMI and multiple component devices. For running a simple DVD player home theatre system then this will be satisfactory, but for those who also have game consoles, PVRs or media centres you'll be fresh out of luck with this system.
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GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.