"Comes short of leadership"3.5 starson by b.k.m
Pros: The good acoustics and apparent quality of components are evident. The company conducts online transactions effectively to make the customer experience a good one.
Cons: The product is missing capabilities that would set it apart.
Summary: CD players have been around a long time now and this one is very basic, but with a better amp, speakers and acoustics than most clock radios under $300. Competitive models from Boston Acoustics, Cambridge Soundworks, Polk, and Tivoli may be assembled using cheaper offshore labor and might come through a distribution channel that allows for discounts of up to 45% off the suggested retail price. Bose deals straight, fixes their price with a generous profit margin and ships it with no additional cost direct from Bose or through Amazon etc.
Competitor's units have more useless buttons and knobs, but where the Bose system comes short is not in lacking minor features, but in capabilities that could make it stand out.
Ship two remotes at no additional cost since they consciously excluded on-unit controls. The remotes should work without having to point at the device's front panel, as in the case when the remote is resting on top the system. The weaker directional IR remotes are $9.98, but omnidirectional remotes are $39.98. Fixing this shortcoming in this way would not require Bose to redesign the system.
Make the system read DVD's, and process the audio only. Bose has other much more expensive products that process video, but the point here is to read 4.3GB discs instead of just 700MB discs.
I'm not into iPods and I don't want a dock. Discs are more portable, durable, and make it easy to trade data without computers and a complex infrastructure like the iTunes store. Optical discs are great media and will not be replaced by flash memory or hard drives in every application. They will, however, need to grow bigger and bigger in capacity (e.g. Blue-ray and HD-DVD).
An iPod classic will store 160GB of MP3's for $350, but 40 DVD's will store the same 40,000 tracks for just $50 -- more practically, a single DVD can store 10,000 tracks -- more than most people will use on a regular basis, and for just a couple dollars. I can give away or trade the content on the disc without much consideration to the cost of the media, and without both parties needing expensive equipment for data transmission and storage.
What's more, a DVD reader should hardly cost more than a CD reader, especially if the video processor is left out. Cambridge, for example, offers a DVD player with video processing in their similarly priced 765i though it is doubtful the video is very good.
Bose could have sold a set or two of wireless headphones if they had integrated a transmitter in this system, but instead I bought Sennheiser's. Bose already has good headsets and their competitors in this all-in-one table-top system segment of the market do not. I recommend they license Sennheiser's extant product and package the transmitter in the unit.
Overall I am more satisfied with this system than I would be with its imitators. The price is not a problem, but if Bose really wants to think that highly of their stuff, they should endeavor to distinguish their leadership more clearly through capability.