Pros Size vs sound Quality, Very sleek on my shelf as an All-in-One device
Summary When I first purchased this system I was amazed and thrilled. I knew it wasn't a 5.1, but due to my location of the unit I had very little alternatives. The sound quality was good for what I expected for the cost. Base seemed a little low in comparison to the mid and high output. However, soon after purchase I had to exchange the unit for a new one. The first unit would not play sound with my DVR without unplugging the system and rebooting several times. The next unit developed the same problem. Bose quickly sent me a software upgrade that fixed this problem. Several months later the DVD drive began acting up. NO DISC messages and eternal READING DISC messages became my fight to play any DVD. Bose once again reparied/replaced the unit quickly. I have no problems with Bose or the past Bose equipment I have owned. I like the concept, I like the sound received for the money, I am not happy with multiple problems in under 1 year. Additionally, for a manufacturer to be able to sell this unit as refurb's in a wholeseller such as Sam's Club, buyers must beware of potential problems.
Pros Easy to set up makes listening to your TV a real pleasure
Cons none so far
Summary Maybe I'm getting old but for over a year I've had a problem listening to my DVD player thru my TV speakers. In order to hear the dialogue I'ld have to turn it way up and than jump for the remote any time music or action occured. Everyone told me I needed a home theater pkg. After looking at a bunch and not wanting to wire my family room I purchased the Bose. All I can say is exceptional. Easy to install (less than 5 minutes)and great clarity I'm really enjoying my 57 " HDTV, DVD,and the tuner and CD player. The Bose 321 is a little expensive but you get what you pay for and if clarity is your thing it's well worth the price !!!!!
Pros sound & video is ok
Cons didn't care for the look of the main unit , video is lacking
Summary A Bose 3-2-1 TV commercial grabbed my attention last week. The 2.1 appealed to me since I wasn't interested in setting up 5-7 speakers in my living room along with the associated wires. I also need a new home stereo.
The salesperson showed me this model & put it to work. It looked ok but looked "plasticy" like their WAVE Music System. I liked the sound & the video looked good on a 42" HD screen. They also had the more expensive Lifestyle 48 but $4,000 is a bit out of my budget. The salesperson then switched over to a Denon S-301. The Denon video blew the Bose away. I was surprised at the difference in clarity. Unfortunately, the enclosure these were setup in had a rear wall that was too far away to consider the surround effects. After doing a bit of research I've decided to go back for the Denon even though it's more expensive.
Pros Awesome stereo sound, good surround
Cons Lack of video inputs (No HDMI)
Summary I evaluated both the Bose 321 and the Sony DAV-X1. The Sony was just awful. Volume was about half that of the Bose. I even asked the shop assistant if it was broken!
So anyway, I bought the Bose, but my opinion is the opposite of the CNET reviewer. Surround sound was acceptable (about what I'd expect from two speakers), stereo music was fantastic.
Pros Mediocre sound out of the box, but incredible sound when configured properly.
Cons The Bose default settings make this sound mediocre at best out of the box. Always checking to see if "Movie EQ" and "Range Compression" are off during DVD playback can get tedious and frustrating (check this setting when the movie begins to play).
Summary For those people that are still reading this review. Here is the ultimate guide to getting the sound you were looking for. The default Bose setting in the Audio section under "Audio Processing" is Automatic - switch it to "User Adjustable". For the Bass Compensation, I have it set to +12 (excellent bass reproduction and bass you can feel below 50hz). For the Treble Compensation, I have it set to +7. In my opinion, this configuration produces the cleanest base/mid/treble out of this system. Here is the kicker - when playing DVDs, turn OFF "Movie EQ" and "Range Compression". These options are BAD (Read the Manual for more details) if you are looking for crisp clean sound. When playing CDs or MP3 disks, the audio settings for bass/treble are enabled so you do not need to worry about MovieEQ/Range Compression. For all those CD tray or playback issues - simply unplug the system for about 10 secs and plug it back in. Your bass/treble will stay the same but you may have to turn "Progressive" back to ON. I always check if "Progressive" is on during DVD playback - This is freaking frustrating, but I want the best sound and video possible when watching DVDs on this system. This system is not for someone who just wants to "plug and play". It needs to be configured ALL the time! But at the end, you will begin to appreciate the clarity and surround sound reproduction. This system is outstanding but I cannot give it a 5 because of all the hassle. It is simply like night and day when configured correctly. I purchased this system in 2006.