Most of you would know Bose to be a high-end audio company, making headphones and speakers for people who love their music and audio enough to pay the Bose premium. But with the VideoWave — Bose’s latest entrant in the home theatre space — Bose has done something truly spectacular and rather …un-Bose-y.
You see, the fine folks at Bose R&D have taken all that awesome sounding “waveguide” audio technology and packed it into the back of a 46-in, Full HD (1080p) LCD display. The result? A Bose TV, with Bose sound. In the VideoWave, Bose has managed to use a combination of six woofers (low frequency) and seven speakers to achieve the effect of surround sound using what they call “PhaseGuide”.
The best way to understand what that means is if you think of it as a laser beam of sound,
directed from the top and the sides of the
TV. Bounce these narrow beams of sound off walls, ceilings and furniture correctly, and
you have the perception of sound coming from that direction. The result — the absolute best sound quality you’ve ever seen coming from a TV. Period.
Whether you’re listening to a classical piece, watching a movie with the intensely myriad noises of the rainforest, the sound appears to envelope you from all around, and is both clear and powerful, both in the lows and the highs.
To be fair, it isn’t a TV in the traditional sense, with all the source connections going into the VideoWave’s external console, which serves to house all the HDMI and component ports. No messy wires running along your table top — the console sits out of sight and lets you feed in your high-definition (PS3, Blu-ray) or regular (TV, iPod dock) sources, and just runs two wires to the display.
But more than the sound, I was impressed by the little piece of innovation on the remote, one that I hope makes its way to other Bose systems quickly. It’s called the Click Pad radio frequency
remote, and Bose’s take on the universal remote does away with the multitude of buttons — you only get basic power, volume, channel and source buttons on this baby.
Everything else is replaced by software — all the advanced functions,
depending on the source, are available as a menu on the screen instead, and a touchpad on the remote lets you navigate and select the option you want. It takes some time getting used to, but it is without any doubt a step in the right direction of remote controls.
With the VideoWave, Bose seems to be gunning for the folks who’re looking for the ultimate in simplicity. It may have the best sound integration for a TV set, but while the TV itself is supplied by a “leading manufacturer”, it is a rather average 46-in panel running at a modest 120Hz. No other size options (yet), no 3D capabilities, no LED-backlit panel and picture quality is just a shade above acceptable.
At Rs 4.78 lakh, the price includes white glove setup in your home, including setting up all of your components, calibrating the surround sound for your room and giving you a walk-through of all the features. I can imagine that the pricing picks up the
tab for R&D and the expected less-than-stellar sales, but still
Rs 4.78 lakh? Ouch. It’s a great leap forward for innovation, one that I hope Bose licenses out to other panel manufacturers, but the price is simply not right with this one.
• Rating: 7/10
• Price: Rs 4.78 lakh
• URL: http://bit.ly/dCp7pN
Easy on the ears
If you have a long drive to and from work and use that time of the day to catch up with friends and family, consider the Plantronics Discovery 975 Bluetooth headset. It shares some DNA in terms of a dual-mic design and the latest version of AudioIQ2 / WindSmart technologies (for reducing background noise) with the excellent Voyager Pro headset which wed looked at earlier.
Unlike the Voyager Pro though, the Discovery 975 is rather stylish and does away with the hearing-aid design of the former. It has a premium leather-clad core out of which extends a narrow boom microphone arm. And at under 10g, it is light, and sits comfortably in your ear on the in-ear gel tips rather than an over-the-ear hook. The carrying case deserves special mention it comes with a built-in battery that lets you charge the Discovery 975, effectively tripling your talk (15 hours) and standby time. The case also sports a small LCD that displays battery and earpiece levels along with current Bluetooth status.
But does the 975 justify its price tag? It almost matches the Voyager Pro, my current benchmark for noise reduction and sound quality, and massively improves on the battery life and the style quotient over its predecessor.
• Rating: 8/10
• Price: Rs 5,499
• URL: http://bit.ly/aNo199