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Bose vs AKG

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Bose and AKG are two renowned and well respected brands in the audio industry that produces high quality speakers, and headphones.

In this article, we will cover a general overview of both brands, looking specifically at sound quality, durability, price and so on. Of course, each brand has different devices at different price points, however we will compare them as closely as we can.

Quick History

Bose Quick History

Bose is an American audio equipment company established by Amar Bose in early 1964. It is well-known for making high-end speakers, headphones, car sound systems, and other professional audio equipment.

Amar Bose started Bose because he was unhappy with the sound quality of a stereo he had bought. He did this to try to make sound systems better than they were at the time. Amar had taken the time to find out how important sound reverberation was to the sound system‌.

As a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Amar Bose knew how important research was to making excellent products. Therefore, he had made this the driving force for the company’s growth over the past few decades.

AKG Quick History

AKG Acoustics is an audio engineering and manufacturing company founded in 1947 by Rudolf Görike and Ernest Plass in Vienna, Austria. It is a part of Harman International Industries, a subdivision of Samsung Electronics currently headquartered in Northridge, Los Angeles, California. The company has manufactured many award-winning and innovative products including microphones, headphones and digital Hi-Fi audio systems.

Sound Quality

Bose Sound Quality

There is a lot of criticism about Bose speakers as it relates to sound quality. Many people believe Bose is an overhyped company that focuses too much on marketing and not enough on R&D to improve the quality of their speakers.

Many audiophiles for example lament the fact that Bose speakers tend to not have clearly defined highs and lows (bass). This is where the phrase – no highs, no lows, must be Bose came from.

While the above may be true, to Bose’s credit, some psychoacoustics has been a primary focus in the development of Bose audio equipment. This focuses on the effect of the reflected sound arriving at the listener’s head and thus tries to mimic a live performance with all their speakers.

This psychoacoustic design began with the Bose model 901, which was manufactured in 1968, and as a result of its success, it is still in production to this day.

But because Bose’s psychoacoustic approach is unusual and most audiophiles criticize it, but that doesn’t make it sound any less impressive. The sound fills the room, making it seem like a live performance without losing any of the high, mid, or low frequencies.

AKG Sound Quality

AKG is a very innovative company, patenting many award-winning technologies. These patents, such as magnetic cartridges, dynamic cardioid technology, and moving coil technology, are used in their devices, which gives them exceptional performance.

Their devices deliver flawless balance and excellent detail in the sound output. There’s a bass boost and several equalizer presets to fine-tune the sound output to your taste.

Features

Bose Features

Bose has features for expressive audio, intuitive controls, and modern components for better use. It is pretty easy to identify a Bose product when you see one. Some of the most common features of Bose devices are patented and device-specific.

Most Bose speakers support all audio formats, like Flac and Wav. They also have voice support, like Amazon Alexa, built-in music streaming platforms, like Deezer and Spotify, and seamless wireless connectivity for listening to music in multiple rooms through the Sonos set up and SoundTouch.

You can also expect to find a micro USB port and a 3.5mm headphone jack/aux cable on a typical Bose device.

Most Bose headphones also have a background noise canceling feature that blocks out all the surrounding noise and allows you to focus on the sound from the headset. Because of this feature, Bose headsets are a great choice for professional uses like conference calls.

AKG Features

  • Up to 12-channel playback on the amplifiers
  • Equalizers with several presets for easy finetuning.
  • Supra-aural Surround sound features
  • Multiple connectivity options including Bluetooth, USB, 3.5mm audio jack
  • AKG Headphone app, available on the Google PlayStore and Apple AppStore.
  • Interchangeable cables and earpad covers

Build Quality

Bose Build Quality

Bose products are not something you can rely entirely on when it comes to build quality. The build quality can be divided into the internal build and the external structure.

However, for a brand that has been a big player in the audio equipment industry, Bose seems to focus more on the internal build quality at the expense of the structural delivery. Therefore, this leads to a great-sounding device that has a poor structure.

Although, another factor that might be worthy of note is the fact that the build quality varies from device to device. While some Bose products fall short of expectations, others are extremely durable.

For example, while most Bose speakers are usually reviewed to be of below-standard build quality, the headphones have enjoyed excellent reviews. An example of this is the Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones, which most users have reported to have one of the best build quality.

AKG Build Quality

AKG devices are constructed from durable metals and plastics. The headphones and earbuds have soft fabric earpads and silicone earplugs respectively, for maximum comfort during long usage. They also have replaceable earpad covers, cables, and earplugs.

Ease of Use

Bose Ease Of Use

A great number of Bose products are easy to use. This means that even without technical know-how, you can operate them without stress.

For example, the QuietComfort 35 II headphone has a design that can be turned 360 degrees, adjusted to an angle, and can be folded easily.

The Soundlink Micro is another Bose portable Bluetooth speaker that is designed with a freestanding mount which makes it ideal for use anywhere including the bedside, bookshelf and other places. This includes poolside too since the Bose Soundlink Micro is waterproof and can stand easily.

AKG Ease Of Use

AKG devices can easily be operated by anyone, using intuitive and clearly labeled controls. The AKG earphones for Samsung have a + and – volume button and a central button to receive calls and pause/play music and videos. Long-pressing this button summons the Google Voice Assistant.

Cost

Bose Cost

One of the most important pieces of information you need to understand before choosing a Bose product is the fact that they are quite expensive. However, most people will unconsciously prefer to buy Bose products. This is basically for two reasons:

  1. Bose has a brilliant marketing strategy which makes them one of the most popular brands in the world.
  2. Bose speakers have a sound that makes your brain mimic the feeling of being in a live show. This is because of the tremendous investment by Bose in research and development.

Unfortunately, there are so many brands in the audio equipment industry with less prestige than Bose but which offer similar quality products at a lower price.

Check out the price tags for their most common products:

  • Bose earbuds: $180 – $450
  • Bose headphones: $100 – $550
  • Bose bass module speakers: $400 – $850
  • Bose Soundbar: $300 – $850

AKG Cost

AKG devices are usually inexpensive despite their excellent performance, though they have some premium products too. The price ranges for various AKG devices are given here.

  • Earbuds: $10 – $50
  • Headphones: $50 – $300
  • Microphones: $80 – $1300
  • Headphone Amplifiers: $120 – $200

Space Requirements

Bose Space Requirements

Most Bose products, including the home theater, AV receiver, and speakers, do not require too much space as they aren’t normally large and bulk. They include shelf speakers, minimal home theaters, and AV receivers with pretty sleek designs.

Bose speakers such as SoundLink Color Bluetooth speakers can be used on the bookshelf without disturbing the arrangement of books.

AKG Space Requirements

As an example, the AKG P220 microphone has diameter and length measurements of 5.4 x 16.5 cm respectively and weighs 1.2 lbs. AKG headphones are usually foldable, adding to their portability.

Remote Controls

Bose Remote Controls

entertainment without stress. They add this remote to almost all Bose products except for the headphones.

A pretty interesting factor to admire about the Bose remote control is the fewer buttons. The remote control adds usability to its delicate design. It allows you to perform all the desired tasks with a few clicks of the buttons.

AKG Remote Controls

The AKG Headphone app has an equalizer, software updates, and surround sound features in addition to basic functions such as volume control and pause/play functions. The microphones have a special remote control that is used for tuning purposes.

Connectivity Options

Bose Connectivity Options

Here are the main connectivity options compatible with most Bose speakers:

  • Bluetooth
  • Wi-Fi
  • RCA
  • HDMI

AKG Connectivity Options

AKG devices can be connected in different ways to your various devices using 3.5mm audio jack, USB, Bluetooth and several other connectivity options.

Power Range

Bose Power Range

The power rating of Bose devices is not shown on most of their devices. But, according to different reviews from their users, the power range depends on the kind of device.

For example, the power range of an average mini home speaker like the Bose SoundLink Mini 2 is around 30 to 50 watts. The wattage of a larger speaker, such as the Bose Soundbar 300, is around 65 watts.

AKG Power Range

Headphones and earbuds do not have to be very loud to be heard well, therefore, the power range is usually in the 100mW – 700mW range. The AKG HP12U headphone amplifier has a power range of 100mW to 680mW.

Frequency Response

Bose Frequency Response

Most Bose speakers have a frequency response of around 25Hz to 20kHz. However, for most Bose headphones, the frequency range is between 100 Hz and 10 kHz.

AKG Frequency Response

The frequency response of AKG devices typically lies within 5Hz on the low end and 45KHz on the high end. The AKG WMS420 Wireless Microphone has a frequency range from 40 Hz – 20 KHz while the AKG HP12U headphone amplifier ranges from 20Hz to 20KHz.

Conclusion

For those looking for a sound system that can simulate a live performance, Bose products are the best option. However, most audiophiles feel this is not a natural sound and it is hence heavily criticized amongst audiophiles. 

AKG delivers high-quality performance at affordable prices. This is a brand for those who want excellent performance but do not want to get more high-end and expensive devices.

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