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Bose vs Burmester – Detailed Guide

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Bose and Burmester are two renowned and well respected brands in the audio industry that produces high quality speakers, headphones, soundbars, and subwoofers

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.

Burmester Quick History

Burmester Audiosysteme GmbH, commonly referred to as Burmester was founded in 1977 by an Austrian-born musician and engineer, Dieter Burmester. It is a German company that manufactures high-end audio components and is based in Berlin-Schöneberg. It has partnered with luxury car brands like Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Bugatti.

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.

Burmester Sound Quality

Burmester devices have excellent sound reproduction and customers truly love the nuances and detailed sound of Burmester audio products.

Their audio systems paint clear and precise audio images, with the tone ranges all perfectly balanced for a natural feel to the sound output. The mids are distinct and undistorted, the highs are warm and crisp, while the bass is deep and rumbling, without overwhelming the other tonal ranges.

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.

Burmester Features

Burmester devices have a number of advanced features incorporated into their devices. Some of the features you can expect to find in your devices are listed below.

  • Input options include XLR, RCA, Phono Input, MC / MM, DAC
  • Output options include XLR, 6.3mm and 3.5mm headphone jack, RCA, TOSLINK
  • Remote control, web platform and app support
  • Apple Airplay® support
  • Phono equalizer
  • Streaming from services such as Tidal, Diadora and others.

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.

Burmester Build Quality

Burmester devices have a trademark chrome finish. They are built using quality materials that improve both the durability and acoustic properties of the device.

However, many customers have complained about the build quality of their speaker grilles, especially for car audio systems.

Burmester BC150

The Burmester BC150 speaker has a solid aluminum frame and braces to reduce unwanted vibrations. The connections are made of extremely pure copper to ensure low resistance to current flow. All components of Burmester devices are manufactured and assembled by hand.

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.

Burmester Ease Of Use

Burmester devices are very easy to use, with clearly labeled dials, switches and buttons. Remote control support also makes it easier to operate them. Car stereos can be operated using the car’s integrated control system.

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

Burmester Cost

The prices of Burmester gadgets are on the high end of the price spectrum and their top-rated devices can be very expensive.

Check out the price list for their products.

Amplifiers: $4,500-$225,000

Speakers: $7,500 – $375,000

Turntables: $10,000 – $60,000

CD players: $3700 – $60000

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.

Burmester Space Requirements

The materials used in manufacturing Burmester products make them bulky. The BC150 speaker measures 309x1433x601mm (WHD) and weighs a whopping 180Kg. The Burmester 777 preamplifier measures 450x156x346 mm (WHD) and weighs 25Kg.

Whatever model you get, keep in mind that they require enough ventilation space around them to perform optimally.

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.

Burmester Remote Controls

Some Burmester devices support the use of third-party and in-house infrared remote controllers. The Burmester app and web interface also allow you to control your device and stream from services such as Tidal.

Connectivity Options

Bose Connectivity Options

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

  • Bluetooth
  • Wi-Fi
  • RCA
  • HDMI

Burmester Connectivity Options

Burmester devices can be connected using wired or wireless options, or a combination of both. These options include Bluetooth, WiFi, USB, analog and digital audio inputs, and 3.5 and 6.3mm headphone jacks.

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.

Burmester Power Range

Burmester devices have high power ranges that give powerful sound outputs. The 911 Mk 3 amplifier is rated at 180 watts, which means that it can power any domestic speaker to high volumes without issue. The 159 Mono power amplifier has an astounding 1200 watts of peak power.

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.

Burmester Frequency Response

Burmester devices have frequency response ranges with deep lows for punchy bass and high ranges for crisp midtones. The BC150 has a frequency response range from 34Hz to 20KHz, which makes it a great standalone speaker as its frequency response is within the recommended reference range.

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.

Burmester is a brand that makes every effort to manufacture products that meet only the highest quality standards, and you can expect nothing less than an exceptional performance from their devices. If cost is not an issue, Burmester devices are one of the best audio devices you can buy.

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