One of my first real Bose experiences outside of commercials was when I was just getting into home sound.
I thought Bose was one of the best based on the fact they had their own store, were expensive, rich people owned them, the commercials, etc (naive)
While looking for my first compact system for an apartment I heard the Bose systems, at the time about $2500, never having heard a surround system...I was thinking it was pretty great. But I kept looking around...found a place that had demos of a few other compact systems, and managed to convince them to let me do a back to back of a Bose vs Mirage system, with the same material.
Eyes were opened, there was no contest, at all. Proptly paid $1000 for a sub/sat system which blew the doors off the Bose system at $2500.
Since then I have been more involved with HT, having many more experiences with high end gear, proper setups, etc. I have come to the realization that Bose products really aren't that bad. They are just incredibly overpriced for what you get. They are still simple to use products, look nice, and meet many people's needs. They even have some products which border on high end. But at every step you are buying marketing, and not quality components or a design which puts fidelity foremost.
You know what though...it doesn't matter if people like it. I couldn't believe how terrible the Bose noise cancelling headphones I heard were for actual sound reproduction. They were great for comfort, really worked to reduce noise...but did not sound anywhere near the level I have come to expect for fidelity. My coworker couldn't stop gushing about the SQ....
Like 10 years ago my best friend growing up, is dad bought an acoustimass system that cost around $1800, he had it for about 6 months, the sub went bad so while he was waiting for Bose to replace it he went out and bought a system for his sun room, and stuck the speakers in the living room until the Bose were back up and running. Anyways he liked the speakers he bought a $199 set of Mission bookshelf speaker. So when the Bose were working again he demoed them back to back. Anyways 6 people were around to compare because it was a BBQ day, and every single person agreed that the Mission speakers sounded better and that it wasn't even really close when it came to quality. Anyways that is exactly what I think of Bose.
Got mine at Costco for $699.00. I will only tell you this, my car has 11 Bose speakers with two subwoofers. It records cds and interacts with any ipad or auxiliary input. And is the only system that handles Barbara Streisand and not strain every treble till she squeels, sad but true. But too bassie for condo life my gawd the windows rattle and sometime I'll put on some wicked techno to drown out the kids that blast their rap.
Holy thread revival batman...