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Are Old Bose Speakers Worth Buying? 5 Facts (Updated 2023)

Are Old Bose Speakers Worth Buying

Garage sales are fun.

It’s like treasure hunting with other people’s preloved items.

Your latest find?

An old, dusty Bose speaker.

And you’re interested in buying it.

But it comes with a hefty price tag.

So, you wonder:

“Is it worth it?”

Keep reading to discover:

  • The 3 old Bose speakers worth your money.
  • 5 crucial facts you need to know about old Bose speakers.
  • New vs. Old Bose speakers: The 3 factors that separate them.
  • What red flags should you look for when buying old Bose devices.
  • And so much more…

Are old speakers worth buying?

Old speakers aren’t worth buying. They lack the latest technology and are made from poorer materials. Regardless, most old speakers are more expensive because they’re rare. However, some old speakers are worth purchasing if you’re a collector.

Old Bose speakers – 5 facts

#1: New speakers are better

Have you ever heard the phrase, “New is always better?”

Whether you have heard of it or not…

Let me tell you this:

This is especially true for all speakers and not just for Bose.

How so?

Modern technology has taken speakers to newer heights. 

To be honest, there are few benefits to getting old speakers…

Apart from nostalgia and its price tag.

And there are a lot of factors that suggest you get brand new speakers, like:

  • Newer Hi-Fi.
  • Better materials.
  • Maximum wattage.

Now, if you’re unfamiliar with what these means, let me explain:


Hi-Fi stands for high fidelity

While it originated in the early 40s and became popular in the 60s…

Hi-Fi today is far different from old Hi-Fi.

To explain this, we need to talk about sampling rate and bitrate.

Sampling rate refers to the number of “sounds” per second in your audio. 

Simply, in a video, the equivalent of sampling rate is the refresh rate or frames per second.

On the other hand, bitrate refers to the depth of your audio. This is how fast your audio file gets processed, similar to video resolution.

And this brings us to the bottom line:

The higher your sampling rate and bitrate, the better your audio is.

That said, high fidelity refers to the best audio at a given time. This used to be 16-bit and 44.1 kHz, but today, Hi-Fi audio can reach up to 32-bit and 384 kHz.


Due to modern technology, there’s no more need to maximize the materials for a speaker.

What do I mean by that?

You see, old speakers are made of materials like wood, paper, and iron. The problem with this is these materials can rot.

That’s why old speakers don’t have much longevity. And it’s why most old speakers sound bad compared to new ones.


Speakers nowadays can accommodate higher wattage. And that means more decibels. That said, newer speakers are generally much louder than old ones.

Furthermore, this also means better-sounding audio at higher peaks.

To prove this, let’s look at the 2 loudest Bose speakers of their time:

1978’s Bose 901 Series IV and today’s Bose S1 Pro. The former boasts up to 90 dB of audio, while the latter can output up to 109 dB.

#2: You can have Bluetooth for old Bose speakers

Wireless connection is the craze nowadays. And rightfully so.

After all, wireless speakers offer:

  • Portability.
  • Less cable management.
  • Easy connection between speakers.

However, what if I told you that you could use Bluetooth with any speakers, even the old ones?

All you have to do is purchase a Bluetooth Receiver. It’s a device that allows any speaker to receive Bluetooth signals.

Now, let’s talk about options. For a Bluetooth Receiver, here’s my most recommended:

You may also be interested in: How To Connect Bose Soundbar To TV

#3: The red flags you must look out for when buying old Bose speakers

Let’s say you’re now interested in getting a vintage Bose speaker.

Alright, then, here’s a riddle for you:

How do you separate the good speakers from the bad ones?

Well, you’re in luck…

Because I’m going to tell you the most common vintage speaker red flags. Here are the things I try to avoid when I’m in the market for old Bose speakers:

  • Poor quality regluing.
  • Bad cabinet condition: Sign of structural issues.
  • Rusted frames: Signifies moisture on the inside.
  • Creased tweeters: The polyester material (light aluminum) at the front of your speakers.

And that’s just the beginning. To find out more about the red flags of old speakers, you can watch this in-depth video:

#4: The focus of old Bose speakers is psychoacoustics

Dr. Amar Bose, an engineer, created Bose in the mid-’60s. Despite having an engineering degree, Bose’s focus was on something he called:


What’s that? Let’s put it this way…

Most of what we know now about audio can be boiled down into digits, the most common of which are:

  • Bitrate (bits).
  • Decibels (dB).
  • Sampling rate (kHz).

On the other hand, Dr. Bose made speakers not influenced by statistics but by “how sound is perceived.” That’s what psychoacoustics is.

And it worked.

You see, there’s no doubt that Bose became successful. In fact, Bose holds 8% of all global headphones sales and 23% of all speakers in the USA.

#5: There are better old speakers out there than Bose

Time to face the music:

Bose might be 1 of the most popular speaker brands out there…

Wharfedale Linton Heritage

But that doesn’t mean that they’re the best.

So, the question is:

If you want to buy old speakers, which 1 should you get? For that, I recommend the following:

Note: These speakers are all out of production, which means you can only get them on:

  • Garage sales.
  • Secondhand stores.
  • Facebook marketplaces.

Do Bose speakers wear out?

Bose speakers wear out. The degradation process can range from a decade to an entire lifetime. And the most common causes of this are:

  • Wear and tear.
  • Moisture damage.
  • Dust accumulation.
  • Extreme temperatures.
  • Copper corrosion due to oxygen exposure.

Furthermore, some recent Bose speakers use Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. These can often last up to 3000 charging cycles.

What are the best old Bose speakers?

The best old Bose speakers depend on whether you will use them as a daily driver or for collection. If you’re looking for a speaker that you can use in your home, I recommend:

  • Bose 10.2 Series II.
  • Bose 601 Series III.
  • Bose Acoustimass AM-5.

On the other hand, I highly suggest looking for a Bose 901 if you’re looking for a collector’s item.

That’s among the most influential speakers of all time, as they were the first to use reflected sound. A principle developed by Bose that processes the sound by bouncing it off of its cabinet.