Monday, October 12, 2009

I'm a Shameless Shill

Note: as this post went to press, my music file-storing site was down. Sorry, I will try to put up the songs that go with this post when it comes back online.

I fell in love with Bose products about 5 years ago for a very simple reason--they will let you buy their products on time over 12 months with no interest charges.

That means that you can get high quality stereo/tv accesories and players in such a way that you hardly know that the cost of them is being sucked out of your paycheck. Now, it probably says something about me and the state of my finances over the last 20 years that I am so excited that a corporation will allow me to buy an overpriced stereo system and not have to be worried about paying for it.

Boys, as you know, like their toys. I am no different. Until I bought the Bose Wave System 2 years, I hadn't bought stereo equipment in about 20 years, children, cars, a house, private school expense, and all of the other expenses of family life in the modern world, and so I had a large congomeration of receivers, graphic equalizers, satellite speakers, subwoofers, cd burners (a gift), and wires everywhere and counterspace filled with a large stack of black electronics. Twenty years ago, it looked sleek and stylish. Today, it looks like big and bulky.

So the Bose concept is genius.

In a world where if you miss a credit card payment, your interest rate can skyrocket to nearly 30%, here is a "benevolent" corporation who will ship you expensive merchandise quickly and efficiently and trust that they will be able to deduct the balance from your credit card over the next 12 months.

But, what Bose has done even better, is to figure out the future of music listening. There is no room for the component stereo system in the modern living room or den. Plus, the kind of person who buys a Bose is the kind who's going to spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking upscale food, who will then realize the benefits of having such a comfortable little sound system in the bedroom, etc.

And so, my family has a Bose in the kitchen (which also does double duty by going to our daughter's dorm room when she's at college), one in the bedroom for NPR wake-up calls and Sunday afternoons, a Wave System in the living room for parties and Christmas. The children have Bose noise-cancelling headphones for long car trips and plane flights. And, now, Bob has added the Bose Soundlink to the fleet.

While all of these products are well-crafted and well-used, this new Soundlink is probably the most versatile. As its primary use, it allows you to plug an antenna into the USB port of your laptop and broadcast music (or whatever you are listening to) to a portable, wireless speaker. The speaker has a rechargeable battery which gives you a minimum of 3 hours of sound; it also picks up the sound within 60 feet of the computer. If you like, with a cable, you can plug your Ipod or Iphone or other device into the speaker as well.

Big deal, you say? Think about it for a minute. First of all, it's a hell of a speaker, two speakers really and maybe even a subwoofer packed into a speaker unit about the size of a loaf of bread. But beyond that, consider the possibilities: we live in a portable world, and if you love music as much as I do, great sound has always been the sacrifice that one had to make in favor of portability. No longer.

Now, as I sit in the dining room writing this, the Soundlink sits atop the hutch, about 4 feet above my head, but it is putting out crisp highs, mid-range, and clean deep bass in its reproduction of the Avett Brothers' "If It's The Beaches." If I wanted to go out and sit on the deck, I'd just take the speaker with me. If I wanted to have good sound while tailgating, I'd just take it with me. If I wanted to listen to music in a hotel room, the front yard while gardening, the driveway while changing a flat tire, the basement while folding laundry, I'd just take it with me. If you are like to listen to various things on YouTube, all of a sudden they sound really, really good.

Yes, Bose products probably cost too much. I'll acknowledge that. But they are very well-made, and I can't help but think that the money it's costing me is money that I would have pissed away in my relentless trek from paycheck to paycheck. I suppose if I looked at it too hard, it wouldn't be that different from that electric guitar I got for a few weeks from Rent To Own back in the 80's, except that there isn't any interest at all. Plus, what Bose does is they get what you buy from them to you damn quickly. If they say it will be 7-10 days, it will be there in 3. So once you open that box, you never feel like it's anything but yours.

Yours truly, reeled in by another capitalistic trick, signing off.


BeckEye said...

So, what are your feelings on the Snuggie? That's probably a little more in my price range.

Hmm, maybe they should create a Snuggie with speakers in the neck part.

BeckEye said...

What the speakers would be connected to I don't know. This is why I'm not an inventor.

Bob said...

I saw the Snuggie in action at a high school football game last Friday night, so at least you know that you can take it on the road.

John said...

You need this now that the Darth Vaders from your office are dead.

John said...

You need this now that the Darth Vaders from your office are dead.