Bose® 201® Series V Direct/Reflecting® speaker system

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Item #: 018201VB

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30 Reviews | 3 questions - 14 answers

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Get ready to be impressed. Each speaker in the well-loved Bose® 201® Series V Direct/Reflecting® speaker system sports a 6-1/2" woofer and a high-sensitivity 2" Stereo Targeting® tweeter. This discreet speaker pours satisfying Bose audio into your room. It's all thanks to proprietary Stereo Everywhere® technology — it creates a mix of direct and reflected sound, so you don't have to worry about finding and staying in a "sweet spot."

Other positives? Unique port geometry reduces turbulence — you get clean bass. The compact size and horizontal design of each speaker makes it well-suited to small spaces. And it's the smallest, most affordable bookshelf speaker to utilize Bose's proprietary Direct/Reflecting® design. Perfect as front left and right speakers in a smaller room, or as surrounds for Bose home theater in a larger space.

Recommended center channel speaker: Bose VCS-10®
Recommended surround speakers: Bose 161™ system

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Priced per pair

Product Highlights:

  • bass-reflex design
  • recommended power: 10-120 watts
  • impedance rating: 4-8 ohms
  • black or light cherry vinyl finish
  • 13-1/2"W x 8-1/16"H x 8-9/16"D
  • warranty: 5 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Why choose bookshelf speakers?

Bookshelf speakers may be small in size, but they can deliver surprisingly big sound. Some ultra-compact models even fit on a desktop. Most are right at home in tight spaces like shelves, so they're usually good choices for your home theater's rear channels. For the best performance, try placing bookshelf speakers on solid speaker stands to help the sound really "open up." If you want full bass impact, add a powered subwoofer and enjoy punchy sound that's as deeply satisfying as that of floor-standing speakers.

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • 1 Left 2-way speaker
  • 1 Right 2-way speaker
  • 8 Self-adhesive rubber feet
  • Manual
  • Bose contact information list
  • US and Canada product registration/survey
  • Non US and Canada product registration/survey

Product Research

Driver Technology
Enclosure Design
Mounting Options

Driver Technology

Direct/Reflecting Speaker Technology: Direct/Reflecting speaker technology can recreate the ratio of reflected and direct sound similar to what you hear at a live concert. As a result, you experience the power, impact and emotion of a live performance in your home.

Stereo Everywhere Speaker Performance: Because many conventional speakers radiate sound directly into the room, you hear balanced stereo sound only in one small "sweet spot." Using patented Bose Direct/Reflecting speaker technology, the Direct/Reflecting speakers deliver a natural balance of reflected and direct sound. You hear balanced stereo sound almost anywhere in the room.

Stereo Targeting Tweeters: These proprietary 2" drivers are engineered to direct mid to high frequencies to a wide, stable area between the speakers. Used in the Bose 201, they help create a sense of lifelike spaciousness and let you hear full stereo throughout the listening area.

Enclosure Design

Slot Port Tuning: The slot port tuning enables cleaner and deeper performance for the lower notes, particularly at high volumes.

Mounting Options

Wall Mounting: There is no insert for a universal wall mounting bracket, Bose recommends using only their WB-3 wall mount brackets.

Placement: These speakers were designed to be positioned horizontally and should not be placed vertically.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Bose® 201® Series V Direct/Reflecting® speaker system Reviews

Average Customer Review:

30 reviews
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Bose 201 speakers are a clear winner

Written By MIssabe Fan, Alton, Illinois on Sunday, October 19, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These Bose 201 speakers replaced a set of 301 speakers which moved to the living room. We rehabbed our family room and the 301 speakers no longer fit so I bought these 201s. The sound is great and it fills the room very satisfactorily indeed! I've bought from Crutchfield before and this was, yet again, a top quality company with which to deal! I am very happy with the Bose 201s and likewise with Crutchfield!

Pros: Quality construction, great sound delivery, and they nicely fit the space I can allot for these Bose 201 speakers.

Cons: I haven't found any cons yet. I purchased Bose 201 speakers because I've been so pleased with my 301 speakers.

Great speakers produce high quality performance

Written By Indrakusuma, Indonesia on Thursday, August 07, 2014

Just bought this product, utilized with my new Rega Apollo-R and Rega Brio-R. These three are produce perfect sound for my ears. No flashy sound such as those preferred by beginner music listener who adore sounds such as those associated with accenture bass or treble frequencies. Perfect!

Bose® 201® Series V Direct/Reflecting® speaker system

Written By Craig, Rockford Il on Friday, April 18, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great purchase, already have bose 161 for the surround, and added these for front speakers

Pros: Greta sound

Cons: A little too big

Bose 201

Written By Anonymous, Grand Isle, ME on Thursday, April 03, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Already had a Bose Acoustimass 10 with a pioneer 7.1 receiver pumping 140W per channel. Wanted to add 2 more channels and looks like I made a good choice. Tried sony, pioneer and polk audio bookshelf speakers and had to return all of them. Then took a plunge and bought these bose 201. Could not have been happier. Not that AM 10 was bad setup but these speakers really make the syst much better.

Bose® 201® Series V Direct/Reflecting® speaker system

Written By RONALD, COAMO, PR on Sunday, March 23, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The sound quality is excellent, fidelity and much better than others. I like your desing.

ose 201 Series V direct Speaker system

Written By Uday, Bedford, Ma on Monday, January 06, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The Bose speakers provide excellent sound quality. I particularly like there warrenty as recently I had experience of obtaining a substitute for a damaged speaker after nearly 5 years since purchase. The Bose tech Assistance team is very friendly. I would recommend these speakers to any one not only for their sound quality but also for the aesthetic appeal. Crutchfield from whom I obtained the speakers also provided excellent service.

Pros: Size, shape, sound quality, ease of installation.

Cons: None

Bose® 201® Series V Direct/Reflecting® speaker system

Written By Anonymous, Middlebury, vt on Sunday, October 27, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

We needed to replace existing speakers with something smaller. The Bose 201 series V have worked very well. The sound is better then what we replaced. Delivery was very fast.

Bose 201 Series V Direct/Reflecting speaker system

Written By Al, Rio Grande, PR on Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Great range and sound for size and price

bose 201's

Written By JimD, east wenatchee,wa. on Thursday, July 18, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

needed more than my 161's,and these work great!

Pros: very good sound for my needs.just fm radio and cd's.

Cons: none yet

Good "Bang" for your bucks!

Written By Poteaux, Lafayette,La. on Thursday, July 11, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I use these as the primary front speakers for a Sherwood reciever which produces 60 continuous watts @ 6 ohms. I am quite satisfied with the sound as I have wall mounted these in my livingroom using Bose mounting hardware. I do use a subwoofer but have found that they still perform very well when I forget to turn it on (ha ha).

Pros: Great speaker for the cost!

Cons: None as of yet.

Outstanding

Written By BucBuc, Myrtle Beach,SC on Sunday, April 14, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great speakers that fill our room with clear, clean music

Pros: Well built; room filling sound

Cons: None

Great Sound

Written By Fixing up My Home, Illinois on Sunday, December 23, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These speakers have great sound quality and are small enough to fit right on my bookcase. The room has cathedral ceiling and the speakers fill the whole room. It's really nice to have music in this room once again.

Pros: Great sound!!

Cons: Nothing I can see.

Nice Bookshel Speakers

Written By Johnny, Riverside, Illinois on Sunday, September 23, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Larger than the aevrage bokshelf speaker, the 201's have decent sound quality and power handling. Unfortunately, they barely fit into the area I had alloted for a living room stereo. These are intended, in my opinion, for more open areas or to be used in a surround capability. As the main speakers in a small environment, they simply take too much space and require to much separation. Going by the recommended spacing in the manual, 18" from a wall and 12' apart, it consumes nearly 15" of space to operate correctly..Not exactly the size of any "bookshelf" I've ever seen. My situation would have been better suited by non-reflecting type speakers. I would recommend them highly if you have the space, but if you live in a dorm or smaller apartment or have limited width or height, I'd go with something else.

Pros: Great sound and handle up to 100 watts cleanly. Not bad looking and the BOSE name always catches the eye of friends.

Cons: Need too much space to be efficient. Speaker hook-ups are spring loaded with out pin or banana connections. I would expect better from these speakers.

Sound and quality.

Written By Leopoldo, Oakland, CA on Friday, August 17, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

My experience is not too vast. But as a dilettante for many years of listening experience, I have had EPI, B&W, Onkyo and last Bose speakers. Never had any problem on accordance with their size or quality. Bose is up there... Good!

Bose® 201® Series V Direct/Reflecting® speaker system

Written By CharlotteS, Phillipsburg, NJ on Monday, June 04, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Sound is GREAT. Alittle bigger (size not sound) then I thought they would be

Pros: GREAT sound. Crutchfield was GREAT to do business with. Would recommend them highly

Cons: Believe it or not - I have none.

series V

Written By sandy, phenix city, alabama on Friday, February 03, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

As an addition to my home surround sound with my other bose speakers.. They were alwesome Makes watching movies even better!

Pros: I got them in a timely time, tracking was easy

Cons: Bigger than I thought they would be

Sound Great

Written By Joe Schmoe, Dallas on Saturday, January 21, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These speakers are very good for the price. I use them along with towers that have built in sub woofers. I like them because I have an LG TV that has a tin can sound. I can play them at low volumes and still get that BOSE direct reflecting sound. By themselves they are good but you need a subwoofer to get the full effect.

Pros: Projected sound that works well at low volumes.

Cons: Need subwoofer for full effect.

most people are using these speakers wrong

Written By Mark, Texas on Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I have seen all the reviews of this speaker and find the ones who are using them wrong are disappointed ..you CANT use these as the mains on any surround system (501's or 901's only) I have 501's for main, 201's for surround, and 161's for rear surround . these are designed to be easy listening without much bass for an office etc. if you are expecting massive amounts of bass out of these speakers you will be dissappointed ...use them for the intended application and you will be rewarded with true quality reproduction

Pros: everything

Cons: nothing

Great surround. Mount to wall.

Written By Adam, Redondo Beach, CA on Monday, June 27, 2011

Like a lot of the other reviewers I am using these as surrounds. I am also using them as surround backs in a 7.1 configuration. My mains are 301Vs. My center is an Infinity Primus C25 (I didn't like the mids or the volume on the Bose center.) My sub is an old faithful Cerwin Vega (next thing to get upgraded.) Receiver is Denon AVR-3310CI. All bought from Crutchfield incidentally (except the old sub.)

I really, really like the way these sound at low to medium volumes. I have neighbors so I don't want to go high-high very often. When I have had them as loud as I was willing to go they still sounded great.

The one thing I didn't hear any other reviewer mention is that you really should mount these to a wall. I tried everything from setting them straight on the floor (when I first moved in a place,) on bookshelves, and on the stands Bose makes for them. By far and away the best sound comes when you mount them straight to the wallboard (or ceramic, which I have currently, and sounds AMAZING.) Get the Bose brackets and mount them in the center of the wall in exactly the configuration Crutchfield recommends. That what I do, and I refuse to go to the theater any more, because it doesn't please me as much :-)

Great Speakers!

Written By Gordon, Easton PA on Sunday, June 05, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great Speakers! Great Service! Great CRUTCHFIELD!

Christmas Gift

Written By Anonymous, NYC on Monday, January 24, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I gave these as a gift to my boyfriend. He had mentioned previously that he needed new
speakers and was always talking about how great the Bose sound was. He already
had a pair of Bosenoise reducing earphones. He just loves his new speakers and says
that the sound is fantastic. I don't know much about electronics but they sound good to
me too and they are very attractive looking.

Fair sound, poor build quality.

Written By Niss, Cleveland, OH on Thursday, December 03, 2009

This is my first Bose speakers and I'm very disappointed. I got those to replace an old pair of Pioneer floor-standing I was using for the last year. Originally I was using different speakers as the main but they went bad after sitting in the basement and got wet. I had to use the old Pioneer's I own for the last 14 years. mind you, those Pioneers got nothing going for them but the looks... 2 8's and a tweeter. I got those Bose to replace them since I listen to music more then movies. I ran them with Onkyo receiver and a 12" sub. once I hooked those Bose in place of the big pioneers I was very disappointed. the sound is flat and the highs pitchy and they need much more power to push them. the quality of the speaker box and the light weight and the quality of the connectors should turn on a red light right away. I'm going to use those and rear speakers for now and wait till I can afford a real set of speakers.

Bose lives up to their reputation

Written By clh, Raleigh, NC on Monday, May 26, 2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Perfect for my small room. Sound great and look good too. Got just what I
expected for the money. Build quality is very good and i have no
complaints. Very, very satisfactory.

Made for music

Written By cthelightnh, NH on Monday, January 14, 2008

I have been using these 201s as my surrounds and have tried them as my mains but find them lacking the crisp, clear highs needed for surround sound. They are some of the best speakers around when using in a music only mode. They have great airy quality which Bose is famous for and which fills your room with smooth clean wall of music. However when expected to provide that crisp, clear definitive sound which surround sound requires they just are not designed for that in my opinion. If you need a pair of smaller speakers for music, I would recomend that you give them a listen but look at other more standard type speakers for your mains in a home theater situation.

Overpriced, poor build quality, lackluster sound

Written By aaron, Portland, OR on Thursday, March 15, 2007

I've been spoiled by a pair of Infinity Primus 150's I bought for almost half the price of the Bose 201 V's. I got a pair of these Bose 201 V speakers from my credit card reward points.

Don't get me wrong, these Bose speakers are decent, they are just nowhere near as accurate, clean, and bright as my primus 150s. The build quality is much worse as well: exposed particle board, cheap clamp wire contacts. The Infinity primus speakers on the other hand are a nice walnut finish (laminate?), they have nice rubber feet, gold post connectors, shielding and baffling, and much better sound.

Worth the $$$

Written By Ronald, Newaygo, MI on Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I use these speakers as my surround left and right. I have Bose 501's for by main speakers and the bose center channel on my 7.1 system. These compliment my system perfectly. Being a Bose fan and owing their 501 speakers for almost 35 years, how could I go wrong. These are highly recommonded for surround or for main in a small to medium room.

Fair

Written By Janet, Chalfont, Pa on Monday, February 06, 2006

When I first hooked these speakers up to my Onkyo TX-SR702 receiver my initial reaction was quite underwhelming. For starters I was disappointed at the build quality for its price. Where I expected to find binding posts there were spring loaded speaker clips which you can find on any Aiwa speaker system below $80, the overall build just felt cheap. For the actual sound test, they lacked greatly in the low end, and the tweeters felt really bright. As for "Stereo Everywhere" I found just the opposite. Not only was there a "sweet spot" but that spot was really small. If I were anywhere else in the room other than the aforementioned "sweet spot" the speakers would sound muffled. Their sound quality is not terrible, but not great. Sure they will stand up to a pair of standard bookshelf speakers by Sony,JVC,or Panasonic, but for the price there is much better alternatives try Polk, Boston, or Klipsch. I quickly replaced the 201s with a pair of Polk R20s and at a fraction of the cost. Now they sit in my dorm room collecting dust.

Bose® 201® Series V Direct/Reflecting® speaker system

Written By Dennis, Long Island, New York on Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Nicely balanced stereo performance, On jazz, classic rock, spanish instrumental music etc. The 201s are easy listening speakers.

-Lacks low-end bass typical of bookshelf speakers but does not distort at high volume.

-Oversized mid/tweeter (twiddler) opens up smoothly takes on human vocals, string and wind instruments with much detail. This review is based on my 2nd pair.

Good Solid Speakers

Written By Matt, Memphis, TN on Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Like previous review, I too use these speakers as my surround left and right. I have a pretty even balance between music and movies on my system, which is what initially drew me to these speakers. I had tried some Infinity and JBL's (but not the Klipsch) and though I loved their home theater sound I just personally liked the Bose sound better for my music (not to say that the 201's can't keep up in movie mode). I also have a bose center-channel and 301's as my front L and R. The 201's have plenty of sound to act as bookshelf speakers for a stereo, surround speakers, or front speakers for up to a medium sized room surround system. Highly recommend. My neighbors hate me.

Great value

Written By Scott, Mexico, NY on Monday, July 11, 2005

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I am currently using a pair of 201's for my surround left and rights in a 6.1 system. The 5 star rating is relative to the cost of the product, and I feel they are definitely worth the price. It's hard to beat Bose's "stereo everywhere" performance, and for casual listeners these speakers would be an excellent choice for left and right mains in either a stereo or surround sound application, with clear highs, and reasonable bass performance. Another great feature, no matter where you sit in the room you hear both speakers clearly.

Get everything you’ll need to enjoy your new Bose® 201® Series V Direct/Reflecting® speaker system

You'll need speaker wire to connect your speakers to your amp or receiver. No wire is included with this speaker.
Add connectors to your bulk speaker wire for a neater, easier, and more reliable installation.
Cut your speaker wire to the exact length you need.
Get your speakers off the floor and at ear level where they are meant to be.
Mount your speakers safely on the wall.
Original Monster Cable

Original Monster Cable

With gold pin connectors (15-foot pair)

Item #: 119OMC1515

(41)

$39.99
Add to Cart
Monster Cable SuperFlat™ Mini

Monster Cable SuperFlat™ Mini

Decor-friendly speaker cable with gold pin connectors (50-foot spool)

Item #: 119SFLM50

(26)

$34.95
Add to Cart
Monster Cable Twist-on Angled Gold Pins

Monster Cable Twist-on Angled Gold Pins

4 pair, 12-gauge

Item #: 119AGPTRH2

(9)

$13.95
Add to Cart
AudioQuest X2 Speaker Cable

AudioQuest X2 Speaker Cable

14-gauge cable, connectors optional (50 feet, White)

Item #: 703X250W

(27)

$94.99
Add to Cart
AudioQuest G2 Speaker Cable

AudioQuest G2 Speaker Cable

16-gauge cable, connectors optional (30 feet, Gray)

Item #: 703G230G

(20)

$38.99
Add to Cart
Monster XPHP™ MKII

Monster XPHP™ MKII

Speaker cable with clear jacket (100 feet)

Item #: 119XPHP100

(10)

$99.95
Add to Cart
Monster XP®

Monster XP®

Speaker cable with clear jacket, connectors optional (100 feet)

Item #: 119XPMS1H

(52)

$64.95
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Monster XP® Navajo White MkII

Monster XP® Navajo White MkII

Speaker cable (50 feet)

Item #: 119XPNWS50

(2)

$39.95
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Arista 16-Gauge Speaker Wire

Arista 16-Gauge Speaker Wire

50 feet

Item #: 043185882

(1)

$14.99
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Bose® FS-01 bookshelf speaker floor stands

Bose® FS-01 bookshelf speaker floor stands

For Bose 201® and 301® speakers

Item #: 018FS01

(19)

$89.99
Add to Cart
Bose® WB-3 brackets

Bose® WB-3 brackets

Wall brackets for Bose 201® and 301® bookshelf speakers

Item #: 018WB3

(14)

$19.99
Add to Cart

Questions & Answers Ask the community. Share your knowledge.

3 questions already asked

I did not hook mine up to an amplifier and they sound great . [ Ghislain  Nov 19, 2014 ]
They will work with any standard receiver system as is. I have them connected to an Onkyo receiver. Nice sounding speakers for the price! Wayne [ G WAYNE  Nov 17, 2014 ]
Hello, You would need an amplifier... [ GERRY A  Nov 17, 2014 ]
You will need to have an amplifier to power your speakers. I have a Sony with 100 watts per channel, and the speakers work great. [ GRAHAM G  Nov 17, 2014 ]
Absolutely. These speakers are awesome. Just make sure your amplifier or head unit meets the minimum wattage per channel. General rule of thumb is more wattage = the best results. The Bose speakers will amaze you, if powered properly. I've never under powered them, but I'd bet they''s sound good even under powered. [ JAMES C  Nov 16, 2014 ]
Need to hook them to an amp. Just be very careful not to overdrive them. [ KEVIN  Nov 16, 2014 ]
Would need an amplifier RG [ ROHIT  Nov 16, 2014 ]
The Bose 201 speakers can be used for almost anything. I use mine for rear surround speakers. I have wall mounted them. Good Luck Tc [ THOMAS  May 17, 2014 ]
Bose offers these stands for 201/301: http://www.crutchfield.com/p_018FS01/Bose-FS-01-bookshelf-speaker-floor-stands.html [ KEVIN  May 17, 2014 ]
I believe you could use them for a home theater system.I mounted mine on a wall so I don't imagine you would have a problem mounting them on a stand.Be sure to use the right hardware. [ Ghislain  May 17, 2014 ]
also , forgot to say these are great for what I wanted,and I don't think you will be disappointed with them. [ james  May 17, 2014 ]
sorry,i just use these as 2 stand alone speakers on top of actual bookcases,with about a 2" by 2" stick,front to back,seems to help the sound. my system will handle more speakers,but I just use these for music,not tv.hope this helps,JD [ james  May 17, 2014 ]
Yes I use them as my front standing speakers on appropriate sizes stands. However, my set up is only 5.1 that being said I don't think that should matter too much as far as front speakers go. Also, my reciever, TV, cable box, etc are connected through hdmi if that's what you mean, but, they require speaker wire to connect the actual speakers to the reciever [ MICHAEL J  May 17, 2014 ]
The price for a pair of these speakers (as of 12.28.2013) is: $218.99 [ Jeff  Dec 29, 2013 ]  Staff

Looking for more? Check out the next model in this lineup.

Bose 301 Series V Direct/Reflecting

Tempted by the best Bose bookshelf speaker out there?

The Bose® 301® Series V Direct/Reflecting® speaker system offers these features:

an additional 2" tweeter

a long-throw 8" woofer

increased power handling up to 150 watts