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Bose Acoustimass 16: a sweet setup

Chris Egner is a former writer for Crutchfield. She concentrated on point-and-shoot cameras and speakers while she worked here.

More from Chris Egner

I love trying out the gear we carry here at Crutchfield. What a perk to get to take home a top-notch speaker system and set it up alongside my beat-up couch and the hand-me-down end tables I've had since college.

I grew up with four brothers, and I have a chivalrous husband, so it had been quite some time since I'd had my hands on speaker wire. I decided to put the Bose® Acoustimass® 16 home theater system  to the test. Would it really be as easy to set up as they say?

Bose Acoustimass 16

I lugged the huge box home, and opened it up to find a colorful step-by-step picture guide right on top - very nice. Here's how the next hour unfolded:

5:45 Started unwrapping speakers, cables, and the Acoustimass bass module.

5:52 Changed into shorts (it's still pretty hot here in Virginia).

5:56 Finished fishing everything out of the box.

6:00 Plugged in the bass module.

6:13 Placed and hooked up the front left, right, and center speakers to the bass module. (This was no problem - everything's color-coded and clearly labeled).

6:20 Broke a nail, cursed, gave myself a "time out."

6:25 Moved some furniture.

6:27 Placed and connected the rear left, right, and center channel speakers.

6:40 Connected the bass module to my receiver.

6:42 Collapsed on the floor and listened to some tunes.

Now, we don't have a home theater receiver. If we did, I would've plugged the Acoustimass 16's surround sound speakers into the appropriate places on such a receiver, and all six channels would've handled their individual audio realms (that is, I might hear different sounds out of different speakers at different times). But I have an old Onkyo stereo receiver, so I just faked it and connected the front and rear right and left speakers into what I had - the A and B speaker inputs.

Then I sat in the middle of the room and listened to a song. It reminded me of a time I sat in the center of my daughter's harp ensemble, with six or so harps in a circle around me. The sound of that music washing over me from all directions was incredible. I could only imagine the impact this system, along with the right receiver (and a gorgeous HDTV), would have on our movie nights.

But mostly, I was pleased to have proven the theory - it was a breeze to set up the Bose Acoustimass 16.

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