Bose has some of the best speakers in the world, including their 301 Series – and these deserve excellent amplifiers.
Bose is a famous name in audio electronics, and chances are that you know them very well if you are an audiophile. They are well-known for being innovators in the world today, thanks to their unique emphasis on ‘Stereo Everywhere’ performance in their speakers – which provides listeners with balanced stereo sound regardless of where they are standing in a room. Since this is their approach, it is important to get the speakers’ high-quality amplifiers to sound their best at all times.
The good news is that finding excellent amplifiers for the Bose 301 is not an uphill task, as these speakers are highly versatile. Therefore, your amplifier choice will depend on whether you want to focus on listening to music, movies, or both. Additionally, it is important to know the limitations and strengths of the Bose 301 itself, as this will help you to know the best amps to look for.
5 Best Amplifiers for Bose 301 Speakers in 2023 – Reviews
Here are the best amplifiers to consider for your Bose 301 speakers, as they are/will provide excellent sound quality and improve its overall soundstage detail.
1. Bose Home Speaker 500 with in-built Alexa – Best for Wide Stereo Output
It is not a surprise to see Bose here, as the best products to use with their speakers are their amplifiers. If you can afford the Speaker 500, it will prove to be a great investment, as its main unique trait is the use of Bose’s trademark audio technology that will satisfy any audiophile’s ears.
Its design is quite impressive, thanks to the anodized aluminum casing and seamless elliptical shape that give it an elegant appearance. Its front has a full-color screen display that will show you album artwork as you play songs, and it has an auto-dimming function to reduce its light during low-light conditions. Its grille also has precision drilling that increases the quality of the finish, as well as its audio accuracy.
The use of Bose’s proprietary mic technology is the main selling point, and this allows it to pick up your commands even if you are far away or the music is playing at high volumes. The ability is due to the inclusion of an 8-microphone array that handles both far and near field listening. Additionally, its two custom drivers also help it in stereo separation, as well as enhancing the size of its soundstage.
- Very sensitive microphones
- In-built Alexa and Google Assistant voice controls
- Very good quality of audio
- Beautiful design
- Very expensive
- Its Wi-Fi setup fails to work at times
- The bass output tends to thin out at higher volumes
2. Denon PMA-600NE Stereo Integrated Amplifier – Budget Friendly
The Denon PMA-600NE is different from its earlier amp counterparts due to its addition of a coax digital input, an optical input, an enhanced loudness function, Bluetooth 4.2, and a subwoofer output. It also sports an enhanced mechanical design when it comes to vibration or low resonance dissipation, while also improving the quality of some components like unbranded electrolytic capacitors.
Despite its relatively low price point, its design and performance is anything but cheap. It has the Denon trademark design on its front through the sharp recesses for the large sliders will help you operate it comfortably, and its controls feel very good.
Its sound quality is rich and full in both instruments and voices, and its digital inputs function very well for TV sound, although they have a slightly dark treble to reduce the chances of offending listeners. It particularly shines in its Analog Mode as it has a better clarified attack, greater stage accuracy, and an increase in the air around each instrument.
- Very rich sound quality, especially in Analog Mode
- Comes at an affordable price
- Plenty of musicality
- Its Bluetooth feature does not support AptX
3. Marantz 4K AV Receiver SR6014 Amplifier – Best Overall
Japanese manufacturers take their production work seriously, and it has resulted in the sheer variety of amplifiers available for those looking for budget-friendly and high quality options. The Marantz SR6014 is among those options, and it even rivals previous-generation speakers.
It includes a ‘height visualization’ function, which gives its sound output a three-dimensional feel even when you are listening from it upper side. Its interior has a 9-channel power amp circuit as well. You will not tell its complexity from its exterior, as it employs a three-stage structure with a black aluminum panel for a classy, timeless feel. Even though the internal arrangement is not the most luxurious compared to other speakers, its superiority as a mid-range speaker is not in doubt.
Since it uses DTN technology, you will notice its incorporation of the DTS Virtual:X technology that enhances its virtual ceiling channels and surround sound. It also has plenty of wireless and wired connectivity options that include Bluetooth, allowing you to play a wide range of file formats comfortably. It shines particularly in IMAX Enhanced environments, and it retains a superior quality of performance.
- Excellent sound quality and amplification
- Advanced gaming experience
- Compatible with advanced surround sound formats and sound assistants
- Phono and HDMI eARC connectivity
- Lacks HDR10+
- Does not include front-wide channel support
4. Onkyo TX-NR797 Smart AV Channel Receiver – Best Premium
Many instrumentalists and audiophiles know and love Katana, thanks to the premium-quality first-generation Katana speakers that captured the hearts of many. The Katana 100 Mkii takes on this legacy to the next level.
The speaker retains the same appearance as its predecessor, down to the user-friendly controls. It also lets you adjust its power output, making it an excellent choice for bedroom use, band rehearsals, or a large stage. The main difference is the addition of a variation button, which provides you with additional sounds to listen to, as well as the dual concentric effects controls.
What makes it great for your Bose 301 speaker is its addition of the Boss Tone Studio editing software, which allows you to easily set your preferred presets, even with external pedals.
- Impressively strong build
- Features new amplifier variations
- Plenty of sound adjustment effects for instrumentalists
- Includes updated BOSS Tone Studio Software
- Adds unique amplification characters
- It lacks an extra input jack
5. Edifier R1280B Bluetooth Bookshelf speakers – Best Entry-level
This option aims to present itself as a solution to all your needs, even looking beyond the typical studio monitor space through adding Bluetooth connectivity and delivering crisp audio.
Considering this is an entry-level speaker, the sound quality is impressive. The highs and mids are well-balanced and accurate, making it a great option if you enjoy producing and mastering music. Its lows are also very good as well, although it does not prioritize earth-shattering bass. The setup proves quite loud in output, considering its size, although the drawback is the distortion that occurs when the volume is at the top end.
In terms of its build, it is durable enough to last a long time – as long as you are gentle with it. the package includes a remote control, which makes it different from other studio monitor setups. The unfortunate fact is the cheap quality of the remote, which you will have to be stuck with as you cannot program an alternative remote control.
- Includes Bluetooth connectivity
- Convenient placement of functions
- Very attractive design
- Excellent sound quality
- Distorts sound at higher volumes
- Remote design is of poor quality
Buying Guide for the Best Amplifiers for Bose 301 Speakers
The Bose 301 speaker is both modern and futuristic, and has a unique bookshelf look compared to most speakers. When you place them on a speaker stand, their design allows them to emit a premium feel and stylish appearance, which makes it fit well if you have a minimalistic interior or a modern home, and also looks very good alongside a modern amp that has a metallic or sleek visual design.
This visual aspect does not simply end with the unique appearance, but also includes the driver placement. Each speaker includes two tweeters, with one at the rear and the other at the front. Both tweeters have a 50mm (2 inches) size and each speaker has a woofer with a length of 200mm (8 inches).
The rear of the speakers has two bass ports, which make it necessary to create ample space to reflect the sound output to the listener. Therefore, you will need to adjust the distances between the rear and the walls until you achieve the dynamics and balance you prefer.
The amplifier power that is recommended for use with these speakers have a power output of between 10 and 150 watts, as well as a nominal impedance of either 4 or 8 ohms. Considering the speakers are impressive in their sound, they have a frequency response range of between 45Hz and 20kHz, making the Bose 301 excellent at projecting big sounds and having a very large soundstage.
However, with that in mind, the stereo imaging is a major issue, since it lacks focus and definition compared to other bookshelf speakers. Choosing a high-quality, compatible amplifier and subwoofer can help to solve this issue, as they enhance its sound presence and weight and give the sound output more coherence overall.
In summary, these are the traits that Bose 301 speakers have:
- Drive units: Two stereo tweeters. One tweeter is 2 inches and rear-firing, working alongside an 8-inch excursion woofer, while the other is a 2-inch front-firing type.
- Speaker type: Reflecting/Direct with rear-firing bass ports
- Power handling: Between 10 and 150W
- Frequency response: Estimated between 45Hz and 20kHz
Features and Technologies to look for in an amplifier for a Bose 301 speaker
When choosing an amplifier to use with a sound system, partnering the right amp to the right speaker is very important. This is not just through knowing the power output from the amplifier, but also sensitivity (how loud the speaker can get depending on input) and impedance (the measure of how difficult the speaker is for the amplifier to drive).
Although it is tempting to choose the most powerful amp, it is always better to choose a sensitive speaker. At the end of the day though, your ears are the ultimate test, so take a listen if you are unsure of the numbers.
Where to place the amplifier
Positioning is everything when enhancing audio equipment performance, even in terms of the acoustic properties of the surfaces you place the amp on – for instance, wooden shelves tend to have more rounded balance. It is also important to leave some breathing space for the amp to avoid overheating.
Most connection ports are at the rear of the amp, so it is worth examining the options it offers as it will tell you any future updates and connection to other speakers. Different amps will also offer digital and analog inputs, with some emphasizing digital ones while others offer a balance of both.
How much power do most amplifiers use?
It ranges between 100 and 200 watts in most cases.
Do amplifiers negatively or positively affect sound quality?
No, they do not, as they only amplify the audio signals; this case will however not apply to poor-quality amps as they worsen the sound.
How many channels should I look for in an amplifier?
As a rule, it is best to use one channel to cater for each speaker you are amplifying.
Amplifiers are meant to boost the sound volume of your Bose 301 speaker, and the choices we have outlined above will help you make a worthwhile decision.