Every once in a while, a thread will get started asking if there are better alternatives to Bose in audio. And most of us who read and join in those threads throw out some great ideas, and almost inevitably, someone says this - or words to this effect - "I should come up with a system that will demolish this Bose system". We've all thought this at one point, right? Well, I decided to have a go at it. The recommendations are 100% serious, and the mocking tone of Bose is half-serious. Bose buyers usually fall into 3 categories – they’re buying Bose for ease of use and setup, because they are stylish and unobtrusive, or they’ve been told that Bose represents the best in sound quality. First, we’ll tackle their least expensive “home theater” system – the Cinemate GS Series II. 1. The Cinemate GS Series II at $600 includes a pair of small satellite speakers that Bose calls Gemstones, one of Bose’s Acoustimass modules, a remote control and remote sensor. It can only connect to a TV that has an audio output, via analog stereo or optical. Ease of Use - For those who like a sleek look and simple setup, the AVR is the Marantz NR1403. It features Audyssey MultEQ system calibration. It’s $400 list, but you can catch it for less on sale. To get 2.1 stereo sound boosted by a good subwoofer, pick up these Insignia NS-SP213 5 ¼” bookshelf speakers for $70, and round out the LFE with this Bic America V80 8” 100w subwoofer for $110. This puts you at $580, giving you $20 for cables at monoprice. Low Profile - For those who want a solution that disappears with no visible wires, go with the ZVOX ZBase 580. Like the Bose, it connects to your TV via optical, analog stereo, or digital coax. It’s also $500, and exceeds the performance of the Bose in every way. It also gives you the ability to add a true subwoofer to really enhance the LFE. Use the money you save on an optical cable if you need it, and be sure to pick up some popcorn for movie night, because you’ll be doing it a lot! Sound Quality - For those who want the best sound quality in a 2.1 system, get a pair of the lauded Andrew Jones SP-BS22 monitors for $130. Couple it with Bic America’s F-12 12” subwoofer for $200. Then power everything with Pioneer’s VSX-523-K for $250. This will leave you with $20 for cables at monoprice. Everything you play on this system will destroy the Bose Cinemate in every conceivable way. Next time, we’ll tackle their least expensive surround sound system – the Lifestyle 525 Series II.