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Boston Acoustics VS 344 Speakers

Boston Acoustics VS 344 Speakers

Boston Acoustics VS 344 Speakers


  • Product Name: VS 344
  • Manufacturer: Boston Acoustics
  • Review Date: July 29, 2009 02:00
  • MSRP: $1250/each
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool

Frequency Range (+-3dB): 42Hz – 30kHz
Recommended Amplifier: 10 – 250 Watts
Sensitivity: 87 dB SPL/2.8V/m
Nominal Impedance: 8 ohms
Crossover Frequency: 250 / 2,500 Hz
Bass Driver: Quadruple 4- 1/2"
Midrange Driver: 4 1/2"
High-Frequency Driver: 1" Super Wide Bandwidth
Dimensions (H x W x D): 44 x 5-3/8 x 8-3/8”
Weight: 34.8 lbs (16.5kg)

Boston Acoustics has been reinventing itself lately. First they introduced the Horizon series - now dubbed HS on the Boston site. These were a lower cost speaker with a plastic enclosure and grills that could be changed to match the color of the decor. A few months later, they introduced the Vista series (now dubbed VS but probably not after a nasty letter from Microsoft's lawyers) which featured black or cherry sides, a flared front baffle, and very interesting aesthetics. At CES the year they were introduced, they impressed the Audioholics attendees with their ability to sound good in the middle of a booth - no small task for any speaker.

The VS series speakers have a lot going for it and as a flagship line, they are not all that outrageously priced. The most expensive in the line command only $1700 each. The new VS 344 are $1250 each and feature a much slimmer design from its bigger brother. Sporting five 4.5" drivers and a 1" tweeter, the speaker only stands 44" tall and a bit over 5" wide. The drivers are constructed out of Organic Composite Cone Material (OCCM). During our site visit to the Boston factory, we saw how they design and manufacture most of their drivers in house and we have no reason to believe they don't manufacture these themselves. The tweeter material is unspecified but is dubbed "Super Wide Bandwidth." More on the drivers from Boston:

Exclusive Super Wide Bandwidth (SWB) Tweeters featuring a Coupled Dual Concentric Diaphragm (CDCD) – At high frequencies (i.e. above 10-12 kHz) the center of a traditional dome-shaped diaphragm gradually decouples, moving out of phase with the remaining structure and causing cancellation of higher frequencies and a loss of radiating surface area. By terminating the center of the diaphragm to a brass plug, the CDCD continues to work more like a piston –significantly lowering the ”noise floor.” The result is greater transparency and micro dynamics with a low frequency resonance point that allows for lower crossover points resulting in a more full-bodied sound character at high output levels.

Organic Composite Cone Material (OCCM) for Mid-Range & Woofers –
The OCCM cones featured in all VS Series woofers and midrange drivers, were developed for the purpose of maintaining rigidity with minimal sacrifice to sensitivity. This new composite cone uses a mix of select natural fibers to reduce resonance and improve sonic accuracy.

Four of the woofers are used for bass and the fifth is dedicated to midrange. From the look of the speaker, we wouldn't be surprised to find the top woofer and tweeter in their own enclosure. The speaker is rear ported for additional bass response and is rated down to 42Hz. While this will not preclude the addition of a sub for movies, it should make for a very nice two channel music experience. The enclosure is constructed out of MDF and is curved to reduce standing waves and panel resonances. As one of their flagship speakers, you can bet that it is well braced internally. The drivers are magnetically shielded (they actually call this "MagnaGuard" as if it were some sort of innovation over other magnetic shielding) and feature two pairs of gold plated binding posts for bi-amping/buy-wiring.


The Boston Acoustics VS 344 have a lot going for them. For the price of a few Hz (seven technically over the VS 366) you get a speaker with a smaller foot print, the same technology, and similar aesthetics. The VS 344 have a base plate rather than sitting on the front baffle with a pair of outriggers in the back probably due to the need for more stability. We've seen speakers in this line and can attest that the finishes albeit cherry or gloss black are gorgeous. Sonically, we haven't heard these but the rest of the line has impressed us. We're interested to see how these perform. What is nice is that even though these are geared toward the more aesthetically concerned, they are actually cheaper than the larger speakers. We've seen companies release speakers that are smaller, require less materials, offer no new technology, but are priced higher just because they figure they can. Boston is obvious pricing them based on performance alone and that should indicate something about their creed.

BADealOne thing that was interesting to note was while we were researching these speakers we discovered a link on the VS 334 page indicating package deals with Denon components. The link didn't work but we're wondering what it means for Boston. Denon is still pretty much a market leader for receivers so is Boston trying to piggyback onto their success or is the Denon Boston marriage more one of convenience and added value to both? Only time will tell.

For more information, please visit www.bostonscoustics.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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