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Small Sound at a Premium Price
on July 26, 2008
Bose is one very smart company. Over the years they have managed to create an iconic brand of top end speakers that retail for very high prices. Like Bose or not, there is no denying that their products sound good. Are they the best? No, not really. But they provide good sound and that is key to consumers.
Enter the Bose Companion II Series II computer speakers. Right out of the box you will notice a huge increase in sound quality from your stock speakers. Most musical aspects are very clear, and for speakers that lack a sub-woofer, the bass is tight and defined. All levels are represented accurately, and there is a richness in the sound that is pleasing to the ear.
This is all true until you push these speakers in terms of volume. Now, I understand that computer speakers are not meant to rattle the house (though Logitech's Z-5500 can do that), but these speakers refuse to push out any type of real power. The sound is great until you go past the halfway mark on the volume knob. After that you notice the sound can't get any louder. In an effort to offer you more, the bass becomes super muddy, as if the tiny speaker inside the unit have given up and decided to blow air in your face. The effect is embarrassing for a "high end" system.
All this being said the speakers sound quite good at low volumes. Basically, these are speakers designed for one person to be listening to them at a reasonable level. It just seems that for $100, I should be able to push them a little. In comparison, my roommate has a $30 pair of Altec Lansing 2.1 computer speakers that really knock out some sound when you crank them, and they are only rated for 20 watts a channel.
I have missed a few technical details, but if this is the only review you read, you don't use the internet enough. Okay, this is what it comes down to...
- At lower volumes, these speakers sound great. Good reproduction on sound, and the bass is not punchy, but rather defined. I own a good amount of high end headphones and find the sound reproduction to be comparable to them.
- Since there is no sub-woofer, you save a lot of space. I wouldn't call these portable speakers due to a fair bit of wiring and their weight, but they don't take a lot of your desktop.
- There are two stereo inputs on the back so you can attach different components to the system (they are stereo to headphone jacks, which are cheap to buy). Keep in mind that there is no switch between the two inputs and these speakers will play everything at the same time if you attempt to do so.
- These speakers look nice. Easy on the eyes and they don't take up a lot of room.
- The headphone jack on the front delivers decent amplification. My Grado's sound great on them.
- No off switch. You can turn the volume to the lowest setting on the knob, but there is not a real off switch. This can be annoying when I forgot I set an alarm and there is no real kill switch for the sound.
- Total lack of high end power. For $100 you get great sound for one person, but these speakers couldn't get loud enough to fill a small room. Considering the alternatives, there is little bang for your buck here.
- Depending on your needs, these speakers will either be a great investment or one you regret. For a cubical worker wanting great sound; grab these. For the college student wanting to rattle the room, go anywhere else.