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522 of 535 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Klipsch v Bose v Logitech
I blew a ridiculous amount of time listening to them in the store, reading reviews and what not and it never really helped me decide. I ended up buying all 3 and hooking them up so I could test drive them. Then returned the ones I didn't keep. Hopefully someone in the same situation I was in will benefit from my review. If you can't decide I recommend buying the ones...
Published on August 14, 2007 by N. Stein

versus
95 of 100 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Highs and Lows
After spending a couple of days with these speakers I can understand how people are polarized in their opinions of them. Depending on your listening preferences, these could either be the best speakers in the world, or (as was the case for me) lacking and not worth the price.

Aesthetically these speakers are unmatched. Elegant in appearance, I can't imagine an...
Published on June 6, 2008 by Wing


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522 of 535 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Klipsch v Bose v Logitech, August 14, 2007
By 
N. Stein "Who?" (Baton Rouge, LA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bose Companion 3 Series II multimedia speaker system (Graphite/Silver) (Personal Computers)
I blew a ridiculous amount of time listening to them in the store, reading reviews and what not and it never really helped me decide. I ended up buying all 3 and hooking them up so I could test drive them. Then returned the ones I didn't keep. Hopefully someone in the same situation I was in will benefit from my review. If you can't decide I recommend buying the ones you can't decide between and test them yourself.

SPEAKERS:
Klipsch Promedia 2.1, Logitech z-2300, Bose Companion 3

BACKGROUND:
Previous Speakers- Creative 6.1, think they were the original inspires.
Sound Card- Creative x-fi
Primary use- Gaming with limited music
Volume- maybe max out around 10%. Live in multifamily complex and don't need a lease breaker to live up to its name.
Ear quality- I'm no sound engineer so all references to quality of sound are just what MY ears heard.

6.1 V 2.1:
You will not find any 2.1 system that rivals even a cheap 5.1 or 6.1 set. No way around that. In downgrading you are compromising from the start. If you have the space/cash/mounting locations go with 5.1 or higher.

SOUND QUALITY:
The Klipsch had the best overall performance when it came to sound. Second was Bose and third was Logitech.

I was not at all impressed with the Logitechs. They had a nice booming sound but no matter how much I fiddled with the EQ could I get a clean consistent sound across the board. Highs sounded watered down, Mids sounded muted and the Lows were...booming in a good way. Granted I'm sure this had a lot to do with the fact that I wasn't turning them up very loud. When I cranked them up they sounded much better but that's not the situation I needed them for. If you are throwing a block party the sound quality might be great.

The Klipsch definitely had the best overall sound. It seemed to have a little trouble with definition on the highs and the extreme lows but far out did the other two with the mids and the lows. When I say trouble I mean nothing noticeable if you didn't have multiple speakers hooked up at the same time. This could once again be attributed to the fact that I'm running them at such a low volume. As far as the extreme lows, I don't think either of the other two systems even had those lows to listen too.

The Bose handled the highs with crystal clarity. They do have the "tin can" effect that other reviewers have mentioned but adjustment of the EQ was able to compensate for that. The mids had to be corrected with the EQ but once setup right they were adequate, nothing to write home about, but better then the Logitech and not as good as the Klipsch. The lows thumped nicely and seemed to fit well but on extreme lows it seemed to be more of a single rumble as opposed to individual sounds.

REAL ESTATE:
The Bose significantly outshine the other two sets when it comes to desk real estate. The footprint of each satellite is about 2.5x2.5 inches. Headphones might take up less space. The Logitechs and the Klipsch take up about the same amount of space on the desk. Slightly larger than your average desktop speaker but not so large that you can't fit them on the desk.

CONTROLS:
All three sets had the same set of controls and inputs on them, namely bass, volume, and a miniplug out or two.

I preferred the Bose when it came to the controls. The little wired remote puck thing works excellently and sticks to the spot you put it. The volume control consists of turning the outside of the puck and works excellently. One added feature is the top of the puck is a touch activated mute button. Useless really since the volume is so easy to adjust but nice all the same. The bass control for the Bose is located on the back of the sub near the top. The sub sits under my desk so it's easy enough to adjust by just reaching behind it from the top and turning the knob.

Second would be the Logitech set. They also have a wired remote similar to the bose. Has a couple knobs on it a large (not as large as the bose puck) one for volume and smaller one for bass. They seemed to turn smoothly and work great. The one thing I didn't like about the Logitech remote was that it was very light and didn't really stay where you put it. Some double side tape or a rubber pad would easily fix that.

This is one spot where the Klipsch comes in last. I read that the controller could be removed from the speaker but didn't see an easy way to do it and didn't want to muck them up since I would be returning 2 of the 3 systems. The Klipsch controls are located on the right speaker similar to your normal OEM speakers. There is a volume and bass knob. The volume knob didn't seem as smooth as the other two systems and tended to jump as opposed to smoothly increase and decrease the volume. This might just be that it's a small knob and harder to make precision changes.

The power button is never a concern of mine because I leave everything on all the time but for those that it is an issue: Logitech had a power switch on the sub and "sleep" button on the remote. Both the klipsch and the bose have the power switches on the back of the sub. None of the power switches on the back of the subs are easy to get to or locate so if you can handle just putting it in sleep mode I'd recommend the Logitech.

BUILD QUALITY:
I don't mean the build of the actual cones but of the housings, stands, etc. I don't know enough about construction of or speaker materials to make a judgment on the cones and drivers.

I think the Bose probably won in this category with the Logitech coming in second and the Klipsch bringing up the rear.

Both the Bose and Logitech went together well and everything fit tight. Everything seemed to be appropriately built with acceptable tolerances in terms of stands and housings. The Logitech's satellites were mostly plastic with cloth speaker grilles metal grilles on the sub. The sub was particle board I'm assuming with a metal grille. The Bose satellites were all metal including stands and grilles. The sub was particle board I'm assuming with a metal grille. Moving the speakers around and doing whatever over the course of testing them seemed to have no side effect on the operation of these two sets. Everything on each system seemed to use a heavy enough gauged wire that I was not concerned with damaging them as I yanked them through the rats nest behind my desk.

The Klipsch fell short on the build quality. They used comparable materials as the previous two, plastic satellites with cloth grilles and what I'm assuming is a particle board sub with a metal grille. The stands for the satellites were cockeyed causing the speakers to lean at some odd angles. Nothing that your average person would notice but someone in QC should have caught that. The little ps2 looking cable that connects the controller to the sub didn't fit securely or snap into the sub. Is to be expected of this style cable but on the other two systems I didn't have any concern if it connected appropriately. After initial setup of the speakers the left satellite went out on me and I had to jiggle/turn the miniplug plugged into the back of it. This is nothing new to miniplugs but I would have liked to have had the system setup for a good year before I had to start jiggling stuff. None of these matters are real deal breakers but I noticed no problems with the other two systems. It causes me to question what else might not be done as right as it should be done.

One thing nice about the Klipsch is that the connections for the satellites are normal speaker wire with a miniplug on the end. Should be fairly easy to rig up your own connectors if the supplied separation distance isn't enough for your needs.

CONCLUSION:
If you want the best sound you can find, go with the Klipsch hands down. If size is your concern go with the Bose. Most other items noted are personal taste and opinion so you can make your judgments of off my previous information.

WHAT'D I KEEP?:
I kept the Bose. They look incredible, save my desk space well and at low volumes with an adjusted EQ they seem to sound good enough to do the job. I love the puck controller as well. I know many people dislike Bose but I think they have a nice product in the Companion 3's. It should probably be priced between $75 and $150 but an extra $100 spaced over an estimated 5 years of use is only $20 a year.

UPDATE 6-15-12
Nearing the 5yr mark with these things. They are still in pristine condition (well they have some dust on them) and operate and sound exactly as the day I bought them. The puck works fine, no shorts or fiddling with loose wires or anything of that nature. They're apparently built to last better than most things you can buy these days. I ended up find another set of them at a garage sale for a downright vulgar steal so now I have a set on both of my PCs. I still highly recommend them. Taking into consideration the quality and longevity of them I feel the price, while still too high, is reasonable. Considering the price of a PC and the fact you have to replace it every 2-5 years, these things are a steal.
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95 of 100 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Highs and Lows, June 6, 2008
This review is from: Bose Companion 3 Series II multimedia speaker system (Graphite/Silver) (Personal Computers)
After spending a couple of days with these speakers I can understand how people are polarized in their opinions of them. Depending on your listening preferences, these could either be the best speakers in the world, or (as was the case for me) lacking and not worth the price.

Aesthetically these speakers are unmatched. Elegant in appearance, I can't imagine an environment in which they wouldn't fit from a visual perspective. The satellite speakers have small footprints, and the included "puck" controller is slick and functional.

When you actually start listening to these speakers things get problematic. In the high and mid-high frequency range the sound is quite amazing. You can hear things you can't hear with lesser speakers, like the "finger sound" of a guitar strum or the sound of a bow moving across a violin string. However, the low-midrange frequencies are plainly lacking. The deficient low-midrange output means that the bass sounds disconnected from the rest of the sound. It's a strange listening experience.

In listening directly to the subwoofer (the big box that sits on the floor and puts out the lowest frequency sound), it appears that it's tuned to output only the lowest frequency bass notes. Other satellite-type speakers I have put more of the low-midrange frequencies into the subwoofer output, which gives them a more balanced sound overall. I wonder if Bose didn't purposely design these speakers without much low-midrange to accentuate the exceptional highs. For some people crystal-clear highs are the most important factor, and for those people this is a 5-star product. However, I listen to a variety of music, and I want sound that is neutral and balanced.

A few reviews have talked about how these sound great in the store but poor when you get them home. In the store they are set up with the subwoofer and satellites all on the same shelf. With the subwoofer right in your face I can understand how the sound would be a little more balanced. However, when you get them home and set them up as they are intended to be--with the satellites on your desk and the subwoofer on the floor--the separated "gap in the sound" effect becomes apparent.

In the end these were a big disappointment for me. Functionally they are a joy and are perfect for my limited-space desk. I would imagine for gaming and certain types of music these would be excellent, with the powerful bass and clear highs. However, for me the disconnected sound just doesn't cut it for the music I listen to and I had to return them.
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91 of 104 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good speakers but too pricey., January 20, 2007
This review is from: Bose Companion 3 Series II multimedia speaker system (Graphite/Silver) (Personal Computers)
I went with my cousin to best buy and was able to use his employee discount (best buy's employee purchase program allows their employees to purchase any item at the company's cost + 5%). Since I was getting a great deal, I wanted the best/most expensive they had. It came down the bose companion 3 series II and the klipsch pro media 2.1 system. The bose would come out to $160 and the klipsch $110, both before CA tax. Now as you can tell, all bose products have a crazy mark up on them. I was able to get 90 bucks off, thats more than 35%! 35% off any electronic item is a lot. The klipsch on the other hand was about the same price amazon is selling it and was $145 regular best buy price- not much of a markup if you ask me.

Anyway, long story short, I went with the bose. I brought it home and set it up very easily. Immediately I wasn't impressed. But after an hour of listening to them I began to appreciate them. For most music (classical, rock, r&b, etc.) they do a pretty good job. You do hear a lot of little sounds that you probably have never heard before in your music. The music sounds layered, which is great. The bass module can reproduce very low tones. Music sounds live and clear. And no distortion at all, even at the highest volume. The sound does fill the room. You will also notice how much mp3s suck compared to wav/cd.
The speakers also look great. Very nice design and small in size. The volume is also controlled by a nice looking "puck," that has a headphone and input jack. The mute tap button on it is also convient.

Now why I give this system 3 stars is for the following reasons:
-The music I mainly listen to is Trance. In electronic music, these speakers do a very bad job. The bass module creates a major reverb. Yes, I have lowered the bass by the knob on the back of the module, but when I get the reverb to become less audible, I end up with no bass. So I'm stuck with a nasty bass reverb or not enough bass when listening to electronic music.
-The next reason is the bass control is on the back of the module. Most people will place the bass module out of arms reach and as you listen to different genres you may occassionally need to adjust the bass. So you'll have get to the back of the module to do that. They could have solved this by adding bass control to the volume "puck."
-And last, price. These speakers are way too expensive for the average person. I definitely would not be happy if I paid 249 plus tax for these. You can get better sound for a lot less. When you buy bose you pay for their acoustic sound proccessing, which you can sometimes tell when listening to certain music.

Overall, decent speakers. Too pricey for its performance. But if you're rich and want something simple that will do a pretty good job at reproducing most music, then go for them. I would rate them at 3 1/2 stars if amazon allowed me.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive speakers, some will take issue with the price., March 26, 2009
By 
Stratman "Don" (Germantown, Maryland United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bose Companion 3 Series II multimedia speaker system (Graphite/Silver) (Personal Computers)
Let me start by saying I'm not the audiophile I used to be. Back in the 70's and 80's I was an audiophile gear junky, always buying the latest and greatest top-end stuff. These days I'm content to have a "very good" system, as opposed to a "high-end" system (many of which don't offer any improvement in sound IMO). I can remember when back in the old days we obsessed over "total harmonic distortion" measures the way some people do over CPU gigahertz today.

Anyway, I'm a longtime amateur musician (guitar, bass) with a pretty well-equipped home recording studio, so quality sound is important to me: I just don't obsess over audio gear like I once did.

I bought these speakers for my office at home, which I work out of about 50% of the time (and spend a lot of time in outside work). I use them with a Mac Pro that has a topnotch sound card (I do scratch pad recording on the machine using Logic Studio and then move it to my home recording setup, which is also Logic-based, on a different Mac). I've got an extensive music collection that includes everything from classical to hip-hop and rap (the influence of having two teen-aged sons and a pre-teen who's into the same stuff as his brothers). Mostly I listen to rock, blues, and country - I'd say they make up 70% of my listening, with classical and jazz comprising most of the rest.

I've probably owned a couple of dozen computer speaker systems since I bought my first desktop in the mid 80's, and virtually all have been mediocre at best. A few later sets from Harmon-Kardon and Altec-Lansing were decent. This Bose system is very good in my estimation, for what it purports to do: provide high quality sound from a computer. No, they don't compete with 5.1 home theatre surround system, and one shouldn't expect them to. But they do provide very good sound in a compact setting. The stereo separation is decent even though the speakers aren't intended to be spaced very far apart. The bass is excellent (and adjustable to taste). The mids and highs are clear and distinct without being shrill, though it would be nice if Bose provide an EQ adjustment for these (and at this price arguably they should). Acoustic music, like acoustic guitar and piano, sounds sublime through these. All in all I'm highly satisfied. After experimenting a bit with these, I'll offer the following suggestions:

- Make sure you have the sub centered beneath your computer desk. Some may try to tuck it to one side or another for space reasons, but it really compromises the stereo field and can make the sound seem really out of balance on some tracks.

- Don't point the satellite speakers toward yourself. I've found that the best stereo field is created by having the speakers facing straight out, and relatively close to the listener. I tend to sit erect or even lean forward a little when I'm typing: I keep the speakers about a foot to 18" in front of me and about 30" -36" apart. If I roll my chair away from my desk the stereo field narrows, so you want to position these relative to how you'll be sitting most of the time. You want to lean more toward having almost to your side than in front of you (figuratively that is).

Nice system. Pricier than most, but better too.
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't beat em, April 1, 2007
By 
This review is from: Bose Companion 3 Series II multimedia speaker system (Graphite/Silver) (Personal Computers)
If you can't beat em.... then fork over the extra money and buy these. I highly considered the Klipsh speakers for less money, but was turned off by their bulky size. The photos make these tiny speaker look large. The thing I love about Bose is they have style.

Be warned, speakers of this quality deserve a good sound card. If you are going to spend the $250 on these, and you don't have a good quality sound card, forget it. Without a sound card, you will not hear what these awesome speakers have to offer!

Was shocked at how good Sirius online radio sounds. Almost CD quality. My old speakers were a nice pair of Creatives. I am hearing sounds and words in my music I have never heard before.

I consider myself an "advanced listener". I have spent more money on audio gear in the past 20 years than I will admit to. These bose speakers are the best bang for my buck so far.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good quality computer speakers., September 15, 2007
By 
Begurken (Cretainville, Bongoland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bose Companion 3 Series II multimedia speaker system (Graphite/Silver) (Personal Computers)
A good quality set of computer speakers. On unpacking the box, it's good to see that these speakers came with a mini-jack to mini-jack cable; a small thing, but this is the cable that is needed for most installations.

The connectors are all of adequate quality, and seat firmly. The satellite speaker cables were just long enough for my installation, so some people may wish to check the satellite speaker length. The control unit has a noticeably longer cable than the satellites. The satellites sit well on their stands, look great, and feel solid.

The control unit is wonderful, with a touch mute, smooth volume control, headphone output, and secondary input. One great thing is that there is no switch to set primary or secondary input; both are simply mixed; brilliant!

How does it sound? I recommend setting the base switch down; middle of the range, or lower. For computer speakers, this system is definitely on the 'bright' side. The subwoofer has sufficient power for a room, and doesn't sound muddy. Musical detail is highlighted well, with clear separation of instruments, and a broad soundstage for such small speakers. The system handled all of my volume demands easily. The one drawback is seemingly weak midrange; this is especially noticeable on saxaphones, which sound less 'throaty' than they ideally should.

I'm giving this 4 stars, as it does what it aims to do admirably. For those complaining of a lack of midrange and giving it one star, or who don't like the unit to 'process' the sound, I doubt that they would be happy with any computer speakers. The small drivers force the designer to compromise between midrange and treble response, and small drivers are common to all computer speakers. Bose's processing circuitry does a pretty good job at flattening out what I'm sure is a quite non-flat response curve of their satellite speakers. If you want unprocessed sound and a flat response curve, buy a good pre-amp, amp, and free-standing speakers; they'll be 5 times as big and cost 8 times as much.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bose Companion 3, great system for apartment and iPod, March 30, 2007
This review is from: Bose Companion 3 Series II multimedia speaker system (Graphite/Silver) (Personal Computers)
I just got my Bose Companion 3 Series II speakers and so far so good. I did all the leg work shopped around and listened to different speaker systems. While there are some decent ones out there for a little less money, I settled for the Bose Companion 3.

I live in a high-rise apartment, so getting a high-end amplifier and speakers just means that they would hardly ever be used to their full potential, unless I wanted to have very upset neighbors. Most of my music is now in my iPod and laptop and I needed a way to set it free throughout the house while respecting my neighbors. The Bose speakers are just perfect, I was between the Companion 3 and Companion 5, I finally settled for the Companion 3, given that the 5's added features (Surround sound 5.1 emulation) were really intended for movies, I don't watch many movies on my laptop (about 2 per year) so it seemed like it was not worth spending the extra $150 for me. When it comes to listening to MP3/ACC music I really can't tell the difference between the Companion 3 and 5, so the choice was clear for me the 3.

I have not had any static issues or anything similar with my speakers, they were very easy to setup and I was up and running in about 3 minutes. The control pod/puck is pretty cool also. It does not feel cheap, but rather sturdy and high-end.

So if you live in an apartment and your music is in your iPod and or Laptop, spend a little extra and spoil yourself a little with these speakers, you will not regret it.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusually good for a Bose product, August 5, 2010
This review is from: Bose Companion 3 Series II multimedia speaker system (Graphite/Silver) (Personal Computers)
I generally think Bose products offer lower performance than other simillarly priced products. Bose products are almost always over priced for what they offer and fall way short on performance. Over the last 20-25 years I've listened to dozens of Bose products and none have ever impressed me. To be clear I'm a borderline Bose hater.. : )

I'm an audio engineer and sound is not only my work but my passion.

With that said the Campanion 3 Seies II offers the best combination of sound, design, size and price in the compact pc speaker buisness.

Unless you go to a significantly larger box these puppies are just plain hard to beat. They can benefit from some EQ correction, but considering that it's a pair of very small single drivers with a very small woofer - they are shocking. Open but focuse image, decent micro and macro dynamics, impresive extension in both directions. I was just shocked when I heard them at a friends house and ended up buying a few systems for causal family pc use. I have one set that I use almost daily. I own dozens of speakers in ALL price categories and this is the ONLY Bose product I own.

The remote volume puck with headphone jack and local input for a music phone or iPod etc. is very well engineered and egonomically a joy. This is truly a great product overall - the whole package - al from a company that doesn't usually make good sounding products.

To be frank - I think the results of this product were a mistake by the Bose engineering team... They are actually good! In fairness... VERY GOOD!!! :)
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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing speakers, October 17, 2006
By 
G. Adrouny (Los Gatos, California) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bose Companion 3 Series II multimedia speaker system (Graphite/Silver) (Personal Computers)
Besides the price (which is the only reason it's not 5 stars for me), these speakers provide an absolutely amazing quality of sound for the music I play. I listen to a variety of music but mostly classic rock and I must say the sound these speakers provide is simply stunning.

If you don't mind the high price, I really recommend getting these.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How much music is there in your life?, March 16, 2008
By 
G. Camara (Sao Jose dos Campos, SP Brazil) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bose Companion 3 Series II multimedia speaker system (Graphite/Silver) (Personal Computers)
How much music do have? If you're like me, a classical music aficionado, it is likely that you have thousands of CD equivalents stored in your computer (in my case, 1500 albums ranging from Hildegard to Henze). And there will be more to come, now that DG, Naxos and BIS have gone digital, with others to follow. A simple calculation tells me my collection has cost me more than 20,000 USD. For that amount of investment, I need at least a decent pair of computer speakers that can provide joie de vivre. Life is too short to listen to good music in bad speakers. So, for those of you that love music, the BOSE Companion 3 II should be your minimal choice. There is no free lunch in life. I owned a Klipsch 2.0 system, that is highly regarding by some. Sorry, Klipsch: Bose wins in all counts. Better sound, form factor, and design. For a serious classical music lover, the BOSE Companion 3 provides spacious, clear sound, and allows you to feel the range of timbres and colours of a large orchestra. To get the most out of the Companion 3, you will need to use an EQ (equalizer) setting in our player. A very good companion to the Companion 3 is a good sound processor, such Izotope Ozone. With the right mix of your media player's EQ, Ozone's settings, and adjustments on the position and acoustic properties of the Bose, you will enjoy computer music as it should be. Don't settle for less.
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