Customer Review

111 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For what is is meant to do, the Musicmonitor excels!, February 11, 2008
This review is from: Bose Computer MusicMonitor -- Silver (Personal Computers)
Notes: I don't work for Bose, and I "paid for" these speakers with AMEX credit card points.

To compare these speakers to 3-piece computer speakers makes no more sense than comparing a computer subwoofer to a high-end audio subwoofer. The only similarity is that they produce sound, with varying levels of fidelity.

I'm comparing the Bose MusicMonitor to the few very small desktop speakers that provide a decent sound. Not necessarily an accurate sound; I've heard systems in the $250,000 range that provide excellent sound -- but it is still not accurate sound. If you're expecting the full sonic equivalent of a 3-piece system, you won't find it in the MusicMonitor. You also won't find the thumpy, tubby overpowering "bass" those cheap subwoofers produce. And in home theaters, all but the very best subwoofers are often paired with infrasonic transducers which, when screwed to the bottom of the floor, can take the output frequency down to 5 Hz or so (and tickle your feet and your butt in the process).

Granted, there's not much low bass so beloved of video explosions and certain types of music. But neither is there the strident blaring that often comes from small speakers whose speakers are driven well past the point of linearity. What the MusicMonitors provide is a well-balanced sonic field I would rate similar to some professional near-field monitors. Being small speakers, they do best in near-field positions - not more than a foot or two from your ears. Still, there's enough clear volume that you can walk around a room and the music won't seem too weak. My impression is that the bass tends to rise slower (maxes out) than the rest of the audio range as volume increases. But at lower volumes there's plenty there to give a good feel of solidity to lower notes. You will not get an extreme dynamic range, but then that's not what they're designed for either.

Some studies in the '50's showed that many people didn't notice the loss of extreme bass as long as their higher harmonics were reasonably loud. I'm sure that's at least a part of what gives these little boxes a sense of weight to music. The mid-and higher ranges all seemed well executed, with none of the stridency I associate with small-diameter speakers forced to do more than their design allowed for.

I was frankly surprised at how much I enjoyed the MusicMonitor's sound. I expected something a little better than the competition; what I heard was an order of magnitude better. They sound very good at my normal listening level and if I turn the volume up for a song that deserves it, I'm not disappointed by that presentation, either.

A fair review would pit the MusicMonitor against a 2-piece speaker the same size. But as far as I can tell, there isn't one. So I'll give the speaker 5 stars based on what it does with what it has. I don't think there's a better very small speaker out there. There are bigger and cheaper ones, but they're not really the same class of speaker I'm reviewing.

The Bose MusicMonitor is an excellent close-field speaker system that produces a broad, relativley flat sound with a wide variety of music. The speakers are unobtrusive, nicely finished, and would look good on any desk. An optional carry case lets you bring them along on a trip to listen to mp3 music in your room.

So, possibly aside from the price, these are definitely 5-star speakers. They play music and audio, in a small package, with no obvious audible distortions or other significant problems. Sure, tradeoffs were made, as they always are in design and manufacturing. But Bose has clearly hit a home run with this little jewel.

If you have reservations about buying and trying one, Bose and Amazon normally have very good return policies, but be sure to check before ordering. If you're looking for something small, look to the MusicMonitor first. You'll quickly see how size, weight, number of components and sound make them an easy first audition choice. You may decide that there's no reason to go on and audit your second choice.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 30, 2008 7:57:41 AM PST
If only more reviews on Amazon were like this one -- clear, rational thoughts and opinions concisely stated! You may or may not agree that these speakers merit five stars, but you understand exactly how/why this reviewer arrived at his rating, which makes it easy to decide how relevant (or not) his tastes in audio match your own. Well done!

Posted on Mar 31, 2010 3:21:05 AM PDT
The Old Hag says:
A fair review would be between the audioengine a2 's and the bose musicmonitors. Both 2.0 systems. The former is half the price of the latter and the former is several orders of magnitude higher quality. Bose MusicMonitor 's wouldn't even be a consideration for audio aficionados.

Your review was well developed and that is why this comment is placed appropriately. Consumers should be made aware of what else is out there besides Bose.
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