Bose computer speakers
This article needs to be updated.(October 2015)
Bose has been producing computer speakers since 1987. The current line-up covers a range of speakers between compact 2.0 systems and larger 2.1 systems.
- 1 MediaMate
- 2 Bose MM-1
- 3 Bose MM-2 (Japan only)
- 4 Bose Wave/PC
- 5 Bose Companion 2 computer speakers
- 6 Companion 3
- 7 Companion 5
- 8 Companion 20
- 9 Micro Music Monitor (M3) (Japan only)
- 10 Computer MusicMonitor
- 11 References
- 12 External references
The MediaMate was Bose's first speaker system to include magnetic shielding, hence they can be placed near a computer monitor without causing the monitor's image to distort. They have dual inputs and two sources (such as a CD player and a computer game) to be played simultaneously, with a dial to adjust the relative level of the two sources. There is no on/off switch for the MediaMate speakers or any tone controls. Production of MediaMate speakers ended in 2005.
The Bose MM-1 was a version of the MediaMate system which was only sold in Japan. Like the MediaMate, it comes with two speakers and can play back two sources simultaneously. The MM-1 has "enhance" function, which basically acted as a tone control.
Bose MM-2 (Japan only)
The Bose MM-2 was a 2.1 system sold in Japan. It contains two satellite speakers ("cubes") and a subwoofer. The colors available were black & white.
Bose Companion 2 computer speakers
Companion 2 (Series 1)
The Companion 2 speaker system succeeded the MediaMate speakers in 2005. For the Companion 2, the bass reflex was moved to the rear of the speaker and the styling is similar to the Companion 3. The Companion 2 speakers had two connection ports so that two devices could share the speakers, but (unlike its MediaMate predecessor) there was no control to adjust the level of each source. Also absent were tone controls and a power switch. Virtual surround sound emulation (termed "TrueSpace Stereo Everywhere" by Bose) was included.
Companion 2 (Series 2)
In September 2006 Bose changed the appearance of the Bose Companion 2 Series 1 speakers, calling them "Series II". Compared with the similarly-priced M-Audio Studiophile AV20, the Companion 2 speakers were found to have inferior sound quality but the benefit of being able to play two sources simultaneously, although the relative level of these sources cannot be adjusted on the speaker.
The Series 2 featured a new design, replacing the round, metal speaker grilles with larger, rectangular metal speaker grilles that integrated the master volume control into the right (powered) speaker, similar to that of Bose's Media Mate system of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Companion 3 (Series 1)
Bose released the Companion 3 computer speakers during 2004. The system consists of 2 satellite speakers and a sub-woofer (commonly called a "2.1 system"). Control is via a wired remote. The only tone control is the adjustment of sub-woofer level (labelled "bass bollpcks compensation"). Dual inputs allow two sources to be played simultaneously, however it is not possible to adjust the relative level of each source.
It has been reported that early models produced a crackling noise at high volume levels with certain sound cards. Early units are also reported to have a buzzing noise after they are left on for a certain period of time. Many people complained about the lowest volume level not being low enough in early models. Aside from quality issues, the Companion 3 were judged as being "style over substance" and having inferior audio quality for the price.
Companion 3 (Series 2)
In September 2006 Bose changed the appearance of the Companion 3 system, to match the looks of their Companion 5 system. The Companion 3 Series 2 uses smaller satellite speakers.
Another design change was the redesign of the floor-mounted Acoustimass module, replacing the metal circular speaker grille with a larger, square-shaped metal speaker grille.
These speakers are no longer advertised on the Bose website  as of November 2012, so it is likely they are discontinued, although they seem to be in stock at larger retailers.
The Bose Companion 5 speaker system is a 2.1 system that contains an inbuilt sound card, therefore connection is via USB connector and it does not require the computer to have a sound card. Virtual surround sound emulation is included (termed "TrueSpace Surround" by Bose). The Companion 5 system also works with Linux kernels that support USB audio including Pulse Audio. The control pod features a minijack (3.5mm) input, so that the speakers can play sound from the computer and an external device simultaneously, however the relative levels of the sources cannot be adjusted. The only tone control is adjustment of the subwoofer level (labelled "bass compensation").
In 2007, the Companion 5 won a Red Dot award, this award is based on design, therefore audio quality is not amongst the criteria. The Companion 5 speakers were judged to have substandard audio quality for the price
The satellite speakers are larger than that of its smaller Companion 3 Series II sibling and resemble that of the Bose 3-2-1 Systems "Gemstone" Array, but the floor-mounted Acoustimass module is nearly identical. The satellite speakers also mount on plastic speaker stands.
Released in 2011, this system consists of 2 satellite speakers and a wired control unit (called "control pod" by Bose).
This system, which ultimately replaced the Companion 3 Series II system, features larger, rear-firing bass ports located on the back of each speaker, which eliminates the need for a separate Acoustimass or subwoofer module, all while saving space.
Micro Music Monitor (M3) (Japan only)
Released only in Japan on March 3, 2006 these speakers are called the "Micro Music Monitor (M3)". The MM3 can operate on battery power.
The American version of the Micro Music Monitor is called the Computer MusicMonitor and was released on October 4, 2007. Unlike the Japanese version it cannot operate on battery power and has a different remote control. These speakers feature passive radiators on the rear of each speaker, however there are no tone controls or dual inputs on the speakers.
In 2008, the Computer MusicMonitor won a Red Dot Award, this award is based on design, therefore audio quality is not amongst the criteria. The Computer MusicMonitor system was judged to have a convenient small size, but sub-standard audio quality for the price.
- MediaMate manual
- http://www.bose.com/shop_online/digital_music_systems/computer_speakers/index.jsp[permanent dead link]