Bose computer speakers

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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.

MediaMate[edit]

Bose MediaMate Computer Speakers

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.[1] Production of MediaMate speakers ended in 2005.

Bose MM-1[edit]

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,[2] which basically acted as a tone control.

Bose MM-2 (Japan only)[edit]

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 Wave/PC[edit]

Bose Companion 2 computer speakers[edit]

Companion 2 (Series 1)[edit]

The Companion 2 speaker system succeeded the MediaMate speakers in 2005.[3] 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.[4] Also absent were tone controls and a power switch. Virtual surround sound emulation (termed "TrueSpace Stereo Everywhere" by Bose) was included.[5]

Companion 2 (Series 2)[edit]

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,[6] although the relative level of these sources cannot be adjusted on the speaker.

Companion 3[edit]

Companion 3 (Series 1)[edit]

Bose released the Companion 3 computer speakers during 2004.[citation needed] The system consists of 2 satellite speakers and a sub-woofer (commonly called a "2.1 system"). Control is via a wired remote.[7] The only tone control is the adjustment of sub-woofer level (labelled "bass compensation"). Dual inputs allow two sources to be played simultaneously, however it is not possible to adjust the relative level of each source.[8]

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.[9]

Companion 3 (Series 2)[edit]

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.

These speakers are no longer advertised on the Bose website [10] as of November 2012, so it is likely they are discontinued, although they seem to be in stock at larger retailers.

Companion 5[edit]

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.[11] 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.[citation needed] 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.[12] The only tone control is adjustment of the subwoofer level (labelled "bass compensation").

In 2007, the Companion 5 won a Red Dot award,[13] 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[14]

Companion 20[edit]

Released in 2011, this system consists of 2 satellite speakers and a wired control unit (called "control pod" by Bose).[15]

Micro Music Monitor (M3) (Japan only)[edit]

Released only in Japan on March 3, 2006 these speakers are called the "Micro Music Monitor (M3)"[3]. The MM3 can operate on battery power.

Computer MusicMonitor[edit]

Bose Computer MusicMonitors

The American version of the Micro Music Monitor is called the Computer MusicMonitor and was released on October 4, 2007.[16] Unlike the Japanese version it cannot operate on battery power and has a different remote control.[17] 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,[18] 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.[19]

References[edit]

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