Directory:Bose/Bose computer speakers

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The Bose Computer Speaker Systems are the company's computer audio solutions for its consumer electronics lineup.

Computer Speaker Timeline

The Computer Speaker Lineup Timeline (in order from earliest to latest) are as follows:

  • 1994 — MediaMate Computer Speakers
  • 1994 — Acoustimass Multimedia Speaker System
  • ???? — MM-2 (Japan Only)
  • 2004 — Companion 3 Computer Speakers
  • 2005 — Companion 2 Computer Speakers
  • 2006 — Micro Music Monitor (M3) (Japan Only)
  • 2006 — Companion 2 Series 2 Computer Speakers
  • 2006 — Companion 3 Series 2 Computer Speakers
  • 2006 — Companion 5 Computer Speakers (TrueSpace surround technology) [1]
  • 2007 — Computer MusicMonitor [2]

Bose MediaMate Computer Speakers

The MediaMate is Bose's first speaker system specifically designed for the computer. It was released in 1994 and retailed for $99, marketed as an affordable way to enhance an original equipment audio performance for streaming audio, games,and CDs.

The speakers are magnetically shielded to prevent monitor interference, so that they could be put at any proximity to a computer; they also have dual RCA inputs which allowed a user to mix in or switch to another source like an MP3 player while they are connected to a computer.

The speakers were designed to be slanted upward to focus the sound toward the user’s ears and to improve the audio quality. They use two 2-inch full range drivers to launch the high and mid range directly toward the user, while the lower notes get launched internally, where they travel through a canal that improves and increases the frequency response before the sound comes out of the front openings (Similar to Bose's Speaker Waveguide Technology). The speakers were also designed to take up a minimum of desk space and were available in many colors: Graphite Gray, Ice Blue, Indigo, Computer Gray, White and Silver.

The system featured integrated signal processing (adjusts tonal balance so sound is rich at any listening level), circuit compression (prevents audible distortion) and Bose spaciousness enhancement circuitry (to produce bigger and wider sound from a small package that will most likely be closely placed).

The right speaker, which is the powered one, has a volume control, source mix balance control and headphone jack for easy access.

Bose replaced the MediaMate speaker system with the Companion 2 speakers in 2005.

MM-2 (Japan Only)

The MM-2 is a Japanese only speaker system. It contains 2 satellite speakers connected to an amplified bass module. The cube speakers are designed to be attached to the sides of a computer monitor with the 2 analog audio connections located on the bass module. It comes in both Black & White color options.

English translated product page

Bose Companion Computer Speakers

Bose Companion 2 Computer Speakers

Companion 2 series 1

The Companion 2 speaker system succeeded the MediaMate speakers some months after the Companion 3 speakers were released, in 2005. Like the MediaMates, the Companion 2 Speakers features electromagnetic shielding on the speakers. The main change from the Companion 2 is that the bass ducts are in the back of the speakers instead of the front so that the source mixing connection area would be on the front of the speakers. Also, if placed close to a corner of the room or close to the walls, bass response could be increased. The design also reflected the Companion 3 styling. Like the MediaMate, the Companion 2 speakers have two connection ports so that two devices (from computers to digital media players) can share the speakers. However, the source inputs are no longer RCA type, and there is no means to control the volume balance of each source on the speakers, as you could on the MediaMate.

The key change in sound was the introduction of Bose TrueSpace Stereo Everywhere speaker technology, which replaced the spaciousness enhancement circuitry found on the Mediamates. The result was more clarity and better imaging of sound. These speakers retailed for $99 when they were released. They can be found for less now that the Bose Companion 2 Series 2 came out.

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  • Power Source: 110 AC Voltage
  • Dimensions: 72⁄5"H x 31⁄2"W x 73⁄5"D (18.8 x 8.8 x 19.3 cm) each
  • Weight: 2.12 lb. (.96 kg.) each
  • Color: Graphite with Silver trim.
  • Warranty: One-year transferable limited warranty stays with the system even if ownership passes to another person.

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Companion 2 series 2

In September 2006 Bose re-released the Bose Companion 2 updating its looks & sound performance. The primary guideline of the updated systems was to consider the computer as a very personal place where the user sits in front of the speakers, this way Bose can bring better performance and sound quality, rather than thinking of a system supposed to fill a big room with sound, where many people need to get good sound quality.

The new speakers are basically the same size and shape of the MediaMate and Companion 2, however they enhance sound clarity considerably due to their new design and enhanced TrueSpace Stereo technology. The looks match those of the Companion 5's transducer 'grills' to reflect the enhanced clarity. Bose's advertisements say that bass response has been enhanced as well.

Bose Companion 3 Computer Speakers

Companion 3 series 1

Bose released the Companion 3 computer speakers during Fall of 2004 to provide a broader variety in their computer multimedia lineup. The products that were part of Bose's multimedia collection before the Companion 3's release were the MediaMate, TriPort headphones, and the QuietComfort headphone lineup.

The Bose Companion 3 computer speaker system is actually considered to be a step higher than the MediaMate computer speaker system because the Companion 3, unlike the MediaMate, utilizes a Bose Acoustimass module to deliver the low notes and two full-range transducers to deliver the high and mid-end range of sound. This separation of sound allows for much deeper bass as well as much more clarity and higher volumes. The transducers are smaller compared to the MediaMate speakers, allowing the speakers to be placed anywhere the user wants to place them at, plus they come with monitor mounting plastic attachments to free more desktop space. The Acoustimass Module can be hidden almost anywhere around the room. Despite the transducers being smaller, the sound remains spacious thanks to Bose's TrueSpace Stereo Everywhere speaker technology. The Companion 3 speakers come with a control pod which allows the system to be muted and go into stand-by mode by tapping it, a volume control 'wheel' and it also houses a headphone jack and line-in connectors. An on-off switch that powers off the system completely is on the back of the Acoustimass module, as well as the bass compensation knob that increases or decreases the volume of low frequencies.

These speakers retailed for $199 when they were released as an introductory offer; however, 5 months after the speakers were released, the price went up to $249. Currently they retail for $224, since they were replaced by the Companion 3 Series 2 in September 2006.

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  • Speakers: Two magnetically-shielded 2-inch (5.0 cm) long-throw, wide-range transducers One 5.25-inch (13.3 cm) woofer
  • Power Source: 115 AC Voltage ~50/60 Hz USA/Canada: 115VAC
  • Control pod dimensions: 2 1⁄2 " Diameter x 1 1⁄8 "H
  • Satellite speaker dimensions: 3 1⁄2 "H x 2 1⁄2 "W x 2 3⁄8 "D (8.89 x 6.35 x 6.03 cm)
  • Satellite speaker weight: 0.5 lb. (.23 kg)
  • Acoustimass module dimensions: 8 5⁄8 "H x 7 1⁄8 W x 14"D (21.91 x 18.1 x 35.56 cm)
  • Acoustimass module Weight: 15.4 lb. (6.99 kg)
  • System Color: Graphite with Silver trim.
  • Warranty: One-year transferable limited warranty stays with the system even if ownership passes to another person.

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Companion 3 series 2

In September 2006 Bose re-released the Companion 3 Computer Speaker System updating its looks and sound performance. The primary guideline of the updated systems was to consider the computer as a very personal place where the user sits in front of the speakers, this way Bose can bring better performance and sound quality, rather than thinking of a system supposed to fill a big room with sound, where many people need to get good sound quality.

The update to the Companion 3 speakers, just like the Companion 2, features the enhanced version of TrueSpace Stereo technology, which according to Bose "adds better spaciousness and ambience". This causes the sound of the new system to be more balanced and clear than the previous one, as well as making audible, nuances that seemed to be non-existent before. Performance is enhanced at loud volume levels, and the volume 'wheel' of the control pod now reduces the volume down to 0dB. As for the design, the color is now gray instead of silver, and the transducers come with removable speaker stands attached to them. The shape and size of the system, as well as the input jacks and the control pod, remain the same. The transducers are smaller, and the old rounded shape of the acoustimass module has been changed to look like the Companion 5.

Bose Companion 5 Computer Speakers

The Bose Companion 5 speaker system, which uses Bose's newest technology called TrueSpace Surround, used at first on the Bose 321GS and 321GSX systems, provides sound in an unusual way—instead of using a stereo jack, it requires one free USB 2.0 port. Bose claims that at least a 1 GHz processor, 256MB RAM, one free USB 2.0 port, Microsoft Windows XP or later or Mac OS X 10.4.6 or later, and a compatible 5.1 surround-sound decoder* inside the computer would provide sound "that matches that of a normal 5.1 speaker system". The Companion 5 system also works flawlessly with latest Linux kernels that support USB audio profile, including Pulse Audio. Once you connect the USB cable to the computer, a new 5.1 Bose sound device is added to the sound managament control panel, which you have to set as your default sound device. Sound starts working right away. You also have the option to connect an external audio source such as an iPod to the control pod, while listening to the computer through the USB connection. The control pod is slightly different than the one that comes with the Companion 3 Series 2; both of them look the same but the connectors are slightly different. Bose recommends using the USB connection for true 5.1 digital surround sound, however you can use your own sound card and still get sound that seems to surround you.

When compared to the Companion 3, the Companion 5 achieves higher volume levels, more defined bass, and a much wider soundstage thanks to the surround processing. The clarity of the highs is enhanced, and it enables the listener to detect small details previously unheard of, or not enhanced enough by other speakers.

These speakers have been tested under Microsoft Windows Seven Beta 1 and work fine, with the following effects available to be used: Speaker Fill (converts stereo content to surround), Bass Management (establishes which is the lowest desired frequency of bass to be sent to the speakers, as well as changing polarity of the woofer), Room Correction (using a microphone, this feature tries to compensate for room characteristics) and Loudness Equalization (tries to reduce volume differences between different sources of sound). These effects are also available under Windows Vista, but not for Windows XP or earlier versions. They retail for $399 currently.

  • It should be noted that the 5.1 sound decoder stands for any application that supports 5.1 digital sound, such as the program you use to watch DVDs or a game that supports 5.1 surround sound. You don't need a 5.1 sound card installed on the system.

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  • Speakers:
  • Power Source: 120VAC~ 50/60 Hz 300W
  • Control pod dimensions: 2.46 " Diameter x 1.12 "H (6.3 x 2.9 cm)
  • Satellite speaker dimensions: 8.85 "H x 5.79 "W x 3.83 "D (22.5 x 14.7 x 9.7 cm)
  • Satellite speaker weight: 1.9 lb. (0.85 kg)
  • Acoustimass module dimensions: 8.58 "H x 6.82 "W x 16.74"D (21.8 x 17.3 x 42.5 cm)
  • Acoustimass module Weight: 18.3 lb. (8.3 kg)
  • Acoustimass module Finish: Scratch-resistant, satin-finished vinyl
  • Satellite speakers Finish: Painted polymer finish
  • Warranty: One-year transferable limited warranty stays with the system even if ownership passes to another person.

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Micro Music Monitor(M3) (Japan Only)

Released only in Japan on March 3, 2006 these micro speakers are called the "Micro Music Monitor (M3)"[3]

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  • Speakers: 50mm neodymium magnet drivers
  • Dimensions: 60.4 x 122.0 x 122.5mm
  • Weight: 600g each
  • Power Source: 110 AC Voltage or Four AA alkaline batteries
  • Price: $414 USD[4]





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Computer MusicMonitor

File:Bose Computer MusicMonitor.jpg
Bose Computer MusicMonitor's

On September 18 2007 Bose announced the launch of an American version of the Japanese Micro Music Monitor's called the Computer MusicMonitors to be launched on October 4 2007[5]. Unlike the Japanese version it cannot operate on battery power[6] but has a different remote control.

According to The Wall Street Journal the audio gear maker said it's able to provide symphony hall-comparable sound in digital camerasized speakers through what it called a breakthrough: a technology for delivering deep bass tones from small enclosures. The key to the roughly 5-inch-by-2-inch speakers is what Bose calls "dual internal opposing passive radiators." Conventional speakers typically feature one large radiator. Each of the new Bose speakers has two smaller radiators, in addition to a larger loudspeaker at the front of the unit. With the radiators opposite one another inside the back of the speakers, the vibrations created by one work in opposition to those created by the other and cancel each another out. Without the opposing forces, such small speakers might creep along, propelled by the force of the powerful vibrations. [...] Company officials said the technology behind their latest product took four years to refine once they struck upon the idea of pairing radiators to cancel out their mechanical vibrations without harming sound reproduction.[7]

In addition to the main feature (dual internal opposing passive radiators on the back of each speaker), the American Computer Music Monitor sports neodymium magnets, air ducts, switching amplifiers, Bose Active EQ, and EM shielding.

Criticism

Critics have said:

  • MediaMate Computer Speakers
    • Some people argue that the spaciousness enhancement feature took some of the sound clarity away, as evidenced in many reviews of the system in websites such as Amazon.com. This was addressed by the Companion 2, released in 2005.
    • The speakers can only be powered off by unplugging them.
  • Companion 2 series I
    • There is still not a way to power off the system immediately, other than unplugging it. It goes off automatically after a few minutes of inactivity.
    • The MediaMate had a secondary volume control knob to balance the volume between the two sources connected to the speakers. In the Companion 2 the user has to control the volume of each source on the source itself.
  • Companion 3 series I
    • The systems released in the first few months made a crackling noise when the volume reached extremely loud levels with certain soundcards. This was addressed in the first 6 months of 2005.
    • These early units also had some problems with the transducers making a buzzing noise after using them for a certain period of time. Anyone experiencing these issues should send the system back to Bose for repair or exchange if the problem happens with every sound source; otherwise the problem lies in the sound source. This problem was also addressed sometime in the first 6 months of 2005.
    • Many people complained about the lowest volume level not being low enough: The volume control wheel doesn't go down to 0dB and the lowest volume could be loud if someone is sleeping in the room. This problem was addressed by the Bose Companion 3 Series 2 and the Bose Companion 5, in September 2006.
  • Computer MusicMonitor
    • Even though their sound quality and accuracy has been praised by many, their maximum volume level for the price range has been criticized, as well as the amount of bass. This takes into account even other Bose systems within the Computer category, which can achieve much louder volume and deep, resonant bass for a lower price. In the end it seems to come down to portability, design and sound quality and accuracy.[1]

Awards

References