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Bose Companion 3 Series II is the base 2.1 model from Bose for a computer speaker system. Being a base 2.1 model does mean that Bose has taken a step back in providing a great sound solution for your PC.


Bose Companion 3 Series II ($250)

Logitech Z-2300 ($115)


Build & Design


The Bose Companion 3 Series II follows the same design and build of the range. The 2.1 system feels like a sibling from the Bose computer speakers line up. The speakers aren't anything outstanding to look at and won't make you go wow! However, they do look elegant. They mean business and are not meant to add flaunt to your desktop.


Satellites


The Companion 3 Series II has two tiny satellite speakers that sit on small stands that direct the speaker in such a way that they provide a good surround effect. The base of the stand is large and made of metal, so it holds the satellites firmly in its place. It does have rubber feet to get a better grip on the surface it stands. The satellites seem to have 2-inch drivers to deliver the highs and the mids. The drivers hide behind a metal grill and the same goes for the Acoustimass Module. The grills aren't detachable. The fit & finish is of very high order and is even better than the benchmark Z-2300. The satellite drivers are on the other hand not as good as the 2.5 inch ones of Z-2300.


Acoustimass Module


The Acoustimass Module is quite small in size, very much in line with dimensions of other computer speaker system sub-woofers. It looks tiny in comparison to Z-2300 120W RMS sub with its 8 inch long throw bass driver. The design of the sub-woofer looks similar to that of the satellite speakers of the system. It is a front firing sub, and though it's hard to say with conviction the size & power of the driver, it seems to be a 5.25 inch driver and a maximum power of 50W RMS. The woofer is long and not tall making it easy to slide into smaller spaces. At the rear of the Acoutimass Module are the connectors of the system. More than 60 percent of the rear is a heat sink to the in-built amplifier. The connectors include the RCA outputs to each of the satellite speakers, 3.5mm jack for audio input, Control Pod connector, and AC plug connector. There is also a power ON/OFF switch placed at the rear to completely kill power and save electricity.


Control Pod


The Control Pod is similar to the one in the Companion 5; the yo-yo look-alike. It has two parts a lower and upper. The upper part has a rotating ring, which controls the volume of the system. At the top, in a depression, is a grey patch that is touch-sensitive and has the BOSE logo embossed on it. Tapping the patch turns the system to Active Mode or Standby. There is a tiny LED on the grey patch, which has different lights to indicate various modes. Amber signifies Standby and green indicates Active. The Companion 5 had an additional Mute feature, which is not present on the Companion 3 Series II.


The lower part has a headphone jack and audio-in jack. This system gives you the flexibility of connecting two audio sources to it; a PC or a laptop at the rear of the Acousitmass Module. The second device can be connected to the audio-in port. It is advisable to use one source at a time unless you are looking for some kind of a weird fusion. That's funny because ideally the default input should switch off the moment there is a device connected to the audio input on the control pod. The jacks are standard 3.5mm making it possible to connect a host of media devices. The Control Pod has a rubber base to prevent it from sliding around. I dearly miss the bass volume on the control pod though.


Overall the Companion 3 Series II is a neat well-designed speaker system with just aesthetics in mind. There isn't anything to fall in love with its looks, but to me it looked elegant.


Performance


The Companion 3 Series II is a system from Bose, which means good sound quality is part of the package but also is the heafty $250 price. But now its time to define how good these speakers really are. Well the Companion 3 Series II would have been a really good set of speakers if their price would have been less or equal than $150. The performance is good for a 2.1 system but not anything exceptional. From what I've heard of till date these speakers sounds just like Creative Gigaworks T3. Though Bose is very coy to provide out power output of their speakers I assume they have at around 100W RMS of total power since the bass driver & the satellites are small units.


The Accoustimass Module (sub-woofer) even though small in size packs good power. The bass may be not like the benchmark Logitech Z-2300 but still fills up the room. It's not a sub-woofer that has tight, thumping, chest slamming, take the wind out our lungs feel of Z-2300 sub, but instead, is soft and resounding. Its range is wide and not the in-your-face kind. Bass heads will be definitely be disappointed.


Playing the track Chant from Foreplay's album, Z-2300 sub was able to accurately produce the sound of the kick drums and did not have any kind of bass decay or bottoming out problem, courtesy 8 inch bass driver. On the contrary Bose bass driver being small in size was bottoming out a lot and was producing mellow bass.


The two satellite speakers are tiny, they produce sharp highs and deliver ok mids. They satellite drivers are not as sophisticated as Z-2300 polished aluminum phase plug drivers which produce a more natural sound being equally good on the highs and mids. If at all I did have a problem with the Bose speaker it would be the lack of bass adjustment on the control pod; it should have been there and now every time you have to adjust the bass from the back of the Acoustimass Module. All in all a good but not great sounding speaker, but does not justify the heafty $250 price tag.


The Z-2300 with 200W RMS power output and $115 price tag will blow the Bose in the waters in terms of sound quality & raw power being at the same time a great value for money product. If I have $250 dollars to spend I would definitely get the Audio Engine 5 rather than this Bose.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RishiGuru /forum/post/19581826


Performance

The Companion 3 Series II is a system from Bose, which means good sound quality is part of the package but also is the heafty $250 price.

I applaud your zeal for writing this article, but as soon as I read that line, I stopped reading. You are posting this in the wrong internet space as people here will tell you, Bose is crap. Read this if you don't believe me:

http://www.intellexual.net/bose.html
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonLavs /forum/post/0



I applaud your zeal for writing this article, but as soon as I read that line, I stopped reading. You are posting this in the wrong internet space as people here will tell you, Bose is crap. Read this if you don't believe me:

http://www.intellexual.net/bose.html

If you had continued reading, you would have discovered that the author eventually came to essentially the same conclusions...


Bose makes really good headphones and overpriced clock radios. Anything else made by Bose, beyond those two items, are worthless, overpriced, under-performing, garbage.
 
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