The Bose Companion 2 speakers are one of the best and most popular multimedia/computer speakers on the market today and have been for many years.
This in-depth article, newly re-written for 2021, looks at the latest incarnation of this extremely successful product, the Bose Companion 2 Series III, which has been improved in many ways, and yet still offers that signature Bose sound, as well as the quality, reliability and first-rate look and feel we’ve come to expect from Bose.
Features of the Bose Companion 2 Series III Multimedia Speakers
The Bose Companion 2 Series III is a fairly simple speaker system, yet it includes all of the basic features you might need or want, including:
- Computer Input and Additional Auxiliary Input
- Volume Control
- Headphone Output Jack
- Built-In Stereo Amplifier
- Proprietary Digital Circuitry for Full, Rich Sound
- Audio Input Cable
- AC Power Adaptor
Pros & Cons of the Bose Companion 2 Series III Multimedia Speakers
- The Most Affordable Bose Multimedia Speaker
- Surprisingly Full and Beautiful Sound
- Wide Soundstage and Excellent Imaging
- Quite Decent and Satisfying Bass for their Size
- Easy to Connect
- Easy to Use
- Volume Control
- Handy Headphone Jack
- No Real Deep Bass (though more than most speakers this size or this price)
- No Remote Control (though these desktop speakers will usually be within reach)
- No Wireless Connection
Design and Layout of the Bose Companion 2 Series III Multimedia Speakers
The Bose Companion 2 computer speakers are a fully wired set, which means you will need to run a wire from the computer (or other source) to them, there’s a wire between the two speakers and they also must be plugged into the wall. While it’s pretty easy to keep all of these wires fairly neat and orderly, they don’t exactly lead to a clutter-free desk. Still, many people prefer wired speakers, since they can have problems with Bluetooth not always staying connected or cutting in and out.
The Bose Companions have a volume control on the front panel of the right speaker, which controls the speakers’ volume as well as the volume of headphones – there’s also a handy headphone jack on the right speaker.
In addition to the input for your computer, there is also a second auxiliary input for another device – a really nice feature if you want to play music from your phone, ipod or other music player, or any other source.
The speakers have a ported design, and while they don’t have the deep bass of a larger speaker, they do have a satisfyingly powerful foundation, and the port makes it feel like there’s much more, and deeper, bass than is really there.
Audio Quality of the Bose Companion 2 Series III Multimedia Speakers
Bose is well known for the sound quality of their speakers – in fact, they have been a leader in speaker design and performance for many decades, and their latest lines of multi-media speakers, wired and wireless, are winning over a whole new generation, and are considered by many to be the best on the market.
The Bose Companion 2 Series III multimedia speakers are, however, the least expensive set Bose makes, so how much performance can we really expect? Fortunately, the answer is… a lot! After spending quite an extended period of time with the Companions, I can say that they really live up to the Bose name.
Are they perfect? No, of course not. They don’t have true deep bass, they are not as clear or detailed as more expensive speakers, and they ultimately don’t have the kind of realism or accuracy you might be used to from audiophile speakers.
But considering their size and price, they are much better than I expected – and I like Bose products, and kind of expect a lot from them.
The Bose Companion 2 Series III multimedia speakers actually have surprisingly engaging sound, with a dynamic energy that makes all different kinds of music sound good, and even sometimes quite exciting. And the sound seems to be this full, rich and involving at any volume, from very soft to very (very!) loud.
Even with what I’ve just said about detail and bass response compared to more expensive speakers, the Companion 2s have remarkably substantial bass for the size, and perform much better in this respect than any other computer speaker I’ve recently heard. And the detail is the same way – lots of inner detail and a high level of tonal fidelity all throughout the frequency range, so that voices and instruments sound rich and attractive and yet quite accurate.. And the Companions have frankly astonishing spatial detail. For small, inexpensive desktop speakers, the imaging is almost eerily wide, spatially differentiated and accurate.
Maybe the best thing about the Bose Companion 2 Series III multimedia speakers, though, is their power. For such a small speaker, they play startlingly loud, and yet without harshness or distortion. Of course you could probably push them to the point when the sound breaks down, but your ears may break down long before that.
Overall I would have to say that the Bose Companion 2 Series III multimedia speakers are the best sounding speakers I’ve heard in their class, and are in fact almost distractingly good when I’m working (of course, I’m pretty easily distracted…). They are the only speakers I’ve heard in a long time that provide not only sweet and excellent sounding background listening, but also are satisfying, even engaging, when I sit and critically listen to them without working and without distractions.
User Review on the Bose Companion 2 Series III Multimedia Speakers
I don’t seem to be alone in my praise of the sound quality of these mighty little speakers. Users on various sites around the internet consistently praise the Bose Companion 2 computer speakers, saying that they love the rich, smooth sound, the detail and the imaging.
Many people found the Bose Companion 2s to have a delightfully engaging quality, and an especially nice soundstage and spaciousness to their sound – far more than they would expect from small, inexpensive desktop speakers. People also absolutely raved about the solid, powerful bass from such a small speaker, with at least one customer claiming the Companions have more and better bass than more expensive speaker/subwoofer combinations he had heard.
While there are many computer and multimedia speakers which cost substantially less, there were very few remarks about the Bose Companions being too expensive, and lots of reviews saying they are worth every penny, and that the customers were very happy with their purchase.
Negative comments about the Bose Companion 2 multimedia speakers seemed to focus on the lack of wireless (which is available on other speakers in this price range), and on the fact that the input cord for the computer is too short. I did find a couple of people who thought that the proprietary TrueSpace digital processing circuitry had a slightly artificial sound, although others were sure this digital processing was the secret to the Companions’ remarkably spacious, dynamic sound at any volume, and some reviewers said rather the opposite – that the Companions sounded remarkably natural and accurate for their size and price.
In fact, reviewers were almost unanimous in their praise of the sound quality of their new Bose Companion 2 multimedia speakers, and nearly as enthusiastic about their material and build quality and their solid look and feel.
Product Information for the Bose Companion 2 Multimedia Speakers
- Active Stereo Speakers with Built-In Amplifier
- Speaker Dimensions: 7.5″ H x 3.1″ W x 5.9″ D
- Speaker Weight: 2.3 Lbs (Right), 1.8 Lbs (Left)
- Two Line-Level Inputs (Computer and Auxiliary)
- One Mini Headphone Output
- Includes: 2 Speakers; Auxiliary Input Cable, Speaker Connection Cable; AC Adaptor
Final Verdict: Are the Bose Companion 2 Series III Multimedia Speakers Worth the Money?
Bose products are definitely more expensive than many comparable units from their competitors, and in general it is easy enough to see why – great sound quality, nice layout and easy operation, beautiful look and feel and really substantial build quality.
And the Bose Companion 2 Series III computer / multimedia speakers are no exception. Yes, it would be nice to have wireless, but on a desktop where they sit right next to the computer this is not a big issue. More important by far is just how amazing these little speakers sound.
In fact, if sound quality is your main consideration, I would have to say that the Bose Companion 2 Series III speakers are not only worth the money, they are in fact far better sounding than even many more expensive desktop or multimedia speakers, and represent a great value for the money.
And so, the final verdict? For desktop multimedia/computer speakers under 100 dollars, the Bose Companion 2 Series III gets our top recommendation.