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Summary:

For quite some time, I’ve been in the market for a pair of speakers to match with my Mac(s). I don’t care much for speakers that take up too much room or have a separate bass unit, however; those are the main reasons why I left […]

For quite some time, I’ve been in the market for a pair of speakers to match with my Mac(s). I don’t care much for speakers that take up too much room or have a separate bass unit, however; those are the main reasons why I left my SoundSticks back in New York. There are tons of speaker options out there, and I’ve tried many before retiring them.

Last week, I went to the local mall to pick up some stuff from Adidas and somehow ended up in the Bose store. And there I saw the new Bose Computer MusicMonitors — and was immediately blown away. Clean, crisp sound, thundering bass and a diminutive footprint (4.81″H x 2.5″W x 4.81″D ) — these speakers really give a big bang for the buck. And that’s a lot of bucks — $399 for a pair. Bose has apparently been selling a similar set of speakers in Japan for a while.

With a brushed aluminum finish, it seems they are purposely designed to match Macs (see photos), though Bose needs to improve its packaging if it truly wants to lure the design-conscious. Bose CMMs use the headphone jack for audio input; you can also use them as speakers for your iPod/iPhone. It comes with a tiny remote to adjust volume and shut off the speakers. Since they have a built-in amplifier, they need an AC input, which is my only complaint.

After mucking around with them at the store for about 30 minutes, persuading the guy to let me plug them into my Macbook, and trying different music combinations — jazz, electronica, blues and dub — I was satisfied enough to bring them home with me. As a caution, if you use your computer’s CD drive to listen to CDs, you might be disappointed by how the monitor delivers the low frequencies. I only listen to digital audio on my computers, so it isn’t much an issue. Of course, for my regular music consumption, I still prefer my Definitive Technology monitors. 

Bottomline: If small size, looks and clarity of music are your primary goals from a pair of speakers for your computer, then Bose CMM should be your No. 1 pick. Now for me, it’s time to rock!

 

By Om Malik

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  1. I’ve them since Christmas, and they are just perfect (a bit expensive). The sound is very clear, without noise, very powerful. If you love music and you have a good ear to distinguis slight differences of sounds, these are your speakers.

    If you don’t have enough money or you need a basic speakers, I would recommend JBL Duet Speakers. They have a very good sound too on which you can differences lows and highs. They are only $40. A tenth of the Bose speakers. Much more worth them for that price.

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  2. @fesja

    they are rocking pretty nicely for me. I have to say this is the first pair I am not complaining about and there is the size advantage. I like them a lot. I tired JBL and well they proved to be pretty tinny and had to give them away to someone else.

    I have heard some good things about Klipsh, but these looked better (and sounded cleaner.

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  3. BOSE IS A SCAM. Well, that’s an exaggeration. But talk to serious audio people, or go out and audition a lot of speakers, and you’ll see.

    Bose took a fantastic strategy over the years of advertising their superiority with expensive ad campaigns that competitors with better performing and priced products could not match.

    Having said that, I have no idea if these speakers you’re referring to are truly a break from Bose’s past extensive track record of mediocrity. The computer speaker market is not as big as the home speaker market.

    But I can’t believe that Bose is making the best computer speakers at any price point.

    For home speakers, NEVER buy Bose. There are many better brands at better prices. This is certain.

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  4. BOSE? LOL only for a half-deaf.

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  5. If you want to hear sound like you have never heard before, then please try Bowers and Wilkins. http://www.bwspeakers.com. Bose is OK at best. B&W, as they are generally known as, are the best speakers in the world. And you can get excellent quality monitors in the 500 – 1000 range.

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  6. “somehow ended up in the Bose store” :) Somehow I keep ending up in Apple store everytime I go to the mall! Seems like a good set of speakers, its got good user Amazon user reviews too.

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  7. I purchased the Companion® 5 multimedia speaker system about 3 months ago. Same price – larger system. Sounds quality is great.
    http://www.bose.com/controller?url=/shop_online/speakers/computer_speakers/companion_5/index.jsp

    chris

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  8. As others had said, ask anyone who knows audio, even slightly, Bose is not *it* when it comes to sound quality. With just a little bit of research beyond the mall you can find twice the performance for half the price. Witness the audioengine 2 which I purchased about 9 months ago (direct) for $200.

    http://www.stereophile.com/standloudspeakers/1207ae/

    Awesome product for the money with top-notch build (kevlar woofers!) and flat and fast response.

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  9. I agree about B&W speakers. The factory is located in Worthing and the development suite is in Steyning, near Brighton in England where I live. The sound is incredible – teamed with a good amp, its like having a live band playing in your house.

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  10. Nice! I recently went with the similar looking Bose Companion 2 speakers that go for $99; found them on sale for $89. They work fine for the music I stream all day on my MBP; curious how if the Music Monitors are worth 4x the price. Time to hit the Bose store next the Apple store in King of Prussia to find out, I think. :)

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