Review: Bose Computer MusicMonitors Are Rocking

14 Comments

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!

14 Comments

brent

without a doubt these speakers are a joy to listen to. Contrary to what nay sayers are saying about little bass, they have not heard these with a high end audio gold mini jack cable. The cable that comes with the speakers is junk and will make your music source sound a little on the thin side in the bass department. A high end monster style cable will make all the difference, giving you the sound you would expect for 399.00. As good or in my opinion better than the other competitors out there. Most speakers do not have a true reproduction as to what the artist intended and through extented listeng one can tire from listening. With the Bose MMC speakers you never tire of the full sound gliding in and around your ears. I use a 16 GB iPod nano as the center console. My wife loves the small footprint, but large sound in our bedroom. The fact they are seperated by 6 ft., rendering a full stereo sound field. Get the right cable to connect and you will love them.

brent

without a doubt these speakers are a joy to listen to. Contrary to what nay Sayers are saying about little bass, they have not heard these with a high end audio gold mini jack cable. The cable that comes with the speakers is junk and will make your music source sound a little on the thin side I’m the has department. A high end monster style cable will make all the difference, giving you the sound you would expect for 399.00. As good or in my opinion better than the other competitors out there. Most speakers do not have a true reproduction as to what the artist intended and through extented listeng one can tire from listening. With the Bose MMC speakers you never tire of the full sound gliding in and around your ears. I use a 16 GB iPod nano as the center console. My wife loves the small footprint, but large sound in our bedroom. The fact they are seperated by 6 ft., full stereo sound field is heard. Get the right cable to connect and you will love them.

David

While in general I’d agree that Bose isn’t the first or best choice, these speakers ARE particularly good for their size. I heard them in a store and was very impressed with what they delivered.

They aren’t studio monitors, and you could do better for the money if you don’t mind a much larger box, but I don’t know of a similarly compact speaker that sounds better.

As always, listen to them yourself and consider what’s important to you.

Kevin C. Tofel

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. :)

James

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.

Nick

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.

kiran

“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.

Parimal

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.

Frank C.

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.

Om Malik

@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.

fesja

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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