Best External Speakers for new iMac under 350 or a lot less?


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 9, 2011
Well, I purchased my new 27 inch iMac today. Now I have to wait 1 month to get it, but that is another story. My old 5.1 creative inspire speakers won't work with the iMac, they are analog only. I am now in the market for a new pair of speakers. I am not going to buy 5.1 , probably 2.1. Here is what I will use them for: Music, Movies, videos from the web. I won't be doing a lot of gaming on the iMac since I have a PS3 and XBOX 360. I do want a good sounding set of speakers, with good bass sound, but very clear sounds, not a lot of static in the sound, even when turning up the volume.

I have looked at a few speakers so far.

I looked at Bose Companion 5 Multimedia Speaker System and the Bose Companion 3 Series II Multimedia Speaker System at the Bose Factory outlet today near my house. There was a big difference in sound between the 5 and the 3. The 5 felt like the music surrounded you and the 3 felt like the music was coming straight at you. Both did sound very clear and the bass was terrific. I could purchase either ones for discounted prices if I want to buy factory-renewed product from them. The Companion 5 factory renewed is 319 US dollars and the Companion 3 is 189 US dollars. It has the same 1 year warranty as the new ones. Has anyone bought these factory renewed ones from Bose? Are they any good?

Others that I have looked at is the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 $154 and Logitech THX-Certified Speaker System Z623 for $129.

Anyone have opinions on which one of these I should get or any other suggestion. Any help would be appreciated.


macrumors 6502
May 6, 2011
There was another forum about this...IIRC just a normal "speakers" thread without price limit. I there mentioned that I've had the Companion 3 for 2 or 3 years now and still love them. They are connected to my TV and MBP, basically use them for everything. I wish I had gotten the Companion 5's since they are the better model and produce a fuller sound.

Don't be afraid of the refurbished ones, if that's what they are, since they should come guaranteed from Bose. What I'm saying is go for the 5's if you can and you'll be happy. More people will post with other options but my opinion of my Bose products is that they are some of the best!


macrumors member
Apr 27, 2011
Montréal, PQ.
Speakers are very personnel in what your need.
Is it to listen soft music, rock, classical, video film?
What is your local look like? Carpets, hard floor, soft area or open space?

The best way is to listen them in, if possible, the same room feeling of what you have.

Are you looking for 5 speakeers (surround sound 5 channel)?

I won't give you hint because there must be one types for you. A speaker is your own feeling.

Good hunt.


macrumors 6502
May 6, 2011
I won't give you hint because there must be one types for you. A speaker is your own feeling.

Good hunt.
I guess this is what I was trying to say. Speakers are like a much less expensive car. You set your price range then pick and choose inside of that for the different traits you are interested in/feel are the most important. I got the Bose and have been happy with them as a 2.1 but the Companion 5 will certainly not give you the full surround feeling


macrumors 6502a
Mar 22, 2011
Fort Myers, FL USA
I like these speakers, but it has no headphone jack or aux output. Would have to unplug speaker to listen with headsets late at night when wife and kid are sleeping. If they had added these I would of put it on the top of the list.
to be honest the better headsets are not the ones that attach to the speakers OR THE COMPUTER ITSELF too much feedback you be better getting USB headsets therefore not bringing the speakers/headsets into conflict

Allmyou do is when you switch go into audio preferences AND SWITCH FROM SPEAKER TO HEADSET
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macrumors newbie
May 1, 2008
I you really want to use the headset jack for headphones, get a USB/Jack adapter and run your speakers from the USB port, leaving the computer's headset jack free for your headphones. Just toggle where the audio goes with the setting from the menu bar's list. This works for everything except, stupidly, FaceTime.


macrumors 6502a
Sep 20, 2017
Edinburgh, Scotland
Why not get a USB DAC and keep using what you already have?
Yeah or even a proper amplifier that takes any kind of input?

I don't understand "computer" sound, considering that the best sounding audiophile grade designs are all from the mid-60's...

I guess not everyone is going to pay £5000 for a 40 year old valve amp and Tannoy speakers.
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