Bose Companion 3 or 5

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Digz, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. Digz macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2008
    I am in seroius need of some new speakers for my Mac book. I have decided on the Bose Companion series but I can't decide on the 3's or the 5's. The price difference between the two isn't an issue but I'm after people's opinions who have either of the two.

    They'll definately be used for Music and films..
  2. eddx macrumors regular


    May 12, 2005
    Manchester, UK
    I haven't tested either fully but the USB input of the 5's means less cables into your computer, just plug it into your usb hub. I would be interested to see if this effects the quality of the audio...

    I hope one day to have the money to get Bose speakers so I would be very interested in other users opinions also.
  3. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020


    Jun 14, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I spent quite a bit of time comparing the two and finally selected the Companion 5 model myself. Now I grant you I am a big Bose fan (after getting my first pair of Bose 901s in college), but I still feel these are the best sounding computer speakers I have yet to hear.

    I moved up to these from a set of Harmon Kardon Soundsticks II which I liked pretty well and the main difference in these is the simulation of surround sound that is surprisingly accurate. It does indeed seem that the sound field is extended far beyond what you might think possible for two SMALL speakers and a subwoofer! :D

    If you get some (be it the 3s or 5s), just make sure you first select them in the "Speakers" pane in your System Preferences. Select "Output" then select "Bose USB Audio". THEN go into "Audio Midi Setup" in your Utilities folder. Use "Configure Speakers" to select the "Multichannel" tab, then "5.1 Surround" in the drop down list to enable the full surround simulation. Makes a HUGE difference!

    Anyhow, yes the price on the 5s was painful for a set of computer speakers, but that pain only lasts for a short time when you are watching a good movie or enjoying some quality music! I don't regret buying them at all- plus the "hockey puck" volume adjuster/audio input device is cool too! :D
  4. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    Why not get better speakers, like monitors?

    The Blue Sky Exo 2.1 is ten times better of a speaker...
  5. Luap macrumors 65816


    Jul 5, 2004
    Bose gets a lot of stick these days. But I quite like their speakers. It was Bose who really got the ball rolling with Satellite + Sub mainstream speaker design and technology, so they certainly know a thing or two about it.
    You may be able to get better speakers for the money, but not as nicely designed. Blue Sky speakers however, are good, granted. So might be worth a look still.

    Listen to as many as you can (Even though noisy shop environments are less than ideal) and go with what you like. This is important, because opinions are extremely subjective when it comes to speakers. Probably more so than any other audio gear..
  6. stiles macrumors member


    Apr 19, 2008
    I've had very bad luck with Bose. First off let me say, i had a set of the Companion 3's and they just aren't that great. They have weak mid-tones and they are very treble heavy. The sub isn't even close to how powerful it should be. They looked nice on my desk with my old powerbook but they just didn't suffice. One day i heard a "pop" noise behind the sub. I was NOT listening to them loud and there was no power-surge or anything. They wouldn't even power up after that. Of-course this was about 2 months after my warranty had expired. I was so frustrated. I had a similar experience while listening to my Bose Triport headphones. The left ear clicked when i was casually listening from my ipod and i lost all the sound on the left side. I'm not abusive towards my equipment, I'm actually rather carful with my things, so this was surprising to me. I will never buy Bose again.

    Since then i bought these -

    I love Klipsch. I found these to have a much bigger more colorful sound. (for 100$ less too)
  7. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    I don't think that Bose is the devil like many other threads on this forum have expressed. I just think that they have used their name and their success with the 901s and others to do two things that strayed from their original model:
    1. Overprice their technology
    2. Have mediocore technology at more reasonable prices

    The Companions aren't bad speakers, they are minimalistic as compared to almost everything and have a nice sound. But for what you are paying, I'm shocked that people that have room on their desk for somethingelse don't choose the other route. Extreme Audiophiles will say that "Bose is crap" but for those of us that don't spend six figures on audio set-ups, you can still get decent sound out of some Bose products. If you want the best sound sub $500 get some monitors and a KRK sub, it's that simple.
  8. markjmarkj macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2009
    Hi Digz

    So this was nearly a year ago. It's June 2009 and I am making the same decision.

    What did you decide? Bose Companion 3 or 5 ?


  9. Andrew Henry macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2008
    I just received my Companion 3s today, and they are pretty sweet speakers, Im impressed with them, a lot of people on here give Bose crap, but personally Im very satisfied with my set, they are loud, clear and sound great!

  10. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    thanks markjmarkj for using the search feature.

    there are a bijillion threads about speakers in that price range. Most recently this one, but you already seem to know how to use the search feature.
  11. FX120 macrumors 65816


    May 18, 2007
    Bose does not offer a subwoofer. They offer "bass modules", which play up way to high into the midbass frequencies. They not only sound terrible, but they also shift imaging. The "Bose trick" in making their sattelites so small is to use a very tiny driver that only plays down to ~400hz, match it with a bass module with a big floppy cone that tries to fill in the rest with a bunch of EQ slapped on for good measure.

    I guess I fail to see what is nicely designed about made-in-china plastic boxes with cheap 2" full range drivers in them. Sure they might be a step above Logitech, but not by much. They're not even close to being worth what Bose asks for them...
  12. Sponsi macrumors member


    Apr 26, 2009
    Under Palm Trees
    I have the 3's, when I go to System Preferences there is no option for Bose. Also, it says "Output" not supported in the "Audio Midi Setup". The speakers are connected through the microphone jack and not USB. Could this be the problem? I don't believe there was a USB cable included though.
  13. 4evaMacnLinux macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2011
    I own a companion 5 and logitech z 5500 both of them are great products. If you're after surround go with the 5 plus it's got better quality than the 3. I've compared both of them before buying at bestbuy and the 3 does not live up to my expectation.
    MacPro5.1(2011)/ 12-Core Intel Westmere@2.93 GHz/ 64gb memory/ Ati 5870/ 4x MEP RE 400gb in raid 0/ 2x LG 10x blu-ray reader & writer
    Iphone 4 32gb black (2011)
    Ipod Classic 160gb black (2011)
    Ipad 2 64gb black with 3G (2011)
  14. lukegibson macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2012
    Bose Companion 5

    Hi... in my opinion I would listen more to the speakers them selves than the people on here that only slate BOSE because they them selves can't afford them... I will admit they are slightly price heavy but when you listen to the sound they can produce you forget about the zeros and more about how flipping good your music/ movies/ games sound! I went in expecting to buy the companion 3s because I had tested these before and because I allowed my self a budget... I went in and tried them out and thought ok these are great i will take these then someone was playing the companion 5s next to me in the show room so I had a listen and with out a doubt the sound is no comparison between these two! the 5s are far superior! I have bought them and have never been happier I tried them with my TV... admittedly not great and the usb connectivity makes this a bit of a pain but with my computer these are superb... if you can buy bose then I would over and over again and for the sake of an extra 100 quid... well hey your buying bose you may as well get the better of the two! people who compare Logitech to bose like i said before cant afford bose and are wrong! how can you compare something that is £50 - £150 to somethings that £300 - £350.

    hope this helps!!

    always go BOSE!! if you want to hear the best buy the best!

  15. mfram macrumors 65816

    Jan 23, 2010
    San Diego, CA USA
    I own both a set of Companion 3 and Companion 5 speakers on different machines. The Comp 5 has much better sound. The C5 does digital processing to the sound which makes it awesome for music. I think the C3s sound a little flat compared to the C5s. The only issue I have with the C5s are the larger stands for the speakers.

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