Should I buy those Bose M3 (not M2) or an alternative?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by UltraNEO*, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    #1
    Hiya folks,

    I know xmas has just passed but the January sales are here! Great for bargains, no? OK. i'm now in the market for some new speakers, preferably something great sounding with a small or tiny footprint. And just to throw a spanner in the works, they need to be MOBILE! Now, I've always loved my five year old H/K Soundsticks but they kinda died on me.. so I like a change.

    Currently I'm looking at the new Bose Micro MusicMonitor M3 yeah.. they look like the M2 but they're not! And they're out in the stores here (in Japan) and they sound absolutely fantastic!! Before, I didn't know about their specs, it turns out they're are a two piece set, unlike a my old H/K's. Plus they fulfil all my requirements - yes they will work of batteries (AA cells x4).


    Oh, before anyone dis the product, here's a review on engadget. Please bare in mind those M3's ain't out every where yet. Also, here's some comments from people who've actually brought them (sorry in Japanese)

    Now, I'd like your alternative suggestions please, I know there are other options that's why I'm not actually made the purchase yet. And those M3's are a touch on the extortionate side when it comes to parting with me dough! They're tagged for ¥49,980 (approx $455!!!!) :eek:


    Thanks.:D
     

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  2. Tucom macrumors 65816

    Tucom

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    #2
    There's actually a U.S version of the same product known as the Bose MusicMonitor (which is the M2, but they're essentially identical products) -

    http://www.bose.com/controller?even...inment/computer_gaming/musicmonitor/index.jsp

    If you're looking for something small, portable, with great sound to boot, these are very hard to beat.

    Unlike many of Boses products, these produce the treble and the and mid-range through one solidly built, all anodized aluminum enclosure - which is very well made. I brought in my iPod to play some songs on these out of curiosity on their sound quality, and they were very impressive. The kind, but not obtrusive, sales rep gladly went through the trouble of finding me a 1/8" to 1/8" male cord that allowed me to hook up my iPod to the MusicMonitors.

    Bose basically calls it the iPhone of their company, as they say it's one of the best products they have ever produced. It would be nice to eventually see this kind of construction and technology in their home-theater systems, as it would lead to much better sound quality and build quality


    Peace
     
  3. eRondeau macrumors 6502a

    eRondeau

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    #3
    Not exactly the same, but I just bought a set of Bose Companion-3 speakers (2.1) for my iMac and they sound amazing! Seriously amazing! Only weird thing is, I can't find the specs for them anywhere. I don't think Bose even publishes technical details, like they're above that level or something. Anyway I'm very happy with them. $249 CDN at Best Buy in Ontario. Bonus points because the little rotary volume controller pod has an aux-in and a headphone-out jack, so you can quickly and easily plug-in an iPod and hear it through the system without unplugging your computer.

    http://www.bose.com/controller?event=view_product_page_event&product=companion3_computer_index
     
  4. UltraNEO* thread starter macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    #4
    Thanks for that. It's nice to get an honest opinion from someone who've heard the previous model.

    However, I would imagine there are slight differences between the M2 and M3 models, cause the price differs over ¥10,000!! They have both models instore.. but can't really tell the sound differences cause during the Xmas period there was some band playing instore!! However, the M3's come in Silver or Black (both the same price).. and the M2's only in Silver!


    Hiya eRondeau,
    I found the specs for you, but it's in Japanese...

    What I'm curious about is this.. like so many other desktop speakers, when you crank them up, does it crackle or does the sound appear to distort like more too much treble and not enough bass, or vice-versa?
     
  5. eRondeau macrumors 6502a

    eRondeau

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    #5
    I've been keeping my iMac's output level at 90% and then adjusting the listening volume with the Bose pod. I would say the bass starts to roll-off at about 9/10th's volume, but up to that point it is very well balanced throughout the range. I've never listened to it at 10/10th's until just this moment and it is pretty darned loud! The midrange/treble never starts to distort at any level however, the only protection seems to be rolling-off the bass, but as I said that doesn't happen until maximum volume. To me, it is more important that it be clear and balanced at low-to-medium levels and I'm very happy with its performance in this regard. The subwoofer has a hidden gain control as well, but I've just kept it flat. Actually I was playing "Stand Back" by Stevie Nicks at about 3/10th's volume this afternoon and the amount of bass energy on that track just blew me away -- I'd never really heard it before!
     
  6. UltraNEO* thread starter macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    #6
    Wow! Dude, that's quite impressive.. can't believe you've tried it. Thanks! :) From what I know, a decent set of speakers should sound perfect around the 2-3 O'clock mark and anything pass that is a bonus!! Now, i'm really curious as to how those M3 would sound like at near max! OK.. i don't play music at max all the time but it's nice knowing a set can handle whatever the user throws at them, right?
     
  7. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #7
  8. Tucom macrumors 65816

    Tucom

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    #8
    I honestly doubt the it would exceed the Bose M2 by a considerable amount, especially in the mid-range and treble area. Again, this is only relevant to their Companion speakers, specifically talking about the M2s. The bass may be a little better, but the overall I think the M2s would be a better buy, at least for the OPs needs.

    Having owned the first generation Companion 3 series, I can attest to them being in a higher league than their home-theater array. They've really paid attention to their multimedia line and have made some great products. Some of the few Bose products I would recommend.


    Peace
     
  9. benzslrpee macrumors 6502

    benzslrpee

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    #9
    if you like Bose then i suppose 450 USD would only be a touch extortionate...but it would really hard to justify the price tag any other way. a quick perusal on the Apple website i'd say Klipsch, M-Audio and Creative GigaWorks all have something similar to the Bose without the heft in the price.

    personally i kinda prefer the Creative ones.

    however, since you specifically designated "mobile" as a criteria why not go for some headphones? they are gonna be more mobile than any speaker ever will be and probably easier to haul around in airports or wherever you're planning on using your portable speakers. at the price range you're looking at you can get some magnificent cans that can do everythign cept cook and clean...heck you're in Japan! surely the land of techno wizardry has something which offers a better bang-for-buck-ratio than the Bose?
     
  10. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #10
    It is well know that Bose usually contains tweeter and woofer, but no mid-range, thus missing a part of the sound spectrum.

    You are comparing a 26 pound system (granted take away a few pounds for the cable, the amplifier) to something that weights 10% the weight. It's unlikely the tiny speakers can produce the same as something with a heavier cabinet and multi-elements.

    Granted Bose does sound good to many people, but these are not the people who have ever listened to reference speakers...
    Thus, if you use Bose as a reference, of course you will suggest the Bose. However, it'll be hard to find a serious audiophile magazine reviewer recommending Bose speakers over other speaker systems, because you can always get better speakers at a lower price.
     
  11. eRondeau macrumors 6502a

    eRondeau

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    #11
    I see your point, however many audiophiles believe that the signal processing (crossovers, phase shifting, filter distortion, etc.) inherent in a 3-way speaker system ruins any actual benefit from it. Audiophiles and engineers agree that theoretically a 1-way speaker is by far the best (requiring no crossover electronics) if it was actually capable or reproducing all frequencies accurately. So far no such 1-way speaker has been produced, which is why we need woofers and tweeters, and mid-range drivers. I have done some serious listening to some seriously expensive audio gear, and I tend to agree. I am not defending the engineering marketing decisions made by Bose, but there are definite sonic benefits to 2-way simplicity.
     
  12. UltraNEO* thread starter macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    #12
    Oh, thanks but I have some decent cans,
    currently using UM2 by Westone here's a review, only $299 a pair!
    A bargain! :) Highly recommended!! :p Though that's NOT the price i paid.. someone was selling them on Yahoo Auctions for less than $200!! Woot!

    Personally when it comes to Monitors, I like the KEF reference series powered by mono blocks from the likes of Linn Audio - not exactly cheap and sadly, most definitely not mobile. Back home, for space saving and value for money I settled for a set of JBL Controls Ones (Mk1) with a 12/14 inch JBL Bass Bin...

    The thing i ask about the Bose isn't just about the price.. but as you know some speakers do sound dull and lifeless on certain types of music, the M2's were a perfect example... but M3's are supposed to be a more refined version with better mid-range. Still I'm waiting for a quiet day so i can can really test those speakers out, without a load of people shouting and screaming in the background... Japan isn't such a friendly place, when it comes to returning something that's not faulty, unfortunately.
     
  13. metallicaisgood macrumors member

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    #13
    There are other better computer speakers out there, look into Klipsch, Cambridge, and Creative Labs.
     
  14. UltraNEO* thread starter macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    #14

    Dunno about you or the rest of yous but 26lbs (or 11.81Kgs) ain't mobile! Doesn't matter if they sound like the best reference speakers on earth! :D My idea would be something that doesn't weigh no more then the MBP either 5.4 pounds (2.45 kg) or 6.8 pounds (3.08 kg) depending on which model you own! Perhaps you have the best mobile on earth, weighing in at 5Kgs? :p
     
  15. Tucom macrumors 65816

    Tucom

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    #15
    You evidently have failed to read my posts, at least thoroughly. These Bose speakers have a single high excursion full range driver that uses two passive radiators to produce the low end (which is impressive considering its size).

    By using a single driver to handle the sound output, it's going to deliver the mid-range as well, because there is no crossover. I've tested some male vocal songs on this set and they perform admirably for their size.

    Again, I do not favor Bose's home-theater line up much at all, but their Companion series are something to look out for when shopping for a speaker system of such services.


    Peace
     
  16. UltraNEO* thread starter macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    #16
    Hey guys thanks for all your input. Today I went ahead and bought them, and despite there are so many anti-bose fans on this forum.. those speakers sound much better then the M2!

    A whisper in the managers ear and those lovely guys/gals at the AppleStore, set both pairs up (M2 and M3), while i compare them... It's fookin' great how the Japanese people will goto any length to give a customer satisfaction!! I got a Tax rebate too!! :D

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Tucom macrumors 65816

    Tucom

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    #17
    They really sound that much better than the M2s? In what ways?

    I do like the disconnect cord that connects both speakers together.


    Know if they're comin to the U.S. soon?


    Peace
     
  18. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    #18
    Really, a good pair of speakers should sound good at all volumes up to very high volume leves, although this also depends heavily on the amplifiers (regardless of whether they're built into the speakers or not). Very few speakers can do this though. As a general rule of thumb, most good systems can play up to around 70-75% before they begin to fall apart. I've only heard two pairs of speakers which can play up to what seems 'absolute full volume' and also stay in control perfectly.

    Agreed. I've rarely seen their multimedia speakers, but what I have seen has been impressive.

    Definitely can't say the same thing for their 'hifi' products though...
     
  19. UltraNEO* thread starter macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    #19

    Hiya Tucom dude,


    Well, I'm not gonna compare them to bookshelf speakers or floor standing systems, not even studio quality reference monitors, cause that's not what they are. These M3's are desktop speakers for uses with personal equipment, they're designed to offer a decent, if not a great sound and be practical and mobile.

    I'm talking shove them in a back-pack sort of mobile. To give you some idea of the weight, the carton with all it's packaging, power brick and various interconnecting cables, leather protecting case for each unit and a soft carrying pouch come to just 2.7Kg (that's with all the cardboard and cabling options!!)

    The individual units are weigh about 600grams each, with batteries inserted. According to the manual, with the supplied AC adaptor those active speakers will output 20Watts or 2Watts when powered on dry cells.. not bad considering we're talking about four AA size cells.

    How they sound?
    Sound wise it's fairly balanced, nice and solid, vocals come across as strong and powerful much better than the M2 in my opinion. Even at full power (not 75%-90%) voices don't crackle or distort nor are they drowning due to over powering treble or bass. I dunno what those folks at Bose did but those M3's sound so different from it's predecessor, even male tenner sound pleasing and that's saying something... For the first time I'm quite happy to play my tunes with the EQ set to flat.

    Demoing the M2's in the store, I found myself tweaking at the EQ just to get the midrange to a satisfactory level, often cutting the treble and parts of the bass but with the M3's I'm fairly impressed with the speakers performance, I love the dual bass radiators I'd say the low-end is highly impressive, definitely something I wasn't expecting from a speaker of this size.

    For me, i think it's money well spent! Because they fill all my requirements and the sound quality is above average... Though there are some things I'd like, such as details about the speakers, such as it's sensitivity, frequency response ect... also knowing how long a set of new batteries will last in the unit would be handy.

    At the moment, I have no idea when they might be hitting the US shores or other nations since they don't even appear on Bose.com and searching Google for Bose M3, every site popping up seems to be in Japan.


    //edit
    Though, if your seriously interested and can't wait for it's release, I could post a pair on ebay but please PM first.
    Also bare in mind they'll be coming from Japan, so I'll have no idea how much postage would be.
     
  20. Tucom macrumors 65816

    Tucom

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    #20
    I did notice a little mid-range deficiency with the M2s when I was demoing them in a nearby Bose store a while back, though it was definitely there with great reproduction and thevocals still came out with excellent clarity - an attribute common with quality full-range drivers. Glad to you see you are quite satisfied with your new speaker purchase :]

    Appreciate the offer to obtain a set of M3s for me man, but the question was more out of curiosity as Bose as quite a few Japan-only products.


    Peace
     
  21. UltraNEO* thread starter macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    #21
    Yep i notice that too, perhaps why i didn`t go for the M2`s....
    well, as far as audio goes I think I`m pretty happy for now :D
     
  22. Tucom macrumors 65816

    Tucom

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    #22
    Hey man,

    So you're living in Japan, why? Are you Japanese? Can you speak Japanese?

    If not, are you learning it? If you are learning it, how hard has it been for you thus far?

    Excuse what may seem an overload of questions. I really find the Japanese culture and the area itself intriguing/interesting, and exciting, and would love to at least visit there some time.


    Peace
     
  23. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

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    #23
    I'm familiar with the well-accepted arguments against Bose and have dabbled briefly in audiophile equipment, but some of the small Bose systems for computer and iPod sound very appealing to my ears.

    I know the sound is not 'accurate', but at the end of the day you have a budget and you have your ears. So you listen to everything within your budget, and pick what sounds best to you. I don't think I'd get one of their home theater/stereo setups, but will definitely look at the M2/M3 in the future (they better sound GOOD for that price though!)
     
  24. UltraNEO* thread starter macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    #24
    Usually Japanese people ask me this question...
    So you know, I'm gonna tell you exactly what I tell them,
    saves me repeating myself unnecessary... so here it is: 何に日本?:D

    Living in Jpn 'n' learning the lingo is fun!
    How difficult it is, depends largely on you~
     
  25. MTMT macrumors newbie

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    #25
    UltraNEO*,

    GREAT thread - enjoyed the read. Thanks. You got PM.

    Thanks,
    MTMT
     

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