Getting decent sound out of in-built laptop speakers is a fool’s mission. Sooner or later, you’ll want to invest in a set of dedicated computer speakers. In this review, we check out the Companion 2 Series III from legendary speaker manufacturer Bose.
Bose Companion 2 Series III
The Bose Companion 2 Series III has a lot going for it. But as with most small speakers, it isn’t without some drawbacks.
If your goal is to achieve satisfying and full sound without the need for accuracy, the Bose Companion 2 Series III is worth considering. Below we take a closer look at what these multimedia speakers offer.
I’m going to approach this section with two varying opinions. The first will be from a pure listening point of view, while the second will analyze whether these are worthwhile for at-home producers.
The overall sound profile is rich and detailed, with a generous dose of clarity and life. Running a variety of music genres through these produced solid results. Enjoyable and satisfying.
The lows are punchy and warm for a speaker this small. Not surprising, considering Bose has an excellent reputation for loud and powerful sound from small packages. But if you want thumping bass, you’ll be better off with a 2.1 system that includes a subwoofer.
The mid-range also offered plenty of range and depth. The top end was crisp and clear, and the overall tonal balance was impressive.
It’s worth noting that despite the compact size, these get pretty loud and, more importantly, don’t display distortion even when pushed to the limits.
Punchy and powerful sound in a compact package.
The sound was also generously expansive. If upgrading from studio monitors, you’ll appreciate the broader sweet spot that the Bose Companion 2 Series III provides.
These make a great impression and are a substantial upgrade from laptop speakers and a big step up from the neverending stream of cheap computer speakers available today. But for at-home producers, these display some critical flaws that make them a poor choice.
If you are a creator or need speakers for mixing and mastering, these will not provide the neutral response you’ll need. These are multimedia speakers with a distinct colored response that favors the lows and highs. Satisfying for general listening but not accurate for making critical decisions in a studio setting.
Despite the consumer-friendly sound, that doesn’t mean you can’t get some value from them in a studio setting. I always recommend having a hi-fi-focused set of speakers on hand to see how your productions will sound in the wild. And for that purpose, these are an ideal choice.
So I’m torn. On the one hand, these are lively and exciting speakers I could listen to all day. But I’ll stick to dedicated studio monitors with a neutral response for serious studio work.
As with most Bose products, the Companion 2 Series III is well-constructed. Each speaker features an all-plastic body with a fabric shield to protect the drivers.
The plastic itself feels robust and durable. The fabric shield is the obvious potential point of concern. Kids and animals should stay far away as I could see these falling prey easily to fingers and claws.
Excellent build quality from an industry juggernaut.
All the connection points are secure and dependable, but the cable to connect to your computer is a tad short. I appreciate having a shorter cable to reduce clutter, but I feel they could have opted for a longer one.
Longevity seems to be good from most reports, but a few people have highlighted some odd performance deeper into its life cycle. These issues appear to be reasonably rare, but to be safe, I recommend you buy from a retailer with good after-sales support.
Finding technical data for the Bose Companion 2 Series III is next to impossible. The setup guide doesn’t dive into detailed specs beyond weight and size. No details on driver size, wattage, or Max SPL. While not a huge concern, I’d have liked it if Bose was a little more open about what these have to offer beyond marketing fluff.
This is one area where you’ll need to rely on your computer for any EQ adjustment. The Bose Companion 2 Series III doesn’t offer any onboard options. No treble or bass control. Once again, this isn’t a big deal but is worth highlighting.
Initially released in 2013, the Bose Companion 2 Series III offers a simple and slick appearance that can comfortably blend into any environment.
The all-black finish blends well into most spaces.
The plastic features a nice textured finish and is an excellent alternative to other computer speakers that feature shiny plastic. I’ve never liked shiny plastic as it attracts fingerprints, so the matte finish here is a good choice.
This set of computer speakers also features a rear-facing port. Keeping them away from walls is preferable to avoid odd harmonics due to bass build-up.
One of the best features of the Companion 2 Series III is its slimline profile. These little speakers that pack a powerful punch can squeeze into tight spaces, making them a good option as an alternative to your TV speakers.
The slim profile makes these a great choice for small desks.
These are also exceptionally lightweight at 3.40 lbs. (1.54 kg). Highly portable and easy to set up, making them a good choice for moving between rooms in your home.
The Bose Companion 2 Series III does offer a small selection of useful connection options. At the front of the main speaker, you’ll have access to a convenient headphone jack. A great way to avoid unplugging your speakers if you want to use headphones.
The front headphone port is a handy option.
On the back, you’ll also find a ⅛-inch TRS AUX In. This allows you to plug in external devices like smartphones or media players.
Both of these add flexibility, but there is one glaring omission. One that has become prevalent among modern computer speaker systems, and that is Bluetooth. It isn’t surprising, considering these originally came out in 2013, but something that could be a dealbreaker for some.
Bose is not exactly known for offering low-cost options. But they are a premium brand with an excellent reputation for high-quality products. And with the Bose Companion 2 Series III, you get what you pay for. These little speakers outperform many potential rivals.
The price point is still relatively low compared to other Bose products, so it is not the worst value out there. But there are capable systems out there that offer decent performance around the same price point but come with a subwoofer to round out the lower end.
Despite the higher price, it’s hard to look past Bose for quality and performance. Great sound, good design, robust build, at a respectable albeit a little high price.
The Bose Companion 2 Series III is a highly popular set of computer speakers with a staggering amount of positive reviews. Most reviewers highlight the rich tonality and slimline design, and the compact form factor is another common bit of praise.
What Is A V-Shaped Sound Profile?
Speakers like the Bose Companion 2 Series III are often called consumer or prosumer options due to their V-Shaped sound signature.
A V-shaped sound signature emphasizes the low and high end of the frequency range. This results in a satisfying sound profile that is energetic and lively. Bass hits harder, and the top end is clear and tight. Mid-range is still present but often at the expense of the rest of the frequency range.
A V-Shaped sound signature emphasizes the low and high frequencies.
Most popular music genres, like rock, pop, and EDM, benefit from this sound signature. It can cover up some of the flaws in the original mix and generally results in a smoother everyday listening experience.
But for serious music production, it can distort what you are hearing and, as a result, force you into making incorrect decisions when mixing and mastering your work.
If you don’t make your own music or have no need for accuracy, a V-Shaped sound signature is likely the best choice for you.
If you are on the hunt for small desktop speakers, some interesting options are available. Below we cover some alternatives to the Bose Companion 2 Series III that might suit your needs.
IK Multimedia ILoud MTM Review
The iLoud MTM from IK Multimedia is another slimline set of speakers with great sound. The two 3.5-inch woofers and 1-inch tweeter combine well without resulting in a huge footprint.
- The neutral frequency response makes these a better option for at-home producers.
- Compact profile that can squeeze into tight space along with good build quality.
- Not as loud as the Companion 2 Series III.
IK Multimedia iLoud MTM
Samson MediaOne BT3
If the Bose Companion 2 Series III price is a little higher than you would like, the MediaOne BT3 from Samson is a low cost alternative with decent performance.
- Good sound quality that is clear and detailed.
- Features Bluetooth connectivity with lots of range.
- The bass delivery is lackluster and not as satisfying as the Bose.
Samson MediaOne BT3
PreSonus Eris E4.5 Review
Another solid choice that is cheaper than the Bose is the PreSonus Eris E4.5. This compact pair of monitors ticks many of the right boxes.
- Great sound that is capable of light studio work.
- Affordable price point while maintaining a high level of quality.
- These are not as slimline as the Bose Companion 2 Series III.
Presonus Eris E4.5
Should You Buy?
Bose is no slouch when it comes to delivering products with excellent sound quality. And the Companion 2 Series III is no exception. These computer speakers are a giant leap in quality compared to many other options out there. But they do come with a high price tag.
The sound profile is very satisfying, and the slimline profile is fantastic. You can’t go wrong with these if you just want a dependable pair of speakers for casual listening.
Bose Companion 2 Series III