Nearfield Listening Revisited
Bose Companion 3 Multimedia Speaker System
As you can tell, I was pleasantly surprised by the Bose Companion 3 in nearfield listening.Ever wary of the Bumblebee Factor (wherein you are so stunned that a product works at all that you start thinking is is actually good), I compared the Bose system to separate components are roughly the same price.Coming up with a speaker/amp combo for $249 isn't that easy.But, the much loved PSB Alpha Bs at $279, and the Sonic Impact Class T amp at $29, fit the bill.Yeah, I know, $308 isn't $249, but it is close.
The PSB/Sonic Impact setupmakes it clear that the smallish sound of the Bose comes from its lack of weight in the lower mid-range.Left-hand piano notes, for example, are diminished on the Bose and have much more fullness with the PSB/Sonic Impact system.Treble on the Bose is also more rolled off. But, it is easier to balance the bass and midrange with the Bose. And the Bose, when listening in the 2'-3' range has better imaging. I suspect this is because the mid-range and high frequencies of the Bose system come from a single driver, whereas the PSBs are really designed for listening in a typical far field room arrangement.
To be honest, I thought the PSB/Sonic Impact system would crush the Bose.But it didn't.The PSB/Sonic Impact system is more musically accurate, but I think some musically-minded people would find the Bose system more pleasing.No doubt, the PSBs would benefit from better amplification, but then we're talking apples:oranges in terms of price.The PSBs also will work better in a far field environment, but that wasn't the point of this mini-test.
PSB Alpha B
Sonic Impact Class T Amp