I’ve been looking for a great-looking and great-sounding speaker system for my Mac. And just so we’re clear: great-sounding is for classical music, and I expect equal or better than my Celestion/NAD system I bought for ~10.000 NOK when I was 15. My problem has been that either the speakers filled too much in my office space (3.5 m2), and/or they looked really bad.
My brother-in-law recommended BOSE, and specifically the Companion system. I didn’t find anywhere to hear them, but I took a gut decision and ordered one. They simulate a 5.1 system, and in that they actually do a quite good job. The tweet/high frequencies isn’t all that great, but if you’re playing computer games, watch movies or listen to something else than classical and jazz, I’m sure out of the box you’ll have no problem with it.
What’s funny is that I’ve grown used to them, and having set the equalizer in iTunes to boost the high frequencies a bit, they actually do a fine job. For sure, I still prefer my HiFi system, but it comes pretty close at a third of both the space and price. I still believe there’s room for great-looking speakers that are worthy of a low-end HiFi system (meaning the equivalent of a relatively cheap Denon receiver with some not too expensive stereo speakers) that can outperform the BOSE, but until they come around this is a quite nice setup. They don’t fill much and listening to Fontana’s Sonata Secunda with one of my favourite recorder players is pleasant. Not like a HiFi system where it feels like the performers are in the room, but still really nice. And for those occational games, the 5.1 emulation works great.