• 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Not what I hoped for

    • Written by from San Clemente

    When I first set this system up on my new MacPro, I was blown away; clear, clean strong, truly remarkable, especially for watching movies. Now, a week later, I've discovered a deficiency that really disappoints me. Bose instructions suggest that you should turn off your equalizer and let the music sound the way the musicians intended it. If you follow that advice, you're going to run into a lot of recordings that sound like the vocal track is being projected from a distant coal mine. You can compensate fairly well with the iTunes equalizer but the fact is that my old $120 sound system did a better job with at last 10% of what I play. Notable victims include David Bowie (try Modern Love), John Mellencamp, and Journey, but you'll notice the effect to some degree with an unfortunately broad spectrum of artists. Overall, the sound quality is still so good that I rate the product at 4 stars, but you would be well advised to test the system with a representative selection of your favorite music before you sink $400 into it.

    942 of 1208 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars


    • Written by

    As an audiophile I sample lots of speakers systems whether they are for home theatre, two channel listening, or computer speakers. In all catagories Bose speakers have been over priced for their performance. Ever since Bose came out with their 901 line, Bose has presented themselves as the Ferrari of home audio. But sadly the rest of their products just don't live up to the 901's quality, and these are no difference. If these speakers cost 200 dollars less they would be a good system, but for the price tag, well they just don't perform.

    -They do a pretty decent job reproducing high frequencies
    - For a computer sub it hits the lows nicely.
    -The touch pad is a neat feature that I would like ot see on other models

    -as i have stated many times its over priced
    -I have found that the mids are lacking definition.
    -The sub is lacking character, only giving out thumps.

    1037 of 1417 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    These speakers are the best bar-none!!!!

    • Written by from Waupun

    I purchased these for my 20 inch Intel iMac. They are easy to set up too. Worth every cent I paid. Bose should charge more. You will not go wrong!!

    451 of 802 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...

    • Written by from hyattsville

    Have you ever seen an ugly person, and said to yourself: “Boy that’s an ugly person!”… Then you realize they have a significant other!! Yes, that “ugly” person is the beauty and joy of someone else’s life! The same can be said of the Bose Companion 5. To “audiophiles” and other sticklers for extreme sound quality, the system – although excellent – is somehow wanting. I say: “A load of crock!” The companion 5 strikes a perfect balance of rich deep base, and crisp high treble. This unit is intended to be a “companion” system to you and your Mac. It’s not a loud speaker and should not be used to rock the house – although it makes a worthy attempt. So if used as intended, it sounds great and will get you digging through your CD /DVD pile, and you’ll fall in love with your collection all over again. Indeed, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as sound is to the ear of the listener. 5 Stars ***** All the way!

    140 of 207 people found this useful

  • 2.0 out of 5 stars

    Pretty is as pretty does

    • Written by from Cuba

    I've had the Companion 5 system for about a year, connected to a G5 iMac running both Tiger and, for the past month, Leopard.

    Often the sound from these speakers simply stops. The only way to get it back is to re-boot the computer.

    If you study the Apple Support Discussion Forums you'll see that I am not the only Companion 5 owner who has this problem. You'll also see that, to date, neither Bose nor Apple can offer an explanation or a solution.

    So, bottom line, the Bose Companion 5 system looks very nice and, when it works, sounds OK (not amazing). But it is NOT dependable. Unless/until Bose acknowledges and fixes the problem, my recommendation is to look elsewhere.

    89 of 110 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Follow proper set-up and enjoy

    • Written by from PORTLAND

    Like other reviewers, I felt the digital processing of the Bose speakers minimized the vocals and certain instrument tracks when playing music through iTunes. It was almost as if the vocals were recorded from the bottom of a well, completely lost in the mix. The set-up instructions for the Mac were very specific when it came to the adjustments to be made in System Preferences-Sound, and using the Audio MIDI Setup in Utilities. They also said to turn off any sound effects processing, but were not specific in what this meant. Another reviewer here turned-on a lightbulb when he mentioned some audio controls inside iTunes. Go to iTunes-Preferences-Playback, and deselect the Sound Enhancer. Problem solved. This speaker system now performs beautifully.

    67 of 71 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars


    • Written by

    I just got these speakers and they work with mac os x 10.5.7 flawlessly. If you don't know how to setup these speakers --> go to Utilities -> Audio MIDI Setup --> change "Properties For: blah blah" to "Properties For: Bose USB Audio". Also change "Default Output" and "Systen Output" to "Bose USB Audio". Then click on "Configure Speakers". Click on Multichannel and then choose "5.1 Surround". click apply. Viola!

    60 of 66 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars


    • Written by from Adelaide

    I noticed many of the 'audiofile' comments - both critical and delighted with these speakers on the different MAC computers ... fair enough ... we all appreciate different things.

    I am 50+ and have owned the best over my time. I can tell any prospective buyer that these speakers are the best I have listened to. Yes the software is minimalistic and the self configuration options aren't top-end ... but for those who want the best, with minimal fuss and classic ease-of-use (the puck is very sexy) - these are the speakers for you. Try James Reyne's itunes album "And the horse you rode in on", or, Lily Allen's "It's not me ..." Simply awesome sound.

    You will not be disappointed ... worth every cent on the iMac 27"!

    59 of 65 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Most Impressive!

    • Written by from Dallas

    The speakers are worth every penny! Crystal clear sound right out of the box. GarageBand, MP3s, never sounded better. I work in multimedia applications where I mix many types of sound effects and edit videos and I am happy to say I found the perfect speakers for the job. The volume control dial is smooth and accurate and I am VERY impressed with the 'soft tap' muting functionality. If you like it 'LOUD' every once in a while... these suckers definitely perform! (for you Warcraft players - there is no substitute) - Cheers

    107 of 164 people found this useful

  • 1.0 out of 5 stars

    I wish I had not bought those

    • Written by from Ville de Mont-Royal

    There are products that you eventually wish that you had never bought in the first place. This is sadly one of those as far as I am concerned. I should have researched it more.

    You may like the product initially if you "upgrade" from something even worse (like I did), but this product is definitely not worth what I paid for it from my perspective.

    Here are my comments:

    -The build quality is bad and the system fragile. I had (and still have) several build quality issues with it. The first puck was not working. The connections on the back are so cheap that I get strange feedback-like sounds when the connections are physically stressed for any reason (moving the wires near the connection or moving the "acoustimass" unit for example). The bass control is a very cheap and fragile plastic wheel.

    -There are almost no software controls. The only controls available are in the Midi Setup utility: a volume control for the whole unit, not even for each channel, and very limited speaker configuration options (stereo and 5.1 and channel reassignment) but that's it. The physical controls are limited to on-off-mute, bass and volume. The bass control is very inconveniently located at the back of the "acoustimass" module, meaning you have to crawl under your desk on all fours to reach it.

    -The connection is USB, meaning that you will run into compatibility problems. The sound for some games does not work or is severely distorded.

    -The 5.1 effect is not very good.

    -The output is limited to 48khz, 16 bit. Forget about playing higher quality files. I could not believe that when I saw it, it is not mentioned anywhere that I could find in the documentation.

    -The connections for the satellites are proprietary. You can't easily use the satellites for something else (not that you would want to, see below) or connect other speakers to the system.

    -And last but not least I find the speakers more and more unpleasant to listen to as time goes by and the sound quality is just not there. I got some high quality speakers for my HT, and the difference is just incredible (the price is admittedly not the same). A little research on the internet reveals that there are serious issues with other Bose speakers (not these specific ones, I could not find specific measurements for them, Bose does not appear to publish this data). Research also reveals that Bose makes products which are quite controversial to say the least.

    Do yourself a favour and consider something else like Focal or M-Audio for example or use your optical connection to feed a separate receiver/amplifier using encoded digital audio. You will get much better quality in that manner with the bonus of added flexibility (you can upgrade the amp and speakers separately, etc.).

    85 of 121 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Skilled but flawed

    • Written by from Manchester

    These are fine speakers, I'm an avid audiophile and have now dedicated my hi-fi separates to dealing with vinyl since my itunes sound so good and have great detail and depth. However placement can be a problem as a lot of detail comes from the central drive unit which also offers the deep, deep bass. This means that unless you have desk and are willing to have the large black box on full view a lot of the mid-range is lost meaning that you get a slight echo feel to your play back with lyrics or spoken word material becoming lost amidst guitars, drums or ambient movie playback. Other than that they're are a class apart, build quality is sound and only lacking a wireless remote.

    82 of 122 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Full-bodied sound.

    • Written by from Palatine

    The Bose Companion 5 System delivers an impressive range of sound and frequencies for such small speakers.

    I currently own a pair of Bose Companion 3 (series I) speakers and decided to get the Bose Companion 3 Series II speakers as an upgrade. While delivering a pretty good range of frequencies and room-filling sound, the Companion 3's emitted a quiet static when the volume was all the way down and they had cheap RCA-type connectors. The highs are much clearer on the Companion 5 system than the Companion 3 series. The connectors are proprietary on the Companion 5's and are considerably better than the 3's. Bass is sharp, accurate and not to 'boomy' - although the Acoustimass module does account for more than just the lowest frequencies, unlike normal subwoofers (i.e. provides low midrange tones), so placement of the module is best in the center of the setup or else the sound is uneven. The 5's also have a nice powersave option that the 3's do not have.

    The speakers are supposedly able simulate a 5.1 type setup and are pretty good at it, but don't expect the sound to seem like it is behind you - it is more like a full-bodied sound 'arc' from the far left to the far right.

    As for Mac support, one thing that is bothersome is the fact that the volume controls in Mac OS X are not as consistent with these speakers - the first few ticks start out relatively loud and the sound only gets slightly louder from there. The control pod will easily rectify this problem, but for home theater setups that are dependent on the Mac's volume control, this may be a little awkward.
    Overall, if you have the money, don't settle for the Companion 3's and spring for the 5's.

    50 of 58 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Compared 3 sets

    • Written by from Franklin

    I bought 3 different sets of Bose speakers (MusicMonitor, Companion 3, Companion 5), took them home, and hooked each set up to my computer at home, one after the other. It was a lot of extra work but I wanted to make sure I had the best sound for my computer (I have a new iMac). The Companion 5 are without a doubt the best. If you watch movies, listen to music, etc. then these speakers are a must...

    47 of 54 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars


    • Written by from Bethesda

    PROS --
    -Ultra-sleek looks.
    -Ease of use/set up.
    -Sounds great with 5.1 encoded movies and more melodic music.
    -Sounds good to the average listener.

    CONS --
    -WAY overpriced.
    -Bass is EXTREMELY muddy.
    -The satellite speakers sound tinny and wreck a lot of vocals in music.
    -Definiately not audiophile-sounding.
    -Not a very large sound specrum compared to systems by Klipsh, etc.

    I got this set for Christmas and I was initially impressed with the looks and ease of setup. However, after listening for a while I was extremely disappointed by the muddy bass which for alot of music is very aggravating. These speakers do sound really good for movies and other media besides music. Overall, if you have the money and are willing to sacrifice some sound quality, this may be the system you should purchase. I would recommend, however, a Klipsh speaker system such as the iFi.

    50 of 60 people found this useful

  • 4.0 out of 5 stars

    Excellent computer speakers

    • Written by

    Don't rely on some anti-Bose rant by an "audiophile" who doesn't own these.

    These are substantially constructed, look good on my desktop (sub is hidden), and have excellent sound quality for what they were intended. I wouldn't put them in the same class as a $100K pair of Rockports, but then again I'm not an audiophile either.

    When you consider the PC you are going to plug these into has a mass produced audio chip that would struggle to keep pace with a $200 home receiver, these USB speakers are a perfect match for computer based music, games, and movies. I wish they were about $100 less (hence 4 stars), but then again I wish my MACs were priced more in line with higher spec'd PC's.

    Yes, these are Bose. Yes, people hate the mass marketing Bose relies on. Yes, they sound great and were plug and play on all 5 of my Intel Leopard 10.5.7 MACs (2 new minis, new MBP, 8 core Pro, 24" iMac, and a lowly white macbook). Yes, they are a little expensive. Yes, I would buy them again.

    47 of 55 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Bose. Not in my wildest dreams.

    • Written by

    Owner of a 100K+ 2ch audio system.Audiophile+++. Bose is great at marketing, hardly ever delivering the goods. Not this time. Walking in to a Bose store in CA. I walked past the Companion 5 as they were playing a movie and I just stood there dumb struck. I have yet to hear under 2K imaging,a tonal palette so complete in the midrange with silky highs and some weight on the bottom. The sound seemed to wrap around my head like great headphones. What in the world is going on hear I thought! Oh there must be more then 1pr. of speakers directed above or behind me I thought. Nope, just a Companion 5 system. Herd them again at the Apple store,sounded like they did at the Bose store. SCORE, I bought them & they sound the same in my home. A GREAT COMPANION FOR MY MAC PRO. Rene

    46 of 53 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Awesome-Make sure to seup MAC sound correctly in OS X!

    • Written by from Longmont

    In order to fully take advantage of the 5-1 sound, you MUST setup your sound correctly.
    go to Applications-Utilities-Audio Midi Setup. Choose the Bose speakers, and click 'Configure Speakers'. Choose Multichannel and 5.1 Surround.
    You will be pleasantly surprised how much better the Bose can sound!

    40 of 42 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    The Only Speakers You'll Ever Need!

    • Written by

    Good Highs and Lows. Stuff i could'nt hear from my normal speakers could be heard on the Companion 5. Important thing is that you must have a computer that can Perform. I would not suggest this product to someone that is using a RAM of below 512MB (especially if you run alot of things at once). The reason is that this product connects tru a USB, and "slow computers" just adds in static to the sound (too many things running at once and you will get static). The TRUE SOUND tecnology by Bose is GREAT! Excellent Clearity!

    50 of 63 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    very nice speakers

    • Written by from jacksonville

    These are the greatest speakers I have ever had. there is not one problem wrong with these speakers. i use a macbook pro and the speakers from the factory are bad that is why i bought these much much nicer speakers.you can never go wrong with a bose product

    112 of 189 people found this useful

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars

    Hi5 (Borat style)!!!!!!!!!

    • Written by from LONDON

    This system is nothing short of impecable!!!
    I was going to Originally Shell out on a pair of Active Behringer Truth Monitors for my Macbook Pro, Instead i opted for the Companions.

    Good move!

    The Companions drivers are fast and punchy, keeping up with the low Range Acoustimas module everystep of the way. The design and build quality is the kind i would expect from a company like Bang & Olufsen. All of the units have a beautifull flawless finish and have weight to them, The control pod is a marvel with its touch sensitive interface and its "nice to the touch" rubberised volume knob. The speakers have Thick high quality wires connecting them to the Acoustimass Driver. Set up was a walk in the park. I ordered these speakers from bose knowing that i had 30 days untill i had to send them back, believing it would be hard for them to justify the cost. However the packaging has been placed in the loft, and they are here to stay. These beauties allow you to really tell the diffrence between an song ripped at 320kbps or 128kbps. (im no Audiophile).

    Films in 5.1 are verrrryyyy Nice. You get a nice sound arc in front of you with the speakers giving rich detailed multidirectional sound. These are the best multimedia speakers i have ever heard! the bass is perfect and not boomy, the highs are crisp and not tinny. These have replaced my Altec Lansing 2100's and Also my Sennheiser HD 212 Pro Headphones.

    46 of 58 people found this useful