I have been using Bose’s new
Companion 3 speaker system at the office, and I’ve been pretty impressed with them. The system consists of two small satellite speakers, a beefy subwoofer, and a small control pod that sits on your desk. It’s an analog system, so you simply plug it into the audio-out jack on your Mac. The satellites are small – roughly the height and width of a garage-door opener and about three inches deep – and can either clip to the sides of your (non-Apple) display or sit free on your desk. What makes this a bit different than similar top-notch systems from companies like JBL and Klipsch is the ultra-convenient control pod, which has a touch-sensitive pad on top that instantly mutes the volume; a big, smooth volume control knob; a headphone jack and an input jack for hooking up your iPod if you aren’t using your Mac. The sound quality is very good: the lows are deep and rich, and the satellites put out a bright, spacious sound. I know some people feel that Bose speakers can be a bit too bright, but they sound better than anything else I’ve been listening to for the last year or so. My only real complaint is the lack of a power button on the control pod – I connect the Companion 3 to a PowerBook, and I’d like to turn the speakers off when they’re not in use. Bose lists the Companion 3 for $249, but I found it for $199 at most online outlets.