Bose Companion 20: Introduction
Incredibly talented Bose engineers from Framingham, Massachusetts designed the Bose Companion 20 speakers, which came out on the market back in August 2011.
The raw specs of the speakers are not available to us since Bose is very secretive about giving away such sensitive information.
What we know is that these speakers are integrated with the advanced TrueSpace technology, which is heavily responsible for its global success.
They have been designed specifically for personal computers and have the unique advantage of being compact and to don’t eat too much space on the desk.
The installation of the Bose Companion 20 takes minutes. Just unpack the box, position each speaker on the respective side of the computer and connect the supplied cables.
There is no external bass module/subwoofer provided but it’s smoothly integrated within.
The right speaker is the “master” one and has 4 outputs on the rear side: one for the main power, one for the control pod, an audio IN interface and the “slave” speaker.
The master speaker of the Bose Companion 20 contains all the inputs and electronic circuits.
The left one has just the necessary driver, which is managed by the right speaker.
For best sound quality, we recommend to position the speakers at a distance between 46 to 81 cm (18 to 32 inches) and avoid placing them too far behind your computer monitor or screen, since it will block the sound stream.
If you don’t use the speakers for at least 2 hours or the volume level is completely turned off (0%), they switch autonomously into the power-saving mode.
This feature is quite rare among common computer speakers.
To enable the automatic standby feature, it suffices to press and hold the top of the control pod for roughly 6 seconds, until you hear 2 tones of chime going from high to low.
Viceversa, to disable it, just perform the same action. The only difference is the sequence of the tones: it’s from low to high.
We truly were impressed! These 2.0 speakers are sleek and the space-saving characteristic complements the computer.
They are small (219 x 119 x 89 mm), not heavy (2.5 pound) and are sold in 1 color: gray.
Apart from the rear side, both speakers look the same with a stylish metal grill covering the front and the rest of the box made in plastic.
It’s round, gorgeous and always within hand’s reach. The engineering team behind this premium product not only did a great job in building a good sound quality product but also questioned themselves on how the customers can use the device in the most ergonomic-friendly way possible.
They came up with an innovative solution: Control Pod.
It’s connected to the right speaker via an HDMI interface. It has on top a sensitive power/mute button, a second auxiliary input, and a headphone interface.
The aux input can be used as a second source to connect, for example, an mp3 player, a table or an iPod. To make use of it, a 3.5 mm plug has to be purchased first (it’s not included in the package).
The black volume ring also oozes quality, feeling smooth but with a slight sense of inertia.
As well as useful for being easy to reach, having a separate control pod is a good idea because any wear and tear on the volume ring mean it can be easily replaced.
The volume can be adjusted by a rotational volume controller.
To increase the volume, simply rotate clockwise the volume control (top outer band) and counterclockwise to decrease.
What users have to say about Bose Companion 20:
I connected the cords, found some favorite music on YouTube and turned the speakers on. It immediately occurred to me it’s been a very long time since I actually HEARD music. I don’t know a thing about base and woofers and whatever. I just know I love these speakers! Now please go away. I’m listening to Ernesto Cortazar.
The Bose Companion 20 does not make comprises, craving high-quality audio.
Ultra-precise, striking clear and room-filling!
Note: Even if everyone speaks words of wisdom about the basses, we believe that they do not truly shine. These speakers are more than enough to watch YouTube videos, film series or just listening to regular music.
For professionals with more demanding purposes, we suggest looking further.
Both speakers are titled slightly back for better sound projection, too.
Bose Companion 20: Conclusion
We tested the Bose Companion 20 and this product knocked our socks off.
The sound is crystal clear. At the right volume (not too high), it’s like feeling live at a concert.
We also tested the volume level at 90% and the sound remained pure without any distortion. Only after this threshold, the music quality started deteriorating.
We compared the Bose Companion 20 speakers with the Sony SRS-XB41 and the sound difference was remarkable: the quality of the Bose speakers is unbeatable, but the basses and subwoofer of the Sony SRS-XB41 are much better and more underlining.
For folks that are in love with deep sounds, it might be a better solution to look for a different product.
For everyone else interested in premium desktop speaker with amazing sound quality (excluding basses), this could be a satisfying choice.