If you read my Bowers & Wilkins MM-1 review, you'll know that I'm on the hunt for a new set of speakers. I ended up returning the Bowers & Wilkins MM-1s and purchasing the Bose Companion 50.
The Companion 50s are very similar to the Companion 5s with just slight visual changes and the removal of the USB connection. As far as I know there are no other changes.
The Companion 50s were £270 on Amazon. Compared to the MM-1s £400 price tag there is a large £130 price difference, which is quite significant. The Companion 50s also come with an external subwoofer making it a 2.1 system.
They look pretty fantastic when setup with an iMac.
The units themselves may not be as nice looking as the MM1s but they still look great. The front grill is made from metal and so is the base. The grill has a really nice finish which seems to be a mix of silver and gold, they look very classy. Each speaker houses two drivers hidden behind the grill.
The arm holding the units up and the rear are made from plastic but thankfully not the cheap plastic. They have a bit of weight to them and have rubber pads underneath so they don't slide around all over the place.
The units are angled up at your head for a much better listening experiences. I've also found they need to be angled in towards your ears to hit the sweet spot.
Included is a remote which has a puck like design and it feels and looks amazing. It has a rubber base but is also weighted perfectly so it sticks to your desk. The volume is controlled with a ring that has a soft touch finish which feels fantastic. The top is touch sensitive and is used to mute the speakers. Then there are two 3.5mm jacks, one for headphones and one for AUX. It makes it much easier to use headphones instead of having to reach round behind your computer to get access to the 3.5mm headphone jack.
The subwoofer is a pretty large unit which also houses the amplifier. It may be too large for some but the bigger the sub, the deeper the bass.
Thankfully the sub isn't ugly so it can easily sit under your desk or even be put on show. It has a pretty understated design.
Round the back is where everything is connected. It also has the Bass Compensation dial.
I've found that the sweet spot is just a few notches away from the maximum.
If you read my MM1 review you will know that I was very disappointed by them. This is not the case with the Bose Companion 50s. These speakers are absolutely fantastic.
The highs may not be as nice as the MM1s but the mids and lows are in another league. The subwoofer outputs some of the smoothest bass and is room shaking enough for most.
When you get the speakers angled just right you feel immersed in whatever you're listening to. They have an almost surround sound effect but because of these some of the highs do sound drowned out. Unless you're an audiophile you won't care too much.
For £270 these are incredible. I very much doubt there are any other speakers out there for around the same price that can output such a nice range of audio. If you're looking for a 2.1 setup that does pretty much everything, these are your best bet.