I bought the Bose Companion 20 in the store earlier this evening. Read every review posted on this website while in the store. I listen to the set at different volumes from different angles.
At home, for aesthetics, I put the speakers inside a 1941 model Philo radio in my living room. They are sitting directly on a wood floor, with a sheet rock wall behind them, the wood of the radio cabinet on the sides, and wood and cloth of the same in front.
I connected the speakers to a portable CD player and listened to, Paul Simon’s Rhythm of the Saints (Brazilian percussion , circa 1990), Surprise (A mix of folk with Brian Eno electronica, circa 2004), the first few tracks off the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Soundtrack (1971), and as I type I’m listening to the soundtrack to Schindler’s List (1993).
I walked around the living room, the kitchen, other rooms, and the floor below.
Bass? Plenty of bass. I’m sitting eight feet away on a sofa, four feet off center, and I’m feeling the bass from a cello, an actual bass, and the low notes on a clarinet. I’m not feeling it vibrate off the floor (my feet are up) I’m feeling it through the air.
On the Paul Simon songs, and even Willy Wonka, if I lived in an apartment the downstairs neighbors would be calling be right now saying, “That’s great that you’ve got a golden ticket, but turn it down wild man.” It is plenty loud for my needs. If anything I would like a little less bass.
Not enough bass for some reviewers? Well I guess if you are one of those members of society who, when six cars behind me at a stop light wants to make sure everyone knows just how much you like the song your listening to, and you have it up so loud that I can feel the bass from your car stereo in my teeth, then maybe for you this isn’t enough bass. Run on sentence?
The treble is fine. I can hear when Itzhak Perlman (violinist) leans towards the microphone and when he drifts back.
If I wanted to throw the rugs into the fireplace and clear the floor to dance, 52 Girls and Planet Z would still rock the house.
I have no EQ or amp, just straight from the grandchild of a Sony Walkman plugged into the back of the speakers. Better compression rate than MP3 but still nothing to tweak. Also, remember, I don’t have these at desk level or ear level. They are on the floor and muted a bit because they are in the radio cabinet.
Now I’m listening to Nocturno played by John Williams (Not the same John Williams from Schindler’s List). It’s Spanish/classical guitar. No other instruments and no vocals. I dialed back the volume and I’m still getting bass at all the right spots. The rest of the work is clean. By that I mean it’s not like some systems where everything is polluted with bass (Note to self: It would be great to play just one song as well as John Williams. Just one).
So now that we’ve spent the evening together, what would you like to listen to next? Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, you say? Yes, of course. Let’s start with a Taste of Honey. While I’m up would you like something to drink? Maybe Blue Raspberry soda from Kroger or Swedish sparkling apple juice from Ikea? No? Okay well maybe there something in your kitchen you’ll like.
I’m on track 4, Bittersweet Samba. Sounds good. No escaping the bass. My feet are on the floor and I can feel it. I when outside to the far end of the back porch (It isn’t that far) and yes, the bass tracked me down and smacked me with its fins (Bass the fish. Fish have fins. A pun, get it?).
So what else do you want to know?
The volume controller is nice. It has a white light about the size of a pinhole that shines when the speakers are on. This will help you find it in the dark. The volume dial is nice and smooth. It can turn down to a whisper and into several degrees of silence. No numbers on the dial. No way to know how loud the sound will be when turning it on. Turning it on doesn’t require any turning. It requires lightly pressing the top of the controller.
FYI – if you’re having a bad day, listen to some Herb Albert. It’s like wearing plaid pants. You can’t have a band time if you’re wearing plaid paints and you can’t have a bad time listening to Herb Albert.
Well, I guess that’s it. Final thoughts? People who say it doesn’t have enough bass never say WHAT they are listening to so it really doesn’t matter. If you listen to the albums I mentioned, and I would be surprised to learn that anyone reading this has the same tastes, but if you do have plenty of bass.
Is it worth the price? Sounds great in the store and the Bose people are smart enough to set up their display next to speakers by other manufactures that sink. Either that or, like the store I was in tonight, Boss was only display working. I couldn’t listen to the speakers that were $100 less.
Okay I’ve said enough. I’ve been playing music for an hour and 45 minutes and I could keep playing music for another hour and 45 minutes. I’m not proud or tired. But enough with the Arlo Guthrie references that no one understands.
I haven’t checked any of this for spelling or grammar errors, but I’m living on the wild side tonight and using my real name so this review it’s going on my permitted digital record.
You will never get the time back that it took you to read this review.