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Bose Boasts Best Smaller-But-Better Effort

Framingham, Mass. — A patented proprietary driver design is the key ingredient that enabled Bose to build a pair of powered PC speakers said to deliver “lifelike sound with musical accuracy from the smallest most unobtrusive speakers we can design,” Santiago Carvajal, category business manager, announced here.

At 4 13/16 inches by 2 ½ inches by 4 13/16 inches, each solid-aluminum enclosure in the $399-everyday Computer MusicMonitor system is about 50 percent smaller than the enclosures used in Bose’s other two-enclosure PC-speaker system, and although smaller, the ported pair delivers deeper bass to create music “as close as possible to the original performance,” said Phil Hess, home entertainment marketing director.

Bose also offers three-piece speaker systems with a separate bass module to deliver deeper bass and higher SPLs than the MusicMonitors deliver, but the company said the MusicMonitors’ goal was to accompany computers out of the home office into more visible rooms where clutter is less desirable. As a result, Bose focused its engineering acumen on accuracy, unobtrusiveness, and elegant design combined with good SPL and bass performance that’s “plenty loud for a personal listening experience,” Hess said.

Because PCs are now used in kitchens and other prominent rooms, “The objective was lifelike sound from the smallest possible speakers for the desktop listener,” Carvajal added. As a result, the company “focused performance targets on the near-field,” although the MusicMonitor system can fill up a small room with sound, he said.

The shift in a home PC’s location from home offices to other rooms in the house reflects the PC’s evolution from a business tool to a communication and entertainment tools, Carvajal noted.

The silver-color speakers go on sale Oct. 4 in Bose-owned stores; Bose’s Web site and toll-free number; and select dealers, including Apple.

To deliver on the promise of lifelike sound, the speakers must move a lot of air despite their small size to deliver bass, Carvajal explained, and the solution to that challenge was “dual opposing internal passive radiators” mounted inside each enclosure behind a single active full-range driver. The acoustic output of the twin radiators is directed out of unobtrusive side-firing slots on each side of the enclosure. Because each passive radiator alternately move toward the other and then pushes away, the acoustic energy of each radiator “enters the room at the same time” to reinforce bass output, Carvajal said. At the same time, each radiator “cancels the primary mechanical vibrations” of its paired radiator to keep the speakers from “walking” around the desk as the music plays, he said.

The MusicMonitors’ performance also depends on other design elements, including the use of digital signal processing with proprietary algorithms to “achieve accuracy and detail,” neodymium magnets for high output and efficiency, and proprietary digital-switching amps that produce less heat in a small enclosure, Carvajal said. A full aluminum enclosure was necessary, he added, to help dissipate heat from the amps into the room, create a visual design harmonious with modern PC and laptop designs, and withstand the high internal air pressures that would otherwise create unwanted secondary vibrations.

To deliver on Bose’s keep-it-simple mantra, the speakers connect to a PC via mini stereo audio jack without the need to load drivers, the company said. Control buttons appear on one enclosure and on an included remote. The power supply is outboard, and a carrying case is available separately.

“The demand for smaller and better has never stopped,” Carvajal insisted. The MusicMonitors, he said, represent “our best effort” toward that goal.

The speakers join a PC-speaker line that includes the two-enclosure Companion II at $99, the three-piece Companion III at $249, and the $399 three-piece Companion V, which delivers surround sound from its two satellite speakers.