I've had my eyes on the Bose Companion 3 Series II speakers for a long time now and have found them for $179 (recertified) from the Bose Factory outlet. I've heard them at Target, Best Buy and Sam's Club and I've been impressed every time but several people would say that I'm among the crowd of those fooled by clever marketing.
I've seen Bose displays for Home Theater systems with speakers on stands placed in the rear to give an immersive sound and I can see how that could push the sale. However, at Target and Best Buy, the speakers are sitting all together so there is no clever placement involved. Some say that the selection of music is geared to highlight what the speakers do well. So do the Bose reps control what is played on them at every store they're available at?
Anyways, upon further reading, I've seen a number of Logitech systems mentioned in comparison, as well as the Klipsch Promedia 2.1 system which looks nice. I'm not a gamer, and the primary purpose of these speakers will be music playback. I may watch a DVD now and then but I'm all about my music. I have a very large music folder, all of which is sampled at 192kbps or higher, much of it at 320kbps for my CD's that I want to be able to hear without any compression. I can EASILY tell the difference between 128 and 192kbps on the same song so although I'm not an audio expert my ears can detect the level of quality, at least to an extent.
What I'm looking for is a COMPLETELY unbiased opinion from those who have heard both the Klipsch Promedia and the Companion 3 and other comparable, regarding the quality of sound for music playback and nothing else.
I currently have a promedia, and used to sell bose Companion 3 sets. I can without a shadow of a doubt tell you the Promedias are a better set. The sub has more impact, the klipsch drivers are just a jump above the bose set, especially for the money. While I really think Bose is a marketing company more than an audio company, I don't actually have anything BAD to say about the C3 set, except its just too much money when compared to the Klipsch set you spoke of.
I just took my lunch break and went to Best Buy and listened to the Klipsch Promedia 2.1 setup. I played with the subwoofer settings and I had a hard time finding a "sweet spot".
Best Buy did not have the C3 set, but they had the C20 and the C5, and I think BOTH of those sounded better. After Best Buy I ran next door to Sam's Club and listened to the C3 set and even cranked up I heard no distortion and if I heard the C3 and C5 next to each other I'd never guess there was a $200 price difference.
Now, I will admit that the music in the Bose demo at Best Buy was different than what they had going through the other brands and I'm guessing it's from a much higher quality source so I'm sure that plays into it. However, considering the price I can get the C3's for, the Promedia set is only 30 bucks cheaper. I'll give the C3's a shot for 30 days and see if the store demo really does make these sound better than they are.