Bose Companion 3 Series II

•February 3, 2010 • 12 Comments

A friend of mine was kind enough to lend me his beloved Companion 3, so I can’t say anything bad about it… or can I? ūüôā

This should be an interesting one, since there is a lot of hype around Bose products with people getting emotional and so on.

Frequency Response – Bose Companion 3

The FR is quite smooth from 500Hz up. However moving down from 500Hz, it starts to drop very fast. Now, my measurements slowly start to loose accuracy below 300Hz, but the deep notch at 190Hz is not irrelevant at all. In fact, when doing HD measurements,  there is a range around 160Hz when both the sub and the satellite have very little output. Meaning that there is a gap between where the satellites stop and the sub starts.

Filling this gap is always a challenge when working with small satellites, since there is a limit on how low they can go without producing too much distortion.In the case of Altec Lansing VS4121 the sub produces significant output up to 200Hz to cover up for the satellites, which is a very bad design decision. In the case of Bose, the sub starts to rolls off earlier(which is good), but the satellites are too small to pick where the subs leaves off.

I know Bose has a lot of emphasis on wide sound dispersion (which I like) in their designs by using small drivers. However, in this case they have taken that design philosophy too far.

Harmonic Distortion – Bose Companion 3

In comparison to Logitech Z-2300, Bose has higher 2nd order HD and a tad lower 3rd order HD above 1Khz, which means that Bose probably has a more laid back sound. Not surprisingly given the small driver, below 800Hz, Bose clearly has higher HD than Z-2300.

Note: Anywhere below 200Hz doesn’t really count in this HD measurement, because satellites do not have much output.

I guess that’s about it!

Again I encourage you to open the graphs of different speakers in different tabs, switch between the tabs and do your own assessment. It is the whole  point of this blog!



•February 3, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Just a little proof that I am not making these measurement up from thin air!

One big happy family

Totem Mite

•February 3, 2010 • 3 Comments

This is an interesting one. Firstly, because these are my speakers. Secondly, they are pretty expensive; about $800 CAD for a pair. Ready? Here we go!

Frequency Response – Totem Mite

FR is pretty smooth across the range, except that it picks up a couple of dBs after 4.5Khz, which is noticeable but not annoying to me, but some people might find it a little harsh. I believe the hump between 4.5 to 9Khz gives it its unique tonal character. Note: the ripple in the FR graph is a measurement issue.

Harmonic Distortion – Totem Mite

The harmonic distortion is respectably low. This is why I can listen to them all day with no ear fatigue.

Now, this is where this blog gets interesting, because now you can open this speakers’ HD (or FR) in a tab and some other speakers’ in another tab, and switch tabs to compare them side by side! and see what your money gets you for yourself.

Edifier MP300 Review

•February 2, 2010 • Leave a Comment

This is a brief review of Edifier MP300

Satellite Frequency Response – Edifier MP300

The FR is not very good, but it is not as bad as VS4121 either. The jaggedness above 10Khz is not important because ears are not very sensitive  to level differences at high frequency.

Harmonic Distortion – Edifier MP300

When testing I could hear an audible distortion from the right satellite (the one with the volume control on it). However the left satellite didn’t produce the same distortion. Therefore, I posted the test results for both satellites. You can clearly see the distortion showing up as a hump from 150 to 700Hz in the HD of the right satellite.

Overall, these speakers have a pretty poor HD performance, even if that hump in the HD of the right sat wasn’t present.

I don’t recommend them for music listening, since they are guaranteed to cause ear fatigue in no time.

Altec Lancing VS4121 Review

•February 1, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Here is a very brief review of Altec Lancing’s popular VS4121.

Satellite’s Frequency responce – Altec Lancing VS4121

The FR has two big bumps and they are very audible. One at 480Hz and one at 1650Hz. Since it has an awkward down firing midrange driver, I ran my tests on a number of big and small tables and at different positions on each table (i.e. center, front edge, back edge) to see if that alleviates those two bumps. Unfortunately none of those helped. Overall I rate the frequency response  very poor and annoying.

Satellite’s Harmonic Distortion – Altec Lancing VS4121

Harmonic distortion is quite high through out the whole range particularly between 200-500Hz. This means they might sound sparkly at first, but they will cause ear fatigue in time.

About the Sub

I do not a have the proper setup to measure subwoofers, but I find the sub too boomy and not realistic at all.

Overall, I do not recommend these speakers for music; however, they should be ok for gaming.

Logitech Z-2300 Review

•February 1, 2010 • 7 Comments

In this post I am going to take a look at Z-2300 which is a pretty popular speaker system from Logitech. Below are the technical specifications acquired from Logitech’s website.

Satellite Frequency Response* – Logitech Z-2300

The smooth frequency response backs up what they advertise about their drivers.

Satellite Harmonic Distortion – Logitech Z-2300

HD levels are pretty good above 200Hz which is about the cut off frequency of the satellite. The driver does not have much output below 200Hz, so the high HD is not a concern.

Overall, given the smooth FR and low levels of HD these are among the best desktop speaker satellites I have come across.

*Due to my testing conditions, frequency response measurements are not accurate below 200Hz