Last week I finally decided to waste some money and upgrade my computer speakers from the acceptable-but-a-wee-bit- harsh-and-tinny 50 Creative Gigaworks T20 pair that I've been using for about 9 months to a set of Bose Companion 3's.
The online reviews for the Creative Gigaworks speakers were just too good for me to ignore 9 months ago... and I think there's something to the advice that computer speakers with subwoofers will be boomy and unsubtle --- good for games maybe, but rubbish for music and wannabe-audiophile ears (like mine, ha!) But the moment I got them out of the box (mm, nice build quality) and plugged in (hmm, bit tinny...) I knew it wasn't quite right. Next time I'd just pay stupid money and get the Boses.
And so it has come to pass, and blimey they're brilliant. They are expensive, as any hi-fi nerd worth their salt will tell you, and yes I could probably have got the same sound for less by piecing together an amplifier from one manufacturer, floorstander speakers from another, and cabling from a third. But it doesn't matter, because these are tiny, come in one box, look and feel brilliant and sound outstanding. Convenience and aesthetics are worth spending money on, sometimes, and I didn't see anyone else selling speakers which produce sound of this quality from such tiny units.
Well, I nearly did. The Acoustic Energy Aegos were a serious contender and at a bit over half the price they certainly beat Bose on economic grounds. But life ain't so simple: the Boses are prettier, and they come with a beautifully designed little remote unit with a soft rubber volume control, touch-sensitive on/off panel and discrete headphone/input jack sockets. The AEs force you to rummage under the desk for the subwoofer to control the volume or plug your headphones in --- so I seem to have reached the point in my life where I'm prepared to pay 80 not to have to bend over. Life's funny, isn't it?
Anyway, my point is: if you listen to a lot of music through your computer speakers, and space and nice design are important things, then the Bose Companion speakers are fantastic little life-enhancing devices. Yes, you can do the same thing cheaper, for which the audio geek comments here may be useful, but you'll have to shop around a lot to find anything that does it with half as much style. IMO :)