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-- by Marc Spiwak
When unpacking the Bose Acoustimass Multimedia Speaker System, I thought at first that the left and right speakers were missing. The black matte-finished bass module occupied most of the carton, and what I thought were power adapters turned out to be two very nice surprises.
Each of the platinum-colored speakers, which occupies no more space than a coffee mug, measures 3 by 3 by 5 inches, weighs 1.1 pounds and contains a specially designed 2.5-inch wide-range transducer. The larger bass module-7.5 by 18.5 by 8.5 inches and 19 pounds-has a single 5.3-inch woofer. With bass ports on one corner and volume, bass and treble controls on the front, this high-tech beauty features two stereo inputs, left and right outputs, and a power switch on its back panel.
The bass module connects to your sound card and plugs into an AC outlet; the left and right drivers connect to the bass module. You get enough wire to position the drivers to the left and right of your monitor and the bass module at a reasonable distance. While the bass module's location doesn't affect the sound, you should have the controls within reach of your PC.
I put the Acoustimass system through its paces with both classical and contemporary music. The results were stupendous, with a clean sound unmatched by some amplified speaker systems with much larger components. With 90 watts of total power (50W for the bass module and 20W to each speaker), the system offers Bose's patented Acoustimass speaker technology, with dynamically equalized speakers, built-in amplification, active equalization, a separately amplified bass channel, automatic protection circuitry, automatic power on/power off and Syncom computer-tested speakers. Dual inputs let you connect to your PC and another line-level source.
Forget simple game playing and feeble Windows sounds. By turning anything with a line-level output into a home-stereo system, these speakers deserve to play music. If you're a discriminating listener, you'll definitely want them on your desk. Bose products have always been impressive, but the Acoustimass Multimedia Speaker System is awesome.
Copyright © 1997 CMP Media Inc.