Bose Video Roommate and Bose Roommate Series II – perfect old school desktop speakers for the workplace

When it comes to my workplace and my work environment, I find it useful to set myself up in a way where I get the best performance, efficiency, usability and satisfaction at a price that is reasonable to me.  Doing so make me more productive and help me work better overall.

One of the things that was bothering me was the unsatisfactory audio quality on almost all of my office speakers.

At the office, there were a large number of speakers from all over the place to shuffle through. These included Creative Labs speakers with a dedicated sub-woofer, JBLs of various sorts and even one Bose Companion 2.

My requirements were very straightforward. I needed clear vocals and especially clarity for listening to video bloggers and news. Movies soundtracks should be clear. The speakers should be magnetically shielded so at to not affect computing equipment. Hiss was totally unacceptable. Bass response should be accurate and not overly processed and should not be overpowering. This was a workplace after all. And spending more than $100 was out of the question.

If I connected various speakers to various computers side by side and watched the same YouTube video, I found that the sound reproduction was all over the audio spectrum.

This is fine for a lot of people who have not paid much attention to sound.  I own some Anthony Gallo Micro Ti’s and also used to own Scandyna Minipods so I had some reference to go on. I am certainly not an audiophile.

After some research I picked up a Bose Video Roommate on eBay for under $80. These are self-amplified speakers and discontinued by Bose around 1995.

The only thing you possibly need to connect these speakers is some speaker wire. I had some cheapo RCA speaker wire lying around that I used to connect the right and left speakers.

Its absolutely imperative to use speaker wire vs. regular wire. The sound difference between speaker wire and regular wire is noticeable immediately – take my word for it.

For this purpose, which is to find a decent pair of speakers for a work-space, cheap speaker wire works just fine.

You also may need some RCA jacks if you wish to connect the speakers to the headphone jack.

The sound quality on this discontinued Bose Video Roommate speaker set was immediately superior to everything else I had tested.

These speakers provided clear and crisp sound where I could listen to low volume music and hear the finest notes. On video blogs, I could hear the sound of “air” through a car window. The speakers also reproduced a very accurate movie sound track.

So impressed I was with these obsolete speakers that I looked around and found their next generation of speakers with the Bose Roommate Series II speakers.

I got a pair in decent shape for under $100 including shipping. I figured a second pair for home would be a good idea and why not compare a next generation obsolete speaker with an already great obsolete speaker.

The sound for both these sets of speakers is close but the Roommate II has a slightly better bass response. It also lighter than the Video Roommate.

The vocals and mid range frequencies sound more realistic on the Video Roommates. The Roommate II series were discontinued in 2000.

Both sets of speakers are self amplified so you do not need an amplifier which is exactly what you need for the workplace. It may be worth noting, that both these speakers are made in the U.S.A.

I am not surprised that these speakers are still selling nicely on eBay. Because once you experience the sound on these speakers, you know that you are getting a great deal on these used speakers.

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