Try this. It's better than Bose and comes with a receiver.
IMHO (one is never wrong when just giving their opinion!) :-)
It's pretty safe to say....you can buy something - you can buy just about ANYTHING, and for the SAME dollars spent, it'll sound betterNbose. Much that costs LESS, does too.
And....I speculate if members here were to respond with "most detailed answer"s, you wouldn't have time during the next month to read them all!
Start with Klipsch and pick an item the same cost as a Bose item, and see for yourself.
This is like a trick question,huh? There are many used $250-a-pair speakers that will be more accurate. BTW, what is the retail on this Bose pair?---Then I can go thru the used speakers and the list should be long.---Another BTW; I did own the original 901's in 1970. I got my money's worth out of them;till I got a set of AMT1 b's in the mid 70's.
I agree with AVguygeorge. Being a novice 10 years ago I was coaxed by one of my mate in buying the Bose Acoustimass AM-10 brand new. Sold it off 3 years later at 80% off the price I've paid for them. I wouldn't touch them unless if you're only on movies. Even that you can do much better with less money.
Bose is a marketing company. Through advertising they convince the inexperienced that theirs is the only quality product out there. Don't believe it. Read this forum, get some listening experience via local audio dealers or hifi clubs (if there's one in your area), and you'll have no trouble finding better sounding products both new and used.
Making an assumption based off your post, are you really looking for the simplicity of a HTIB (home theater in a box)?
If so there are many options that beat the Bose at their respective price points, here are 2 easy picks.
If you are looking for computer speakers the Bose Companion 5 are very nice, I use them myself. No need for a sound card. Just plug them in to a USB port and for a no nonsense experience with a 3 piece setup they are very nice.
If you are looking for speakers for a home theater and have other components then matching speakers to components make a difference. So more info is needed, but there are many options better then Bose.
It is all a matter of how important sound is to you.
Your here, so that is a good sign. If you are near a large town, you owe it to yourself to find a mid-fi store and audition several options. Many of the high-end stores will scare a new audiophile to death with some of the prices. (build yourself up to that) But it is a shame how many people think Best Buy and Circuit City are the end all of A/V gear. Just take one step up and for just a bit more money you can often get far better equipment.
If all that seems like to much effort, then just google for "best speakers" for your application and good luck....
Assuming you're not just asking to stir up the natives, as others have pointed out you need to define a price range and application.
Assuming you're willing to buy used, a simple, versatile, nice little system would be a Linn Classik for $800-900 and a pair of Dynaudio Audience 50 bookshelf speakers ($400-450). That would be roughly the cost of some Bose systems I've seen walking through Best Buy, and would sound much much better.
Agree with Invincible, in that the person asking this question needs to step away from the Best Buys and Circuit Cities and visit some "mid-fi" types of stores. Most of these stores nowadays mostly deal in home theater, but nevertheless carry some quality products. In my neck of the woods (northern Virginia) I would recommend Audio Buys or Myer-Emco and even Tweeters (even thought they do sell Bose) In these chains you'll find products from Denon, Rotel, Integra, Boston Acoustics, NHT, Energy, Paradigm, B&W, Polks ect. Guaranteed you can but together a much better sounding system (and for probably a lot less money) than what a Bose system would cost you.
Oh Man, don't get me started! Bose is a marketing company that steals technology, repackages it in the cheapest form they can come up with (that is their research)and then sells it through lot of advertising. They have hurt the directives of audio companies throughout the world. Now the average person thinks that speakers must be small to be visually acceptable. Wifes have banished most speakers larger than a shoebox to the garbage..because of Bose. You can't cheat physics, and they seem to think they can with most of their stuff. Most any other product will sound better for less money. It may be a little bigger, but it will certainly be better and cost less. Listen for yourself. If you want an inexpensive, impresive and fairly small package, try the SLS system sold at Best Buy. Otherwise, the world is full of better stuff. Good luck.
You seem to be asking two questions...
1. Computer speakers:
If you're looking for really good sound from a computer, the weak link is typically the internal soundcard (even the "high-end" feature-laden soundblasters). You'd have to spend at least a few hundred dollars to get a decent external USB DAC, and get the conversion out of the noisy computer box. But if you're like me, and just use computer speakers for watching plot-driven movies in 2-channel, and for pre-listening to mp3's before buying the actual CD, you should just go to a used computer store and buy several pair of older computer speakers. People always get rid of the older ones that were way better-made (and often better-sounding) because their new computer came with the cooler-looking black and silver speakers. I have a shelf full of heavy-ass white computer speakers that cost $5-10/pair, and sound fuller, tighter, and less boomy than most of what's at Best Buy today. Finally, if you really want new computer speakers, I suggest Klipsch Promedia Ultra 2.0, which is about the only new consumer-oriented computer speaker I've found that sounds acceptable for music.
If you think that last paragraph was long, most of us could write infinitely about loudspeakers-in-general. What amp and source components are you using? In what sort of environment are you listening? Etc., etc... I'm guessing that you have a fairly typical Japanese solid-state receiver? I suggest looking here on Audiogon for some used NHT, B&W, or Paradigm in your price range. Any of these would please you now, and grow with you later as you upgrade other components.
bose offer neither quality nor value. 35+ yrs ago they sold the infamous 901 model with multiple cone drivers. they sold quite well and created some name recognition. they sell stereo eqpmnt on the name recognition mainly from those initial spkrs. basically smoke, mirrors and high price tags. listen to anything at a stereo store for same price. just about anything sounds better to discearning ear.
If you pay attention, you will notice that Bose is kept in a room to it's self in the mass market retailers. There is a purpose. If they were available to be compared to something else side by side, they would be exposed.
Is there stuff out there that is worse than Bose? Yes, but it is at a fraction of the price Bose is asking.
What Bose system are you looking at and what is the price you would pay. Provide the answers to those two questions and you will get more suggestions than you want.