Bose Roommates/Videomate Powered  Speakers

Sale Results at Auction


Bose are renown for their life style hi-fi and home cinema systems with small cube speakers and sub woofer systems. They are also criticised as style over quality, just as B&O are, and so are "over priced" for what performance you get. I don't know I can only comment that for what I have heard the systems are ones that you certainly can live with, as is the case with the Bose Roommate powered speakers.

A powered speaker is technically one that has its own amplifier built into the speaker (usually only one speaker), and therefore plugs into a nearby outlet. However, a powered speaker is not necessarily an active one, as the crossover components within a powered speaker can be passive. Powered speaker systems have the advantage of being a bit more streamlined, compact, and portable and are typically used with computers and iPod/MP3 docking.


I acquired my first pair of Bose Videomates with a computer sound card. The product was discontinued and I got a £499 (including VAT in 1995, the Roomates sold for £390 on their own) system for a fraction of the cost.

The speakers are heavy. The right channel speaker being 1995g and the left channel, with the built in amplifier being 3040g. The Roommates are 2520g and  2795g. These are shielded and can be placed close to a CRT monitor.

Rated at 30 Watts the left speaker includes a volume control and RCA phono plugs that connect directly to the line out of a CD/DVD player, cassette deck, pre-amplifier and with a 3.5mm adapter to a computer or MP3 player.

I have used the Videomates for over 10 years as computer speakers with the computer having a CD, DVD, FM radio, DABs radio and TV with S video input so also used for viewing video recording.

The Roommates where purchased to use with a Uher Miniline system. The power amplifier of the miniline system repeatedly blew the capacitors and at £75 each where no longer sensible to replace. The miniline, with EG740 tuner and CR240 cassette is a neat compact system. I had a second tuner and Z140 power supply and when I sold the miniline VG840, EG740 and stand I decided to get another VG840 to match the turner and CR240 cassette deck for use as a second system. The EG740 is an exceptional tuner with 6 presets on FM and MW. There is a downside for this solution - the powered speakers are not powered down by switch off the pre-amplifier and more importantly they are not cut off when the headphones are plugged in.

Compared to book shelf speakers and the classic JR149 these speakers are small. The heavy construction is rigid and goes someway to their quality. They may lack the base of larger speakers but for most TV and radio content you do not feel that you are missing out even after hours of listening. They are never tiring and have sufficient output for even a fairly large room.


The experiment

An on going experiment is with the two pairs of Bose powered speakers, using the speaker in the computer monitor for the centre channel.  Much depends upon a suitable active sub woofer but so far the results for a compact fuss free system are encouraging.

Sale Results at auction


07/06/20 51.99GBP (black)
08/04/17 140GBP (white)
08/08/19 79GBP (white)
08/08/21 120GBP (black)
08/11/27 27GBP (black)
08/12/03 85USD (grey)
09/03/08 46USD (grey)
09/04/11 31GBP (white)
09/04/11 60GB (black)
*09/05/10 60GBP (black with wall brackets)
09/06/14 197.50USD (black)


 Miro Media Bose RM from PC Pro November 1995

Last updated 1st February 2010