On the heels of Sonos’ new Play:5 speakers comes a complete refresh of Bose’s wireless home speakers, headlined by the new SoundTouch 10 that is set to retail for just $199. The new Bose speakers add Bluetooth connectivity while improving audio output.
Before, the SoundTouch line of speakers (like Sonos) only had Wi-Fi connectivity, which allowed you to create a network of speakers controlled using a smartphone app. With the refresh, each of those speakers can be used separately using a Bluetooth connection. If you’re the owner, that’s probably not a big deal, since speakers can still be controlled individually over a Wi-Fi connection. But this is great for guests, so that they can quickly connect their phone to the speaker. Dual-band Wi-Fi is also a welcome addition, improving connection stability.
More promising is Bose’s new 2.5″ transducer, which, along with their digital signal processing technology, does a great job of faithfully converting digital music into the sound coming from the speakers. The big improvement on the software side is the addition of Spotify integration — the new speakers work with Spotify Connect, but Spotify is also joining Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Deezer on the SoundTouch app. Like before, you’ll be able to use that app to set playlists as one of six presets on the SoundTouch 10 — being able to get your favorite Spotify playlist going on your home speaker system with the touch of a button is a terrific feature, even if it’s not unique to Bose in this market.
The new SoundTouch 10 is available for $200, but it’s not the only speaker in the SoundTouch line getting a refresh. The larger SoundTouch 20 Series III and SoundTouch 30 Series III are available for $350 and $500, respectively, while updated soundbars and home theater systems will start at $1,100. The speakers work with Spotify Connect, but Spotify won’t join the SoundTouch app until an update early next year, along with ReadySet, which will let you preload Spotify playlist presets when you order speakers from Bose’s website.