We first covered the Bose SoundTouch system last year, and you may remember that we were fairly impressed by the quality of sound that the speakers have been able to produce, as well as the ease of use of the app. Well, this year Bose is taking that experience and expanding it to the rest of their product line-up, making their Lifestyle Series III home entertainment systems and the CineMate line of products SoundTouch compatible too.
This essentially means that every speaker from Bose is a multi-room speaker, and we were given a live demonstration of the experience this morning of a "home" set-up with multiple Bose speakers in one of the Beach Villas at the Equarius Hotel.
Overall, the experience remains the same: the SoundTouch App continues with the concept of music sources as stations, and lets you set six different sources for easy access. With the Lifestyle Series III speakers and the CineMate products, you won’t get the physical station buttons on the system itself, but you will be able to assign them music from the selected station via the SoundTouch App on your smart device.
This means that you can have the jewel speaker set-up in your living room, that sound bar in your bedroom, and the various SoundTouch Wi-Fi units you have in the balcony, bathroom or guest bedroom all play the same music at the same time.
Unfortunately, none of the systems will support direct Bluetooth streaming, as the concept is to create music stations at home that will be accessible to all, and having your mobile device as a station means that music source is lost once you leave the house. Of course, you can always plug your device in by a regular audio cable, though Bose does say that the SoundTouch Wi-Fi units have AirPlay support, so Apple users get a bit of an easier option. Audiophiles will also be pleased to note that the systems will now support ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) in up to 24-bit (with other formats to be confirmed), so there is at least one option for High Resolution Audio.
From what we heard, there hasn’t been any change to the sound of the SoundTouch line-up, so in this case, it’s more of a good thing with some new options to let their other systems get in on the fun.
The SoundTouch 30 Series II Wi-Fi music system will be sold for S$1,099, while both the SoundTouch 20 Series II and SoundTouch Portable Series II Wi-Fi music systems will go for S$639. All the systems are available now from authorized retailers and the Atlas e-store.