At its 50th Anniversary celebration in New York on Thursday, Bose unveiled the second generation of its multi-room wireless speakers, dubbed SoundTouch Series II. The systems adds Deezer, Spotify and iHeartRadio service compatibility along with an improved app for simplified streaming.
The new line is led by the flagship SoundTouch 30 Series II ($700), followed by the midsize SoundTouch 20 Series II ($400), and wrapping with the SoundTouch Portable Series II (also $400). While the two larger models are designed to take residence in a specific room and serve it up with wireless audio, the Portable model includes a built-in rechargeable battery so it can be hauled around anywhere it is needed. Bose also added a black color option to its existing white finish for this year.
Digital Trends reviewed the original SoundTouch 20 at the beginning of the year, and while we found it performed well in the sound quality department, it’s shortcomings were in the list of apps it supported, and a slightly clunky interface for the app that operated the system. Bose claims its new systems are easier to use than before, and designed to offer listeners an unprecedentedly simple experience — a trait Bose has built its reputation on.
That last point is particularly important because the last few months have seen numerous industry stalwarts sighting Sonos with their own take on wireless multi-room wireless speaker systems — a product concept Sonos introduced and has been cultivating and perfecting over the last 10 years. However, while many of Sonos’ new-found competitors struggle to develop systems that are as simple and stable as their own, Bose represents a real potential threat in that area. Bose also carries with it a very familiar and mostly well-reputed name among the general public. If any company can knock Sonos off its perch, it is Bose.
We should also mention that Bose’s addition of Deezer, is different than Sonos’ exclusive rights to Deezer Elite, which stands virtually alone in its ability to offer CD quality streaming. Still, the added services should help Bose take on the champ with more firepower. We’ll have to wait and see if the sound quality is improved enough to make a big stand.
The new SoundTouch Series II speakers are available now at Bose retail stores, Bose.com and authorized Bose dealers.