Bose SoundDock XT Quick Review
Bose has a slew of new audio peripherals that landed first on our hands. One of these is the Bose SoundDock XT that was just announced a couple of months back and looks promising even on first glance. Is it a speaker that would capture the hearts (and ears) of many? We find out.
Bose is known for having a simple yet sophisticated design on their speakers with nothing too hip or flashy. It usually takes time for one to appreciate the physique of a Bose speaker — usually after close inspection. This may be the case, but their SoundDock XT seems to be going a bit further than the rest with its unconventional look that instantly catches your attention somehow.
The case is made of 100% plastic (again, not very Bose-like) sporting an overall two-tone color. The front has been sprinkled with holes that not only serve as opening for the drivers, but also evokes the look of a static visualizer. When a device is docked, it looks like sound waves are somehow coming out of it. We love this fresh new design that Bose incorporated on this speaker. It still remained simple-looking, but added a hint of funk for its users to enjoy.
The functionality of the SoundDock XT is very basic. It’s got a touch-sensitive volume control beside the docking area which is easily accessible and works just fine. That’s pretty much it! It’s so straightforward that all you have to do is place your Apple device on to the 8-pin Lightning connector and play your music. The use of a Lightning connector obviously makes the speaker Apple-focused, but if you’re using a non-Apple device don’t stop reading and close this window just yet.
Turning it around we see two lonely ports that already dictates one thing — limitation on connectivity. Users will only be enjoying an additional feature of auxiliary function through its 3.5mm audio jack. This way, you can connect not just your iPhone but even other music players through an audio cable (not included in the package). Beside it is where you plug the power cable. The SoundDock XT doesn’t have battery support so you always need to place it near a wall socket as this is how the speaker also charges the docked device.
So we used it for more than a week and played music on it everyday. It easily filled a medium-sized room without breaking a sweat. Distortion was impressively kept at a minimum even at loud volume so that’s good. At the back there’s a diaphragm so it could produce bass thumps with gusto. It’s also got assertive mids that brings life to music especially rock and acoustic tracks.
These two were well-reproduced by the SoundDock XT, but we were left wanting more when it came to the highs. We felt like treble was overpowered and drowned by the other elements. It’s not a deal-breaker but compared to the mids and lows, the highs were a bit left out.
The Bose SoundDock XT is definitely aimed mainly at Apple users, with its capability of playing music from other devices only coming as secondary. It’s got limited connectivity, lacking AirPlay or even just Bluetooth; but will try to win you over with its attractive design. Portability is also out of the question since it relies solely on cabled power. Sound quality is overall impressive, considering the speaker is not that big.
Is it a speaker that sounds good and looks great? Yes. But will it win the hearts of users without an iPhone? Maybe not.
Bose SoundDock XT specs:
Type: Speaker dock
Docking type: Apple Lightning connector
2x full-range sound drivers with bassport
Touch-sensitive volume control
3.5mm audio jack for AUX
101 x 302 x 134mm (dimensions)
1,200 grams (weight)
Manufacturer’s warranty: 2 years
What we liked about it:
- Attractive and funky design
- Impressive lows and mids
- Can go loud without breaking into distortion
- Easily blends with other appliances in the living room
What we didn’t like:
- Limited connectivity
- Highs are a bit overpowered