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Bose SoundTouch 10 and SoundTouch 20 Series III Review




Bose has plenty of audio products in its arsenal designed to cater to every person’s needs. We have home theatre systems, portable wireless speakers, and headphones. For this review, we have the SoundTouch 10 and SoundTouch 20 Series III wireless music system for the home. Find out what we think of these speakers in our review below.

The Bose SoundTouch 10 and SoundTouch 20 Series III is the first two members of the SoundTouch family with the third one being the SoundTouch 30. These systems connect together wirelessly to stream music throughout your home.

Design and Construction

Bose SoundTouch 10

The SoundTouch 10 is the smallest in the family. Designed to be placed in the bedroom, it has a box-like shape with curved front and back, tall, but with a small footprint so it doesn’t take up much space. It will sit perfectly on a side table or a work desk.

The build is mostly plastic with a matte finish. The front is dominated by the speaker with cloth covering and accented with a silver strip to break the otherwise all-black look. Also found here are four sets of symbols with LED lights indicating the mode of connectivity you’re currently using.

The right and left side are devoid of any ports and buttons, but right up top we have the buttons for the power, Bluetooth and Aux, Volume Up, Volume Down, and numerical buttons from one to six representing presets. We’ll get to that later on.

At the back, we have the port or vent, the microUSB port for manual software upgrades, AUX, and port for the power cable.

Bose SoundTouch 20 Series III

The SoundTouch 20, on the other hand, is twice as wide as the SoundTouch 10 but a bit shorter. As its size suggests, it is more powerful and comes with a few added features.

Up front, we have the cloth-covered speakers. Right in the middle is a plastic panel that houses an OLED display and indicators that show your current mode of connectivity as well as the title of the song playing.

Up top, we have the same button layout as the SoundTouch 10. At the back are the port or vent, power cable port, Ethernet, microUSB port, regular-sized USB port, and Aux-in.

Like the SoundTouch 10, the 20 also has a curved front and back, but is more pronounced due to its wide body. When it comes to build, the 20 looks more premium thanks to its plastic covering with a carbon fiber-like design at the top and sides.

Given the large footprint, the SoundTouch 20 feels more at home in the living room. You can still place it in the bedroom, but its power might be too much in a small space. We’ll discuss it later on.


Setup and Features

The SoundTouch systems boast Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity for unique streaming features. That being said, setting up the system is not as simple as connecting to an ordinary Bluetooth-enabled speaker.

Setup starts with the Bose SoundTouch Controller app for iOS and Android. Once you have installed the app, just plug the device to a power source and turn it on. From there you can click on the Bluetooth button and connect your mobile device. The SoundTouch Controller will then proceed with the setup by checking for software updates for the speakers, then ask for your home network’s Wi-Fi credentials.

Once Wi-Fi setup is complete you can now program the numerical presets with multiple music sources from your own local collection to Internet streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, iTunes, iHeartRadio, and SiriusXM.

If you’re asking what the Wi-Fi connection is for, that’s for the SoundTouch speaker to access the Internet directly and play your preferred music streaming service. From there you can just use the remote that came with the package to control playback or still use the SoundTouch Controller app if you’re more comfortable with it.

Now for its other cool feature, if you have both the SoundTouch 10 and SoundTouch 20 Series III (or the SoundTouch 30 Series III if you’re lucky) you can play the same music from the same source on all speakers at the same time. The function is called Bluetooth rebroadcast and you can activate it through the SoundTouch Controller app.

In addition, you can specify which speaker will play your music with just a swipe. This is great for scenarios where you have multiple SoundTouch speakers placed in different areas in the house as it forgoes the need to relocate the speaker or go through the hassle of pairing both devices again.

Sound Performance

Bose SoundTouch 10

Although the smallest in the family, the SoundTouch 10 packs big sound for its size. The mids and highs are crisp and detailed without becoming sibilant in high volumes while the lows are punchy and clear. Performance is a bit inclined towards trebles which makes it really good at delivering those classical, acoustic and rock music. Don’t get me wrong, the SoundTouch 10 is good when it comes to bass, however, the sound quality is designed for small rooms. If you want something you can use for a small house party, then the SoundTouch 20 is the entry-point you’re looking for.

Bose SoundTouch 20 Series III

Things get serious with SoundTouch 20. While the SoundTouch 10 is for bedrooms, the SoundTouch 20 is for the living room. Like mentioned earlier, the 20 is double the size of the 10, so does this mean it will deliver double the sound? The answer is a big YES. The party-worthy bass you’re looking for in the 10 you will definitely find in the 20. The mids and lows sound even better while the lows are powerful enough to vibrate your couch. We’re actually surprised that a speaker this size is capable of such sound. It’s like a heavyweight trapped in a lightweight class body. Bass heads will surely love the SoundTouch 20.

Together, the SoundTouch 10 and SoundTouch 20 compliment each other when in Bluetooth rebroadcast as they will fill your house with great sound quality without distorting. As for its loudness, we never found the need to go above 80% mark. These speakers are definitely powerful.

Conclusion

The SoundTouch 10 and SoundTouch 20 Series III are an impressive set of speakers that not only can deliver great audio quality that Bose is known for but also packs wireless features that take advantage of today’s popular music streaming services. Designed to be used at homes, you have the SoundTouch 10 for smaller spaces like bedrooms, then you have the SoundTouch 20 for bigger spaces like the living room. There’s even the SoundTouch 30 Series III if you’re looking for more power. The best past is that these speakers connect together wirelessly to deliver even more sound.

On the downside, these speakers are not exactly portable, are heavily-dependent on the SoundTouch Controller app, and could use a few extra features like a built-in speakerphone for the SoundTouch 10. As for the price, as you expect, it’s expensive. Price starts at Php13,000 for the SoundTouch 10, then goes up to Php25,000 for the SoundTouch 20 Series III and Php35,000 for the SoundTouch 30 Series III. If you have the budget the SoundTouch Music System is worth getting, but in case you need to buy them individually, we suggest starting with the SoundTouch 20 Series III and just skip the SoundTouch 10.

Bose SoundTouch 10 specs:
Dimensions/Weight:
Speaker: 8.34″ H x 5.56″ W x 3.43″ D (2.89 lbs)
Remote: 4.5″ H x 1.75″ W x 0.5″ D (1.76 oz)
Inputs/outputs:
AUX input
USB ports
In the box:
SoundTouch 10 wireless music system
Power cable
USB cable
Remote control
Additional details:
Built-in Wi-Fi
Wireless network compatibility: 802.11 b/g/n
Supported audio formats: MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless
Bluetooth

Bose SoundTouch 20 Series III specs:
Dimensions/Weight:
System: 7.4″ H x 12.4″ W x 4.1″ D (7 lbs)
Remote: 4.5″ H x 1.75″ W x 0.5″ D (1.76 oz)
Inputs/outputs:
AUX input
Ethernet port
USB ports
In the box:
SoundTouch 20 Series III wireless music system
Power cable
USB cable
Remote control
Additional details:
Built-in Wi-Fi
OLED display
Wireless network compatibility: 802.11 b/g/n
Supported audio formats: MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless
Bluetooth

What we liked:
* Great sound quality
* Good build
* Cool wireless features

What we didn’t like:
* Pricey
* App-dependent for setup



This article was written by Louie Diangson, Managing Editor of YugaTech. You can follow him at @John_Louie.

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