Which of these three new wireless audio products should I buy? I guess I need a Bose selecta to tell me! Eh? EH?!
How long have you been waiting to use that ridiculously bad and out-of-date pun? Anyway, yes, you’re right, a fresh range of cable-free Bose products has gone on sale – and we think the US$816 SoundTouch 300 soundbar is the pick of the bunch.
Well, soundbars are becoming more and more appealing as televisions get both larger and thinner. If you’ve just bagged yourself a new 65in 4K goggle box, chances are you’re going to need to equip it with some external audio muscle – its on-board speakers will be too weedy and reedy to provide the sonic heft you need.
And the SoundTouch 300’s 5.7cm thin profile and “premium materials” – a glass top and wraparound metal grille – mean it certainly looks the part.
Isn’t that a bit skinny to deliver the sort of sonic beefiness the power user’s looking for?
Bose would point to its history of producing dinky speakers that deliver big sound as evidence that size can be deceiving – but if you’re looking for more bump in your trunk, there’s a companion subwoofer called the Acoustimass 300 (a US$815 optional extra) that’ll dial up the bass response. In fact, you can also add a pair of tiny cube-shaped rear surround sound speakers (US$350) to provide more discrete channel separation at the back. Buy both the subwoofer and the speakers and you’ve got a full 5.1-channel system.
But the SoundTouch 300 is being billed as capable of producing the goods all on its lonesome, its narrow frame being crammed with tech like QuietPort (which promises “deep, clean bass at any volume”) and PhaseGuide (which creates sound where there are no speakers by beaming sonic signals to the sides of your living room). How does it know where to beam these signals? By using Bose’s ADAPTiQ calibration system to gauge your room’s size and calibrate the speaker accordingly.
And what about 4K?
Bose would be a bit remiss if it didn’t ensure the SoundTouch 300 was future-proof, and as a result its HDMI in and outputs (there is one of each) are both fully capable of passing through a 4K image. So you can plug your 4K source and the soundbar into your 4K TV without any loss of picture quality. And I should mention that it’s also been equipped for music playback, with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and NFC helping you to quickly pair it with phones, tablets and laptops for wireless playback.
You can buy the SoundTouch 300 now, but by all means wait for our full review first. Stay tuned for that, film fans.