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Bose SoundTouch 10 review - hands on

Richard Easton
20 Oct 2015
Bose SoundTouch 10

Bose has combined Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity with its SoundTouch range to make multiroom even more convenient

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Multiroom speakers are big business. You just need to look at the overwhelming number of products available from the likes of Sonos, Raumfeld, Philips and Samsung. It's not until recently that we've begun to see Wi-Fi connected multiroom speakers augmented with Bluetooth connectivity, at least with the ability to re-broadcast a Bluetooth connected device to the rest of the speakers in your house. Granted, Samsung's SHAPE series have long had Bluetooth connectivity, but that only worked with a single speaker in isolation.

More recently, Philips' Izzy range has promised to let you share your Bluetooth connected audio with every speaker. Now, Bose has joined the Bluetooth fun with its SoundTouch range, which includes the SoundTouch 10, SoundTouch 20 and SoundTouch 30 to give you a breadth of options. The SoundTouch 10, packs Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity into the smallest speaker in the range, measuring in a fraction larger than the Sonos Play:1 or Raumfeld One S.

Using Bose's iOS or Android apps, you have the usual multiroom controls to allow you to play music from internet radio stations, Spotify, Deezer or a NAS, as well as group speakers in different configurations so you can have music playing in multiple locations. Of course, you can also control each speaker individually. With a simple tap of a 'Play Everywhere' button in the app, you can have every speaker in your house instantly playing in concert.

Bose SoundTouch 10 closeup buttons

Another useful feature common across the SoundTouch range are the preset shortcut buttons. These can be used to instantly save music for easy access. These can be anything from individual tracks, albums, playlists or radio stations. You can access your presets through either the app, the physical remote control that comes with the SoundTouch range, or the preset buttons located on the speakers. If you have a morning ritual, such as a waking up playlist, these will be particularly handy. You have multiple ways to save things to your presets, too. You can use the app's intuitive drag and drop or just press and hold the relevant preset button while the music you want to save is playing. It's all very intuitive. 

Improved Spotify Integration

Bose has also been working directly with Spotify to improve its integration with its speakers, too. Coming in the new year will be the option to either control Spotify through the integration in the Bose SoundTouch App or, importantly, controlling music through the Spotify app as a Spotify Connect speaker. This gives you the best of both worlds and will be especially useful for anyone that likes to 'hand off' their music from a portable device to their main speakers once they get home. Spotify Connect makes this much simpler than diving into the SoundTouch app and also means you can pick up precisely where you left off. 

Bose has also revealed that in the future you will be able to order a SoundTouch speaker from Bose.com which can come with a gifted Spotify Premium subscription. Presets can also be preconfigured at the factory, meaning all that needs to happen is the speaker be connected to your home network. I could see this being a good option for those looking to get older relatives into music streaming, something that Electric Jukebox also identified as a problem with its own recently announced streaming device.

Bluetooth

Bose SoundTouch 10 closeup

The other useful addition is Bluetooth connectivity. Now, you're able to connect one device to a speaker over Bluetooth to play the audio from any app or service, meaning anything from YouTube to your favourite podcast app. The SoundTouch range can then re-broadcast this audio source to every other connected speaker on your network in multiroom, treating it like any other music service. It's a useful addition and helps get you round any potential music streaming service compatibility issues. Apple Music, for example, isn't directly supported by any multiroom speaker at present (although AirPlay obviously works). Even Sonos, which historically has had the greatest compatibility, is only promising Apple Music support by Christmas. 

Bose SoundTouch 30 with app

^The more expensive Bose SoundTouch 30 (and SoundTouch 20) features an OLED display

From my time listening to the SoundTouch 10, it certainly packed a punch for a speaker of its size. It was surprisingly warm in sound, with lots of lower frequency emphasis, something many people haven't necessarily associated with Bose's sound signature in the past. The back of the SoundTouch 10 also has an auxiliary in, which can be used to connect a wired audio device, opening up your options further. The Bose representative I spoke to wasn't sure if the auxiliary in could also be broadcast to other speakers over Wi-Fi. I was also told that at present you can't pair two SoundTouch 10s in a stereo pair but that this option would be coming soon with a software update.

I'm expecting to get a SoundTouch 10 in for review imminently so will give them a thorough listening and a full review very soon. The SoundTouch 10 retails for £169.96, which prices it competitively with similar offerings from Sonos, Raumfeld and Samsung.