SASKATOON, SK, Mar 14, 2014/ Troy Media/ – I’ve been testing out the Bose SoundTouch 20 system for a few weeks and I’ve found it to be one of those devices that I don’t want to be without.
I’ve built up a pretty large library of songs in my iTunes library at considerable cost over the years and now I have a better way of accessing them.
For C$449.99 the Bose SoundTouch 20 is a speaker that fits equally well in your home or your office. One of three SoundTouch systems currently available, the SoundTouch 20 is the middle, bracketed by the SoundTouch 30 and SoundTouch Portable. The SoundTouch 30 is designed for large rooms, while the Portable has an onboard Lithium battery for portability. The Bose SoundLink systems are designed to connect with each other to provide sound to the entire house or office. Different devices in different rooms can all play the same content or each can play separate content by setting them up in zones – it’s a competitor to the Sonos system.
The SoundTouch 20 is 181.cm H x 31.4cm W x 10.4cm and weighs 3.18 kg, so it’s not the type of system you’d carry around, but it’s small enough to fit discretely into any décor.
The build is typical Bose – even without seeing the Bose logo or hearing its sound, you certainly wouldn’t mistake this system for anything other than a Bose.
The sound is great: from low volume to cranked-up, I never noticed any loss or distortion. This isn’t a huge system, so taking that into account is important when referring to the sound. I would definitely say that the sound appears much more full then the size of the enclosure would indicate, and the lack of distortion and clarity at both high volume and low volume is impressive. From Bach to AC DC and everything in between, this system was up to any challenge, and being able to control it from my iPhone is a huge bonus.
This will become an even more amazing system when Bose adds the ability to work with more SoundTouch devices and more subscription services and libraries stored on NAS devices later this year. I have one of the six presets set to my music library (which at present is not on a NAS), and the other five set to Internet radio stations all around the world, and I can simply switch between the different genres each preset is set to by simply touching the preset button on my smartphone. Although there’s a fully-functional remote included with the SoundTouch 20 I don’t use it because the smartphone app is more readily at my fingertips.
Setup is dead simple and takes just a few minutes. You need to connect the speaker directly to your computer via USB, download the software appropriate for your computer and you’re in business – five minutes tops.
The black mesh front with the LCD showing what you’re connected to is perfect for the home or office. It blends into the surroundings and you’ll definitely surprise visitors with the great, full sound that appears to be coming from nowhere.
If you’re looking for a great quality, discreet, but full sounding system for your home or office, you should take a look at the Bose SoundTouch 20 – you won’t be disappointed.
PROS: Sweet sound; typical Bose build quality and design – first class; small footprint and big sound are a great combination; simple setup; Android and iOS smartphone software; works with Windows or Mac OS; 6 presets; combines with other SoundTouch devices for full-house system.
CONS: It’d be nice if the SoundTouch 20 had an onboard battery; it’s expensive (but you get what you pay for); more presets would be nice; I had conflicts with other close Bose devices when using the remote; no music service accessibility yet; no access to song libraries on NAS yet; Android users don’t have full accessibility.
TO SUM IT UP: Access to Internet radio and iTunes libraries, future access to music services and other SoundTouch devices, solid construction and big sound make the SoundTouch 20 a winner and a solid competitor to other systems of the same type.
Troy Media columnist Murray Hill reviews products weekly. You can follow Murray on Twitter at @MurrayDHill.
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