Published on November 14th, 2016 | by Varuna Singh0
Bose has a new store, launches wireless surround: SoundTouch 300 and LifeStyle 650 in UAE
Today, Bose unveiled the SoundTouch 300 Single Speaker surround sound set up that can be extended with modules like a dedicated subwoofer and rear speakers. Bose also unveiled their very high-end surround sound speaker set up called the Lifestyle 650. The two new products showcase BOSE’s innovation in two areas: Wireless and Surround.
Bose announced two new products at their new store in Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, UAE. Their new store is their 6th retail store in the Middle East and showcases the best of BOSE products with even a small listening room inside.
The SoundTouch 300 virtually creates a surround sound effect that many other speaker manufacturers are doing as well. Bose infact made a product that competes with the likes of Samsung that make sound bars. We had a listen today and virtual-ness of the sound from the SoundTouch 300 was very effective. There was a scene during an X-Men movie where voices and noise are coming from all around Professor X and the SoundTouch delivered that effect really well.
The SoundTouch delivered convincing virtual surround
The SoundTouch is positioned nicely with the various BOSE features and starts at AED2,999. If you want to add a sub-woofer that comes to about AED2999 extra. Want to add rear speakers – a pair will cost you about AED1,299. I like this strategy by BOSE. You can start off with a decent sounding sound bar with the SoundTouch 300 and expand as your needs increase.
The SoundTouch 300 measures 38.5”W x 4.25”D and is housed by a very strong glass panel on top. It’s the same material as the glass on cars and is very strong. The rest of the body is made of metal with perforation all around it. It’s both WiFi and Bluetooth enabled. The former is to allow the speaker to stream music from Spotify, Pandora (not available in the region), etc. The latter will be useful for, well about any device that can connect to it. It uses AptX format for audio streaming via Bluetooth.
One thing to note is that BOSE has willingly not added support for Apple AirPlay. In response to why, Bose said they feel Bluetooth alone is enough and its support for multiple devices including Android is adequate and offers a better experience.
One of the questions I asked during the launch was if the virtual sound outputted from the SoundTouch will interfere with actual surround sound when rear speakers were added to the set up. I was assured that both the SoundTouch bar and the rear speakers will work together to enhance the surround experience.
The BOSE LifeStyle 650 and 600 are luxury home entertainment systems. I believe that because the speakers do really look nice. The OmniJewel satellite speakers measure 1.84”Wx5.77”Hx1.84””D and include new high-excursion transducers. They are designed to provide omni-channel sound output and they do work really well. They are housed with anodized aluminum.
“Our new Lifestyle 650 system is remarkable,” said Ogley. “For people who want the finest quality in sound, aesthetics, materials and build, there’s nothing else like it. When it’s seen and heard for the first time, it simply suspends belief.”
The LifeStyle 650 in design and audio fidelity is one of the best from BOSE
These speakers are all connected to a central base called the console. Its curved and is a big. It does not have a Blue Ray drive or is necessarily trying to be smart with applications.
Both these systems have BOSE’s proprietary sound technology and set of features. Features like ADAPTiQ which adjusts the audio output based on the room you are in ensures appropriate sound. They have 4K pass through with 6 HDMI inputs. It comes with NFC pairing in addition to WiFi and Bluetooth. Bose also includes a universal remote that works with your TV as well as the sound system.
The difference between the LifeStyle 600 and LifeStyle 650 is that the 600 comes with four slightly larger Jewel Cube satellite speakers and one Jewel Cube center channel speaker.
We had a demo of these speakers and every aspect of them sounded really well for a mall store. Even when I was not center to the speaker set up, I felt a very immersive sound experience.
Being loud doesn’t mean better sound quality but the BOSE performed well in that too
It’s also worth noting that both these sound systems are generally very loud. Being loud doesn’t really cut it when it comes to sound quality but they do so deliver without massive distortion. I did find that the Lifestyle 650 product sounded much better at those loud settings. The price range matches to that promise as well. The BOSE Lifestyle 650 complete package will cost you a heavy AED16,500. That gives you 4 channel speakers, one center speaker array, a smartly designed sub-woofer and console like device that connects it all with a built-in-amplifier.
BOSE’s Modular approach to their SoundTouch set of speakers makes sense. Unless you are in the search for the best surround performing speakers from BOSE, the LifeStyle 650 do cost a lot. But they sound fantastic for what we heard today.