New York - Bose is expanding its selection of iPod-docking speakers systems to three with the launch of the top-of-the-line SoundDock 10, said to deliver the sound quality of a "primary music system.
The $599 SoundDock 10 delivers higher output, deeper bass and greater dynamic range than the company's current two models, and it qualifies as a primary music system because it delivers clarity across the frequency range, concert-hall output and "deep low notes," the company said.
The system, available to consumers Sept. 21, will also be the company's first docking speaker system to incorporate a "future-proofing" modular dock design. Consumers will be able to replace the system's current docking module with as-yet unspecified future modules that would dock with other portable sources or potentially with future iPods and iPhones whose docking pins might be incompatible with current docking stations.
For now, the company has announced plans only for a Bluetooth module, which will be available Sept. 21 at $149 to stream stereo music from Bluetooth-equipped cellphones, MP3 players, PCs and laptops. That module uses the Bluetooth Class 1 standard, which delivers a range of up to 300 feet when used with PCs, laptops and other devices. Most cellphones uses Class 2 Bluetooth, whose range is up to 33 feet because of battery constraints.
The SoundDock 10 joins the $399 SoundDock Series II and the $299 SoundDock Portable, which incorporates a built-in rechargeable battery. All three models are certified as Works with iPhone and feature a 3.5mm mini-jack for connection to other portable devices. All are compatible with click-wheel iPods, the iPod Touch and all iPhone generations. iPod Shuffles can be connected via a 3.5mm mini-jack but won't be charged.
The SoundDock 10 adds composite-video output to view iPod-stored photos and video on a connected TV while the soundtrack plays through the SoundDock. The system also adds mini-USB input for future software upgrades, including new versions of Bluetooth. The power supply is built in, whereas the SoundDock Series II features outboard power supply.
As befits its higher output, the SoundDock 10 is 9 by 17 by 10 inches, compared with the SoundDock Series II's 6.65- by 11.91- by 6.48-inch dimensions. It's also heavier, at about 20 pounds compared with 4.56 pounds.
At $599, the SoundDock 10 won't be for everybody," but it will appeal to "committed iPod customers who are on their second or third iPod" and store most of their music on it, said John Roselli, director of product marketing for speakers.
To outperform its companions, the SoundDock 10 incorporates a separate woofer to complement left-right midrange/tweeter drivers, higher power amplification, a more robust power supply, a new 52-inch-long wave guide that delivers the bass response of a 75-inch wave guide, a more efficient woofer with larger magnet, and a metal cap to cover the driver and divert driver output into the wave guide. Proprietary DSP that was 10 years in the making enables the device to play loud without distorting and play at low levels with natural frequency response, the company added. The DSP is also designed to improve detail and definition.
Bose entered the iPod-docking speaker market in 2004, when only a handful of such systems were on the market.