New York — Bose mixed the old and the new during a presentation celebrating its 50th anniversary and the launch of new audio products.
The new products include second-generation Sound Touch Series II wireless multiroom-audio speakers, new Lifestyle and CineMate 5.1-channel home-theater systems and soundbars, and the company’s first under-TV speaker.
Old products included:
–the company’s first consumer speaker, the active Bose 2201 speaker, which launched in 1966 and took the shape of a large one-eighth sphere to fit on the floor in the corners of a room;
–the active Bose 901 direct/reflecting actively equalized floorstanding speakers, which were the company’s first commercially successful consumer product and were launched in 1968;
–Bose’s first car-audio aftermarket speakers, also powered and EQ’d and launched in 1980;
— the company’s first OEM car audio system, a Delco/Bose system launched in the 1983 Cadillac Seville as the first aftermarket-branded OEM system and the first OEM system to be equalized to compensate for a vehicle’s interior acoustics; and
–the first Lifestyle music system, launched in 1990 as the industry’s first stereo system to combine CD player and receiver in a slim chassis, which was mated with a small Acoustimass 2.1-speaker system.
Among its new products, Bose unveiled its second-generation SoundTouch Series II wireless multiroom-audio speakers, which will be in stores Oct. 10 to replace the first-generation models launched last year.
Like their predecessors, the second-gen SoundTouch 30, SoundTouch 20, and SoundTouch Portable are priced at a respective $699, $399 and $399, but the new models add additional music services, a new color option, wireless setup and other enhancements.
Like before, the active single-chassis speakers stream music stored on Macs and PCs and music stored on Apple smartphones and tablets. They’re controlled from apps for Apple’s mobile devices.
The new color option is metalized charcoal gray on the sides and top, joining the original white color. Black grille cloth covers the front.
The new streaming services are iHeartRadio, Deezer Premium Plus and Spotify Connect, joining Pandora and vTuner.
The Bose products are the country’s first to offer Deezer Premium Plus, with products from other companies expected soon.
With the purchase of a SoundTouch speaker, users get 30 days free of Deezer Premium Plus and half off the $10/month subscription fee for a year. Premium Plus offers access to 35 million tracks with up to 320Kbps quality compared to Deezer Elite, which is available only through integrators and streams 44.1kHz/16-bit FLAC for $15/month.
Current Bose SoundTouch system owners will be able to access Deezer beginning Oct. 10 via a software update.
With wireless setup, consumers no longer have to connect a SoundTouch speaker via USB cable to a computer to connect the speakers to a Wi-Fi network.
SoundTouch II products also add ability to search for artists, albums and songs by typing in the names into the Sound Touch app rather than swiping through long lists.
The system’s Apple AirPlay has been upgraded to improve reliability.
For home theaters, the company’s first under-TV speaker is the Solo 15, already available at $449. It connects to a TV’s optical, coaxial or RCA outputs.
New Lifestyle and CineMate soundbars and 5.1-speaker home-theater systems will be in stores Oct. 10.
Two new 5.1-speaker Lifestyle systems get redesigned speakers, with front speakers getting thinner to blend in better with flat TVs. The Lifestyle 135 Series III soundbar, like the previous Lifestyle 5.1 systems, now comes with an adapter to connect it to a Sound Touch wireless multiroom-audio system. The adapter was an optional purchase in the previous Lifestyle soundbar.
In the CineMate series, the new CineMate 5.1 system and two of three new CineMate soundbars are compatible for the first time with Sound Touch wireless systems. The 5.1 system comes with Sound Touch adapter, and two of the three new soundbars are compatible with optional Sound Touch adapters.
Also for the first time, select CineMate products get Bose’s Adaptiq room-correction technology and 4K HDMI passthrough.
All of the new Lifestyle and CineMate 5.1 systems and soundbars, except for the CineMate 15 soundbar, feature A/V source switching, including HDMI inputs.
The new Lifestyle systems are the 5.1-speaker Lifestyle 535 Series III at $3,499 and new Lifestyle 525 Series III at $2,799. The new Lifestyle soundbar is the Lifestyle 135 Series III at $2,599.
The new CineMate 5.1 system is the $1,499 CineMate 520. The three new CineMate soundbars are the $1,499 CineMate 130, $1,099 CineMate 120 and $599 CineMate 15.