by Leo Jakobson | October 06, 2014

As Bose Corporation celebrates its 50th anniversary, the company continues to add to its line-up of Wi-Fi music systems and headphones, bringing more compatibility with streaming music services and a more colorful design palette to its line-up of audio equipment.  

Hot on the heels of last month's release of a new, improved, and more colorful QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling over-ear headphones, are the new SoundLink and SoundTouch Wi-Fi products. While they offer great audio performance, they also focus on making great sound simple to access and adding more features that consumers want.

SoundTouch
The SoundTouch Wi-Fi Music System line is getting the biggest overhaul, with 10 new products gaining access to three new music services - Deezer, Spotify, and iHeartRadio. These join the existing choices of Pandora, iTunes and Internet radio, with more to come. It is also Apple AirPlay compatible. 

In addition, a new Bose SoundTouch app with a simplified setup process, improved search function, and new bass control feature were added. Six presets allow one-touch selection of anything from a music service to a specific artist to an Internet radio channel. 

"SoundTouch Wi-Fi systems are made for everyone," says Santiago Carvajal, category business manager for Bose Home Music Systems. "Wi-Fi music systems shouldn't be intimidating or complicated. They should be so easy to use and so intuitive that you can't imagine listening to your music any other way. This has always been the idea behind Bose SoundTouch systems, and now they've just gotten better."

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The second generation of the SoundTouch Wi-Fi one-piece systems include the SoundTouch 30 Series II Wi-Fi ($699), SoundTouch 20 Series II Wi-Fi ($399), and SoundTouch Portable Series II Wi-Fi ($399). The Lifestyle 525 ($2,799.95) and 535 ($3,499.95) Series III home entertainment systems, and the CineMate 520 ($1,499.95) home theater system, now have SoundTouch adapters included or available. So does the SoundTouch Stereo JC Series II Wi-Fi ($1,199.95).

SoundLink
The Bose SoundLink line of mobile, Bluetooth-enabled speakers has also been overhauled, offering better performance in a lighter package and more color choices. In addition, new SoundLink on-ear Bluetooth headphones have been unveiled. 

The new SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker has been redesigned, and is now the lightest in the line-up at just 1.25 pounds in a package five inches wide by 2.1 inches deep by 5.3 inches high. Designed to fit into a knapsack or handbag, the SoundLink Color uses a new, dual-opposing passive radiator system that cancels out vibrations, along with two high-efficiency transducers for full-range sound, including deep, low-note performance. Voice prompts make pairing a Bluetooth-enabled device like a mobile phone or iPod easy, and the speaker remembers up to eight different devices. 

Bose_SoundLinkThe SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker's lithium-ion battery lasts for up to eight hours of unplugged play time, and fully recharges via in as little as three hours. As the name suggests, it now comes in more colors, a feature that is increasingly important to consumers, particularly younger ones, according to Bose. It is available in blue, red, and mint, as well as black and white, and retails for $129.95, a new price point for Bose portable speakers. 

The SoundLink on-ear Bluetooth headphones feature a new level of performance, with crisp, powerful sound, as well as new features and a lighter, more comfortable design. Bose promises that they deliver the same audio performance as it wired headphones, using Bose Active Equalization and TriPort technology for smoother, more balanced sound, natural mid-high frequencies, and full, detailed low-frequencies are detailed and full. A built-in, dual microphone system cuts down on ambient sound while talking on the phone yet keeps your voice clear and easy to hear. 

They can connect to two devices at once so the user can switch between them - for example, watching a video on a tablet while staying connected to a smartphone. Voice prompts offer caller identification, battery status, and source connection. On-earcup controls control power, let the user answer and end calls, adjust volume, play or pause, and control tracks.

Comfort during long wear is something Bose has been working on for years, and the new SoundLink on-ear Bluetooth headphones offer hours of comfort, weighing just 5.5 ounces and featuring soft, comfortable ear pads the company has put a great deal of engineering and materials research into, as well as a headband pad made of fabric used in high-end automotive applications. They fold into a compact case. Available in black and white, the SoundLink on-ear Bluetooth's batteries offer 15 hours of listening time. They retail for $249.95. 

Bose products are available in the incentive channel from Incentive Concepts.