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Bose SoundTouch 10 Review

Good sound and user friendliness at a relatively low price
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Price:   $200 List | $199 at Amazon
Pros:  Great sound for a smaller speaker, reasonably inexpensive, simple Bluetooth connection
Cons:  Optional app can be finicky
Manufacturer:   Bose
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Feb 20, 2018
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64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 9
  • Sound Quality - 40% 6
  • User Friendliness - 20% 7
  • Volume - 20% 4
  • Connectivity - 20% 9

Our Verdict

If you just want a small speaker for your kitchen, bedroom, or living room that can easily connect to any of your mobile devices, the Bose SoundTouch 10 is a great choice. Featuring great sound, a versatile Bluetooth connection, Alexa compatibility, and the ability to link to other Bose speakers, this small speaker can handle just about anything. If your main goal is to eventually build up into a multiple speaker system, the similarly priced and slightly better sounding Sonos PLAY:1 is a better building block due to Sonos' better multi-speaker ecosystem. But as a standalone speaker, we think the SoundTouch 10 is a better choice for most people. If you want an inexpensive speaker that can be moved from room to room, the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4 is a great option, though it doesn't sound quite as good.


Compare to Similar Products

 
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Bose SoundTouch 10
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award   
Price $200 List
$199.00 at Amazon
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Pros Great sound for a smaller speaker, reasonably inexpensive, simple Bluetooth connectionExcellent sound quality, great volume, easy multi-speaker management, AirPlay compatableExcellent Sound, Great volume, relatively compact, many connection optionsGreat sound quality, great volume, battery powered, easy to connect/control multiple speakersGreat sound quality, compact, loud, multiple connection options
Cons Optional app can be finickyExpensive, somewhat large, no BluetoothExpensive, multi-speaker management leaves a bit to be desiredExpensive, somewhat heavy to move around when used in battery modeSlightly pricier than some comparable models
Bottom Line Good sound and user friendliness at a relatively low priceProvides the best-sounding base for a multi-speaker systemThe best sounding speaker we've tested, but asks a high priceIf you’ve ever wanted to bring one of your Sonos speakers outside with you, this is what you’ve been waiting forImpressive bass and good overall sound in a compact and versatile package
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Rating Categories Bose SoundTouch 10 Sonos PLAY:5 Bose Home Speaker... Sonos Move Bose Home Speaker...
Sound Quality (40%)
10
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6
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
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8
User Friendliness (20%)
10
0
7
10
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8
10
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8
10
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9
10
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8
Volume (20%)
10
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4
10
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9
10
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8
10
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8
10
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8
Connectivity (20%)
10
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9
10
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8
10
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9
10
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10
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9
Specs Bose SoundTouch 10 Sonos PLAY:5 Bose Home Speaker... Sonos Move Bose Home Speaker...
Smart Home Compatability Alexa Alexa, Google Home Alexa, Google Home Alexa, Google Home Alexa, Google Home
Bluetooth Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Inputs Bluetooth, 3.5mm Aux WiFi, Ethernet, 3.5mm Aux, AirPlay Bluetooth, 3.5mm Aux, WiFi, AirPlay Bluetooth, WiFi, AirPlay Bluetooth, Micro-USB, 3.5mm Aux, WiFi, AirPlay
Dimensions 8.3" x 5.6" x 3.4" 14.3" x 8" x 6" 4.3" x 6.7" x 8" 9.4" x 4.9" x 6.2" 4" x 5.6" x 6.3"
Weight (lb) 2.89 14 1.8 6.61 2.09
Warranty 1 year limited 1 year limited 1 year limited 1 year limited 1 year limited

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Bose SoundTouch 10 Is the quite melodious, and the most user friendly small speaker that we tested. For those that want just a standalone, small, and relatively inexpensive speaker, this is a great option.


Performance Comparison


The Bose Soundtouch 10 Performed in the middle of the pack in our testing, as you can see in the table above. We used a number of different tests to determine those scores, and you can read more about those testes below.

Sound Quality


We would describe the Bose SoundTouch 10's sound quality as good, bordering on great, but short of exceptional. It is able to belt out a decent amount of bass and good clarity, resulting in a full-bodied sound that belies its size. However, the similarly sized Sonos PLAY:1 has slightly better bass and slightly better clarity. If you're only going to get a single speaker we don't think this small bump up in quality is worth sacrificing a Bluetooth connection, but it does sound better. The SoundTouch 10 did outperform the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4 in our sound quality testing, making it a better low-budget option if you don't need a battery powered speaker that can move from room to room.

User Friendliness


If you use the SoundTouch 10 with a Bluetooth connection, it is a pleasure. The connection is solid, and the controls both on the speaker itself and on its remote control make it easy to switch between devices on the fly.

The slight difficulties come if you want to stream music directly over WiFi, or want to link multiple speakers together. Doing either of these things requires using the Bose app, which is quite well designed and intuitive (our one big complaint is that you can't skip around within tracks from third-party streaming services). However, we did have some periodic issues with this app crashing on us. The frequency of crashes wasn't so much that it was unusable, but it certainly did get annoying at points. If you're looking to build a multi-speaker system, we found the Sonos app and ecosystem to be much more reliable.

The SoundTouch 10's on speaker controls let you change volume and inputs and toggle through presets.
The SoundTouch 10's on speaker controls let you change volume and inputs and toggle through presets.

Smart Home Compatibility


Bose offers an Alexa skill, making it work seamlessly with that platform. Bose claims similar software compatibility is in the works for Google Home, but no specific date has been thrown down. The Soundtouch 10 has a 3.5mm audio jack, so most smart home devices can be plugged directly into the speaker. You'll just have to make sure the speaker is on when using said devices.

Volume


The SoundTouch 10 was one of the quietest speakers we tested, on par with the volume of the similarly sized Sonos PLAY:1, and just slightly less boisterous than the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4. That's not to say this speaker can't belt out some tunes, however. In our testing it easily filled our 600 square foot testing room with an impressive amount of sound. If you pile a bunch of people into that room, a lot of that sound would likely be absorbed, whereas larger speakers like the SoundTouch 20 would be able to power through. Still, we think the soundTouch 10 is plenty loud for a group of friends hanging out and dancing.

Connectivity


The Bose SoundTouch 10 offers a Bluetooth connection, a 3.5mm audio jack, and the ability to stream directly over WiFi and link speakers together through the use of the Bose app.

Value


With a list price of $200 the SoundTouch 10 costs the same as the Sonos PLAY:1 and a bit more than what the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4 usually sells for. If you're looking for a single speaker for a single room in your home, we think the SoundTouch 10 is the best value out there. The versatility of its Bluetooth connection makes it much more usable than a single PLAY:1, and it sounds noticeably better than the Onyx Studio 4. If you want a speaker that can easily be moved around your home, that tips the scales in favor of the Onyx Studio 4 and the portability afforded by its internal battery.

The SoundTouch 10 and its remote control.
The SoundTouch 10 and its remote control.

Conclusion


The Bose SoundTouch 10 is a small, relatively inexpensive speaker that packs in some pretty good audio quality. With a versatile Bluetooth connection, it is the best choice for those that just want a single speaker for their living room or kitchen.


Max Mutter and Steven Tata