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Boston Acoustics SoundWare XS Special Edition review




  • Recommended by TR

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Boston SoundWare XS SE
  • Boston SoundWare XS SE
  • Boston SoundWare XS SE
  • Boston SoundWare XS SE
  • Boston SoundWare XS SE


Our Score:



  • Tight, unified sound with plenty of detail
  • Gorgeous compact satellites with high-gloss finish
  • Easy to install


  • Tiny holes on push-clip speaker terminals
  • Sub lacks high gloss finish

Key Features

  • Tabletop or wall mounted satellites
  • Two way design with 64mm woofer and 13mm tweeter
  • 100W powered subwoofer with 203mm driver
  • Volume, crossover and polarity subwoofer controls
  • High-gloss black or white finish
  • Manufacturer: Boston Acoustics
  • Review Price: £239.95

Boston Acoustics earned itself plenty of Brownie points with the SoundWare XS Digital Cinema, a 2.1-channel system that delivered a performance so good that we couldn’t wait to hear how it sounds as a full 5.1 setup. Well now we’ve been given the chance with the Boston Acoustics SoundWare XS Special Edition, a stylish, super-compact system that gives you change from £300.

Boston SoundWare XS SE

But with an absolute wealth of high-quality compact speaker systems around at the moment, how does Boston Acoustics’s effort stand out from the crowd? One of the ways is with its alluring design, which looks unlike anything else.

In the box you get five identical satellites with a distinctive multi-sided shape, each one measuring 94mm high and 87mm wide. That’s ideal if you don’t want your speakers to impose but do want them to be noticed. They’ll look great dotted around the room on shelves or bookcases, but if you so desire they can be mounted on the wall using the supplied pivoting ball brackets. You also get adhesive rubber feet for tabletop mounting.

What makes this a ‘special edition’ is the use of high-gloss black or white finishes, giving the speakers more pizzazz than the original version. Boston has also tweaked the back panel to include grooves for easier cable management and there’s now a cover to hide the nuts ‘n’ bolts of the articulating wall bracket.

Boston SoundWare XS SE

Overall build quality is terrific – the satellites are solid sealed units, weighing half a kilo each, with a metal mesh on the front that can’t be removed. The push-clip speaker terminals are tight and hold the wires firmly, but their tiny holes are only suitable for thin cables.

The sats are joined in the box by a powered subwoofer, which is slightly deeper than it is wide (284(w) x 310(h) x 395(d)mm) but is compact enough to slip into a tight corner. Sadly it lacks the alluring high-gloss coating of the satellites, but the textured black finish and rounded edges make it reasonably attractive by subwoofer standards.

Brian Nuttall

January 16, 2013, 2:30 pm

I've had this system for 14 months and have to say, for the price, is absolutely awesome. I'm no audio nerd but it produces a mighty sound right across the ranges. It seems well built and robust. One thing I did ensure when it was installed, was choosing a quite expensive audio cable, which ensures on long runs no drop in performance. I contacted the cable supplier with the maximum distance and they advised on the cable diameter. Also the cable is future proof if I decide to upgrade. Can highly recommend.


October 27, 2013, 3:58 pm

Could you tell me if the satellites are all powered by the amp in the woofer?


January 23, 2014, 2:23 pm

No they're powered by electricity


February 12, 2014, 7:42 pm

no amp in the woofer, you will need a separate amp


February 13, 2014, 3:59 pm

Just bought these little beauties, will let you know how I get on!

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