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.
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.
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.