Boston Acoustics SoundWare XS Digital Cinema - Performance and Verdict



In action, the SoundWare XS Digital Cinema is a revelation. It delivers a terrific 2.1-channel performance with both movies and music, demonstrating the sort of poise, punch and coherence you’d expect from a more expensive three-channel system.
Boston Acoustics SoundWare XS Digital Cinema

When we piped a Dolby Digital bitstream from a Blu-ray deck into the optical input, we were treated to an assertive, dynamic and smooth performance with adrenalin-fuelled action scenes. Quiet scenes are relayed with great subtlety too. The impact of Movie mode is too understated to greatly enhance your enjoyment but it does gently widen the soundstage.

Switching to music, it’s as comfortable blasting out the hip-hop beats of Q-Tip’s The Renaissance as it is with Gretchen Parlato’s sweet, sultry jazz.

Treble is crisp and poised but never bright, while the assured subwoofer lends the perfect level of depth to low frequencies without overpowering the satellites – hats off to Boston’s BassTrac technology. It’s taut and powerful, but because it’s so natural-sounding and seamless you don’t really notice it doing its thing (provided it’s adjusted properly). Every instrument, voice or effect is given the chance to shine.

Boston Acoustics SoundWare XS Digital Cinema

This terrific high-frequency clarity and low-end solidity is married to assured midrange reproduction, which allows movie and TV dialogue to cut through the busiest of scenes even without a dedicated centre channel. No matter what we played the results were never anything less than sparkling.

We really can’t stress enough how impressed we are by the SoundWare XS Digital Cinema. If you’re dead against a full 5.1 system then this is the perfect alternative. Its cute, living room friendly design is easy to integrate into your living space, plus it boasts a couple of unexpected features (Bluetooth and Dolby Digital being the main two) and a simple but effective control system. But more importantly, its sound quality is fantastic – crisp and punchy but with a touch of class and composure that’s really pleasing to hear at such an affordable price point.

Score in detail

  • Performance 9
  • Features 8
  • Value 9
  • Sound Quality 9
  • Design 9


Number of Speakers 2.1

More from TrustedReviews

LG Q8 finally brings the V20’s promise to Europe

Atari is now in the speaker business… and the hat business

Thinner Moto Z2 Force could come with a huge trade-off

HyperLoop One

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop gathering pace as NY-DC link gets ‘OK’


Is this proof an N64 Classic will follow the SNES?

Agents of Mayhem preview

cats 17

Why you’ll want to download this OnePlus 5 update today

Golf rory

British Open Golf Live Stream: How to watch online for free

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for Xbox One down to under £9

Samsung Gear S3 finally gets Samsung Pay support in UK

Welcome to the all new Trusted Reviews

Netgear Arlo

Netgear Arlo Pro

Cat Amazon

Are you kitten me? Pet translation devices tipped for future smart homes

fire emblem warriors

Fire Emblem Warriors


Pokkén Tournament DX

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb 5

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay now lets you use your PayPal funds at the checkout

assassins creed origins

Ubisoft teases new games for Nintendo Switch, coming ‘quite soon’

amazon echo

Ask Vodafone: Mobile network’s first Amazon Alexa voice skill is revealed

Google Feed

The Google app’s new personalised feed might just drag you off Facebook

z2play 9

Moto Z2 Play

Mira Prism

For just $99 you can bring AR to the iPhone 7

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S9 displays may be the same, save one major new feature

movie theatre

The Netflix Effect: ‘Binge-watching’ is coming to movie theatres

Porsche MIssion E

Porsche’s latest electric car chargers put Tesla to shame

EE logo

EE’s new 20GB SIM-free deal is the best value tariff you’ll see all summer


These are the first images from the ISS – as captured by a zero-gravity drone

iMac 21.5-inch 4K (2017)

LG V30 case

LG V30 design ‘confirmed’ ahead of IFA 2017 launch

iPhone 7 vs iPhone SE

Waiting for the iPhone SE 2? Sadly, it could be a one-and-done

Google Glass Enterprise

Google Glass 2 has arrived, sort of

Denon AH-C621R

Denon AH-C621R

BBC Proms

Get ready to listen to the BBC Proms like never before

Fender Newport Monterey Bluetooth speakers

Fender’s new Bluetooth speakers look just like tiny guitar amps

Garmin Vivosmart 3

Garmin Vivosmart 3


Is the laptop travel ban dead? Electronics restrictions lifted by TSA but UK fails to follow suit

KitSound Immerse

KitSound Immerse Wireless Headphones


It’s World Emoji Day and Apple is showing off all of its newcomers

Porn Block

Privacy fears as UK plans age verification for porn sites


New WhatsApp feature could give Apple’s iMessage a run for its money