Popular mainstream audio company Bose has done its part to show the CEDIA channel it is raising the (sound)bar on its dedication to dealers in recent years.
During last year’s expo in Dallas, the company highlighted its stellar SoundTouch 300 soundbar, complete with wireless touches like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and streaming support for easy installation; plus two Lifestyle sub-sat systems with aesthetics in mind to cater to design-concerned clientele.
At CEDIA 2017 in San Diego, Framingham, Mass.-based Bose followed up on its very enthusiastic CEDIA 2016 with even more open expression of embracing custom installers.
‘Works With Bose’ Brings in Popular Control Partners
For starters, the venerable company touted its relationships with many channel vendors thanks to its Works With Bose (Bose.com/WorksWithBose) partner program, and logo stamp of product approval. Using the slogan “Let’s play together,” perhaps gave a little nod to Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” as Bose extends its hand to automation companies, streaming providers and app makers to expand the reach of its products.
Integrators will notice some high-profile names already on the Works With Bose roster – notably AMX, Control4, Crestron, Elan, Key Digital, RTI and URC in the control space. Plus, trendy names like Samsung’s SmartThings and the latest partner, which happens to show up first on the list by chance because of alphabetical order but also joining the growing demand for the capability, Amazon Alexa.
“We’re working hard to partner with other companies to do the complete custom install experience. We’ve been adding control for our theater products,” says Adrian Eiben, business unit manager at Bose, about the partnerships.
Inside the Bose booth CEDIA attendees could see the company’s new Amazon skill in action. It’s expected to be available by the end of the year to use as voice control over SoundTouch, multiroom and theater systems.
A demo of functionality with Bose’s SoundTouch 20 speaker gave a preview of how Alexa can tell users which Bose speakers are available to command; initiate playback of music; lower/raise volume incrementally; and more.
“’Alexa, ask Bose to play ‘Preset 1’ in the home theater,’” for instance, was offered for the particular SoundTouch model, which features one-touch preset buttons for calling up favorite streaming stations.
For now, users need to include the “ask Bose” invocation phrase within the Alexa command, followed by the activation request. “Next year that will go away,” Eiben says, adding that Bose worked directly with Amazon to develop and add the skill.
Lifestyle 600 In-Wall System for Builders/Integrators
After last year’s showcasing of the low-profile satellite speakers in its Lifestyle theater systems, Bose played its new in-wall Adaptiq models at CEDIA 2017. The speakers are small and inconspicuous with flush-mount façade and delivered immersive sound during a demo.
The Lifestyle 600 In-Wall System, which includes the control console and subwoofer of the Lifestyle 650 System, features ADAPTiQ architectural speakers that incorporate ported enclosures for improved midrange performance and new bezel-less grille design to unobtrusively blend into the room environment.
Additionally, the In-Wall System is for the custom dealer and homebuilder channel only, as another show of staying tight with the custom industry.
During CE Pro’s visit to the booth Bose played a clip of Kong: Skull Island to highlight the theater speakers, which filled the room with dynamics and detail despite their relative diminutive size.
Eiben also pointed out that the company has been working on responding to dealer feedback regarding the products it showed last year, and has added A/V functionality like new video switching and discrete on/off and volume control to their API.
An in-wall wiring kit for Bose’s OmniJewel speakers is also an aid for dealers, providing a wall plate (below, near subwoofer) for speaker wire termination and cabling to the theater console for a cleaner installation.