The Bose SoundTouch 120 is a mid size home cinema system that can connect to your television or other audio sources. As with most good home cinema systems, the SoundTouch 120 consists of a soundbar and a separate module for the bass.
The SoundTouch 120 is a minor upgrade to the CineMate 120 home cinema system. In contrast to the CineMate 120, the SoundTouch 120 supports wireless connectivity right out of the box. Both Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity are supported. The Bluetooth support on the SoundTouch 120 is a useful feature that allows you to connect your portable music players and smartphones to the home theater system. It is possible to add WiFi support to the CineMate 120. However, you will have to shell out additional money and purchase a separate wireless adapter. The home cinema system is also 4K ultra-HD television compatible, which means that you will not have to upgrade the home cinema system if you decide to upgrade your television set.
Un-boxing the SoundTouch 120
The home cinema system is built with several modules, with each module performing a dedicated function. Some of the modules within the SoundTouch 120 box are a soundbar, an AccoustiMass module, a console, a SoundTouch wireless adapter, an ADAPTIQ headset and a universal remote.
The SoundTouch 120 soundbar is the heart of the home cinema system. It is 43cm wide and is half the size of the upper tier SoundTouch 130 soundbar. This makes the SoundTouch 120 ideal for small rooms where space is a constraint. The soundbar has 2 internal speakers for the mids and treble. The speaker enclosure includes 5 drivers that are positioned accurately to work in tandem with the TrueSpace technology. The Bose TrueSpace technology is a proprietary technique that provides a surround sound experience with only 2 speakers.
Every decent mid-to-high range audio system comes with a separate speaker for bass and the SoundTouch 120 is no exception. The Acoustimass module is responsible for the low frequency bass. It supports wireless connectivity, which allows a wire-free connection between the bass module and the console. The range of the wireless connectivity is 9 meters which is sufficient for a large room. It is not mandatory to maintain a direct line of sight between the console and the Acoustimass module.
The console connects to the soundbar and the wireless adapter. It has 4 HDMI ports that can connect to your television or to other audio sources. The console also supports the other standard audio input sources, such as the analog line-in, the digital coaxial and optical ports and the 3.5mm audio-in port.
The universal remote is an interesting addition to the SoundTouch 120. It can be used to control your television, in addition to the home audio system.
The ADAPTIQ headset allows you to calibrate out the imperfections in the audio due to the room topology. It is well known that the sound a user hears is dependent on several factors such as the location of the user, the layout of the room and the objects in a room such as furniture and carpets. Using advanced signal processing techniques, the home cinema system can cancel out these imperfections resulting in a clean audio that is not dependent on the audio impediments in a room.
Wireless support and the SoundTouch ecosystem
The SoundTouch system turns your home cinema system into an audio controller, much like the Sonos ecosytem. The SoundTouch 120 can connect to a wireless speaker, such as the SoundTouch 10, to play music in different rooms. You have the option to play the same music in all the rooms or to play a different music in each room.
In addition to playing your personal music library, the SoundTouch 120 can stream music from over 20,000 internet radio stations. It also supports popular music services such as Deezer and Spotify. An app allows you to control the SoundTouch 120 with a tablet or a smartphone. The app setup is fairly straight-forward. Six programmable presets allow you to play music from the app or the universal remote.
Performance of the SoundTouch 120 home cinema system
The audio quality on the SoundTouch 120 is good and should be acceptable to most users. However, the SoundTouch 120 is marketed as a mid-range system and lacks some of the high-end features found on the SoundTouch 130. For instance, the SoundTouch 120 has only 5 drivers and lacks the dual PhaseGuide sound radiators that are included in the higher end model. This prevents you from obtaining a truly immersive audio experience. If are looking for audiophile quality sound, then a true surround sound system with multiple speakers is a better option.
The SoundTouch 120 is a cosmetic upgrade to the CineMate 120 system that adds wireless support. If you already own a CineMate 120 or another home cinema system, there is no strong incentive to upgrade, unless you value the Bluetooth support. The SoundTouch 120 is, however, a good option for your first home cinema system.