The new Boston Acoustics SoundWare speaker is technically an on-wall loudspeaker. However it can also pull double or triple duty as a compact outdoor speaker, a desktop or a small monitor speaker. The SoundWare is the Swiss Army Knife of affordable loudspeakers if you will, thanks in part to its unique cube-like shape and cabinet finish that can accept any and all indoor or outdoor paints if the seven standard colors Boston offers are not to your liking.
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The SoundWare retails for $99.99 each and comes in a variety of finishes from the factory that include white, bamboo, silver, red, onyx, espresso and natural. The cabinet itself is cube-like in shape, though the lower face and back panel are flat to allow for table top mounting or wall mounting via the included wall bracket. The SoundWare is very compact, measuring in at roughly six and a half inches square, which is small enough to fit in the palm of an adult hand. The SoundWare has a single three quarter inch tweeter that rests on an arm that floats it above the four and a half inch bass/midrange driver. The SoundWare has a reported frequency response of 90Hz to 20kHz with a sensitivity rating of 87dB into a stable eight-Ohm load and can be driven by virtually anything available today from lower powered receivers and integrated amps to more high powered offerings, though I doubt anyone would connect a pair to anything more high end than a mass market receiver. Speaking of connections, the SoundWare has a single set of push pin style binding posts that will accept bare wire (small gauges need only apply) and pin terminated speaker cables.
In terms of sound quality the SoundWare is rather surprising, capable of respectable output from such a small cabinet. There's no real bass to speak off, at least not anything that's going to rattle the fillings in your teeth - for that you'll most assuredly need a subwoofer or two. From the midrange on up however, the SoundWare is a capable little performer. I'm not going to say they compete with thousand dollar loudspeakers, but for an all purpose, go anywhere, lifestyle speaker they're quite enjoyable and a great deal of practical fun. They're also a great way for apartment dwellers and renters to easily add a distributed music system to their humble abodes without breaking the bank or cutting holes in their drywall. As desktop speakers I found them to be quite good, though I would augment their low end with a small subwoofer even with this configuration. At high volumes they do begin to break down sonically and become less composed but for background or ambient listening they more than fit the bill.
• The SoundWare speakers are small, stylish and easy to integrate into seemingly any environment, be it indoors or out.
• As desktop speakers the SoundWare's are quite good and if you round out their bottom end with a small sub they're near perfect for such an application.
• The SoundWare speakers are one of, if not the best solutions for adding a whole home or apartment distributed audio system without needing to cut holes in your drywall or purchase expensive electronics.