Boston Acoustics' ultrasmall SoundWare XS speakers star in minimalist 2.1 system

Boston Acoustics' minimalist 2.1 system will feature the incredibly small SoundWare XS speakers and integrated amplification.

Boston Acoustics' SoundWare XS Digital Cinema Surround Sound Speaker system
Boston Acoustics' SoundWare XS Digital Cinema Surround Sound Speaker system Boston Acoustics

LAS VEGAS--Boston Acoustics' SoundWare XS 5.1 system is about as small as you can make a 5.1 speaker system. Unless of course you ditched three of the speakers and the need for a separate AV receiver.

That's the thinking behind the new SoundWare XS Digital Cinema Surround Sound Speaker system, which features just two tiny SoundWare XS speakers, a compact subwoofer, and built-in amplification. It comes with a credit card-style remote and brackets for wall-mounting the front speakers.

The 100-watt system features both optical and analog inputs, as well as Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to stream music wirelessly straight from a smartphone. To get around the lack of rear speakers, the system includes Boston's proprietary Digitally Optimized Virtual Surround processing. Virtual surround generally falls well short of the actual surround-sound experience, but it often at least opens up the sound stage so that it feels a little bigger than plain old stereo.

The Boston Acoustics SoundWare XS Digital Cinema Surround Sound Speaker system will be available in January with a list price of $500. That's a lot of money to ask for a lifestyle system, especially with budget sound bars available for a few hundred dollars less.

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