Bose says its new Unidome transducer is a 2.5-inch "powerhouse" that produces the "highest excursion for any transducer of its size in Bose history." In plain English, that means it moves the most air for its size. That's a good thing when it comes to speakers.
So how does this compare to the Sonos Play:1? Well, like that speaker, it plays very big for its size -- it can fill a small room with sound -- and sounds quite impressive, relatively speaking anyway.
The Bose is very strong in the midrange -- it's great with vocals and acoustical material -- and its bass sounds surprisingly punchy. The SoundTouch 10 is a little more forward sounding than the Sonos, with a little treble push that adds some clarity but sometimes leads to a touch of harshness when playing certain tracks at higher volumes.
Fortunately, it doesn't have the SoundTouch 30's small issue with bass performance. That larger, more expensive speaker gets a little boomy and distorted when playing bass-heavy music at higher volumes. True, the SoundTouch 10 can't produce as much bass as the SoundTouch 30, but the bass held together better at higher volumes.
Overall, the Sonos Play:1 is a little more forgiving and slightly warmer speaker, and is arguably the more pleasant to listen to over longer listening sessions. But both are excellent Wi-Fi speakers for their size, as is the Raumfeld One S ($250). CNET Editor Ty Pendlebury liked the Raumfeld, but we both agreed that the SoundTouch sounded a little more open (the Bose has a wider sound stage) and offered slightly better clarity with slightly punchier bass.
In the final analysis, the Sonos Play:1 scores slightly higher in our ratings, but the SoundTouch 10 certainly gives the Sonos a run for its money and adds a separate remote and Bluetooth for those who want the convenience of a direct Bluetooth connection. It isn't a portable speaker like the SoundLink Mini II, but it's relatively modestly priced for a Wi-Fi speaker and sounds better than the Mini II for the same amount of money. It's currently one of the best sounding compact Wi-Fi speakers we've tested.