Bose Portable Home Speaker Review
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Unfortunately, setting up the Bose speaker required two things that annoy me: a separate account and a separate app. After installing the special “Bose Music” app, which is a different app from the “Bose Connect” app needed for headphones, I was prompted to sign in with my Bose ID (or I could have linked it Facebook instead, grrrr…). Apple’s brand new “Sign In With Apple” was nowhere to be found at this time.
However, after jumping through those hoops, the device’s discovery and connection to my home Wifi was easy. I was also happy to fine that the Bose Portable Speaker can connect to 5Ghz Wifi networks.
Setting up the voice assistant was straight forward (I had to sign in to Amazon to link it), but annoyingly, I was also prompted to enter my brand new Bose ID credentials again.
All of the setup hassles are worth it in the end: the sound quality on this speaker is incredible. Often, I wonder how so much sound can be coming out of a speaker this size! It can definitely fill a medium to large size room and would be adequate for backyard gatherings as well.
The speaker has excellent bass, which can be further adjusted by using the audio controls on the app (-100 to 100 in increments of 10). When carrying the speaker, the bass diminishes somewhat until it is set on a solid service, which seems to reflect the bass back at you.
The cylinder shape of the unit provides 360 degree sound, which in theory would mean that everyone sitting around the table should have a similar listening experience. However, I have found that sitting directly in front or behind the speaker seems to be the “sweet spot” for sound.
The speaker is splash proof but not completely waterproof. So while a light rain shower or splash from the garden hose should be fine, the speaker cannot be fully submerged in water.
On the back fo the unit is a single USB-C port for charging, which I was happy to see it was not Micro USB. There is not Aux input (nor does the USB-C port accept audio input). A wall charger is included. An optional charging base is also available as a separate purchase.
- Amazon Alexa: I was happy to see that Alexa is onboard the Bose Portable Speaker as I already own several Echo devices and I’m familiar with the commands. This Bose speaker supports the Alexa ESP feature, meaning that the Bose speaker will not respond if another Alexa device is closer to you (i.e. you won’t have multiple Alexa devices responding at once, which is sometimes an issue on 3rd party speakers).
There are some limitations with Alexa on the Bose Portable Home Speaker: at launch time, Alexa calling and “drop-ins” are not supported, nor is Apple Music supported via Alexa (although, you could use AirPlay 2 instead).
- Google Assistant: If you prefer Google’s voice assistant, you can set the speaker to use it instead.
- Apple AirPlay 2: This allows you to stream music from your iPhone, iPad or Mac computer without needing to pair the speaker to your device first. As long as both devices are on the same WiFi network, the Bose speaker will show up as an AirPlay device.
- Bluetooth: Of course, you can use the Bose Portable Speaker as a regular Bluetooth speaker for times when you’re away from WiFi.
Depending on how loud you play your music, the battery can last up to 12 hours of music playback. It can also last up to 24 hours on standby where the speaker is not actively playing, but it is still “listening” for voice commands.
The Bose Portable Speaker includes the incredible sound quality you would expect from Bose, along with Alexa and Google voice assistants and Apple AirPlay 2. With up to 12 hours of music playback on a single charge, this speaker can be taken along with you and function as a regular Bluetooth speaker when WiFi is not available.
- Amazing sound quality
- Alexa AND Google Assistant
- Long Battery Life
- Requires a Bose account
- Requires a separate app