I didn’t review the Bose Portable Home Speaker with AirPlay 2 when it was first released last fall. I tried playing with it, but had a difficult time with its connection. I was going to look into it more, but forgot about it. Besides, at $349, it didn’t seem as good as a buy as the competing Sonos Move.
Now that Bose’s WiFi speaker has been reduced to $299 this past weekend, it was time for a re-evaluation. And I’m glad I spent the time. The Bose Portable Home Speaker is one of the best portable speakers released in years, especially since it offers both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. Let’s take a look at some of the specifics:
Build and Design
The aluminum designed speaker, which measures 7.5 inches, is simple but eloquent. It reminds me of the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ from 2017, but it feels better. The controls are on the top, and the speaker space is rounded at the bottom. It’s shocking that a device this small (compared to other WiFi speakers) could produce such fantastic and lifelike sound.
The most important thing to note is that this is not just a Bluetooth wireless speaker; it’s a WiFi speaker as well. This is important because WiFi offers better sound quality. Most WiFi speakers need to be plugged in, but not the Bose Portable Home Speaker.
Setting up the speaker was frustrating. You’re supposed to be able to download the Bose Music app, which guides you on how to connect your device to your WiFi network. It wasn’t so easy, even for a tech-friendly guy like me. But once everything was connected correctly, the speaker worked very well. It was worth all of my frustration in setting it up.
Bose’s WiFi speaker is also a smart speaker that works with Google Assistant and Alexa. I didn’t test it with Alexa, but it worked very well with Google Assistant, even when I was several feet away from the speaker. I never really got into the whole smart speaker voice assistant thing much, but Bose’s speaker proves how far voice assistants have come.
Bose has always had a V-shaped sound spectrum, and that certainly continues on this speaker. The bass is punchy, but not overwhelming. The treble is also very clear. Though it’s not a deal killer, the middle range sometimes gets recessed a little more than Bose’s other products. Still, it’s only a minor issue, and some may not mind at all.
Overall, the sound is excellent and doesn’t get distorted when turning up the volume. Only at the very highest volume do you notice distortion, but I don’t think anybody would dear turn this up to its maximum capability unless they really want to disturb their neighbors.
Bose claims this speaker gives you 12 hours of battery life. However, the higher you turn up the volume, the less battery life you will get. At medium volume, I am able to get about 10 hours of use. Some people think that’s disappointing, but it’s great for a speaker this small and powerful.
Many have compared the Bose Portable Home Speaker to the Sonos Move, and claim the latter is better. However, at $100 less, Bose offers the best value. If you are looking for a portable WiFi speaker, the Bose Portable Home Speaker may be your best choice.