Bose Portable Home Speaker Review

Bose Portable Home Speaker Review

The outdoor speaker from Bose brings multiroom into the garden. In the test, the 360-degree speaker with splash water protection and a 12-hour battery has to show what it’s capable of.

Loudspeakers with WLAN, suitable as a multi-room system and can be taken into the garden thanks to the splash guard, are rare. If they are supposed to support Spotify Connect and Airplay, things will get tight. In addition to the Sonos Move (test report, grade 1), the Zipp 2 series from Libratone and the Denon Heos 1, including the Go Pack (test report, grade 1). The Portable Home Speaker from Bose is brand new in this device class.

WLAN in the garden (guide) has a few major advantages over Bluetooth. For example, the smartphone does not have to remain within the range of the speaker to control it, and you also get clever additional functions such as Alexa or Google Assistant. Time to test the Portable Home Speaker and see if it enriches the next gardening season.

PROS:

  • Good sound
  • Suitable for outdoor use
  • Big battery

CONS:

  • A bit bass-heavy

Processing

The Bose Portable Home Speaker is immaculately finished. The gray color dominates our test model; the speakers are behind a round grille. The handle at the upper end is solidly integrated, so you can easily carry the speaker with its 1.08 kg. The controls are in recesses at the top, but there are no tactile elements to operate the speaker blindly.

At the bottom is a USB-C port for charging the device. The required cable and plug are included in the package. Finally, the contacts for the optionally available charging station called the Charging Cradle are at the bottom. It charges the speaker when you place it on it.

The portable home speaker is water-repellent; Bose has certified it according to IPX4. This protects it against splashing water from all sides, but it should no longer lie in water or the like. In other words, it should be able to withstand a short summer rain or a spilled drink. However, there is no protection against dust, so you should not take the device with you on construction sites or in the workshop.

The App

The device is set up and further controlled via the Bose Music app. It’s quite simple to use, but you need an account with Bose. When you start it for the first time, the setup guides you through the first steps, such as adding the WLAN or activating a voice assistant. The app can also store radio streams via TuneIn and Spotify, Amazon Music, and Deezer.

We like the look of the app a lot. It is minimalist and comes without a lot of frills. The stations or songs are shown as large tiles; the corresponding music starts if you press one of the icons.

There are a few nice additional functions in the settings. So, you can limit the voice announcements of the speaker; many in the editorial office found the voice very artificial and annoying. You can decide whether everyone in the WLAN can access the speaker or whether it can only be controlled by one account. If there are several compatible loudspeakers, you can use them to create a multi-room group. There is one limitation, the app only recognizes the speaker via WLAN, not via Bluetooth.

But in Bluetooth mode, you have the advantage that the entire app can be omitted. The portable home speaker can be connected to the mobile phone like any other outdoor speaker (11 in the comparison test) and used as a playback device. If there is no WLAN, the speaker is still usable.

Sound Of Bose Portable Home Speaker

In terms of sound, the portable home speaker is surprising. For a device with the area of ​​a 1-liter milk carton, the speaker delivers a very decent sound. The bass is typically Bose stronger; the highs come through clearly, only the mids suffer a little.

Overall, we had a good listening impression of the portable home speaker in the test. Especially with more pop songs, such as Macklemore‘s Ain’t going to die tonight or Wanda’s Ciao Baby, sound good on the device not only nearby but also outside in the background.

In addition to music, speech, for example, audiobooks or podcasts, also sounds good. Moreover, the 360-degree speaker is impressive. There are no blind spots when listening, no matter where and how around we place the device.

The relatively strong bass could be related to the intended use. For example, if you use the portable home speaker to fill your garden with sound, you’ll want a little more bass power. The microphone array on the top is convincing. In the test, our “Hey Google” from the other corner of the room could provide it in a normal conversational tone and respond to inquiries.

Fortunately, there are fixed buttons for the most important controls (start and stop, volume up and down, Bluetooth and microphone off), so you don’t have to speak to the device constantly.

Multi-room

The portable speaker is part of Bose’s multiroom concept (guide). In other words, you can use the app to group the device with other compatible Bose speakers to play the same music. In addition to other portable home speakers, the following products are compatible, Bose Home Speaker 500, Bose Home Speaker 300, Bose Soundbar 500, and Bose Soundbar 700. You can also connect it to another device via Bluetooth and thus enjoy the same sound via the speaker and a Listen pair of headphones.

In addition, the portable speaker has a few other functions: Apple fans can use Airplay 2 to stream their music directly from the iPhone or iPad to the device. In addition, Spotify users can address the device directly from the app via Spotify Connect.

Battery pack

Bose specifies an average runtime of 12 hours, which we can confirm based on practical experience. It takes around four hours to fully charge using the supplied power adapter or the charging cradle. We recommend buying the latter at the same time. Because the speaker draws a lot of juice when connected to the WLAN, if you park it somewhere without a power supply, it will be empty after a day at the latest.

Conclusion

The Bose Portable Home Speaker is a well-rounded package for anyone looking for a speaker that can be controlled via Bluetooth and Airplay 2, for example. In general, Bose does a lot right with the Portable Home Speaker. The sound is good, especially if you use it for background music at a barbecue or garden party. The integration of the virtual assistants is useful for playing the next song on demand. Running and charging times are perfectly fine, especially with the charging cradle.

The Bose Portable Home Speaker plays in a similar league as the Sonos Move (test report) and is of interest to anyone who can do without Sonos support. It might have too much bass for some, but that’s complaining about a high level.

If you can do without WLAN and Airplay, we recommend a Bluetooth-enabled speaker (theme world). The Anker Soundcore Motion Q (test report, grade 2). In the middle class, the Ultimate Ears Boom 3 (test report, grade 2) is recommended, and in the upper class, the Sony SRS-XB41 (test report, grade 1) scores with many features and lighting effects.

Bose Portable Home Speaker Review
Bose Portable Home Speaker Review

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