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So, you're looking for a speaker with 360 degree sound. Should you get the brand new JBL Pulse 3 that has a built in light show or should you go with the elegant and refined Bose Soundlink Revolve Plus? Or do you just want to know which of these 2 360 degree speakers sound better? Well, we’re about to find out! Don't forget to comment like and subscribe! And you can watch my JBL Pulse 3 Review video here after you're done watching this video.
The JBL Pulse 3 is the newer of these two products and retails for $200. It comes in two color ways, black or white. The Bose Soundlink Revolve Plus was released back in spring and retails for $300. It also comes in two color ways, black or silver. Theres also the smaller Bose Soundlink Revolve that retails for $200. It dosnt get as loud as the Revolve Plus and battery life is a little shorter. But If you want to see a versus video with that speaker and the JBL pulse 3 comment down below. But if you want to pick either of these speakers up I’ll have links in the description below and I’ll keep them updated so you can get the best deals possible.
I was very impressed when i first reviewed the Bose Soundlink Revolve Plus. Its brushed aluminum body just gives it this presence and elegance that can easily make it the center piece of your living room. This design is what i imagined the Apple Homepod would look like. It even has a carry handle which makes life a little easier. And theres also a contact patch on the bottom for Bose’s charging cradle. The JBL Pulse 3 on the other hand uses plastic and has a nylon mesh weave bottom portion. Obviously these two products are aimed to two completely different demographics. The Bose Soundlink Revolve Plus is aimed to the older crowd that wants an elegant looking speaker while the JBL Pulse 3 is geared towards a younger crowd that wants to take it with them every where and have a light show with their music.
The JBL Pulse 3 has that classic cylindrical design you can expect from JBL and its portable speakers. The Majority of the device is hard plastic that houses the light show and the bottom portion which houses the drivers is wrapped in a nylon mesh weave. And both end caps are made out of soft touch rubber which give the Pulse 3 a good amount of grip. There are passive radiators on the top and bottom of the device, and there are controls on the back. You can control your music playback (except go back a track), adjust the volume, answer or end calls, activate siri by pressing and holding the triangle, and pair another JBL connect plus enabled speaker with the pulse 3 with the tap of one button. Theres also a fuel gauge so you can see your current battery status at a glance and under the rubber grommet you will find a micro USB port for charging and an Aux Jack. The Bose Sound Link Revolve Plus also has a cylindrical shape to it. The bottom portion has milled holes which just looks fantastic and just like the Pulse 3 has soft touch rubber on either end caps which gives it a good amount of grip. The controls on the Sound Link Revolve can be found on the top of the device. You can do everything the JBL Pulse 3 can do except you can actually go back a track by triple pressing the multifunction button. Unfortunately pairing another Bose Speaker with the SoundLink Revolve Plus isn't as easy as the Pulse, but I’ll go into that later. But the Bose logo on top does serve as an NFC touch point for easy pairing if you have an android device. But unfortunately the Bose doesn't have a battery gauge so theres always a sense of uncertainty when you power up the device unless you check the battery status on your phone or have voice prompts turned on and personally I’m not a fan of the voice prompts so i always turn them off. If you have watched any of my other JBL Pulse 3 videos you might know by now that i really wish the Pulse 3 had textured buttons. The new button layout on the Pulse 3 is an improvement from the JBL pulse 2 but its not as easy to know what button you're pressing without looking like the Bose Soundlink Revolve plus. You still have to memorize the button layout on the Bose, but since the buttons are indented a little its easier to know what you're pressing.
Concerning specs, the JBL Pulse 3 is using bluetooth 4.2 it can be paired to two devices at the same time and range is at around 70 feet. The Bose Soundlink Revolve Plus is also using bluetooth 4.2 and can also be paired to two devices at the same time but range is much shorter at only 30 feet. And the connection starts to struggle if you have multiple walls between the Bose and your phone. The JBL Pulse 3 on the other hand is able to keep a strong connection through more walls than the Bose. Battery life is also very different between these two devices. Bose advertises a battery life of 16 hours on the SoundLink Revolve Plus but really I usually get a battery life of around eight or ten hours. The JBL Pulse 3 on the other hand advertises a battery life of 12 hours but in my testing I’ve managed to get close to 13 hours of playback with the light feature turned on and 15 hours of playback with the light feature turned off. The JBL Pulse 3 has the better battery life here but just by a couple of hours.
Both of these devices are fairly durable but if you are too rough on either one they will get scratched. But in my testing i have noticed the Bose shows scratches faster than the Pulse 3. The Bose Soundlink revolve plus is IPX 4 certified so it'll be fine if it gets a little splashed but the JBL Pulse 3 is IPX 7 certified. So the Pulse 3 can get splashed or submerged in water and it will be just fine. It even floats in water and keeps playing music with out any issues. On the other hand i wouldn't dare submerge the Bose underwater and risk its internals.
Alright now lets talk about sound quality. Like I've said in previous videos the JBL Pulse 3 is a really good sounding speaker. It has a good amount of bass to it, the Miss and highs are very clear, it has a very wide sound stage, theres a good amount of depth to the sound and theres very little sound distortion at higher volumes.
The Bose Soundlink Revolve Plus on the other hand does manage to get a little louder and has more bass than the Pulse 3 but the over all listening experience isn't as good. The problem with the Bose is that the sound is too forward and it dosnt have as much depth or instrument separation as the pulse 3. The highs do tend to crash from time to time at higher volumes and I feel the vocals can sound a little nasally sometimes. Im really trying to not play favorites here but if i had to pick one I would go with the JBL pulse 3.
Like i mentioned earlier the JBL Pulse 3 has JBL Connect Plus. This means you can pair up to 100 JBL Connect plus enabled devices like the Pulse 3 or Flip 4 and have them play music simoutanlesly. Obviously you're not going to pair 100 JBL speakers together but you can pair for example 3 or 5 speakers together and fill a larger area with music. Or if you have 2 JBL Pulse 3’s you can pair them together to play music in stereo mode and even sync up the Light shows together. And you can do all of this with the press of a single button on each speaker. Bose on the other hand is much more limited. You can pair two Bose Soundlink Speakers together and have them play in party mode or in stereo mode like the JBL but you cant connect any more devices to my knowledge. But paring 2 bose devices is easy from the Bose Connect App but it not as easy if you're trying to pair them by just using the onboard buttons on top. You have to remember certain button press combinations and hold them down for a few seconds and repeat the process on your second bose speaker.
JBL’s connect app also allows you to play with the light feature of your Pulse 3. For starters you can adjust the brightness and obviously the brightness of the light feature will play a roll in the speaker’s battery life. You can also cycle through the different light settings. They all flash to the beat of your music but they each do so a little differently. Theres wave, Jet, explosion, equalizer, Rave, Rainbow, fire, and you can even make you're own. And you can change the color of each setting either through color matching with your camera or you can use the color wheel. JBL’s App is very well laid out and I've never really had an issues with it. But one thing i really like about Bose’s connect app is that i can remotely activate my sound link revolve plus, this feature is so convenient; i love it and i wish the pulse 3 could do that. But i have noticed if i turn off my Bose with a full battery and come back 3 or 4 days later and turn it on the battery is severely depleted. So does having the remote on feature means the bose is in a low power mode when its supposed to be turned off? Is having a shorter standby time worth having the remote on feature to you? comment below.
But lets wrap this video up, if you're debating between getting either of these speakers the light feature obviously isn't the deciding factor. When it comes to the overall design the Bose is elegant while the Pulse 3 is fun. But when it comes to sound quality i have to give it to the JBL Pulse 3. Like i said the Bose Soundlink Revolve Plus has more bass and gets a little louder but there isn't as much instrument separation and everything just sounds like its to forward. Not to mention the Pulse 3 has a slightly better battery life even with the light feature turned on and its slightly more durable. If you want to learn more about either of these speakers I’ll have links to their individual reviews down below.