Bose's Portable Speaker Lineup Explained

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For the last few months Bose has been releasing innovative, but weird products… like their new sleep buds which are supposed to help you sleep better, and their wearable Soundwear companion speaker which is a $300 speaker you wear around your neck… I mean yeah it sound good but it is a pretty tough sell. But today we’re breaking down Bose’s portable speaker line up which I also feel is a little wired. We’ve got the Bose Soundlink Micro, The Soundlink Color 2, The Soundlink Revolve and the sound link Revolve Plus.

First off, I just want to start off by saying that the Bose Soundlink Mini 2 isn’t here cause it looks like Bose is phasing it out. If you go over to their site the Mini 2 isn’t a part of the promotional materials and if you try to buy one it says that its unavailable. And the Soundlink mini 2 is nowhere to be found on other big box retailer’s sites. But lets talk money… The Bose Soundlink Micro currently retails for $99, the Soundlink Color 2 retails for $129, the Soundlink Revolve retails for $199 and the Soundlink Revolve Plus retails for $299. If you want to pick either of these speakers up I’ll have links in the description below… and if you use the links it really helps out the channel. I suggest you check them out cause the micro sometimes goes on sale so you’ll might get lucky. And also check out the new merch shelf down below.

Unlike Sony’s or JBL’s portable speaker line up which all share a distinct design langue across the board, Bose’s speaker line up is split right down the middle. The Soundlink Micro and Color 2 both have silicon covered bodies which make them very rugged if you plan on taking them on the go with you… where as the Soundlink Revolve and Revolve Plus both have exposed Aluminum bodies which are very elegant, but they can easily get scratched or dented if you were to travel with them on a regular basis. But both the Revolve And Revolve Plus carry an IPX4 certification so a little splash of water shouldn’t be a problem, where as the Soundlink Micro carries an IPX7 certification… so combined with its silicon body, the Soundlink micro is definitely the most rugged speaker in Bose’s line up so far. 

But now lets talk about ports… the Soundlink Color 2, Revolve, and Revolve Plus all charge via a micro USB port and they all have an AUX jack for wired listening. But interestingly enough, the Soundlink Micro doesn’t have an AUX jack. But like I’ve said in past videos, I feel speakers this small not having an AUX jack isn’t a big deal. But the Revolve and Revolve Plus both have a universal screw mount on the bottom so you can attach them to a tripod if you needed to. And you’ll also notice 4 dots here which are the contact points for the optional charging cradle. Now when it comes to battery lives, I feel all of these speakers have respectable battery lives for their small size… the Color 2, Revolve, and Revolve Plus should have no problem lasting you at least one whole straight day of listening on a single charge. Except for the Soundlink Micro… I’ve always really liked the Micro cause it sounds very impressive for its small size. But unfortunately its battery life isn’t the best. Bose advertises 6 hours of playback time, but with real world listening I usually end up averaging just 3 hours of playback time. And I feel Bose Drastically needs to improve the Micro’s battery life. The carrying strap on the back of the micro makes it an amazing speaker to take on the go with you cause you can easily attach it to your backpack or bike frame, but its short battery life renders it to a useless hockey puck a few hours later.  

Ok now lets talk about speaker set ups cause they’re also pretty different. The Soundlink Micro has a single transducer and dual passive radiator all housed underneath the perforated portion of the speaker. And like I just said, the Micro sounds very impressive for its size. The Color 2 is kind of like a bigger version of the Micro. You have slightly larger dual transducers and a dual passive radiator up top. And both the Micro and the Color 2 are very directional speakers. Where as the Revolve and Revolve Plus are 360 degree speakers. Both of these speakers share the same set ups, except the Plus is slightly larger. Theres a single downward firing transducer which shoots sound into an acoustic deflector which evenly spreads out your music. And towards the top of the speakers there are also dual passive radiators. And personally one of my favorite things about the revolve speakers is that if you look at them at the right angle when they’re playing music you can see the internals at work. 

Overall, Bose’s speaker line up has a neutral sound signature which emphasizes clarity, but there is a good amount of bass. Like I’ve mentioned multiple times already, I like the soundlink Micro cause it sounds very impressive for its size. It has way more bass than I would expect from a speaker of its size and it does a really good job of preventing distortion at higher volumes. But I feel the Soundlink Color 2 doesn’t sound all that impressive for its size. Keep in mind that it is the oldest speaker here… but if you listen to it at lower volumes the bass does fall short and if you listen to it at higher volumes then there is a considerable amount of distortion. But if we look at the Revolve And Revolve Plus these speakers also have way more bass than I would expect from their small size. The Revolve and Revolve Plus both sound the same, but the Plus model manages to get louder and there is over all more bass and the music does fuller on the Plus. But even though both of these revolve speakers do get pretty loud, they also suffer from a considerable amount of distortion at higher volumes. I feel these speakers sound decent all the way up to the 85 percent volume mark, and after that they start to sound way too bright.

When it comes to bluetooth connectivity all of these speakers have solid connections that can go through multiple walls and I haven’t had any connection issues what so ever. But all of these  speakers do have a little bit of latency when watching videos. Its not huge, but it is noticeable… if you’re like me it can get annoying if you watch a lot of videos with your phone. 

But now lets talk about Bose’s Connect app cause it is very well built and its pretty useful. My favorite thing about Bose’s Connect app is that you can remotely turn on either of your speakers if you’re in range. Not a lot of other speakers do this. Granted its does drain your speaker’s battery a little bit but I feel its worth it. And straight from the app its self you can pair up another speaker. And something that Bose allows you to do that other manufactures don’t is that you can get left and right stereo mode going on two different model speakers. With Sony or JBL in order to get left and right stereo mode to work you need to have two of the same model speakers, you cant mix and match. But the major draw back with Bose is that you can only connect two speakers together. Sony and JBL brag about being able to pair up to 100 speakers together and obviously no one really needs that, but I would like to be able to pair up to at least 5 Bose speakers together. 

So over all, one half of Bose’s portable speaker line up is durable and rugged where as the other half is elegant and sophisticated. Even though I do like the Soundlink Micro cause of its impressive sound, I would only consider getting it if it was on sale cause it is expensive for what it is at $99. And personally I’m not the biggest fan of the Soundlink Color 2, I think you’ll be much better off with either the JBL Charge 3, Pulse 3 or the Sony XB31. But then theres the Bose Soundlink Revolve and Revolve Plus. I actually do feel these speakers are worth the premium cause they’re more than just speakers. Their machined aluminum bodies make these speakers look like they’re pieces of art that you can proudly display in your living room, dinning room or kitchen with out having them clash with any of your other decor. Its obvious Bose is going for a more mature demographic with these speakers and thats perfectly ok. Not everybody wants a brightly colored fabric speaker in the middle of their room. And not everyone wants pulsating lights with their music. But given the Revolve and Revolve Plus performance these aren’t speakers you should pick up if you want wall shacking bass or if you really want to jam out with them. These are speakers you should get if you want to have constant background music around the house that you’re going to play to lower to moderate listening levels. I actually think Bose should split their current portable speaker line up and have two distinct portable speaker line ups. Have a rugged line up made up of the Micro, an Updated Soundlink Color 3, and a larger rugged $250 speaker that competes up against the Xtreme 2 and XB41. And I would have the fancier Revolve Line up made up of the Revolve plus, Revolve, and a $100 Revolve Mini. Who knows… since IFA is a few weeks away it could happen.