Bose Home Speaker 500 Review

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While everyone waits for Bose to announce their new QC45 ANC headphones, bose has been pretty busy lately releasing some out of the box products. Theres the noise masking sleep buds, Bose’s new frames which are sunglasses with built in speakers that are supposed to deliver a first of its kind AR experience and this… The Bose Home speaker 500. And im going to be honest, I didn’t expect to like this Smart speaker as much as I did and it sounds very impressive for its small size. 

But what isn’t small is this speaker’s price tag. At $400 the Bose Home Speaker 500 is one of the most expensive Amazon Alexa enabled speakers out there, not including TV sound bars. But if you want to pick this speaker up, I’ll have links in the description down below. 

Bose is obviously aiming for a more mature affluent crowd looking for a good looking amazon Alexa speaker to use in their home. And thanks to this speaker’s small size, rounded design and aluminum body… I think this speaker is going to look great in almost any room you place it. Just like Bose’s soundlink revolve speakers, the 500 has milled holes going all around the body and there are control buttons up top. Now I really like the fact that Bose was smart enough to include a full set of physical media control buttons on their new Smart speaker. With a lot of older smart speakers whether they were team Alexa or team google… you were sometimes forced to use voice commands cause those speakers just didn’t come with something as simple as a physical play pause button. 

But thankfully thats not the case here. If you want you can ask Alexa to control your music playback or you can do so manually with the control buttons up top. And even though this might seem basic or obvious… its one of those small things you miss when you don’t have it anymore. Theres also a physical button up top to invoke Alexa, there’s a button to mute the mics, and there are physical buttons to switch between your wired or bluetooth audio sources. Bose even gives you 6 programmable buttons that you can adjust through their Bose Music app. You can listen to podcasts through services like tune in or you can have specific radio stations or playlists set up through services like Amazon music, Spotify, pandora, or Deezer. The only complaint I have about Bose’s buttons is that they’re too smooth. I wish the icons had a bit of a raised texture to them. 

But another complaint I have about the 500 is the screen on the front. First off its an LCD screen thats strictly used to show you the album art or thumbnail of anything you’re listening too. And whenever the speaker isn’t in use it’ll display the time. But unfortunately, the screen doesn’t look nearly as good as the marketing material makes it out to be and it looks like Bose didn’t get the memo that screens are going bezel less now. 

But all of that is forgiven when it comes to this speaker’s sound quality. The 500 has a dual speaker set up that shoots out its sides. So sound is going to bounce off of walls and create a 360 degree listening experience. But the tiny Bose 500 sounds so big it has no problem keeping up with larger speakers like the Marshall Stanmore II and even the JBL Boombox. Now we’re going to jump into a sound test, for the sake fairness since the Bose 500 and Marshall Stanmore 2 are both wired speakers the Boombox is also going to be playing while plugged in cause it does increase its out put.

So like I said, sound quality wise the 500 sounds very very impressive for its compact size. Its able to keep up with considerably larger speakers with out any problems. Clarity and soundstage on the 500 is very good, but I cant help but notice instrument separation is a little better on the boombox. But that is expected cause the Boombox does have more hardware going for it compared to the 500. But what really blew me away about the 500 is the amount of bass this speaker puts out. The 500 is half the size of of both the Stanmore and Boombox, but it still manages to put just as much wall shacking bass. And you can adjust the this speaker’s bass and treble through Bose’s Music app. And again, don’t let this speaker’s small size fool you cause when it comes to max volume this speaker also gets just as loud as these other two larger speakers. 

So over all, im very impressed by the sound that comes out of this relatively small speaker and I really like it a lot. But if you’re considering picking this speaker up there are a few things you should know especially if you’re already heavily invested in Alexa Or Bose’s speaker eco system. The 500 is part of Bose’s new smart speaker line up that all have Alexa Built in. If you want to pair multiple speakers together you can only do so From Bose’s new line up of smart speakers and sound bars. But you cant pair the 500 to older Soundtouch or Soundlink speakers. So for example if you have a Bose Soundlink Revolve plus you cant pair that speaker to the 500, or if you have a Bose Soundtouch 30 you cant pair that speaker to the 500. Even though this does suck, its pretty common for smart speakers these days. But unfortunately, the 500 also wont play in sync with other Alexa Enabled speakers. Which is honestly very disappointing and I hope they fix this with a software update in the future. And since im critiquing the 500 right now, I thought I would mention that I would have liked it if it had a USB C port on the back next to the AUX jack. I just feel that home speakers like these should have a USB C out port so you can have the option to charge your phone. Cause again, its one of those small things you miss when you don’t have it anymore and I really appreciate it when other speakers do have them.

But over all I'm very impressed by the Bose Home Speaker 500. Even though it has a very small foot print the amount of sound coming out of this little speaker is truly impressive. And not to mention, its aluminum body makes it look really good. I just wish Bose had used a better quality screen to compliment the rest of this speaker. Its obvious bose is targeting an affluent crowd with this speaker and if you’ve got the money to spend I don’t think this speaker will disappoint. Just remember, if you’re already heavily invested in Bose’s ecosystem then the 500 wont work with older speakers.