We’ve got a ton of products to go over in the coming weeks before Christmas, so I won’t give you the mile-long review I’d usually write. I’m going to drop a quick overview of the device, a few thoughts, and a final rating.
The Bose SoundLink Revolve comes in a black rectangular box that stands on its tall side and has a white cardboard sheath that slides off from either the top or bottom of the box. It has Bose branding and a picture of the speaker on the front, and details about the device around back.
The inner box contains the speaker, a charging adapter, and I assume a charging cable – there wasn’t one included with my review unit, but the unit itself obviously isn’t new, so I assume that it may have gotten lost along the way from one reviewer to the next. There’s also an instruction manual – but who needs one of those, right?
The SoundLink Revolve is slightly taller and thinner than the original Google Home speaker. It’s also a bit heaver – Bose’s unit weighs 1.5 lbs, where Google’s weighs 1.05 lbs. There’s a connector at the bottom of the speaker used for an optional charging base, and a rubber ring that helps to keep the device from slipping and sliding.
The lower portion of the speaker is made of a grated metallic material, and the top portion has a rubberized cap that houses all of the device’s buttons and lights. On top, there are buttons for powering the device on and off, for Bluetooth and Auxiliary modes, volume up and down, and a voice control button.
There’s also a micro USB port on the bottom of the rear side of the speaker, used to recharge the device’s internal battery and an Auxiliary jack for plugging in an audio source via a cable with standard 3.5mm connectors. The SoundLink Revolve is water resistant, too (no IP rating), and should be okay for rocking out while taking showers or jamming by the pool.
On the inside
- Dual passive radiators – Deliver high-quality, low note performance and reduces wasteful vibration by turning it into an acoustic output.
- Transducer – A downward-facing, full-range transducer that works with the acoustic deflector for 360-degree sound.
- Omnidirectional acoustic deflector – Spreads sound evenly for uniform coverage.
Setup is simple. You pair devices via Bluetooth, as per the norm, or simply plug them in and go wired. There’s also the Bose Connect app, which lets you control the SoundLink Revolve via your smartphone. The app looks modern but offers limited functionality. It does the trick, but only in a very minimal sense.
At any rate, it only took a few seconds to get up and running. I had to install a firmware upgrade via the Bose Connect app, but that process was smooth and went down without a hitch.
The SoundLink Revolve has a Lithium-Ion battery that provides 12 hours of juice. That’s plenty enough to make it through your average house party, a day at the beach, or most other activities that would call for a portable Bluetooth speaker. Recharging the battery takes about an hour and a half to two hours, and you can use the speaker while it charges.
This little monster hits like Mike Tyson in his prime. I was taken back by its awesome sound quality, the moment I got some tunes playing on it. I guess what they say about good things and small packages is true. Especially in this case.
It sounds good regardless of where you place it in a room, too. You get true 360-degree sound with the device in the middle of the room, or a wonderful acoustic reverb effect if you place it in a corner. Bass is deep and rich, especially so when you place the speaker on a surface like a countertop or a glass table.
Comparing the SoundLink Revolve to the Google Home, in terms of quality, Bose’s offering is a hands-down winner, which comes as no surprise. Bose makes amazing speakers. And while Home does sound good, too, the Revolve just sounds louder, better, and has deeper bass. Of course, it also comes with a larger price tag than Home does.
Wrap up and final rating
I told you I was going to keep this short and sweet, and if I go any further, I’ll be a liar. To sum things up, the Bose SoundLink Revolve is the best portable Bluetooth speaker I’ve ever used. It’s solid, both in terms of build and sound quality, but the lack of WiFi functionality that Google Home and other smart speakers offer may be a turn-off for some.
Just remember, this product isn’t being sold as a smart speaker. It’s a portable Bluetooth speaker, meant to be easy to take with you on-the-go. And it does an excellent job of doing so if $199 is within your budget. Aside from being a bit on the pricey side, I can’t find anything to complain about here.
Where to buy the Bose SoundLink Revolve
You can snag this one from Verizon Wireless for $199 – and if you’re using Ebates, you can get up to $75 cash back on your purchases from Big Red. Stop back and lemme know what you think if you pick one up.
Happy listening, friends!