The Bose Portable Home Speaker has a lot going for it.
It’s very smart, and the way it’s made makes it both functional and stylish.
It might not sound as good as the Sonos Move.
But it’s still a good option if you don’t want to give up sound quality for portability.
Bose has been a big name in Bluetooth speakers for a long time.
And its newest model, the Bose Portable Home Speaker, is likely to solidify that status even more.
If 2019 was the year of the smart speaker, 2020 will be the year of the portable smart speaker.
The market is already growing quickly, with models like the Bose Portable Home Speaker.
And the Sonos Move offer Google Assistant and Alexa as well as Bluetooth connectivity.
So, can Bose keep Sonos from giving them a run for their money?
We tried out its latest portable speaker.
What About The Price And Availability?
The black and silver Bose Portable Home Speaker costs $349, £369.95, or AU$499.95.
It is slightly cheaper than the $399/£399 Sonos Move unless you live in Australia, where it costs AU$649.
Even though it costs less than its biggest competitor, the Bose Portable Home Speaker is not cheap by any means.
Its predecessor, the Bose Soundlink Revolve, costs $200/£200, and while the runner-up on our list of the best portable speakers.
The UE Boom 3, only costs $129.99/£129.99/AU$199.95.
What About Its Design?
The Bose Portable Home Speaker is made to be portable in every way, from its small size.
And light weight to its easy-to-carry bucket-like handle and IPX4 water-resistant housing.
The Portable Home Speaker is 7.5 inches tall and has an anodized aluminium enclosure that comes in silver or black.
We prefer the silver model, which looks more futuristic, but the black one is a good choice if you like a simple look.
Overall, it looks sleek and classy, and it’s very easy to carry around.
You’d be surprised at how many portable speakers are a pain to take on the road because they’re big and don’t have handles.
The bottom third of the speaker has a wraparound grille that is meant to blast your music in all directions.
At the top of the speaker, around the rubberized control pad, there is a second, much smaller grille.
This is also where a set of built-in microphones are kept so that your voice assistant can hear you when you call it up.
On top of the speaker are buttons for power, Bluetooth pairing, volume, and play/pause.
And turning off the microphone, which is helpful if you don’t want your voice assistant listening in all the time.
The only thing on the back is a USB-C charging port.
There’s no AUX port here.
The Bose charging cradle is sold separately for $29.95/£24.95/AU$39.95.
And gives your speaker a place to sit, and can also be used to charge the Portable Home Speaker.
What About The Features?
When it comes to portable speakers, battery life is the most important thing.
And this Bose model can play music for a good 12 hours on a single charge.
That’s more than the Sonos Move, but it’s not even close to the Tribit XSound Go’s 24 hours.
Still, this one can’t match the sound quality of Bose or Sonos.
Setting up the Bose Portable Home Speaker is easy.
Just download the Bose Connect app and follow the steps to connect it to your WiFi, choose your voice assistant.
And choose your music and radio services.
These include Spotify, Deezer, YouTube, Amazon Music, and TuneIn.
And many more, as well as AirPlay 2 for iPhone and iPad users.
The Bose Portable Home Speaker is both portable and smart.
It has both Google Assistant and Alexa built-in, so depending on which ecosystem you already use, you can choose between the two best voice assistants.
You can ask your voice assistant of choice to play music, but you can also ask it for the weather, to check your calendar.
And to control your connected devices.
This makes the Bose Portable Home Speaker the hub of your smart home.
During our tests, we used Google Assistant, and it worked perfectly, whether we were asking for songs from Spotify or news updates.
The built-in microphones picked up our voice just fine, even when music was playing.
What About The Performance?
The Bose Portable Home Speaker has a warm, well-balanced soundstage.
And the sound quality is very good.
We started our tests by listening to Hummingbird by Fleet Foxes.
The guitar sounds natural, and the softly thumped bass strings reverberate around the room without drowning out the intricately plucked treble melodies.
It doesn’t quite have the purity or detail of the Sonos Move.
But when the lead vocal melts into Appalachian-style harmony, every voice blends perfectly.
What About The Final Verdict?
The Bose Portable Home Speaker isn’t the brand’s first outdoor-friendly speaker, and it shows.
It has a beautiful, simple design and is built to withstand the elements.
It’s also light, so you can take it with you. Has a handle that looks like a bucket.
Instead, the Sonos Move’s concave finger grip is the icing on the cake for portability.