Our family often enjoys music when we are outside grilling on our patio or enjoying our backyard pool. We own a couple of bluetooth speakers and have always felt that they gave us good sound. That is, until we tried this new Bose Soundlink Revolve+. We had no idea what we were missing! Our music listening experience has become MUCH more enjoyable. If you are considering this speaker, there are some negatives to consider though. Here is a summary of our experience with the new Soundlink so far.
First and foremost is the sound. Oh my goodness! it is rich, detailed, full and immersive. We have expensive home theatre systems and outstanding bookshelf speakers throughout our house and this little battery powered Bose Bluetooth very competitively matches them in quality of sound. The bass is in-tact and does not distort nor ever sound muddy. The mids such as voices are projected forward and are never drowned out by the other frequencies. The highs are just as impressive. They are smooth and never sound artificial nor harsh. There is just a warmth and depth to the sound signature that exudes quality while painting detail and fidelity.
The only negative about the sound quality is when it is played near max volume. The sound never distorts, but the balance between the frequency spectrum changes. Because of this, my preferred max volume is a little under 90 percent. Yet, believer me, at 90 percent volume the speaker is still much louder than most battery powered speakers.
Bose says that the Revolve + is the best sounding portable bluetooth speaker they have made yet. After hours of listening to my music library I fully agree. In fact, I cannot help but to think that it will be the best sounding speaker, of any type, that many will own.
The most amazing feature to the speaker is the 360 degree sound. Honestly, I have never experienced this type of projection. One can place the Revolve on a table and walk completely around the table and never hear a difference in the sound quality nor volume. It is uncanny. The sweet spot for listening thus dramatically increases to just about everywhere in our back yard. Because of the conical dispersion of all-around sound, I was worried that the sound signature would change when the speaker was placed on a shelf or near a wall. To my surprise, it did not change in anyway for the negative. It did sound different, but almost in a good way as the wall now is helping to project the sound towards the listener.
Pairing was very straight-forward with our smartphones and tablets. Once initially paired, the speaker nearly immediately re-connects to the last known device at power on. We found the Bose connect app helpful when several previously paired devices were in range and we wanted to quickly switch between them. The voice which tells us which device it is paired to is very helpful. As to range, we easily achieved plenty more than 30 feet outside. Inside, the sound began to break up when there were a couple of rooms or walls between the speaker and our source.
FORM FACTOR / DURABILITY
In short, this speaker is gorgeous. It has a rubber bottom and a rubber top with a seamless metal cylinder sandwiched between. Unlike the smaller revolve available to purchase, this larger Revolve+ has a fabric handle to carry it around with. The feel is great and natural to carry, but personally I do not like that it the handle makes the speaker resemble an old-time lantern. Okay, I'm over it :) The rubber top and bottom not only have a great feel to their touch, but they also make the speaker feel very durable. I don't worry at all if my kids set it down with a little force. Nor, would I care if they accidentally tipped it over. Everything feels solid and very durable.
There are features that we have not tested on the speaker yet. For example, Bose says that it is water resistant to the degree that it can withstand a rain shower. Also, it appears that two Bose Soundlink Revolves can be synced to play music simultaneously and/or used as left and right stereo speakers. Another feature that I have not used is the standard mounting port on the bottom enabling the speaker to be secured such as to a tripod. Finally, the speaker has a microphone that works great and an aux-in handy to connect it to a non-bluetooth device.
The slight sound change near max volume is a negative as mentioned earlier. Also, when I pushed the button on the speaker to access Siri it worked, but Siri's voice was much lower in volume than the volume of the music which was interrupted when I summoned her. Perhaps I need to adjust something or the problem will be addressed in a future firmware/software update.
For us, the Bose Soundlink Revolve+ is incredible because it is small yet delivers a rich, accurate and very pleasing sound all with a battery that lasts and lasts (Bose claims 16 hours on this larger Revolve). Our family times out back will be all the more enjoyable as a result. Thank you Bose!