Bose Portable Smart Speaker Review: A Symphony in Portability

I was really impressed by the Bose Portable Smart Speaker’s portability and the depth of its sound after using it for two weeks. The device’s form made it comfortable to carry around, and its smart features were responsive and simple to use. It was a pleasant experience because of its reliable performance and mobility.

Resonating through the vast canvas of our existence, music dances like an invisible yet indispensable partner, choreographing the ballet of our most cherished memories. Gazing into this profound cosmic dance, Bose materialized the Bose Portable Smart Speaker into the marketplace, an ingenious gadget designed to propel the symphony of our lives onto a higher crescendo.

The fusion of featherlight mobility, majestic soundscapes, and the wizardry of smart home functionalities molds the Bose Portable Smart Speaker into a significant silhouette against the dawn of the auditory device era. But, as with any masterstroke of innovation, it bears a set of sparkling merits and shadowy demerits, acting as dual forces influencing its overall performance and the journey of the user.

Shall we embark on an exploration? Untangling the threads of these pros and cons, we’re about to ascertain whether this entrant from Bose indeed carves a unique groove in the bustling symphony of smart speakers.

Price and Availability

Debuting with an audacious announcement on September, 2019, the Bose Portable Smart Speaker asserted its presence with a resolute price tag—$399 USD. Not intended for those with a shallow pocket or a wary spender’s heart, it distinctly positions itself amidst the loftier strata of the smart speaker market. However, let it not dissuade the astute connoisseur in search of excellence, for the manifold features it offers might very well provide a suitable justification for its robust cost.

Bose Portable Smart Speaker2

Be it the east or the west, north or south—the Bose Portable Smart Speaker spans the globe with its availability. Yet, a prudent reminder for the aspiring possessors: the array of smart capabilities it boasts, although impressive, might fluctuate depending on one’s geography. Yes, the effectiveness of these nifty features could indeed be subject to your coordinates on this spinning sphere we call home.

Design and Connectivity

Let’s take a jaunt through the world of Bose’s Portable Smart Speaker, shall we? With its compact charm and well-considered design, it’s the embodiment of ‘carry wherever you go.’ We’re talking a mere 1.06 kg weight and dimensions that are nothing more than 191.5mm x 119mm x 104mm. This is portability at its finest, no two ways about it. Handle included for the ‘grab and go’ moments, and, should you encounter a splash or two, there’s no cause for alarm – an IPX4 rating has got your back. Perfect for every locale, be it your cozy indoors or the unpredictable outdoors.

Now let’s pivot to its design philosophy – a model of simplicity that goes hand in hand with function. Control buttons? They’re all right there on top – power, Bluetooth pairing, volume control, play or pause, mic mute, and a button that propels action. The catch? Well, the concave circular buttons might pose a puzzle for those with visual impairments. But hey, the overall interface, we’d say, is quite a user’s delight.

Now for the meaty bit – the connection. Bose’s Portable Smart Speaker straddles two worlds quite nicely – the Wi-Fi realm and the Bluetooth kingdom. But here’s the rub: using Wi-Fi alone could curtail your enjoyment if your apps don’t sync. Thus, in swoops the Bluetooth connection for a full-bodied, all-encompassing sonic experience.

Connecting via Wi-Fi? Easy peasy with the Bose Music app. Or lean on Bluetooth 4.2, championing AAC and SBC Bluetooth codecs. And of course, there’s Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, and Chromecast waiting in the wings to beam your local content straight to the speaker. Yet, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns – the lack of Bluetooth multipoint and HD or Ultra HD playback might put off some users. But then again, you can’t always get what you want, right?

So, here’s the deal – a portable speaker that balances form with function, and brings a whole array of connectivity options, with some minor quibbles. That, my friends, is the Bose Portable Smart Speaker for you.

Smart Features

In the pulsating ecosystem of smart homes, the Bose Portable Smart Speaker stands tall, effortlessly assimilating with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The dual compatibility is an intriguing feature, acting as a chameleon of smart assistants, catering to the undecided and those who prefer to toggle between the two.

Yet, a word of caution to the ardent music lovers out there – not all streaming platforms permit voice-commanded playback. At times, this could be a slight hindrance, an inconvenient pause in your rhythmic journey.

As for the Bose Music app, the key that unlocks the smart assistant and Wi-Fi door, it’s an exercise in user-friendliness. Nevertheless, it’s an app that’s still exploring its potential. A somewhat Spartan equalizer and a streaming service selection that leaves something to be desired, it stands in the shadow of its more diversified competitors.

But the app isn’t without its charms. Its SimpleSync feature, for instance, is nothing short of a harmonious symphony. Imagine the pleasure of playing the same tune across multiple speakers or the joy of wielding independent volume control over your headphones, even while orchestrating the speaker. A feature worth its weight in gold, wouldn’t you agree?

Audio Quality

The audio quality. Bose Portable Smart Speaker packs a punch in this department. Although portable speakers often lack sub-bass, this speaker defies convention with its impressive bass. However, note that the bass response is significantly influenced by the speaker’s placement.

In corners or near walls, the bass is rich and vibrant. On tables, it loses some of its charm. Hanging it by its strap is an option, but that too sacrifices the bass. The mids and highs are crisp, providing a balanced soundscape that ensures clarity and depth.

Its prowess in the audio department is further complemented by the ability to make calls through Amazon Alexa (conditions apply). Though it doesn’t support HD or Ultra HD playback, the speaker does justice to a wide range of music genres and podcasts.

Despite its impressive attributes, this speaker isn’t without its share of shortcomings. The constraint on Codec support is rather glaring; it limits itself to only backing SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs. This, unfortunately, sidelines Android aficionados who are in pursuit of a solid high-quality, low-latency option.

Venturing into the realm of streaming services, its offerings seem somewhat sparse. When you stack it against potent rivals such as Sonos, its limited repertoire becomes all the more evident.

The puzzle becomes trickier as the availability of the speaker’s smart features morphs into a sort of moving target, varying by region. It becomes a cryptic mix, dependent on a trio of variables: the smart assistant in play, the geographic location, and the streaming service engaged.

Finally, as we broach the subject of cost, the speaker’s hefty price tag of $378 USD is worth a pause. It tips the scales on the pricier side, especially when placed in the diverse landscape of smart speakers currently crowding the market.


Suppose you’re weighing the pros and cons of the Bose Portable Smart Speaker, you might find the scales tipping in various directions. True, its cost is formidable – an aspect that might set some of us back. Then there’s its inability to sync with certain streaming services, potentially narrowing your music or podcast options.

Yet, shift your gaze to its formidable attributes – the caliber of sound, a melody to your ears, resonates with supreme quality. With a design that shrugs off water, you have a companion whether you’re serenading the shower or caught in an unexpected downpour. The allure of its intelligence, its smart assistant features – is undeniable. This cutting-edge speaker makes an impactful addition to any smart home setup, truly.

But say you’re more budget-conscious, or a die-hard fan of a streaming service that’s unsupported – it may be time to explore alternatives. Let it not be said that this speaker is for everyone – it has its eccentricities, but its strengths are equally robust.

Bose Portable Smart Speaker: Who it’s for?

The Bose Portable Smart Speaker is an excellent choice for Bose enthusiasts, people who use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, and those new to smart home devices who want a high-quality and easy-to-use speaker. It might not be ideal for users on a tight budget, those seeking support for a broad range of streaming services, or people living in regions with limited smart feature access.

Where To Buy: Bose Portable Smart Speaker?

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How is the Bose Portable Smart Speaker controlled?

The speaker can be controlled using the control buttons on the top side, or via voice commands if you have Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant set up.

What kind of audio does the Bose Portable Smart Speaker support?

The speaker supports AAC and SBC Bluetooth codecs. It also allows for streaming through Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, and Chromecast. However, it doesn’t support HD or Ultra HD playback.

How long is the battery life of the Bose Portable Smart Speaker?

The speaker provided 12 hours of usage with constant playback.

Can the Bose Portable Smart Speaker make phone calls?

Yes, the speaker can make calls, but only via Amazon Alexa and over Wi-Fi. It does not support calls through Google Assistant or mobile carrier.

Is the Bose Portable Smart Speaker water-resistant?

Yes, the Bose Portable Smart Speaker has an IPX4 rating, making it resistant to splashes or drips of water. However, it should not be submerged in water.

9 Total Score
Final Verdict:

The Bose Portable Smart Speaker successfully combines portability, smart functionality, and impressive sound quality. It's slightly expensive, but its easy setup, robust features, and excellent performance justify the investment.

  • Excellent Sound Quality
  • Portability and Water-Resistance
  • Alexa and Google Assistant Support
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Connectivity
  • High Price Point
  • Limited Selection of Streaming Services
  • Full Access to Smart Features is Region-Dependent
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