The Bose SoundLink Revolve smart speaker is an excellent choice for those looking for a true 360-degree listening experience.The Bose SoundLink Revolve aims to solve the main problem with most wireless speakers: despite their convenience, they’re usually directional, sounding their best in one specific spot. Bose has attempted to fix this with 360-degree sound technology.
The Bose SoundLink Revolve continues the company’s history of excellent build quality and sound and crams it all into a cylindrical speaker you can take with you on the go. One negative point to mention is that the IPX4 rating on the SoundLink Revolve means the speaker will survive splashes but probably not a dip in the pool or a trip to the beach.
The Revolve takes the design of its predecessor the SoundLink Mini II and stretches it into a cylindrical shape. It features a strong aluminum housing which comes in either silver or black and features a rubberized base and buttons. The Bose SoundLink Revolve feels extremely well made, and should put up with being tossed in a bag with keys and knick knacks.
On top of the Revolve speaker you’ll find buttons for controlling every feature of the unit, including volume, playback, Bluetooth 4.0, aux and power. Bose’s multifunction button controls everything from music playback to activating voice assistants like Siri and Google Assistant. The SoundLink revolve works great as a speakerphone for taking calls.
The microphone on the Bose SoundLink Revolve is located on top of the speaker, so it’s able to hear your voice from any direction. On the bottom of the speaker you’ll find four pins for an optional charging dock and a threaded tripod mount. While it might seem odd to have a tripod mount, it offers more flexibility for getting the Revolve perfectly positioned in your home.
Bose also lets you pair two Revolve speakers to use for stereo or amplification, a neat feature that’s becoming more and more common these days. This will work up to a range of 10m. Pairing for this feature can be done on the device itself, but it’s more convenient to use the Bose app. You have the option of using the speakers in stereo or mono, depending if they’re in the same room or not.
On the inside the Revolve features a dual passive radiator setup running up the sides of the speaker to fill out the lower end of the audio spectrum. Mids and trebles are handled by a downward facing transducer, which uses a deflector plate to distribute sound equally in all directions.
Bose claims that this driver configuration allows the speaker to create a full 360-degrees of sound around the speaker, and without any audio blindspots.
The biggest reason go to with the Bose SoundLink Revolve over one of its flat-faced rivals is if you want omni-directional sound. With it, you can move around and experience the same sound wherever you are. This is great for parties, for example, so everyone can have the same listening experience no matter where they’re sitting.
In terms of volume, the SoundLink Revolve does a great job of pumping music loudly in all directions. That said, if you place it at the center of the room, the speaker lacks some bass response – though that can be remedied by placing the speaker near walls to help reflect sound and increase the bass response. Overall, the Bose SoundLink Revolve’s sonic performance is excellent, especially when compared to other 360-degree speakers.
Compared to the competition, the Revolve’s battery life is average for a speaker of this size, lasting 12 hours at moderate listening volumes.