Bose SoundLink Revolve Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Dec 14, 2020 at 09:43 am
Bose SoundLink Revolve Picture
6.6
Music
5.9
Videos/Movies
7.9
Podcasts
6.3
Voice Assistant
7.2
Outdoors
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
No
Speakerphone
Yes
Voice Assistant
Yes
Battery Powered
Yes

The Bose SoundLink Revolve is a well-built Bluetooth speaker. It has a sleek design, and it's small and easy to bring with you on-the-go. It's rated for dust, impact, and water resistance, so you can use it outdoors, though we don't test for this. Unfortunately, it lacks low-bass and it doesn't get very loud. However, its balanced mid-range makes it suitable for listening to vocal-centric content like podcasts and audiobooks.

Our Verdict

6.6 Music

The Bose SoundLink Revolve isn't bad for music. Its sound profile is quite neutral, especially in the mid and treble ranges where vocals and lead instruments are reproduced. However, it lacks a lot of low-bass, which is disappointing for fans of bass-heavy music genres. Its 360° speaker system helps create large and wide directivity, but unfortunately, it doesn't get very loud.

Pros
  • 360° speaker system.
  • Multi-device pairing.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • Not very loud.
5.9 Videos/Movies

The Bose SoundLink Revolve is middling for videos and movies. While its balanced mid-range can reproduce dialogue clearly, it lacks a lot of low-bass, so you don't feel the deep thump in action-packed scenes. It doesn't get very loud, and it has to downmix stereo content into mono, which isn't very immersive. Its latency on iOS and Android devices is high, though some apps compensate for latency differently, so your experience can vary.

Pros
  • 360° speaker system.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • Not very loud.
7.9 Podcasts

The Bose SoundLink Revolve is very good for podcasts. This portable speaker has a balanced mid-range, so it can reproduce voices clearly and accurately. It's Bluetooth-compatible, so you can easily stream podcasts wirelessly from your phone or tablet, and you can pair it with up to two devices at the same time. However, it doesn't get very loud.

Pros
  • Multi-device pairing.
  • Bluetooth-compatible.
Cons
  • Not very loud.
6.3 Voice Assistant

The Bose SoundLink Revolve is fair for voice assistants. It doesn't have any built-in voice assistant capabilities, so it just uses the voice assistant on your paired device. As a result, the speaker isn't always looking for your voice, and it can't be voice-activated. On the upside, it can understand your voice from far away.

Pros
  • Excellent far-field performance.
Cons
  • No built-in voice assistant.
7.2 Outdoors

The Bose SoundLink Revolve is decent for outdoor use. This well-built, portable speaker has an IPX4 rating for water resistance and it's rated for dust and impact resistance, though we don't test for this. Its over 12-hour battery life is suitable for long days outside, too. However, it doesn't get very loud.

Pros
  • IPX4 rating for water resistance.
Cons
  • Not very loud.
  • 6.6 Music
  • 5.9 Videos/Movies
  • 7.9 Podcasts
  • 6.3 Voice Assistant
  • 7.2 Outdoors
  1. Updated Jan 21, 2021: Updated Alexa support to 'NO' as you need a third-party device to make it work.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights No

The Bose SoundLink Revolve has a sleek and simple design. Its metal and plastic design likely won't stand out from your decor. You can choose between 'Lux Gray' or 'Triple Black' color variants.

9.2
Design
Portability
Volume
62 in³ (1022 cm³)
Weight
1.5 lbs (0.7 kg)
Power Source
Battery & USB
One-Hand Carry
Yes

This speaker is outstandingly portable. It's small, lightweight, and can be carried with one hand, so you can easily move it to different locations for a better listening experience. It can be battery-powered, so it can easily be used outside.

8.0
Design
Build Quality
Material Quality
Good
Water Resistance
Water-resistant (IPx4)
Dust Resistance
Yes (IP rating unspecified)
Impact Resistance
Yes (IK rating unspecified)
Floats In Water
Unspecified

The Bose Revolve has a great build quality. It's mostly made of metal, and the top and the bottom of the speaker are made of rubber-like plastic. Overall, it seems durable and well-built. This speaker has an IPX4 rating for water resistance, an IP rating for dust resistance, and an IK rating for impact resistance, although we don't currently test for this. On the bottom, there's also a mounting threaded hole that allows you to mount the speaker on something like a tripod.

8.0
Design
Controls
Ease Of Use
Great
Feedback
Great
Music Play/Pause
Yes (Physical)
Call Answer/End
Yes (Physical)
Volume Up/Down
Yes (Physical)
Track Next/Previous
Yes (Physical)
Microphone On/Off
No
Additional Controls
Yes

The Bose SoundLink Revolve has an impressive set of controls. They're easy to use, and you don't have to press down very hard to register a command. On top of the speaker, some buttons allow you to control the volume, power on/off, play/pause music, change the input, and activate voice assistant capabilities.

Design
In The Box

  • Bose SoundLink Revolve
  • USB recharge cable
  • Power supply
  • User Manual

Sound
6.9
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
-0.34
Std. Err.
2.66 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
61.7 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
18.0 kHz

The Bose Revolve speaker has fair frequency response accuracy. Overall, its sound profile is very neutral and well-balanced, which suits many different types of music genres. However, the speaker is lacking low-bass, which can be disappointing for fans of bass-heavy genres like hip-hop and EDM. However, it's very well-balanced in the mid and treble ranges, which is ideal for reproducing vocals and lead instruments. Unfortunately, it doesn't come with any sound customization options.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
7.2
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
1.53 dB
Stereo
No (mono)

This speaker has a decent stereo soundstage. It's a 360-degree speaker system, so its directivity is large and wide. Unfortunately, it doesn't have separate speakers for the left and right channels, so it downmixes stereo content to mono, which won't provide as immersive a listening experience. For a speaker that supports stereo content, check out the Marshall Emberton.

5.9
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
85.4 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
3.49 dB

The Bose SoundLink Revolve has a sub-par dynamics performance. This speaker doesn't get very loud, and unlike the OontZ Angle 3, there's a lot of compression when you play the speaker at max volume. It may not be ideal to use in crowded settings like parties.

Active Features
8.6
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
12.1 hrs
Charge Time
3.7 hrs
Power Saving
Yes
Charging Port
Micro-USB

The Bose SoundLink Revolve has an excellent battery performance. In our test, we measured battery life of over 12 hours off of a single charge, which is great if you want to use the speaker while it isn't connected to a power source. It also has a power-saving feature that automatically turns the speaker off after a certain period of inactivity, which you can adjust in the app. You can even disable this feature by pressing the + button and the Input mode button simultaneously. However, it does take almost four hours to charge.

5.1
Active Features
Voice Assistant
Alexa
No
Google Assistant
Yes (Requires Smartphone)
Siri
Yes (Requires Smartphone)
Voice Activation
No
Microphone Mute
No
Far-Field Performance
Excellent
Ambient Noise Performance
Great

Update 01/21/2021: We updated the score for Alexa support from 'YES' to 'NO'. This speaker only supports Alexa voice assistant when paired to an Amazon device, such as the Amazon Echo Gen 4. However, Alexa can't be used directly with the speaker or with a paired smartphone.

The Bose SoundLink Revolve has a disappointing voice assistant integration performance. It doesn't have built-in voice assistant capabilities, so it just uses the voice assistant of whatever phone it's connected with. The microphone in the speaker acts as an extension of the phone it's connected to, so the speaker isn't always listening for voice commands. On the upside, it does a great job of understanding speech from a distance, even in noisy environments.

6.6
Active Features
App
App Name
Bose Connect
iOS
Yes
Android
Yes
EQ
No
Stereo Pair Mode
Yes
Party Mode
Yes
Multi-Room
No

The Bose Revolve has an adequate app. Using the Bose Connect app, you can pair two SoundLink Revolve speakers to create a stereo pair, which can give you a wider-sounding surround soundstage for a more immersive music or movie-watching experience. There's also a Party Mode feature that lets you pair two speakers to play your audio in large, crowded settings, like parties. Unfortunately, there isn't an EQ, so you can't customize the speaker's sound profile. If you're looking for a speaker that has a graphic EQ in its app, try the Sony SRS-XB23.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Wired
Aux Input
Yes
USB Audio
Yes
Other Ports
No

If you want to connect your devices to the speaker using a cable, there's an AUX input and a USB port available.

7.3
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
Unspecified
Bluetooth iOS Latency
151 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
217 ms
Bluetooth Range
164.0 ft (50.0 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices

The Bose SoundLink Revolve has decent Bluetooth connectivity. It can be paired with up to two devices at a time, which is convenient for listeners who want to be able to switch between their audio sources quickly. It also has an excellent Bluetooth range of 50m, which is longer than the advertised range of 10m. We obtained this measurement in a direct line of sight, and walls or other obstacles will reduce the range. However, this speaker's Bluetooth latency may not be suitable for watching video content, but some apps compensate for this, so your experience may vary. You can also check out the JBL GO 3 if you want a speaker with lower iOS and Android latency.

0
Connectivity
Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Version
No Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Frequency Band
No Wi-Fi
Apple AirPlay
No
AirPlay Latency
N/A
Google Chromecast
No
Chromecast Latency
N/A

This speaker isn't Wi-Fi compatible.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

This speaker comes in two different colors: 'Lux Gray' and 'Triple Black'. We tested the 'Lux Gray' variant, but we believe the 'Triple Black' performs similarly.

If you come across another variant of this speaker, let us know in the discussions so we can update our review.

Compared To Other Speakers

The Bose SoundLink Revolve is a portable Bluetooth speaker. It's rated for dust, water, and impact resistance, though we don't for this. It has a long battery life and a neutral sound profile, though it's lacking a lot of low-bass. Unfortunately, it doesn't get very loud, and it doesn't have built-in voice assistant capabilities.

Bose Home Speaker 300

The Bose SoundLink Revolve and the Bose Home Speaker 300 have different strengths and depending on your usage, you may prefer one over the other. The SoundLink is more portable since it's battery-powered, and has a better build quality. It also supports multi-device pairing. However, the Home Speaker 300 is better-suited for home use as it supports Wi-Fi, and has an outstanding built-in voice assistant performance. It can also get louder, and you can tweak its sound profile using its bass and treble sliders.

Ultimate Ears BOOM 3

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Bose SoundLink Revolve or the Ultimate Ears BOOM 3. The Ultimate Ears is better-built, and it can play stereo content without having to downmix it to mono. It also has less compression when you play it at max volume, and it comes with a graphic EQ for sound customization. However, the Bose has a better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box, and it supports voice assistants from your paired smartphone.

Apple HomePod

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Apple HomePod or the Bose SoundLink Revolve. The Apple is better for music, videos, and voice assistant. Its sound profile is a bit more neutral, and it has a deeper, more extended low-bass and a better soundstage. Also, it comes with built-in Alexa capabilities. However, the Apple isn't meant to be used outdoors, unlike the Bose. The Bose is also more portable, better-built, and it's rated for water, dust, and impact resistance.

JBL Pulse 4

The Bose SoundLink Revolve is a better speaker than the JBL Pulse 4. The Bose is a better-built speaker with a more balanced sound profile, and it's compatible with your smartphone's voice assistant. It also has a longer battery life and takes less time to recharge. That said, the JBL has less compression present at max volume, and it has 360-degree RGB lights that you can customize with its companion app. Its soundstage is also perceived as larger and more open.

Sonos One Gen 2

The Bose SoundLink Revolve is a better speaker for most uses than the Sonos One Gen 2. The Bose is more portable, better-built, and a more neutral sound profile. It also has a wider soundstage and supports Bluetooth. However, the Sonos is better-suited for voice assistants. It has Alexa and Google Assistant built-in and has a companion app with bass and treble sliders. It also supports Wi-Fi.

Beats Pill+

The Bose SoundLink Revolve is a better speaker than the Beats Pill+. The Bose has voice assistant support, and though it relies on the voice assistant from your smartphone, it can understand you even if you're far away. The Bose also has a more balanced sound profile, making it better-suited to playing most audio content. However, the Beats can play stereo content without downmixing it into mono.

Marshall Emberton

The Bose SoundLink Revolve and the Marshall Emberton have similar overall performances, so depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other. The Bose supports voice assistants, unlike the Marshall, and it's better-built with longer continuous battery life. However, the Marshall is a bit better for videos and movies as it has a better soundstage and lower latency with Android and iOS devices. Some apps compensate for latency, however, so your real-world experience may vary.

Sony SRS-XB33

The Sony SRS-XB33 is better for outdoor use than the Bose SoundLink Revolve. Although we don't currently test for it, the Sony is rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, which makes it more sturdy. Its companion app also offers a basic graphic EQ so that you can customize its sound, and you can even adjust its lighting scheme to match your style. It has lower latency on iOS and Android, although apps seem to compensate for latency differently. However, the Bose is better suited for podcasts as its sound profile is more neutral right out-of-the-box and its soundstage is wider.

Sony SRS-XB23

The Bose SoundLink Revolve is a better speaker out-of-the-box than the Sony SRS-XB23. The Bose is capable of reproducing more low-bass and has a more even treble range. Its battery lasts longer too. However, the Sony has a companion app that offers a graphic EQ so you can tweak its sound to your liking. It also has an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, although we don't currently test this, and it can be used in a stereo or mono mode.

Google Nest Audio

The Bose SoundLink Revolve is a better speaker for most uses than the Google Nest Audio. The Bose can be used with a battery, so it's more portable and better suited for outdoor use. It's also better-built, has a better soundstage, and lower Bluetooth latency for watching videos and movies. However, the Google is better for voice assistant, as it has built-in Google Assistant capabilities. It also has bass and treble adjustments to help you customize its sound, which is nice.

JBL PartyBox 100

The JBL PartyBox 100 is a better speaker than the Bose SoundLink Revolve. The JBL has a more neutral sound profile with a more extended low-bass and a better soundstage. It also gets louder. However, the JBL is better-built and its smaller design makes it more portable. Also, it supports voice assistants, unlike the JBL.

Anker Soundcore Flare 2

The Bose SoundLink Revolve is a better speaker for most uses than the Anker Soundcore Flare 2. The Bose is better-built, and its battery life is longer. Also, it has a more neutral, balanced default sound profile. However, the Anker has a better soundstage, and its graphic EQ offers more sound customization options.

JBL GO 3

The Bose SoundLink Revolve is a better speaker than the JBL GO 3. The Bose is better-built with longer battery life, and it supports voice assistants. Also, it has a more balanced sound profile and a better soundstage. However, the JBL has a lower latency with Android and iOS devices.

OontZ Angle 3

The Bose SoundLink Revolve is a better speaker than the OontZ Angle 3. The Bose is better-built and its sound profile is more even. You can also connect your voice assistant to it, and it has an app so that you can access stereo pair or party mode. However, the OontZ performs better at max volume.

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