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Bose SoundLink Revolve II Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed May 04, 2021 at 09:25 am
Bose SoundLink Revolve II Picture
6.5
Music
6.3
Videos/Movies
7.7
Podcasts
6.6
Voice Assistant
7.2
Outdoors
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
No
Speakerphone
Yes
Voice Assistant
Yes
Battery Powered
Yes

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II is a small portable Bluetooth speaker with a similar design to the Bose SoundLink Revolve and the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II. This cylindrically-shaped Bluetooth speaker doesn't come with a carrying handle like the Revolve+ II. Though we don't test for this, it's rated IP55 for dust and water resistance, as opposed to the Revolve that's rated IPX4 for water resistance. The Revolve II has a neutral, sound profile making it suitable for listening to a wide variety of audio content. It also has excellent directivity thanks to its 360-degree design, resulting in an open and spacious-sounding soundstage. Unfortunately, it struggles to reproduce a deep thump and rumble in low-bass, which can be disappointing to fans of bass-heavy music like EDM. It also doesn't have any audio customization features you can use to tweak its sound to your liking.

Our Verdict

6.5 Music

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II is alright for music. It has excellent directivity thanks to its 360-degree design, resulting in a wide and spacious-sounding soundstage. It also has a neutral sound profile suitable for listening to a wide variety of music. Its relatively balanced mid-range ensures vocals and lead instruments sound clear. That said, like most small speakers, it lacks low bass, so you can't hear the deep thump and rumble often present in bass-heavy music. Unfortunately, there aren't any sound customization features like a graphic EQ you can use to tweak its sound to your liking. It also doesn't get very loud and has noticeable compression artifacts at max volume, so your audio may not sound as clean during louder listening sessions.

Pros
  • Excellent directivity.
  • Very good battery life.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
  • Requires two units for stereo sound.
6.3 Videos/Movies

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II isn't bad for movies. Unfortunately, it lacks low bass, so you may not be able to hear the deep thump and rumble typically present in action-packed scenes. It requires two units to play stereo sound, and downmixes stereo audio to mono when using it on its own, which isn't as immersive. Also, it can't get very loud and has some compression artifacts at max volume, so your audio may not sound very clear during louder listening sessions. That said, it has low latency with iOS and Android devices, making it suitable for watching videos and movies, though some apps compensate for latency differently, so your experience may differ.

Pros
  • Excellent directivity.
  • Low latency with iOS and Android devices.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • Requires two units for stereo sound.
7.7 Podcasts

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II is very good for podcasts. This outstandingly portable speaker has amazing directivity, so your audio sounds clear from most angles. Its relatively balanced mid-range makes it suitable for dialogue-heavy audio content like audiobooks and podcasts. You can even pair it to two devices at a time, which can come in handy when you need to switch between audio sources quickly. However, it doesn't get very loud, and it has compression artifacts at max volume that can affect the clarity of your audio when listening at louder volumes.

Pros
  • Excellent directivity.
  • Outstanding portability.
Cons
  • A lot of compression artifacts at max volume.
6.6 Voice Assistant

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II is okay for voice assistants. Since it doesn't have any voice assistants built-in, it uses the voice assistants available on your smartphone. That said, they have no trouble understanding you from far away, even in noisier environments. It also has amazing directivity; you can hear clearly from all angles. Unfortunately, it doesn't get very loud, and it has some compression artifacts at max volume that may affect the clarity of your assistants' voices when listening at louder volumes.

Pros
  • Excellent directivity.
  • Excellent far-field performance.
Cons
  • A lot of compression artifacts at max volume.
  • No built-in voice assistants.
7.2 Outdoors

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II is satisfactory for outdoor use. This well-built speaker is rated IP55 for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. It's also remarkably portable, and it has very good battery performance, suitable for long listening sessions. It also has a decent soundstage that can be perceived as open and wide-sounding. However, it lacks low bass, so you can't hear the deep thump and rumble in bass-heavy music like hip-hop or EDM. It also doesn't get very loud and has many compression artifacts at max volume, so your audio may not sound very clean when listening at louder volumes.

Pros
  • Excellent directivity.
  • Rated IP55 for dust and water resistance.
  • Very good battery life.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • No graphic EQ.
  • A lot of compression artifacts at max volume.
  • 6.5 Music
  • 6.3 Videos/Movies
  • 7.7 Podcasts
  • 6.6 Voice Assistant
  • 7.2 Outdoors

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights No

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II is a small, sleek-looking speaker with a 360-degree design that looks almost identical to that of the Bose SoundLink Revolve. It comes in two color variants: 'Triple Black' and 'Luxe Silver'.

9.2
Design
Portability
Volume
62 inยณ (1,022 cmยณ)
Weight
1.5 lbs (0.7 kg)
Power Source
Battery & USB
One-Hand Carry
Yes

This speaker has outstanding portability. It's battery-powered, so you don't have to look for a power outlet when taking it outdoors with you. It's also small, lightweight, and can be carried in one hand so you can easily take it with you when you're on the move.

8.2
Design
Build Quality
Material Quality
Good
Water Resistance
Waterproof (IPx5)
Dust Resistance
Dust-Protected (IP5x)
Impact Resistance
Yes (IK rating unspecified)
Floats In Water
Unspecified

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II's build quality is great. This speaker is rated IP55 for water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. It has an aluminum grille to help protect its drivers, which is nice, but unfortunately, this material is prone to collecting fingerprints. Its buttons and controls are on top of the speaker. On its bottom, you can find its ports. There's a threaded hole you can use to mount it to something like a pole or a tripod, and there's also a charging port to connect it to a charging base, sold separately.

9.0
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
Yes
Additional Controls
Yes

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II's controls are fantastic and are very similar to those of the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II. You can adjust its volume using its + and - buttons, which causes the speaker to flash a small light. You can press these two buttons at the same time to mute and unmute the speaker's microphone when you're on a call. Its multifunction button plays, pauses, backtracks, and skips your tracks and can also be used to activate your paired voice assistants. You can pair it to your device using its Bluetooth button, which causes the speaker to give you a voice prompt informing you when it's in pairing mode. It also has an input selector button you can use to wire your device to the speaker instead, via USB Audio or AUX input.

It triggers a voice prompt and a battery level light when pressing the power button to inform you of its battery levels. That said, there's no audible feedback to indicate your volume levels.

Design
In The Box

  • Bose SoundLink Revolve II
  • Micro USB charging cable
  • Quick Start guide

Sound
6.9
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
-0.07
Std. Err.
3.03 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
60.8 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
17.7 kHz

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II's frequency response accuracy is okay. It has a somewhat neutral sound profile making it suitable for a wide variety of audio content. Its balanced mid-range ensures its vocals and lead instruments sound clear, making it good for dialogue-centric audio content like audiobooks or podcasts. Its overemphasis in the high-bass range also provides the mix with a bit of extra boom. However, it struggles to reproduce low-bass, so you can't hear the thump and rumble in bass-heavy music like hip-hop and EDM. Unfortunately, there aren't any sound customization features to tweak the sound to your liking.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
Binaural Recording @ 1m
Binaural Recording @ 2m
7.1
Sound
Soundstage
Directivity Index
1.74 dB
Stereo
No (mono)

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II has a decent soundstage performance. This speaker has excellent directivity, resulting in a wide and spacious-sounding soundstage. Unfortunately, it has to downmix stereo content to mono, which may not sound as immersive, and requires a second unit to play stereo sound.

5.7
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
84.3 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
3.68 dB

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II's dynamics performance is middling. It doesn't get very loud, and it has a lot of compression artifacts at max volume. This can affect the clarity of your audio during louder listening sessions.

Active Features
7.9
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
9.5 hrs
Charge Time
2.7 hrs
Power Saving
Yes
Charging Port
Micro-USB

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II has a very good battery performance. Although the manufacturer claims it can last up to 13 hours from a four-hour charge, we found in our tests that it lasts around nine and a half hours from an almost three-hour charge. That said, battery life can differ depending on your usage, and your experience may vary. The Revolve II also has a power-saving feature you can program through its app to shut the speaker down when it's left inactive for some time between five minutes and three hours.

5.7
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
Excellent

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II's voice assistant performance is middling. It doesn't have voice assistants built-in, so it uses the ones on your smartphone instead. That said, they don't have trouble understanding you even when you're far away and in noisier environments. You can activate them using your voice while pressing and holding the speaker's multifunction button.

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 SoundLink Revolve II's Bose Connect app is okay. It's compatible with iOS and Android devices and can be used to connect two SoundLink speakers to create a stereo pair, so you can feel more immersed in your music. It also has a Party Mode feature you can use to pair it to multiple SoundLink speakers when you want your audio to fill a large room without raising the volume. Unfortunately, it doesn't feature a graphic EQ you can use to customize its sound profile. It also doesn't have a Multi-Room feature to control different speakers when you want them to play different audio in different rooms at once.

However, you can use the Bose Music app to access the Bose SimpleSync feature, which allows you to connect your SimpleSync compatible products and use them to play the same audio, even when they're in different rooms.

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

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II has an AUX port you can use to connect your devices to it. You can also wire your device to it by plugging it into the micro-B USB port on the speaker and pressing the input button, which should cause the speaker to say 'USB Audio'.

9.7
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
4.1
Bluetooth iOS Latency
23 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
13 ms
Bluetooth Range
221.5 ft (67.5 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II has outstanding Bluetooth performance. It has low latency with iOS and Android devices, making it suitable for watching videos and movies, though some apps compensate for latency differently, so your experience may vary. It also has a remarkable Bluetooth range, so your paired device can stay connected even if it's far away from the speaker. Also, the Revolve II can be paired to two devices at once, which can come in handy when you need to switch between audio sources quickly.

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

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II comes in two color variants, 'Triple Black' and 'Luxe Silver', which we expect to perform similarly. We tested the 'Triple Black' variant, you can find its label here.

 If you know of any other variants, let us know in the discussions so we can update our review.

Compared To Other Speakers

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II is a Bluetooth speaker with a similar design to the Revolve and the Revolve+ II. Though we don't currently test this, the Revolve is rated IPX4 for water resistance, whereas the Revolve II is rated IP55 for dust and water resistance. The Revolve II also doesn't come with a carrying handle like the Revolve+ II. It has a somewhat neutral sound profile with a balanced mid-range suitable for listening to dialogue-heavy audio content like audiobooks and podcasts. Unfortunately, it doesn't have any sound customization features you can use to tweak its sound to your liking.

Check out our recommendations for the best Bose speakers, the best home speakers, and the best Bluetooth speakers.

Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II and the Bose SoundLink Revolve II are very similar speakers with different strengths. These two versatile speakers have a similarly neutral and well-balanced sound profile suitable for a wide variety of audio content. However, the Revolve+ II can get slightly louder than the Revolve II, with fewer compression artifacts at max volume. It also comes with a carrying handle to help with transporting it. That said, if you like using voice assistants, the Revolve II does a better job than the Revolve+ II at understanding your commands from far away and in noisier environments.

JBL Charge 5

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II is a slightly better speaker than the JBL Charge 5. The Bose offers a wider and more natural-sounding soundstage thanks to its 360-degree design. It also has a slightly better-balanced sound profile than that of the JBL. Additionally, it supports voice assistants through your smartphone and does an excellent job of understanding you from far and in noisy environments. That said, the JBL is better-built, with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't test for this. It can also get slightly louder than the Bose with less compression at max volume, resulting in cleaner audio.

Bose SoundLink Revolve

The Bose SoundLink Revolve and the Bose SoundLink Revolve II are very similar cylindrically-shaped speakers. They're about the same size, have similar controls, and have a very similar sound profile suitable for a variety of music genres. That said, the II has better voice assistant performance than the Revolve. It also has lower Bluetooth latency with iOS and Android devices, though some apps compensate for latency differently so your experience may vary.

Sonos Roam

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Sonos Roam or the Bose SoundLink Revolve II. The Sonos has a better voice assistant performance, and it comes with bass and treble adjustments for sound customization. However, the Bose has a better soundstage performance and longer battery life.

Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a better speaker than the Bose SoundLink Revolve II, though they have different strengths. The Ultimate Ears can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono, resulting in a more immersive soundstage performance. It can get louder than the Bose, with less compression at max volume, so your audio sounds clean during louder listening sessions. It's also more customizable thanks to the graphic EQ and presets featured on its companion app. That said, the Bose supports voice assistants through your smartphone and does an excellent job of understanding your commands from far and in noisy environments.

JBL FLIP 5

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II is a better speaker than the JBL FLIP 5 overall. The Bose is better-built with an IP55 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't test for this. It also supports voice assistants through your smartphone and does a really good job of hearing you when you're far from the speaker or in noisier environments. That said, the JBL is smaller and lighter than the Bose. It’s incredibly portable and comes with a carrying strap that makes it easy to take with you when you’re on the go.

Marshall Emberton

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II is a slightly better speaker than the Marshall Emberton, though they have different strengths. The Bose is better-built, with an IP55 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don’t test this. It also supports voice assistants through your smartphone and does an excellent job at hearing you from far and in noisier environments. That said, the Marshall has an amazing soundstage and can support stereo content.

Sony SRS-XB33

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II and the Sony SRS-XB33 are similar, though they have different strengths. The Bose has a more balanced sound profile out-of-the-box. It also offers better voice assistant support since it can hear you when you're far from the speaker or in noisy environments. That said, the Sony's companion app comes with a graphic EQ you can use to tweak the sound to your liking. Its ClearAudio+ feature is also advertised to adjust the speaker's sound reproduction according to your audio content. 

JBL Charge 4

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II is a better speaker than the JBL Charge 4. The Bose is better-built and is rated IP55 for dust and water resistance, though we don’t currently test for this. It also has a more neutral sound profile with a more spacious-sounding soundstage than that of the JBL. Also, it supports voice assistants through your smartphone and does a great job of hearing you from far and in noisy settings. That said, the JBL has fewer compression artifacts at max volume. It also has an incredible battery life lasting over 13 hours from a single charge.

Bose Home Speaker 300

The Bose Home Speaker 300 is a better speaker than the Bose SoundLink Revolve II. The Home Speaker offers outstanding voice assistant support, with Google Assistant and Alexa built-in. They have no trouble hearing you when you’re far away as well as in noisier environments. Its companion app comes with bass and treble sliders you can use to customize its sound to your liking. It can also get louder with fewer compression artifacts at max volume. That said, the Revolve II is better-built with an IP55 rating for dust and water resistance though we don’t currently test for this. It's also smaller and battery-powered, so you can easily take it outdoors with you.

Sony SRS-XB23

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II is a better speaker than the Sony SRS-XB23 overall. The Bose does has better voice assistant performance than the Sony, and has no trouble understanding you from far away, and in noisy environments. It also has a more neutral and well-balanced sound profile in comparison to that of the Sony out-of-the-box. However, you can customize the Sony's sound thanks to the Graphic EQ feature available on its companion app. It can also play stereo content, resulting in a more immersive soundstage.

Anker Soundcore Flare 2

You may prefer either the Bose SoundLink Revolve II or the Anker Soundcore Flare 2, depending on your listening habits. The Anker is more customizable thanks to the graphic EQ on its companion app. It can also play stereo content without downmixing it to mono. That said, the Bose can be paired to two devices at once, which can help you swap between audio sources quickly. It also does a better job at letting your paired voice assistant hear you from far and in noisy settings.

Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST

The Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST is a better overall speaker than the Bose SoundLink Revolve II. Though the Bose can produce a slightly more extended low-bass, the MEGABLAST's companion app features a graphic EQ with presets you can use to adjust its sound to your liking. It also has Alexa built-in, can support Wi-Fi connections, and can get louder with fewer compression artifacts at max volume. That said, you can pair the Bose to two devices at the same time, which can come in handy when you need to switch between audio sources quickly.

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