Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II Speaker Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Apr 27, 2021 at 10:01 am
Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II Picture
6.6
Music
6.2
Videos/Movies
7.8
Podcasts
5.7
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 speaker that comes with a woven handle, which makes it look a little bit like a lantern when using it to hold it up. It's rated IP55 for dust and water resistance, so you can take it outdoors with you, though we didn't test this. It also has a fairly balanced sound profile and mid-range, making it suitable for listening to dialogue-centric audio content like audiobooks and podcasts. Unfortunately, it struggles to reproduce a deep low-bass, and its companion app doesn't feature a graphic EQ you can use to tweak its sound to your liking, which may be disappointing to fans of bass-heavy music genres like EDM or hip-hop.

Our Verdict

6.6 Music

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II is alright for music. Its fairly well-balanced sound profile makes this speaker suitable for a variety of music genres. Thanks to its 360-degree design, it has a decent soundstage with amazing directivity, so your audio should sound clear from all angles. Though this speaker can get reasonably loud, there are compression artifacts at max volume, so your audio may not sound as clear when listening at louder volumes. Unfortunately, it struggles to reproduce a deep, thumpy, and rumbling bass, which may be disappointing to fans of bass-heavy music like hip-hop or EDM. It also doesn't support stereo content, so it has to downmix your audio to mono, which may not sound as immersive.

Pros
  • Amazing directivity.
  • Balanced mid-range.
Cons
  • Compression artifacts at max volume.
  • Doesn't support stereo content.
6.2 Videos/Movies

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II is passable for videos and movies. This speaker struggles to reproduce low-bass, so it can be difficult to hear the thump and rumble in action-packed scenes, which may disappoint fans of action movies. It has many compression artifacts at max volume, so your audio may not sound as clean and clear during louder listening sessions. It also has to downmix stereo content to mono, which may not sound very immersive. That said, it has low latency with iOS and Android devices, though some apps compensate for latency differently, and your real-world experience may vary. It also has amazing directivity, so your audio should sound clear from most angles.

Pros
  • Amazing directivity.
  • Low latency with iOS and Android devices.
Cons
  • Compression artifacts at max volume.
  • Doesn't support stereo content.
7.8 Podcasts

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II is good for podcasts. It has a fairly balanced mid-range, so vocals and lead instruments sound clear, making it good for dialogue-centric audio like audiobooks and podcasts. It has amazing directivity thanks to its 360-degree design, so your audio should sound clear from all angles. It can also be paired to two devices at a time, which can come in handy if you need to switch audio sources. That said, there are some compression artifacts at max volume that can affect the clarity of your audio when listening at louder volumes.

Pros
  • Amazing directivity.
  • Balanced mid-range.
Cons
  • Compression artifacts at max volume.
5.7 Voice Assistant

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II is middling for voice assistants. It doesn't have any built-in voice assistants, so it uses the ones from your smartphone. It also doesn't have a mute mic button you can use to turn its mic off when you no longer want the speaker to hear you. Additionally, it has great far-field performance so your speaker can still hear you when you're far away, and it also does a decent job of hearing you in noisier environments.

Pros
  • Balanced mid-range.
Cons
  • No built-in voice assistants.
  • No mute mic button.
7.2 Outdoors

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II is decent for outdoor use. This remarkably portable speaker is very well-built and even comes with an IP55 rating for dust and water resistance. It's also battery-powered, so you don't have to look for an outlet when taking it outdoors with you. That said, though it can get fairly loud, it has a lot of compression artifacts at max volume, so your audio may not sound very clean during louder listening sessions. It also has to downmix stereo content to mono, which may not sound as immersive.

Pros
  • IP55 for dust and water resistance.
  • Battery-powered.
Cons
  • Compression artifacts at max volume.
  • Doesn't support stereo content.
  • 6.6 Music
  • 6.2 Videos/Movies
  • 7.8 Podcasts
  • 5.7 Voice Assistant
  • 7.2 Outdoors
  1. Updated Apr 29, 2021: We've updated the results for Microphone On/Off to 'Yes'.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
RGB Lights No

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II is a small speaker with a smooth 360-degree design. Much like the Bose Portable Smart Speaker, it's meant to sit vertically and comes with a built-in woven handle that almost makes it look like a lantern when using it to hold the speaker up.

9.1
Design
Portability
Volume
114 in³ (1872 cm³)
Weight
2.0 lbs (0.9 kg)
Power Source
Battery & USB
One-Hand Carry
Yes

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II is remarkably portable. It's small, lightweight, and its built-in handle makes it easy to carry it around with you when you're on the move. It's also battery-powered, so you can take it outdoors with you without having to worry about finding a power outlet to connect it to.

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. Its body is mostly made of an aluminum grille that helps protect the drivers, but unfortunately, it can collect fingerprints easily. Its top and bottom are silicone, and its carrying handle is woven. While its micro USB and AUX ports don't have a protective cover, this speaker is still rated IP55 for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test this. You can also find its buttons at the top and a contact underneath to place it atop a charging base, though it's sold separately, and we didn't test it.

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

Update 04/29/2021: You can mute the microphone during a phone call by pressing the + and - buttons at the same time. We've updated the results for Microphone On/Off to 'Yes'.

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II has a very good selection of controls. You can use the + and - buttons to increase or decrease the volume of the speaker. You can mute and unmute your phone calls by pressing them both at the same time. Its multi-function button is used to play, pause, backtrack, and skip tracks. You can also press and hold it to activate your smartphone's voice assistants. It has a Bluetooth button that you can use to pair the speaker to your device, which should trigger a voice prompt informing you of the device it's connecting to. The speaker also informs you of its battery levels through another voice prompt when pressing the power button, as well as through a battery level light under the power button when turning it on.

However, there isn't any audible feedback to inform you of your volume levels, and since most of the buttons aren't texturized, it can be difficult to tell which button you're pressing without looking at the speaker.

Design
In The Box

  • Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II speaker
  • USB power supply
  • Micro USB charging cable
  • Quick Start Guide

Sound
6.9
Sound
Frequency Response Accuracy
Slope
-0.37
Std. Err.
3.19 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
57.4 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
17.5 kHz

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II's frequency response accuracy is alright. It has a relatively neutral and well-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box, with a balanced mid-range that should ensure vocals and lead instruments sound clear. That said, it struggles to reproduce the deep, thumpy, and rumbling bass that fans of bass-heavy music like EDM tend to enjoy. Unfortunately, it doesn't come with EQ features you can use to customize its sound to your liking.

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

This speaker's soundstage is decent. Thanks to its 360-degree design, its directivity is amazing, and it offers a wide and open-sounding soundstage, so your audio should sound clear from most angles. That said, it has to downmix stereo content into mono to play, which may not sound as immersive.

6.1
Sound
Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
87.0 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
3.44 dB

This speaker's dynamics performance is unremarkable. Though it can get reasonably loud, it has many compression artifacts at max volume, so your audio may not sound very clear during louder listening sessions.

Active Features
7.5
Active Features
Battery
Battery Life
8.5 hrs
Charge Time
2.8 hrs
Power Saving
Yes
Charging Port
Micro-USB

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II's battery performance is good. Though the manufacturer advertises it can last up to 17 hours from a single 4-hour charge, our tests showed it could last over eight hours off an almost 3-hour-long charge. That said, battery life can vary depending on your usage habits and chosen settings, so your real-world experience may differ. You can also use its companion app to set the length of time you want the speaker to wait before it enables its power-saving feature. You can set that length of time between five minutes and three hours, and you can even set it to never, in which case it won't enable the mode.

4.3
Active Features
Voice Assistant
Alexa
No
Google Assistant
Yes (Requires Smartphone)
Siri
Yes (Requires Smartphone)
Voice Activation
No
Microphone Mute
No
Far-Field Performance
Great
Ambient Noise Performance
Decent

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II has poor voice assistant performance. Since it doesn't have voice assistants built-in, it uses those that come with your smartphone. It also doesn't have a mute mic button, which can be disappointing when you no longer want the speaker to hear you. Additionally, you can activate them using your voice only when pressing and holding the speakers' multifunction button. That said, it has no problem hearing you from far away and does a decent job of hearing you in noisier environments. If you're looking for a similar Bose speaker with better voice assistant support, check out the Bose SoundLink Revolve II.

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 companion app is alright. It's compatible with both iOS and Android devices. You can use it to pair two SoundLink Bluetooth speakers to create a stereo pair, which can come in handy when you want to feel more immersed in your audio. You can also use its Party Mode feature to connect it to multiple other speakers, which can be helpful when you want your audio to fill a large room without raising the volume on your speaker. That said, it doesn't have any EQ features you can use to customize the sound to your liking. It also doesn't have a multi-room feature, so you can't use it to control separate speakers and have them play different content in multiple rooms at once.

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

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II has an AUX input and a USB port you can use to wire your device to the speaker. To connect it via its USB port, plug your device into the micro-B USB connector on your speaker, then press and release the Input button until you hear the speaker say 'USB Audio'.

9.0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
4.1
Bluetooth iOS Latency
62 ms
Bluetooth Android Latency
66 ms
Bluetooth Range
334.6 ft (102.0 m)
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II's Bluetooth performance is superb. It has an outstandingly large Bluetooth range, so you don't have to worry about the speaker being too far from your paired device. It can be paired to two devices at a time, which can come in handy when you need to switch between audio sources. It also has low latency with iOS and Android devices, making it suitable for watching movies and videos. That said, some apps compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience may vary.

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'. We tested the 'Triple Black' variant, and you can find its label here. We expect both variants to perform similarly. The manufacturer also released an earlier version of this speaker called the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ that's rated IPX4 for water resistance and is advertised to last up to 16 hours from a single charge, though we haven't tested this model.

Compared To Other Speakers

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II is a small, portable Bluetooth speaker similar to the Bose SoundLink Revolve. It's rated IP55 for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. Like the Revolve, it has a fairly balanced sound profile with a balanced mid-range making it suitable for dialogue-centric audio content like audiobooks or podcasts. However, like many speakers of its size, it lacks low-bass. Unfortunately, it doesn't have an EQ you can use to tweak its sound to your liking.

See also our recommendations for the best Bose speakers, the best Bluetooth speakers, and the best home speakers.

Bose Portable Smart Speaker

The Bose Portable Smart Speaker is a better speaker than the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II overall. The Smart Speaker has a more customizable sound profile thanks to the bass and treble sliders available on its companion app, so you can tweak its sound to your liking. It also has a fantastic voice assistant performance, with Alexa and Google Assistant built into the speaker. That said, the Revolve+ is better built and has a longer battery life, which some users may prefer.

Bose SoundLink Revolve

The Bose SoundLink Revolve and the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II are very similar speakers. The Revolve is slightly smaller and lighter than the Revolve+ II, though it doesn't have a built-in handle to help you carry it around with you when you're on the go. Both speakers have a very similar sound profile; however, the Revolve+ can get louder with slightly fewer compression artifacts at max volume. That said, the Revolve has a better battery performance with longer battery life, though battery life can vary depending on your usage habits, so your experience may vary.

Bose SoundLink Revolve II

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II is a slightly better speaker than The Bose SoundLink Revolve II overall. 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 slightly 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 FLIP 5

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II is a better overall speaker than the JBL FLIP 5. It has a slightly more balanced sound profile, is better-built, and can support voice assistants. It also has better directivity that makes it easy to hear your audio clearly from most angles. That said, the JBL is slightly more portable than the Bose and comes with a strap you can use to carry it around with you. It also comes in over ten other color variants, which some users may prefer.

Apple HomePod

The Apple HomePod is a slightly better speaker than the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II, though they have different strengths. The Apple has excellent voice assistant support with Siri built into the speaker, whereas the Bose uses the voice assistants from your smartphone. It also has a more neutral sound profile with a more extended low-bass and better directivity resulting in a more open and spacious-sounding soundstage. The Apple is a wired speaker intended for home use, while the Bose is a battery-powered speaker with a built-in carrying handle that's more portable and better-built. Also, while the Apple supports Wi-Fi, the Bose supports Bluetooth connectivity.

JBL Xtreme 2

The JBL Xtreme 2 and the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II are similar speakers. Though the Bose is better-built and has a better selection of controls, the JBL can get slightly louder with fewer compression artifacts at max volume, so audio played at louder volumes may sound slightly cleaner. The JBL can also support stereo content which some users who like to feel immersed in their audio may prefer. However, the Bose has much better directivity ensuring audio sounds clear from all angles.

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