Speakers used to be big and bulky. You used to have just one stereo system in the house, in the living room or the rec room, with speakers connected to a record player and massive speaker cabinets. But those days are long behind us. These days, engineers are packing huge playing power into the tiniest of packages, with portable Bluetooth speakers leading the way.
Bose is a big name in this game, producing speakers of high quality that sound great. In my in-depth Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II review, I’ll take a look at this new speaker model to see if it’s the best choice for your home. So, let’s jump right in!
Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II Overview
OK, I know the name is confusing and a bit of a mouthful. Here’s the breakdown. Bose is the brand name, of course. SoundLink is the product line of Bluetooth speakers. And this is the Revolve+ (not the smaller Revolve), Generation II.
Does that clear things up?
The Revolve+ II (as I’ll call it from now on) is a portable Bluetooth speaker that needs no wires to deliver big speaker sound. It’s not cheap, though. The Revolve+ II is priced at over $300 (or lightly pre-loved from around $200), so you want to make sure it’s going to be worth it to buy.
This speaker is light and relatively small. It weighs 2 pounds (0.9kg) and features a handy handle to make it super easy to carry around. It looks a bit like a lantern when you carry it, which I think gives it a homey feel. Additionally, it’s a great Bluetooth speaker for traveling and camping.
That lantern shape is 7.25 inches (18.4cm) tall and has a maximum diameter of 4.13 inches (10.5cm). It tapers up nicely and looks pretty slick on a countertop, whether you get the black or silver version.
This device isn’t brand new…
It came out a few years ago, and that’s why it uses Bluetooth 4.1 rather than the latest and greatest version, 5.3. But it still works quite well and keeps a strong connection up to 30 feet.
The “Revolve” name comes from the shape, but even more so from the fact that sound comes out of this speaker evenly at 360 degrees. Unlike other Bluetooth speakers that are uni-directional, you can place this speaker in the middle of a room, and it will sound evenly loud on all sides.
It’s made from milled aluminum for a durable but attractive finish. And, speaking of durability, this speaker has a lot of protection features to mention. In turn, these features make it one of the most durable Bluetooth speakers you can buy.
The top and bottom edges are padded with soft rubber to help reduce shocks from bumps, bangs, and drops. The IP (ingress protection) rating here is IP55, which means it gets a high score of 5 for dust protection and 5 for water resistance. It can resist low-pressure sprays and splashes of water, so you don’t have to worry about it getting a bit wet.
Now that we’ve seen the general overview of this speaker, it’s time to take a deeper look into the features that make it stand out.
Top Features of the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II
Do you want to splash out the big bucks on a speaker that has a lot of bells and whistles but doesn’t sound all that good? Didn’t think so, and neither does Bose. This brand is known for quality sound with a lot of power.
So, does this speaker deliver both?
The Revolve+ II is powered by a single electro-dynamic transducer driver. This driver has a frequency range of 20-20,000 Hz, which is also the range of human hearing, conveniently. This isn’t unusual at all, but what is very unusual in this speaker, is that the driver is pointed down instead of out.
It focuses the sound down onto an omnidirectional acoustic deflector which then sends the sound out evenly 360 degrees from the speaker. This feature provides you with an even soundscape, and with the slick look of the speaker, you can put it on a dining table and let everyone enjoy music from one source.
However, you can also pop this speaker into a corner to help amplify the sound. The speaker also features dual passive radiators inside the body, which help to absorb vibrations and amplify them into low-end sound.
Sound-wise, things are pretty good here…
The soundstage is nicely balanced and clear at 360 degrees from the speaker. However, because there’s only a single driver inside, this is a mono speaker and doesn’t give the same immersive effect as a stereo pair of speakers.
Dynamically, you get clear and strong mid-range and highs, while the bass is only mediocre. If you’re looking for something with bass that really bumps, look elsewhere. But, if you want smooth and clear with room-filling volume, that’s what you’ll find here. As a result, it’s one of the best 360-degree sound Bluetooth speakers.
The battery in this portable speaker is your standard lithium-ion rechargeable type. Bose claims that it can give you up to 17 hours of playback from a single charge. However, this is using only moderate volume, so if you need to go louder, expect significantly less time. While this was a pretty impressive duration a few years ago, it has fallen a bit behind other speakers that last 20-30 hours today.
The unit also charges relatively slowly. It takes about four hours to charge the battery from flat to full. At the same time, you can use it while it’s charging. In addition to the included USB-C cable and power supply, you can also purchase a charging base separately and charge by simply setting the speaker on top.
Construction and Design
As I mentioned earlier, this speaker is pretty fancy-looking. It has a pleasing shape, and the aluminum body is shiny and pretty. It looks modern and stylish, rather than fun and loud.
The rubberized top and bottom edges help to protect the unit from bumps and bangs. However, it does not feature a shock-proofing rating, so assume that a serious drop will damage your speaker. What won’t cause damage is water and dust, not in reasonable amounts, anyway.
It has an IP55 rating. This 5 out of 6 rating for dust means that under normal conditions, fine particles can’t get in, or if they do, they won’t damage the critical components. The 6 for water means that the speaker can be splashed or even sprayed with low-pressure water from all directions with no damage. In other words, it’s one of the best water-resistant Bluetooth speakers you can buy.
If you want even more protection…
You could think about picking up a hard case for the Revolve+ II. Bose doesn’t make them because the speaker is generally designed for simple home use, so you’ll need to look at other manufacturers. A simple interior-padded hard case like this one will set you back another $25 or so.
Finally, let’s talk about the controls on the top panel. Up here, you’ll find the power button, Bluetooth button for pairing, volume up and down, an input mode button to switch between Bluetooth and wired connections, and a multi-function button.
This last button can be used to play/pause audio, skip tracks, talk to your voice assistant, and take or end calls. Because there’s also a microphone built into the top.
The BoseF SoundLink Revolve+II is more than just a Bluetooth speaker. It offers other ways to connect and different options to improve your user experience.
I’ve already talked about the Bluetooth v.4.1 onboard. This gives you a solid, stable connection at 30 feet with a clear line of sight. But you can also connect to NFC-enabled devices to increase your power and range. Some devices will hold a connection to this speaker of up to 100 feet.
Some things to keep in mind…
While it does come with a charger, this speaker doesn’t include an AUX cable. But you can still easily pick one up and connect your devices to the Revolve+ II the old-fashioned way. It includes a 3.5mm AUX input which is standard on audio devices. So, while Bluetooth can drain your phone’s battery, a wired connection, though not pretty, can stretch the party out longer.
Normally, when you use this speaker, you’ll want to download the Bose Connect app (for Android or Apple). This app gives you better control over your speaker. You can adjust your EQ through the app and also manage devices.
For example, the speaker can handle multi-point connections. This means that you can link up two different devices to the speaker and swap the audio back and forth without having to disconnect one and connect the other.
But Bose also throws in a bonus for people with enough cash to get themselves two or more of their speakers. First, you can use “Stereo mode” to link two of these speakers together. The audio is then distributed into L and R channels for a more immersive listening experience.
You can also link up to 100 (but why?) Bose speakers of various models in “Party Mode.” Then you can turn on music from one source, and it will play simultaneously out of all the linked speakers in different locations, so long as they’re in range.
Finally, you can speak right to your voice assistants, like Siri or Google Assistant, through the speaker without having to grab your device. This essentially makes the Revolve+ II like a smart home speaker. All told, this is one of the most versatile Bluetooth speakers on the market.
Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II Review – Pros and Cons
- Relatively small and light.
- Lots of connectivity options, including Bluetooth and AUX.
- Mic for calls and voice assistants.
- Highly dust and water-resistant.
- Great 360-degree sound stage.
- Bass is only mediocre.
- A bit pricey.
- Battery length is moderate, and charging is slow.
- Lacks stereo sound.
Looking for an Awesome Bluetooth Speaker?
We have you covered. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Loudest Portable Bluetooth Speakers, the Best Bluetooth Speakers With Radio, the Best Bluetooth Speakers with Alarm Clocks, the Best Solar Powered Bluetooth Speakers, and the Best Bluetooth Speakers with Alarm Clocks you can buy in 2023.
Also, have a look at our detailed reviews of the Best Waterproof Speakers, the Best Wireless Outdoor Speakers, the Best Tailgate Speakers, the Best Party Speakers, and the Best Smart Speakers currently on the market.
Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II Review – Conclusion
Overall, I’m going to recommend the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II as a good-quality home speaker, but only for some homes. If you want immersive, stereo sound and/or deep luscious bass, you’re not going to find it here. If you want good 360-degree sound and lots of connectivity options, then you’ll be happy with this speaker.
It’s pretty, durable, and most-everything proof, so this should be a speaker that you can gladly lay down some serious money for and get great use out of for years. After all, what use is a great speaker if it doesn’t last?
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