Wireless speakers are super convenient to use around the house but most are directional, sounding their best in one particular spot. Bose and other speaker makers have come up with a solution for this problem: 360-degree sound.
Bose SoundLink Revolve Full Review
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. The speaker bears a striking resemblance to the company’s excellent Bose SoundLink Mini II speaker but in a different form factor.
However, Bose hasn’t yet made a fully dust and waterproof speaker and that’s still the case with the SoundLink Revolve.
With an IPX4 rating, the SoundLink Revolve will survive splashes but you won’t want to dunk it in a pool or take it to the beach. That’s a big drawback especially for the $199 (£199, AU$299) price point but, if it’s any consolation, the speaker at least sounds better than the fully waterproof competition.
The Revolve takes the design of the SoundLink Mini II and stretches it into a cylindrical shape that slightly resembles the Dalek robots from Dr. Who.
It features a strong aluminum housing which comes in either silver or black and features a rubberized base and buttons. The speaker feels extremely well made and should put up with being tossed in a bag with some keys and knick knacks.
On the bottom of the speaker you’ll find four pins for an optional charging dock and a threaded tripod mount. It’s disappointing that Bose didn’t throw in the $30 charging dock for free like it does with the slightly cheaper SoundLink Mini II, which costs $180 (£170, AU$300). While it might seem odd to have a tripod mount, it offers flexibility for mounting the Revolve 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.
The biggest reason go to with the SoundLink Revolve over one of its flat-faced friends 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 so everyone can have the same listening experience no matter where they’re sitting.
Overall, the Bose SoundLink Revolve’s sonic performance is excellent, especially when compared to our other favorite 360-degree speaker, the UE Wonderboom. Where the Wonderboom sounds strained, the Bose plays loudly and effortlessly.
Compared to the aging SoundLink Mini II, the SoundLink Revolve sounds almost as good but can’t match the expansive soundstage and instrumental separation of the Mini II – though, admittedly both speakers sound very good and you’ll be hard pressed to notice the difference unless you listen to them side by side.
Compared to the competition, the Revolve’s battery life is average for a speaker of this size, lasting 12 hours at moderate listening volumes. Be careful about charging the speaker the night before a big event as it also takes the speaker a ridiculously long 4 hours to fully charge when empty. It would have been nice to see Bose jump to USB-C for faster charging, but it’s not a deal breaker.