Adding to its repertoire of wireless smart speakers, Bose has released the Portable Home Speaker, a battery-powered mobile speaker made to be used inside or outside. Designed as a companion to the Bose Home Speaker 300 and 500 as well as the Soundbar 500 and 700 multi-room audio speakers introduced in October 2018, the Portable Home Speaker arrives with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built in, as well as Apple AirPlay 2 support out of the box.
Bose Portable Home Speaker Takes on Sonos Move
Sporting specs remarkably similar to the Sonos Move portable speaker, the Bose Portable Home Speaker integrates both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth networking and has an outdoor-worthy, water-resistant IPX4 rating to ensure it survives splashes, rain, and accidental drops. And similar to its Sonos competitor, the newest Bose speaker has a built-in carrying handle to make toting it from inside to outside a breeze.
Both speakers are pricey and touted by their makers as portable. The Sonos Move has a suggested retail price of $399, while the Bose Portable Home Speaker has a suggested retail of $349.95. On portability, the Sonos Move is a larger, more massive speaker, measuring about 2-in. taller than the 7.5-in. tall Bose speaker. But the Move is also much heavier, weighing 6.6 lb. compared to just 2.3 lb. for the Bose speaker. So it’s safe to say the Bose Portable Home Speaker is, in reality, more portable than the Sonos Move.
In a recent press release, Ben Burns, a Bose senior product manager, described their goals for the new speaker and how they field tested it during development. “Every Bose smart speaker is Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled, but the Portable is the first to offer a rechargeable battery—along with a short list of features everyone wants and loves,” said Burns. “We lived with it like anyone else would—with our families and friends, away from work—to make sure it was the kind of product we wanted to use, day after day. It was. And we think people who take it home will feel the same way.”
Bose 360-Degree Acoustics Part of Package
Available in Triple Black and Luxe Silver finishes, the Bose Portable Home Speaker has a cylindrical, anodized aluminum shell. Inside, there are three passive radiators and a high-excursion driver, designed to deliver on the typical Bose 360-degree acoustics. Bose proprietary voice pick-up technology is used for the voice activation features,
Whereas the the Sonos Move includes a charging cradle, the Bose Portable Home Speaker package does not include one—though it is available as an optional $29 accessory. Both the Sonos speaker and the Bose speaker can also be charged with their included USB-C cables, though only Bose includes a wall charger in the box (Sonos users will need to supply their own charger).
Expanding Music Services
While wireless audio pioneer Sonos has a seemingly endless list of supported audio services for its multi-room audio system, Bose has been hard at work expanding the services they offer. Among the available services offered through the Bose Music app are Amazon Music, Deezer, iHeart Radio, Pandora, SiriusXM, and TuneIn. And Apple iOS users can stream direct to the new Bose wireless speakers through AirPlay 2, so that means Apple Music can be played, plus all smartphones and tablets can stream whatever music and podcasts they might have.
Tom Kolnowski is the Chief Content Officer & Founder of Digitized House Media, LLC, the publisher of Digitized House | Guide to the Connected Home. When he isn’t writing about smart home technology, sustainability, and high-performance architecture, you’ll find him exploring faraway destinations with his family.