- Superb sound
- Great design
- Solid build quality
- Relatively expensive
- Extra cost for the charger dock
- 360 degree sound
The Bose SoundLink Revolve portable Bluetooth speaker isn't just sound on the go - it's 360 degree 'surround sound' which blasts out in every direction.
The latest member of Bose’ portable SoundLink family taps a trend for ‘360 degree sound’ – that is, speakers which fire equally in all directions rather than just the front.
It’s an impressive feat, achieved by serious audio-tech wizardry wrapped inside a seamless single-piece aluminium enclosure.
It’s also questionable how useful this is, unless you can see many situations where the speaker would be plonked down in the middle of a room or on a coffee table surrounded by people rather than tucked away on one wall or in a corner.
That said, even when the Revolve is sitting on a desk pushed up against a wall it’s amazing to hear the sound flowing around the speaker instead of angling out from the front.
(Ironically, the already-impressive bass kicks up a notch if you place the Revolve near a wall, as this reflects the sound and boosts bass response.)
Rolling deep textured bass and a finely-detailed upper range into a 360-degree listening experience, the SoundLink Revolve is the best-sounding Bluetooth speaker I’ve ever used, even when you crank up the volume to insane levels.
About the same size as a can of soft drink, the Revolve’s fairly anonymous design makes it less identifiable as a speaker than the squat brickette SoundLink Mini II.
Small touch-controls ringing the rubberised top panel take care of Bluetooth pairing with your smartphone or laptop, volume and playback, with integrated microphones so it doubles as a speakerphone.
Battery life is a hefty 12 hours – unfortunately Bose expects you to pony up an extra $40 for the convenience of a natty circular charging dock over using the supplied USB cable – and at just 680 grams it’s not going to weight down your cabin bag.
The 10 metre range over Bluetooth is ample for living rooms and hotel rooms alike, unless you’re staying in the Presidential Suite, with water-resistance if you want to take it into the bathroom or out by the pool.
For all that, unless you deeply desire omni-directional sound or the Revolve’s superb design and chunky bass, the SoundLink Mini II – which is already wildly popular among travellers – is just as well-suited to music on the move, and at $249 it’s even a bit cheaper.