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Bose and Sonos are jostling for market share and mindshare in the portable smart speaker space with the promise of high quality sound in a grab-and-go package.
The aptly-named Bose Portable Home Speaker is already on the launchpad for a September debut, while Sonos is expected this week to reveal full details on its new Sonos Move.
Both devices are necessarily compact, stream audio via WiFi and Bluetooth, work with Spotify Connect and also recognise Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice control.
Bose Portable Home Speaker
The A$500 Bose Portable Home Speaker is an evolution of the company’s SoundLink Revolve+ Bluetooth speaker from 2017, with a similar conical design for 360-degree sound but added power and amped-up bass.
Music can be streamed directly from devices via Bluetooth or, if you're in range of a wireless network, using services such as Spotify; the Bose Portable Home Speaker can also be grouped into a multi-room sound system with other Bose smart speakers.
Standing 19cm tall and 10cm wide, and weighing 1kg, the speaker is wrapped in a water-resistant aluminium enclosure that can handle the odd splash of water or sudden spring shower.
Bose rates the battery life as good for 12 hours of music, with charging over USB-C or through the optional charging cradle.
Sonos' latest model follows the debut of its Ikea 'Symfonisk' collaboration which had built speakers into table lamps and bookshelves.
Christened Move and due to be launched in early September, it's reportedly similar to the Sonos One series – albeit a little taller and wider – with the same touch controls and overall design ethos.
Unlike the One, and other Sonos siblings, the Move will allow music to be played directly from devices such as smartphones via Bluetooth, although the sweet spot remains using WiFi for the likes of Spotify as well as adding the Move to an existing Sonos multi-room system.
Expect the convenience of USB-C charging and the option of a desktop charging cradle, and potentially Auto Trueplay to fine-tune the Move's audio pattern to suit its location and the room's acoustics directly from the speaker rather than firing up the Sonos app.