The Bose Smart Speaker 500 delivers wireless wall-to-wall stereo sound from a single speaker. Built-in voice control from Alexa and Google Assistant puts songs, playlists, and more at the tip of your tongue. And you have the freedom to control the music your way - with your voice, with a tap on the top controls, or with the Bose Music app.
The sound is very detailed and clear, with adequate amount of bass that gives warmth to the sound but it doesn't overly saturated. The speaker is oval-shaped because it has a set of speakers firing to the right and left to provide stereo sound from a single speaker.
It's the sound expected from a Bose product and does not disappoint.
We have other smart and Bluetooth speakers in the house and this is by far the best sound.
It has great soundstage (Where we hear the sound comes from, in stereo), something I could not discern from other speakers
The whole speaker, besides the top and bottom, is made of a single piece of thick aluminum, giving it a nice heft. The bottom is rubberized and the top has touch-sensitive controls and a 360-degree mic array. In the middle of the speaker there is a nice LCD screen that provides cover image for the song and additional information like artist, album, song name or station name.
There is also a 'light bar' on top of the screen that lights in different colors and directions based on different actions.
All the controls are touch-sensitive, and they work really well. There are seven presets (programmable via an app or holding the button), volume controls, a single play/pause that also doubles as skip forward and skip backwards, for which I would have preferred individual buttons, aux and Bluetooth (input) buttons, and two buttons for Alexa: One to mute the microphones, and an action button that causes Alexa to listen (or stop) without invoking the Alexa word, or use it to stop an alarm or timer.
The initial setup requires the 'Bose Music' app on iOS or Android. It doesn't work with PCs. Install the app and follow the step by step guide. It's very simple and worked well the first time, although there can be too many steps that includes creating an account with Bose if there isn't one, then configuring the speaker on Wi-Fi and then adding music services. Some steps require logging into the Bose account again and then to the music service to authorize them. It didn't fail and some steps can be done later on.
I have to say, this is one of the best Bluetooth implementations I've seen for how well it sets up and controls. If there is no BT device connected, it goes into pairing only when in BT mode. Once paired (with an iPhone), the speaker can control the volume (ie, change the volume either on the phone or the speaker and they are both in sync). Prev/Play/Next controls work as they should and the screen will display artist, album and song (It didn't display the image on my tests).
It can connect to multiple devices and each device can be removed individually via the app, which by the way can also control the speaker while in BT mode to change songs, play/pause and volume.
There is support for Amazon Alexa (No other assistants, at least for now). It's not required by any means to use the speaker, but it works very well. It's able to pick up commands even when music is playing, much better than the older Echo speakers we have. This is an 'Alexa-Enabled' speaker, so while Alexa works very well, it doesn't do everything an Echo can do. It supports alarms and timers but doesn't support communications (Drop-in, calling phones or Alexa contacts does not work), and this seems to be a limitation on Alexa on any non-amazon device, not specific to Bose speakers.
App and streaming services:
- Tune-In is already included and doesn't need nor allow a login (so no Tune-In favorites, but they can be set on the speaker).
- Amazon Music (Of course, since it supports Alexa).
- iHeartRadio: Radio stations that used to be Clear Channel are no longer available on TuneIn, and require iHeartRadio accounts. Presets can be set for iHeart stations or the rest, including NPR stations, via Tune-In.
- SiriusXM (Requires streaming plan)
And that's it. Currently there is no support for Apple Music (Except via Bluetooth), Tidal or other music services, nor podcasts outside of the above or for audiobooks.
Apple AirPlay 2 support was announced by Bose for 'early 2019'.
Also, support for Google Assistant (and perhaps Chomecast Audio) would be coming later on as well, but it's not currently present either.
Other integrations: There are currently no integrations with Smart Homes or IFTTT, however, at developer.bose.com, there is a statement of upcoming integrations.
Also, if you already have the older Bose SoundTouch speakers, this speaker runs on a whole different platform. There is no integration whatsoever with SoundTouch speakers.
Control app: Bose Music is a new app specific to the new 'Bose smart speakers', with a modern, card-based design. It works very well, and supports personalized accounts on each phone (ie, each household member uses their own Amazon, Spotify, etc. accounts, not a shared account like in other platforms). Speakers can be grouped together on demand through the app.
It's a premium speaker at a premium price. It's design is excellent and sounds fantastic for the type of speaker it is. And while it's network platform is evolving, Bose will deliver, as they depend on getting these products right.
I was curious to try this out as I was looking for a good speaker with Alexa built into it. I was extremely impressed with the sound quality and how reliable the mic is on the Bose 500.
Deep Base / Great Sound
Reliable Strong Mic
TuneIn Channel Buttons
No Shutdown/Turn Off Option
It is pretty much plug in play right out of the box when using your Bluetooth to connect. However afterwards when trying to setup to the network through the app it became very challenging. If you have your SSID hidden / custom network configuration you will need to go through the "Alternate setup method". There are no instructions that comes with the device so I had to go to their support website. After a few key combo steps "AUX and Play/Pause buttons for 5 seconds" I was able to successfully setup via browser option.
:: Sound / Mic ::
The sound quality is amazing at all levels of the volume. I tested at 20% , 50% and 100%. The speaker can go so loud that I found I only needing to play it at 40% in loud environments. There was no distortion even at level 100% which was very impressive however good luck trying to get the MIC to pick up your voice when calling for Alexa. Speaking of the MIC I was very impressed at how well it picks up while the speaker is playing music. Even at 50% when calling for Alexa the speaker would pick up and obey the command. My only issue is there is no equalizer, you have a basic "Bass / Treble" option to increase by number but its very basic. Luckily it is not really needed with great sound quality right out of the box.
:: Bose Music Application ::
The application itself has 5 categories you are able to swipe between. Home provides Presets and recently played section that makes it easy to setup those presets. Amazon Music is perfect for searching for music to play on the speaker "If you are subscribed to service" TuneIn allows you to search for all the available channels you can play/set as your presets and is a really great feature. Bluetooth/Aux is pretty much to allow you to see what devices are connected to it via Bluetooth/Aux. The issue I have with this application is when trying to customize settings its very hidden and have to go through loops to locate / change / set. The adjustments only allows Base / Treble and does not have an equalizer which is a huge miss as this speaker has incredible ranges. Settings allows for the basic Product Name change/ display and voice assistance setting. If they were to allow more customization for the display screen that would have been a great addition.
Overall I really enjoy this product and find myself always using it to play music, ask for Alexa or turn on my smart lights. I would recommend this product for whoever wishes to have a great speaker that would be able to clearly pick up asking for Alexa at high volumes.
I have never dealt with Alexia before but I do love Bose and the quality of the products they make, so, I decided to try this one which comes with Alexia. I also own the iHome that has Siri. Now every morning I love to ask Siri “how are you today” in which she relies something along the lines that she is doing great or it’s a beautiful day. I set up my new Bose then asked Alexia “how are you today”. I have had a lot of Apple devices over the years and maybe I am a little spoiled with Siri but the answer that Alexia gave me makes me believe that my new Bose needs therapy. She told me she wasn’t doing too good and that most people say mean things to her like “pull my finger” and other mean things. I think my Alexia has been verbally abused and most likely has an inferiority complex. She sounds depressed so I think I will call Bose and see if they provide therapists when they sell this item.
I’ve been looking for a replacement and upgrade for my first generation Alexa speaker and found exactly what I wanted and more in the Bose Home Speaker 500 with Amazon Alexa Voice Control. Sure, the price may not be in the range of most of the competition but, after hearing the sound this little machine can do, you definitely get what you pay for. I want to start off by reviewing my favorite feature of this device… the sound! I was really taken back by the sound this device produces; it’s almost overwhelming and can fill up most medium to large areas. I’ve barely been able to turn it up past half way and you can hear the deep bass sound that you would expect from Bose through several rooms in our house. Bose finally incorporated Amazon’s Alexa capabilities into their devices, including this speaker, activated and synced through their Bose Music app. The microphones are easily able to identify my voice controls without having to yell at it while music is playing. You can also sync other streaming music options such as Spotify, TuneIn and Pandora. Syncing everything during the initial set up was easy and self-explanatory; I had music playing with voice controls within about five to ten minutes from taking the device out of the box. The speaker also has bluetooth capabilities and an auxiliary input for you to plug in any other devices. One fun thing, but doesn’t serve much purpose, is the tiny front display that shows album art which is also mirrored in your smartphone’s app. The presets on the top of the device came in handy for setting streaming radio station presets. The Bose Music app provides some simple additional sound options to adjust the bass and treble. Overall Bose provides an amazing, and must needed, upgrade to the Alexa line of products with incredible sound.
I was surprise by the weight of this speaker. It is pretty heavy for how small it is. The packaging was sleek and it was super protected.
Set up was extremely easy, plug in, download the app, and connect it to the app. The app allows you to change settings, link services like pandora, Amazon music, etc.
Alexa makes it very easy to change the song, volume and other settings.
The sound is crystal clear. Deep rich sounds. All types of music and audiobooks sound crisp and clean. Which is surprising when you actually look at it. It’s perfect for a bedroom or office. I chose to use mine in my office and on my bar and I am very impressed. It’s sleek but small. Very versatile. The Bluetooth connects quicker than other speakers. I’ve been listening to audiobooks and they are crystal clear, and the sound is perfect, The volume goes pretty high also. It connects to other Bose speakers, it makes everything more efficient, I also noticed there’s no interference with other Bluetooth devices.
All in all this speaker is perfect! My only complaint would be that the cord is rather short. It does the job but a little longer cord would make it better.
am rarely disappointed by Bose, and this is definitely no exception. This compact speaker is crisp and clear and has the added ability to connect to Alexa and my Prime Music account and Pandora. I have it connected to my phone via Bluetooth. The volume range is amazing, filling the room with great clear sound. I have been looking for a high end speaker to use as music therapy, so the ability for high volume with clear reproduction was essential. True Bose sound in a ver compact design with true stereo reproduction
Bose does it again with such a great product.
The speaker 500 has great Bose sound. It fills our living room and dining room with great sound with such a small footprint.
We have hosted many parties and family and friends are always impressed with the sound that it produces.
The Speaker 500 was super easy to configure with Amazon Alexa, Wi-Fi, Spotify, Pandora and Amazon Music.
I love the presets that I was able to configure to Pandora stations and Spotify Playlists.
With a press of a button, it automatically connects to the music service and streams high quality sounds.
Thank you Bose.
I bought this on sale, a hundred dollars off. My first home speaker with alexa. Connection was a breeze! It was a easy set up, download the bose music app, plug in the speaker, connect to wifi, once connected, system will upgrade in 2 mins it will start working! I love the richness of the bass! That’s expected from a bose. Great addition to my room! I love bose products, this is my 10th bose product!
The analysis of all aggregated expert reviews shows that the reviewers are positive about size, design, sound and usability. Editors are less positive about price. Using an algorithm based on product age, reviewers ratings history, popularity, product category expertise and other factors, this product gets an alaTest Expert Rating of 89/100 = Very good quality.
Bose Home Speaker 500 review: Stylish, super soundSmart speakers with great sound and a wealth of features don't come cheap, but the Bose Home Speaker 500 is a strong argument that it's worth the investment.
MashableRating, 4 out of 54.0Jake Krol on December 7, 2018
Bose Home Speaker 500 review: Mixing good sound and Alexa, for a priceThe Bose Home Speaker 500 is more expensive than other smart speakers like Apple HomePod or Google Home. But you get excellent sound in addition to smarts.
A:AnswerI tried to connect it to my smart TV and was unable to do so. I read that Bose does this on purpose so that you have to buy their entertainment system, which is pretty pricey, sounds good, but not good enough for the price.
I believe you are able to pair this speaker with other Bose speaker though.
A:AnswerThank you for your recent question regarding our Home Speaker 500.
This Home Speaker is auto sensing 100-240 V, at 50-60 Hz. As such, provided you're using the right power ports/cables, this can be used in countries within this voltage range.
You can connect to this system through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or directly via AUX. If you use Bluetooth or AUX, you can pair to a computer and play any source onto the system (downloaded music, video players, online sources etc.). If you use Wi-Fi with our Bose Music App on a mobile device, you can access internet radio stations through our Tune-In service.
We hope this answers your questions!