The Bose SoundLink Revolve Bluetooth Speaker is, in its simplest form, a “reworked” version of their other SoundLink speakers, coming closest to the SoundTouch 10 Speaker in terms of size, sound quality, and functionality. Take note that there will also be a slightly larger model, called the Revolve+, which, likewise, would come close to the SoundTouch 20 Speaker. The biggest differences are in the shape (they are round cylinders, similar to an Amazon Echo), as well as the fact that they are portable, ala other SoundLink devices.
First, the shape…a cylindrical speaker is a bit strange, but, at the same time, different in a somewhat pleasing way, as it doesn’t scream “I’m a speaker”. From the base, working up, it narrows slightly, having all control buttons on its top. TheRevolve + is a slightly larger, and taller, version of the same speaker (it also has a carrying handle, giving it somewhat if a “lantern” appearance), to which I’m going to assume it has a slightly larger diameter speaker…but I can’t confirm this, not having actually seen one.
BATTERY, DISTANCE, AND WATER RESISTANCE:
Where portability, and battery life, is a concern, the Revolve lasts up to 12 hours, while the Revolve+ model will have a 16-hour charge. In charging both speakers, you have two choices – plugging the microUSB cable directly into the Revolve speakers, or purchasing ($30) the optional SoundLink Revolve Charging Cradle. I HIGHLY recommend the cradle, as it will not only save you time in plugging/unplugging, but, over time, the speaker’s connection could get damaged. Additionally…and, more importantly…when using the Revolve speaker at home, place it on the Charging Cradle to keep it fully charged, while still using it.
In terms of distance, inside the house, I was able to maintain connectivity to my cell phone (my “music player”, with well over 100GB of MP3s encoded @ 256Mbps) for approximately 25-30 feet, which is about average where Bluetooth is concerned. However, in terms of music quality, I found it best to maintain a distance no greater than 20 feet, as signal, and thus sound quality, quickly degraded beyond that point. Outside, on the other hand, was a different story…great sound quality was maintained to approximately 30 feet, “decent” to approximately 35-40 feet, with signal loss taking place at 45 feet. This was, to say the least, better than my expectations. I can’t say that every connected device will achieve this…some will be less, and others could possibly be more.
While not the greatest in “water protection”, let it be known that the Revolve Speakers do have an IP rating of 04, meaning that they are NOT protected against solids, and where liquids are concerned, “water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect” (info obtained from dsmt.com).
Of course, the whole purpose of a speaker is to play music. So, how do they sound? Let’s just say I’ve never been a huge fan of Bose products. They produce really good-quality sound, but tend to be overpriced for what they are. In other words, you’re paying a decent amount for the ‘Bose’ name. That’s NOT saying Bose products are bad, or that they produce bad-quality sound – they ARE good, and they DO produce great sound…but, you can usually find equal-quality products, producing better-quality sound, for the same, or less, money. That being said, the Bose Revolve Bluetooth Speaker lives up to the Bose reputation – it produces really good-quality sound, but costs more than I truly believe it’s worth.
The best part of the Revolve speaker is…or, better yet, will be (once officially released)…the Bose apps (Bose SoundTouch and/or Bose Connect). To be honest, I haven’t had the opportunity to use them, I did speak with the manager of a local Bose store, so the following is based on what he told me. Additionally, I’m not 100% certain of both apps, or only one, will be used with the Revolve speakers. Anyway, moving on…according to what I was told, the app(s) will give you the ability to adjust tonality, so as to give the illusion of being in different areas (concert hall, stadium, small hall, large hall, etc). Additionally, it will provide “party mode” (the same sound emanating from multiple paired Revolve Speakers), as well as “stereo mode” (the “left” audio out of one speaker, & “right” audio out of the other speaker, when two speakers are paired).
The Bose SoundLink Revolve Bluetooth Speaker (and its larger Revolve+ sibling) lives up to the Bose reputation, producing very good quality (heck, I’ll even go so far as to say somewhat better than “very good”) sound, and being a great, well-built product. The fact that it’s a portable Bluetooth speaker, and still producing sound of this quality, is even better. The “icing on the cake” is the (optional) Charging Cradle, making charging the revolve speaker(s) a simple, effortless task. Would I recommend the Bose Revolve Speaker? If I completely disregard my not being a big Bose fan, the answer is “absolutely”. Even knowing I’m not a Bose fan, my answer would still be “yes”. Bose has produced a great product, with a better-than-very-good sound quality, at a price that is on par with similar products. What give the advantage over those “similar products” is the Charging Cradle, as well as the Bose apps. The Revolve Speaker is, on its own, already a great product…but, when combined with the apps & Charging Cradle (which, at only $30, is an excellent value), everything is even better.
Disclaimer: This product was provided free, or at reduced cost, for the purpose of reviewing the product. Nevertheless, the above review, be it positive, negative, or anywhere in-between, is a 100% honest review, and the price paid played absolutely no part in my review.