Bose unveils portable Wi-Fi/Bluetooth smart speaker ahead of Sonos launch
With Sonos rumored to have a new portable speaker arriving soon, Bose unveiled its Portable Home Speaker.
David CarnoyExecutive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.
ExpertiseMobile accessories and portable audio, including headphones, earbuds and speakersCredentials
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Adding to its new line of multiroom wireless audio speakers, Bose has announced the Portable Home Speaker, a battery-powered smart speaker that has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice assistants. Available in black and silver on Sept. 19 for $349 (£370, $AU 500), it looks a little like Bose's Bluetooth-only SoundLink Revolve Plus, and like that model, incorporates a handle for easy transport.
Recently, details of a new Sonos portable wireless speaker emerged. That product has yet to be officially announced, but once it hits the market it will interesting to compare the two models because they appear to have similar features. They both should deliver very good sound for their size.
The Bose Portable Home Speaker is rated for 12 hours of battery life at moderate volume levels and Apple users can stream directly to it over Wi-Fi using Apple Airplay 2. The voice-assistant functionality only works when the speaker is connected to Wi-Fi. You can also opt to turn the speaker's voice microphones off for maximum privacy.
Using the Bose Music app, Bose says you can link the Portable Home Speaker with other recent Bose smart speakers and soundbars to create a multiroom audio system (alas, the company's older SoundTouch line is not compatible). Those new models include the Home Speaker 300 and 500, as well as the Soundbar 500 and 700. Later this year Bose says you'll be able to link the Portable Home speaker to a Bose SoundLink speaker "for synchronized, voice-controlled audio" and next year, if you have two Portables, you'll be able to link them together to create a stereo pair.
The speaker is splash resistant (IPX4 rating) and charges via USB-C or a charging cradle that's sold separately for $29 (£25, $AU 40).
Here are its key specs, according to Bose. I'll have a full review in the coming weeks after I get my hands on a review sample.
Dimensions: 7.5 inches high (19cm) and just over 4 inches across (10.2cm)
Weight: 2.3 pounds (1kg)
Wrapped in a seamless, anodized aluminum enclosure
Wi-Fi- and Bluetooth-enabled with Apple AirPlay 2 support