Bose is one of the most famous and reliable brands, known for producing outdoor speakers and headphones. Bose’s soundlink series has some amazing models featuring remarkable sound quality and rugged construction. This article reviews two best-selling outdoor speakers for under $100 by Bose SoundLink; Bose Soundlink Color II and Bose Soundlink revolve.
Bose Soundlink Color II
Bose Soundlink Color II is the upgraded version of Bose Soundlink Color. It is one of Bose’s best outdoor speakers that can take the roughness of being outdoors while giving you remarkable sound quality. Plus, Bose SoundLink outdoor speakers’ best thing is that they are affordable without compromising the quality.
It follows the same signature design of Bose Sonlink Clor Series, with a few minor changes in color, shape, and design. The first change you will notice in this new version is its availability in various colors. Bose SoundLink Color II is available in blue, red, white, and black.
The Bose SoundLink color had a plastic skin with a rubberized finish around corners. In this new model, the entire outer skin is soft-to-touch rubber. It makes it more impact-resistant and gives it better protection against drops. It is also less prone to scratches and pumps and looks new even after the rough outdoor use.
It measures 5.3×5.2×2.3 inches and weighs around 1.2 lbs. This model is slightly shorter and lighter than the original version. Another improvement in this new version is its IPX4 waterproof rating. This rating doesn’t make it essentially waterproof but splashproof and helps it withstand the rainy and foggy conditions outdoors.
The front panel is covered majorly with a grille and a Bose logo on the top. On the right panel, there is a micro USB charging port and a 3.5 mm audio jack. All the control buttons, including power, pairing, playback, and volume adjustments, are located on the top panel.
This outdoor portable speaker’s most standout feature is the dedicated mic—this feature lets you use the voice assistant like google assistant, Siri, and Alexa. Plus, you can also answer phone calls, and it will also help you in video conference and zoom meetings. There is a button on the top from where you can activate the voice assistance feature.
Another improvement in this new version is its IPX4 waterproof rating. This rating doesn’t make it essentially waterproof but at least splashproof and helps it withstand the rainy and foggy conditions outdoors.
It also features a Near Field Communication or NFC tap-to-pair technology for microphones, headphones, and other compatible devices. This feature helps in quick pairing and also eats less battery than Bluetooth.
Multipoint Bluetooth and “party mode” are some of its features that it takes pride in. The multi-point Bluetooth helps you connect more than two devices simultaneously. Moreover, in party mode, you can pair to Soundlink Color IIs to enhance bass and loudness. Movie USB is a good option for charging. The battery playtime is around 8 hours, which is pretty okay for such an affordable and compact speaker.
The sound quality is satisfying considering its small size. The overall sound quality is good, except for a few shortcomings in sub-bass frequencies and higher volumes. The sound is pretty clear until the volume level is 60%. But as you cross this level, it starts to lose clarity and feels a bit fatiguing.
Plus, it has a wide dynamic range and gives you plenty of bass responses in the low and mid-range. Due to its strong performance in high-mid and high-frequency, it sounds pretty clear for vocals and instruments in this range.
It sounds better than the original Soundlink Color and also much louder than it. Although it is not a real deal-breaker in bass and loudness, it sounds amazing in small closed rooms. It sounds great for some hip-hop and techno tracks but fails to reproduce when it comes to multiple instruments and vocal frequencies.
The speaker is not very loud compared to some other outdoor speakers like UE Wonderboom 2. However, “party mode” options have resolved the issue of loudness to some extent. You can pair to SoundLink Color together to get more loudness and a better listening experience.
The speaker offers great sound quality and a satisfying bass response despite its diminutive size and affordable price. It has a much-improved design, a better rubberized outer skin, and an IPX4 rating. The only thing that is disappointing in this seeker is the lack of waterproofing and dust proofing, as it is supposed to be created for outdoor use.
It can not withstand the water submergence and dust on the beach and trails. The voice assistance, NFC pairing, and multi-point Bluetooth are some other advantages you will get with this portable outdoor speaker by Bose.
Bose Soundlink Revolve
Bose SoundLink revolve is another great portable option by Bose. This is an excellent Blutooth speaker option for the fans of the 360-degree soundstage. Bose soundlink revolve, although it comes expensive, justifies cost by a rich bass response and an excellent loudness.
The SoundLink revolve features a cylindrical shape and seamless aluminum finish. There are perforations on the lower half or rounded outer skin for the speaker grille. It looks almost the same as its predecessor soundlink mini and big brother soundlink Revolve Plus. The color options are limited for soundlink revolve as it is available in only grey and black.
The base and top are rubberized and gives it excellent strength to withstand drops, impacts, and scratches. All the control buttons, including power, Bluetooth, pairing, source button, and multi-function buttons for voice assistance and playback controls. Also, there is a dedicated volume control button labeled as “+” and “-.”
Plus, it has a threaded tripod stand for the bottom that allows you to mount this speaker with a wall. It helps in better sound wave distribution in a closed room. The bottom rubberized panel is made non-slip; therefore, it does not move in response to vibrations. On the side of the bottom panel, there is a micro USB charging port.
You might be expecting a waterproof and dustproof rating from this relatively expensive outdoor gadget. Unfortunately, it is rated IPX4. It means it is not waterproof and only can withstand water splashes. No dustproof rating means it would act as a magnet for carpet fiber in the home and dust on beaches and trails.
Bose claims to have a battery playtime of 12 hours, which is somewhat true. On average, its battery lasts for up to 10 hours. The battery time also depends on the volume level and Bluetooth pairing.
There is a 3.5 mm audio jack so that you can physically connect to your phone and other devices for input. Plus MicroUSB port also allows you to connect the devices physically. There is a built-in mic giving you the facility of voice assistance and call management.
It has fast and flawless Bluetooth pairing and can remember more than eight paired devices at once. You can access your voice assistant on your phone and laptop, make hands-free calls, and play music. The most impressive feature of this portable speaker is the party mode. You can pair to bose soundlink revolve for stereo amplification and enhanced loudness.
Despite its compact profile, Bose Soundlink revolve offers a great sound quality. The major advantage of this small outdoor speaker is its omnidirectional sound. It is an excellent choice for closed-room parties where it dissipates sound equally in all directions.
Another major issue found in compact outdoor speakers is the distortion of sound at high volume levels. Surprisingly, Bose Soundlink Revolve sounds amazing on high volume levels, delivering remarkable bass while keeping the distortion minimum.
If you want a better bass response, it is recommended to place it near a wall. However, for better resonance and stereo experience, the best space is the room center.
360-degree revolve sound and extended soundstage makes it a great choice for an outdoor experience. However, it sometimes lacks vocal and instrumental separation when it comes to multiple frequency responses.
Unlike Soundlink Color II, it delivers a welcoming response in the sub-bass range and a fantastic response for mids and low mids. It is also great in high notes and sounds pretty clear at high volume levels. It also supports “party mode” for garter loudness and enhanced stereo experience.
Bose Sondlink Revolve is relatively expensive but a fantastic outdoor speaker. Its 360-degree sound, powerful soundstage, and rich bass make it one of the best outdoor portable speakers. It misses the waterproof and dustproof feature, which is pretty disappointing at this price point.