The Bose Portable speaker provides up to 12 hours of battery life. During that time, users will be able to connect Bluetooth devices to instantly stream tracks from a smartphone or tablet. Using Wi-Fi, a Bose proprietary voice pick-up system works with the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, both built-in, to access playlists, podcasts, news, weather, smart home devices, and more. Also leveraging Wi-Fi, users can connect through AirPlay 2 to play music from Apple devices, or use Spotify Connect to listen directly to their Spotify account.
More importantly, Bose leveraged the company's experience in compact home speakers and designed a completely new acoustic package that makes everything sound better considering the size, space and weight restrictions of a device that needs to have a powerful built-in battery.
“Every Bose smart speaker is Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled, but the Portable is the first to offer a rechargeable battery — along with a short list of features everyone wants and loves,” says Ben Burns, senior product manager for Bose speakers. “We lived with it like anyone else would — with our families and friends, away from work — to make sure it was the kind of product we wanted to use, day after day. It was. And we think people who take it home will feel the same way.”
There are buttons on top for basic functionality, including Bose’s proprietary mic-off feature — which cuts power to the microphones, eliminating any possibility users can be listened to or recorded — along with power, volume, play/pause and skip tracks, wake or dismiss virtual assistants, and Bluetooth source.
The complementary Bose Music app offers additional functionality, making set up and updates easy and intuitive. Through the app, users can browse content, switch music services, create a multi-room system with other Bose smart speakers and soundbars, and download software for new features. As Bose confirms, still in 2019, an update will offer the ability to pair the Portable with a Bose SoundLink speaker for synchronized, voice-controlled audio — a welcome advancement for the millions of SoundLink Micro, Color, Mini, and Revolve owners around the world. And next year, the company intends to allow pairing two Portables for an expanded stereo performance, which doesn't compromise on the speaker's current 360 degree dispersion field.
The Bose Portable speaker is a cylindrical design, measuring 7.5” high and just over 4” across, and wrapped in a seamless, anodized aluminum enclosure shaped precisely to enable its audio performance. Inside, three passive radiators, a high-excursion driver, and a proprietary deflector distribute clear, lifelike sound evenly in every direction — including size-defying bass.
Unlike conventional speakers, there’s no sweet-spot for placement or listening — it delivers the same consistent experience wherever it is. And while the left and right channels in standard one-piece systems can cancel each other out — leaving audible gaps in music — the Bose Portable speaker was designed to be compatible with separate channels, making corrections in real time, so the user will be able to hear everything there is in the recorded music.
Because it's portable, the new Bose Portable speaker is also water-resistant with an IPX4 rating to survive spills, splashes, and rain; and rugged enough to withstand drops, knocks, and hits. It comes with an integrated handle for convenience, and can charge through standard USB-C, or a charging cradle that’s sold separately for $29.
The Bose smart speaker family now includes three speakers — the Portable Home Speaker, Home Speaker 500 and 300; and two soundbars — the Soundbar 700 and 500. They’re all Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled and all work together as a multi-room system.
The Bose Portable Home Speaker is available for $349 USD in Triple Black and Luxe Silver finishes starting September 19, directly from Bose.com, Bose retail stores, and select resellers.