We tested the Bose Portable Speaker – 20 minutes

  • Bose does not want to leave Sonos and its speaker Move the monopoly of smart speakers Bluetooth and Wifi at once.
  • Launched at 369 euros, the Portable Speaker has multiple qualities in the forefront of which is its sound quality.
  • But in the face of his designated competitor, who does a bit more, his fare seems disproportionate.

His name says things well: "Portable Speaker". With its new portable speaker, Bose wants to compete with Sonos and his
Move launched a few weeks ago: both are Wifi, Bluetooth and "
smart ".

Resistant outside

Quite elegant, available in black or white, the Bose Portable Speaker weighs only 1.06 kg. A handle can carry it, but the manufacturer does not provide a protective cover to slip into a bag, which is a shame. Once recharged (USB-C or on a base not supplied), the speaker is ready for the ride.

On the outside, the Portable Speaker works in Bluetooth and is splashproof.
On the outside, the Portable Speaker works in Bluetooth and is splashproof. – BOSE

Bluetooth, you can walk almost everywhere. Its protection against splashes and small shocks (standard: IPX4) is a plus. By cons, no need to consider taking her to the beach, it is not protected against dust, so against the sand … We took advantage of our test to listen to the Portable Speaker on a terrace, quite wet and cool in this autumn. Playlist "Chill" (and plaid!) Of circumstance, the speaker was there very agreeable. The +/- keys of the volume animate a small white light circle at the top of the device, more or less visible depending on whether the sound is gaining or losing intensity. And it amazes friends.

Up to 20 square meters

But the Portable Speaker is also Wifi. To this, several reasons. The first is to be able to broadcast in the household music without compression, so with a better sound. Compatible with AirPlay2 (Apple's standard for Wi-Fi transmission), the speaker will appeal primarily to iPhone or iPad aficionados.

Inside, the Portable Speaker favors WiFi for optimal sound quality.
Inside, the Portable Speaker favors WiFi for optimal sound quality. – BOSE

The listening is of good quality, with a balanced sound. This leaves room for low rounds on Everything I Wanted, by Billie Eilish. It heals the highs of Maasai of M or Never Change of Coldplay. He pampers the mediums of How Do You Sleep ? from Sam Smith. And reveals a good momentum on Walking in the Dark Metronomy … We indisputably allow ourselves to be seduced. As usual, Bose does not communicate the power of its enclosure. On trial, she is very comfortable in a room up to about 20 square meters, but can not pretend to properly sound a larger space.

The multiroom will wait

Another advantage of Wi-Fi is the ability to pair a personal assistant with the Bose Portable Speaker. The manufacturer leaves the choice between Google Assistant and Alexa of Amazon at the time of the configuration.

The control panel of the Bose Portable Speaker.
The control panel of the Bose Portable Speaker. – CHRISTOPHE SEFRIN / 20 MINUTES

Its enclosure can thus easily find its place in one of the two ecosystems dominating around the artificial intelligence. Alas, the Portable Speaker is not ready for the multiroom yet. It is impossible to couple other speakers of the brand, Bose nevertheless specifying that this possibility will be offered later.

A price that disarms

In spite of the indisputable qualities of this enclosure, its price cools a little. At 369.95 euros, the Portable Home Speaker Bose is a very expensive toy. Especially as its charging base remains optional (29.90 euros).

In addition to a classic USB-C charging, the Portable Speaker can be recharged on a base, unfortunately not supplied.
In addition to a classic USB-C charging, the Portable Speaker can be recharged on a base, unfortunately not supplied. – CHRISTOPHE SEFRIN / 20 MINUTES

If it is team, the team is at the same price as the Sonos Move (399 euros) which has it, a base in the box, which is multiroom, but also more powerful (and three times heavier! ). If the idea is to afford a nomadic speaker, robust and smart for holidays at reasonable prices, the Link 20 launched 2 years ago by JBL integrates Google Assistant and remains a safe bet on the audio side. At 199 euros, we can largely satisfy ourselves.