Gadgets throw fancy new improvements at us on a regular basis, however few issues get us as excited as a built-in deal with.
And it’s the great fabric-wrapped deal with that basically will get to the crux of what Bose’s Portable Home Speaker is bringing to the overwhelmingly crowded speaker market. It’s a wi-fi good speaker with room-filling 360 sound, and the deal with serves as a relentless reminder which you can carry it round the home with you with out sacrificing any of the performance – or outdoors of it as a daily Bluetooth speaker.
This is after all a near-identical pitch to that of the Sonos Move, and that 5-star speaker is a really troublesome act to observe.
But Sonos can don’t have any extra worthy rival than Bose, and whereas we’re fairly certain that its prohibitive value level will put lots of people off, we’ve loved our time with the Portable Home Speaker, or PHS as it should now be identified.
Design: get a deal with on it
If you have been not sure concerning the ‘portability’ of the Hulk-like Sonos Move, you may relaxation assured that Bose’s providing is unquestionably extra on-the-go-friendly. It’s pretty tall at 7.5in, however feels compact, and weighing simply 1.06kg, it’s straightforward to hold round by its bucket deal with.
Available in silver or black, the PHS is simple on the attention, with the identical consideration to element as Bose’s NC 700 headphones. The cylindrical anodised aluminum enclosure is clean to the contact on the highest half of the speaker, and contrasts properly with the grille that wraps round its decrease half.
Spin it round and the one port you’ll discover is a USB-C charging level. As with any good speaker, the highest of the gadget is the place the motion occurs. The PHS’ rubbery buttons sit inside an Amazon Echo-aping mild ring that illuminates when updating, responding to a voice command or altering the quantity.
You have an on/off/standby button, a Bluetooth pairing button, play/pause/quantity controls, a voice assistant button and a mute for the impressively responsive mic array.
The PHS has an IPX4 waterproof ranking, so no want to fret about dipping again into Kraftwerk’s again catalogue when you’re soaking within the tub, or having it by the pool come summer season.
Features: “Alexa, let’s go for a stroll”
If you need to use the PHS as a straight-up Bluetooth, AirPlay 2 or Spotify Connect speaker, you may. Just pair it up in settings for the previous, or search for the indicator within the Apple Music or Spotify app, and also you’re off.
To get the total vary of options, although, you’ll must set it up as a brand new gadget within the Bose Music app. It’s right here which you can select your voice assistant (Alexa and Google Assistant are each built-in), share the speaker on your property Wi-Fi community, and add providers like Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer (ahem) and TuneIn for radio and podcasts. If you select Alexa as your voice assistant, you’ll be capable to seek for songs and albums on Amazon Music handsfree.
Once you’ve arrange voice management, you should utilize your PHS such as you would any good speaker. Ask it questions, management your good lighting, examine your calendar: if a Google Home or Echo gadget can do it, so can Bose’s speaker. And not like most of these gadgets, you may carry your assistant of selection with you in every single place you go, supplied there’s a Wi-Fi sign current.
The Bose Music app additionally enables you to pair the PHS with different Bose good audio system and soundbars, so for those who occur to want the toilet midway by means of an episode of Pointless and don’t need to miss a solution, you may take the TV’s audio with you.
As talked about earlier than, the mics on the PHS don’t battle to choose up your voice even at excessive volumes, however whether it is too loud, there’s all the time the button. We did discover the app to be a bit buggy at instances, generally failing to recognise the speaker. And we needed to restart the preliminary setup course of a number of instances for a similar cause. You can’t queue songs or view your library natively within the app both, which is a bit disappointing.
Performance and battery life: crowd-pleaser
For the stuff you’re probably going to make use of it for – a soundtrack to your cooking, one thing to blast when you prepare for an evening out, a little bit of morning radio, background music at a summer season BBQ – the PHS is a completely strong all-round mono performer.
The proprietary deflector does a commendable job of pinging sound in each course, and each the high and low finish are dealt with with an identical degree of finesse. Most of the time we used it as a bed room speaker, but it surely nonetheless comfortably stuffed a a lot bigger front room.
Bass is surprisingly heat and authoritative, however not fairly to the identical extent as you’ll discover on Apple’s HomePod and the Sonos Move. It’s a really Bosey sound: very achieved, if not all the time massively rousing.
Does the efficiency justify the excessive value? Probably not. Great because the PHS is, it’s not laborious to discover a speaker in the identical bracket with a bit extra drive. But Bose’s is extra trendy than an Ultimate Ears joint, and simpler to maneuver than the Sonos Move. If you desire a battery-powered good speaker, this one has all of it.
Bose says the PHS will final for 12 hours wirelessly between costs, which is able to clearly differ primarily based on utilization and quantity. But I discovered it to be an correct estimation. Each time you flip the speaker on it’ll let you know how a lot juice you may have remaining, and by quick urgent the facility button you may put it into standby mode, lowering energy consumption however nonetheless permitting voice assistant entry.
Bose Portable Home Speaker verdict
It’s not low-cost, however for those who’re seeking to put money into a high-quality good speaker that doesn’t have to be stored on a leash, there’s rather a lot to love concerning the PHS.
It appears to be like and sounds good, the good stuff works in addition to you’d hope, and – want we remind you – it has a deal with.
Sonos’ Move continues to be high of this class, however you may decide up a PHS for round £30 much less on Bose’s website. And for those who do, we don’t assume you’ll be disenchanted.