Bose - Bose Portable Home Speaker


Transportable speaker Bose Portable Home Speaker: almost everything to please

Aprox. 349€ - see price -

See specifications

Known for its many portable speakers, Bose is trying to hybridize with its Portable Home Speaker: a portable speaker, certainly, but made for use at home, voice assistants (Alexa and Google Assistant) to support it.

Positive points

Very balanced sound.

Deep and energetic bass.

Very precise midrange and treble, clear and defined tones.

360 ° emission.

Manufacturing quality.

Comprehensive orders.

Good voice recognition.

Bad points

The sound rendering depends very strongly on the surface on which the speaker is placed.

No wired connections.

Few natively compatible network sources.

Standby time a bit low, charging base sold separately.

Our review


Seen from afar, it would almost look like a Soundlink Revolve "++", a simply bigger and more muscular version of the latest portable speaker from Bose. But the Portable Home Speaker is little more than that: it is the first entry from the American manufacturer in the emerging category of portable transportable speakers; understand by this that it is certainly equipped with a battery allowing it to be moved at will, but that it remains above all designed for use at home, where its Wi-Fi connectivity can be upgraded contribution.

These characteristics position it in direct competition with the Sonos Move, with which it shares many specificities, starting with the integration of Alexa's voice assistants from Amazon and Google Asssistant.

The Bose Portable Home Speaker has been commercially available since September 2019, at an introductory price of € 369.95.



Physically, the Portable Home Speaker is reminiscent of the SoundLink Revolve, not only by its design, but also by its construction, which uses the same materials. The base is thus clad in aluminum, while the upper part of the enclosure is covered with plastic - but a plastic of very good quality, matt and not very dirty.

The home side of the enclosure is reflected not only by its rather generous dimensions (19 cm in height, more than a kilogram on the scale), but also by the total absence of IP certification. Bose assures, however, that its enclosure will still be able to resist "splashing water". We will therefore avoid carrying it in a bathroom or by the pool, but the proximity of the sink to the kitchen at least should not frighten him.

Bose clearly sees in the Portable Home Speaker a 100% connected speaker, and therefore did not consider it necessary to grant him any wired connection. Don't even expect to be able to connect it to a computer as an external audio device via its USB-C port, exclusively dedicated to charging. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are therefore the only two sources available. However, it should be noted that compared to its big rival, the Sonos Move, the Bose speaker has at least the significant advantage of being able to simultaneously maintain a Wi-Fi connection and a Bluetooth connection; it is thus possible in particular to broadcast the sound coming from a Bluetooth source while preserving the availability of the voice assistant.

The upper face of the speaker is dressed with no less than 7 control buttons, which allow it to offer perfectly exhaustive commands (navigation between the tracks being effected by double or triple press on the play / pause button). As with most of its products, Bose had the good taste to opt for mechanical push buttons - certainly less "techno-bling" than sensitive buttons, but so much more reliable and satisfying to use!

The use of the enclosure is accompanied by visual indications given by a luminous circle. These indications are not always immediately clear, but we manage to adapt to them on a daily basis. Small missed opportunity all the same: the brightness of this circle is unfortunately not adjustable, neither manually nor automatically depending on the ambient light. Those who sometimes like to listen to their music in the dark may find it somewhat dazzling.

Bose announces for its speaker an autonomy going "up to 12 hours", and the promise is kept in the case of use in Wi-Fi exclusively, with the volume at 50% - the figure can of course fall quickly when the 'we raise the sound level or activate Bluetooth. However, this overall remains a very correct value, higher than that displayed by the Sonos Move. We can however be a little annoyed by the autonomy of the speaker in "active standby" (reading stopped, but Wi-Fi connection maintained), which does not reach 72 hours. It is therefore necessary to remember to charge it after each use. The easiest way to do this is to use the charging base ... sold separately, at an indicative price of € 30. Was this little stingery really necessary?



The connected functions of the Portable Home Speaker are accessible from the Bose Music mobile application, available on iOS and Android. It is through this that the initial configuration of the speaker is made and the activation (optional) of Alexa or Google Assistant.

When it comes to network sources, the Bose speaker sports Spotify Connect, AirPlay 2 and TuneIn Radio compatibility ... and that's it. No integrated Chromecast, no native compatibility with Qobuz, Deezer or Amazon Music, not even UPnP / DLNA mode. On this point, the comparison with the abundance offered by the Sonos Move is particularly unflattering.

The same goes for the very basic multiroom mode available, which really comes down to the possibility of combining several speakers in simultaneous broadcast. We would have liked to be able to at least pair two Portable Home Speakers in stereo, but that is not the case. In short: the bare minimum union is assured, but we hoped for much better.


Speech Recognition

Voice commands are captured by a set of microphones arranged around the perimeter of the upper side of the speaker. Their performance has absolutely no surprises in store for us: they do essentially the same (great) work as most recent smart speakers.

Recognition of commands is thus of a reliability rarely taken in default, both in the near field and in the far field (tested up to about 5 meters away), perfectly omnidirectional, and indifferent to the tone of voice of the user. It is also remarkably insensitive to outside noise: even in a busy environment, it is still possible to address the voice assistant without too much difficulty, as long as one takes the time to clearly state the command.

The only point on which the Portable Home Speaker is not quite equal to the best is its ability to hear commands over the sound it emits. When you adjust the volume above 75%, it begins to be necessary to really raise your voice, or even approach the speaker for our calls to the assistant to be detected. No reason to be indignant, since this setting already corresponds to a very high broadcast volume.

Speech Recognition


The Portable Home Speaker offers sound performance that only deserves compliments, if not a small weakness that it shares with the SoundLink Revolve, inherent in the positioning of the speakers and acoustic diffusers in the enclosure. As the machine is designed, the sound waves escape from the base of the speaker, which subjects the diffusion in the listening room to the acoustic characteristics of the surface on which the speaker is placed. In particular, on a hard surface, the bass and low mids will be largely amplified by reflection, and we risk ending up with a very significantly muffled sound. The problem could have corrected itself if the Portable Home Speaker had been equipped with an automatic calibration system, like the Auto TruePlay of the Sonos Move, but this is unfortunately not the case. It is therefore up to the user to take his acoustic precautions: we can limit the phenomenon by positioning the enclosure as close as possible to one of the edges of the table or furniture, or even by placing it on a large tablecloth or napkin which can absorb rather than reflect sound waves.

Once these arrangements have been made, one can then take advantage of the excellent sound balance, with a penchant for low frequencies which is certainly notable, but well enough measured not to compromise the clarity of the signal. It barely gives it a little extra warmth - which can also be reduced thanks to the tone settings present in the application.

As for the acoustic behavior of the transducers, it does not suffer the slightest real criticism. The three passive bass radiators do a remarkable job, managing not only to create a real presence from 50 Hz, but also to assume a frankly impressive level of energy. It is only when we climb above 75% of the maximum volume (level at which our measurements were taken, corresponding to normalization at 85 dB SPL at 1 kHz and 1 m) that a small loss of reactivity and dynamics begins to be heard.

The same goes for the rest of the spectrum, which shows much more than honorable precision for a speaker of this size, even at high volume. The tones are clear, defined and natural, and we particularly admire the presence and the embodiment of human voices. Even in the acute extremes, they which are "traditionally" the weak point of Bose products, the rendering is incisive without ever becoming aggressive, and the control of the distortion is never faulted. The overall result is remarkably musical and lively.

Let us conclude with a quick note on the promise of 360 ° sound emission, which is generally very well kept, even if there are inevitable small irregularities in the high frequencies. Nothing too serious, since the normal reverberation of a standard listening piece is more than enough to smooth them out - which also explains why the peak at 10 kHz on our frequency response measurement "from the front" is not almost barely noticeable truth in real use . This omnidirectional behavior not only allows the speaker to fill the listening room as homogeneously as possible, but also to produce at least a slight feeling of space despite the complete absence of stereophony. All good.



We can probably blame the Bose Portable Home Speaker for not doing enough enough: the few compatible network sources (if you are not users of Spotify and / or Apple device, hardly salvation), and the absence of automatic acoustic calibration which requires careful choice of the positioning of the speaker in its listening room, are failures that cannot be avoided when compared to its big rival, the Sonos Move. But it must be recognized that what it does, it does very well, and that its remarkable sound performances can alone tip the scales in its favor.