The first thing you’ll notice is how compact the speaker is considering this is priced in the range of large Bluetooth speakers, $300 dollars. It’s smaller than the competitors, the UE Megaboom and of course the JBL Xtreme, so portability would be more ideal here. The Revolve+ model includes a carrying handle, which I would have expected to be more elastic, but it still serves its purpose. You don’t get this on the smaller Revolve model.
In addition, Bose has responded to the competition by offering some rugged features – the Revolve+ is bump resistant. If you accidentally knock this over, let it fall on the ground as I’ve tested myself, the speaker is perfectly fine. In addition, the speaker is now IPX4 certified. It can’t be submerged underwater per Bose, but the IP rating does allow this to be caught in the rain or splashed on. So definitely take that into consideration before buying – if you don’t think this is going to fall in the pool, you’re fine.
Taking a look at the top, you have your on and off button. I love this feature: when you do turn it on, the voice prompt gives you the percentage of battery remaining. Moving to the left there is Bluetooth pairing, which Bose claims up to 30 linear feet is achievable. I was able to get 40 linear feet with no issues. On either side is volume up and down, and in the middle is the action button to answer phone calls and use this like a speakerphone when a call comes in. With the same button, when music is going, you can pause and play; skip and go back on music as well.
Holding this button down will activate Google Now or Siri, whichever device you have connected to the speaker. Moving over to the far right, you have your input selection here. Besides Bluetooth, you can listen to audio with a 3.5mm wire or a micro-USB cord that’s connected to your PC. While connected and listening to audio, the speaker will be charging.
As always with all of my Bluetooth speaker battery tests, I left this on at 50% volume and was able to achieve 10 hours and 12 minutes until the battery died.
It’s nothing stellar as one, older Bluetooth speakers at this price range are getting around 15 to 16 hours already, and two, my actual test results wasn’t close to the possible 16 hours that Bose was claiming. Recharging the dead battery to full had taken about 4 hours to do.
The very last physical feature before I talk about the 360-degree audio performance, is NFC. With a Near Field Communication enabled phone, you can tap it right on the Bose logo, and the phone will pair for you. No need to go through your Bluetooth settings.
So, to that moment you’ve been waiting for, here’s the sound test. First things first, bass quality on this thing is thumping, booming at times, and has authority more likely associated with a bass-boosted sound signature. It doesn’t hit sub bass, it doesn’t hit JBL Xtreme territory, but it’s more impressive than the UE Megaboom. It’s not distorted, the bass is very much within reason with the rest of the audio frequencies and I am sure most average consumers will enjoy this. As for the midrange, where most of the vocals and where you hear most musical instruments, they do well, the Revolve+ keeps it balanced with not being bright or too forward.
I would have probably preferred a little bit of forwardness, but overall, the mid-range is still very clean and very easy to listen to without any listening fatigue. The same for the high frequencies where snare drums and cymbal crashes would occur, there is roll-off to keep it from going overboard, yet, Bose keeps with a balanced sound signature that’s not too recessed and not sharp or tingy. Overall, the Revolve provides, in my opinion, a very good quality sound signature.
If you do turn this up to maximum volume which is loud for sure, you do have some of the low range bass frequencies drowning out or overcoming some of the vocals. It’s not bad at all, it is something I noticed, but at the end of the day, the average consumer again would find this within reason. If I were to compare this directly with the Bose SoundLink 3, the Revolve+ does lose some soundstage and some audio separation, but because of this design, the Revolve speakers do give off full 360-degree sound. You place this in the middle of a room, and you’re getting sound no matter where you walk. It’s quite satisfying.
For a size of a mid-range Bluetooth speaker, this is still able to fill up a large room. If you have two of these speakers, with the Bose Connect app or a combination of physical buttons, you can enable Party Mode or Stereo mode. The former offers two of these Bose speakers to play in sync, and the latter provides left and right audio separation. The Bose app itself comes in handy for enabling this feature and checking your battery levels, manually syncing your Revolve to other devices through the app, but other than that, there’s no equalizer or sound profiles.
In the end, comparing apples to apples, comparing this to other portable 360 degree sounding Bluetooth speakers, it sounds very good, if not the best. The only negatives and I would ask myself this if I was on the fence of buying… do you need a speaker that is submersible at the pool, do you need the speaker with be even more rugged, and/or… do you need something with better battery life? Answer those questions and I’m sure you’ll be in the right direction. Guys, leave a comment down below, let me know what you think – would this be something you would buy or is JBL and UE the way to go? I’m Jimmy with JimsReviewRoom, and I’m here to help you make a purchase decision.
[table id=1 hide_columns=”all” show_columns=”a,b,f,l,r” /] Specs from manufacturer. If incorrect, please contact us.