Bose Soundlink Revolve Review

With drop resistance, a 360-degree sound, and a surprisingly strong bass, the Bose Soundlink Revolve is a portable and durable little conic cylinder.


A few days ago, I reviewed the bigger brother, the Revolve Plus. I very much enjoyed it, it sounded great in my opinion and despite some of it’s shortcomings, I still highly recommended it. Today, we’re looking at the smaller version, the Revolve, that I personally paid for at the retail priced at $199 at the time of this review. As always, I’ll leave my Amazon Affiliate link above, click on my link, and they will give you the most up to date prices in real time – you never know when these things might go on sale.

First off, this thing is perfect for traveling, as it’s small and compact. It’s shorter than the JBL Flip 4 and the diameter is nearly the same, just to give some reference on how small this speaker is. And for those wondering what are the main differences between this model and the $300 Bose Revolve Plus, you get a carrying handle on the bigger version, the speaker itself is obviously larger, and last, the Plus model gets up to 16 hours of battery life, versus 12 on the small one. Besides those three differences, everything else is practically identical.

What you do get is the same metal build quality, which is exceptional all the way around. You get the same IPX4 rated splash resistance – I would have liked full waterproofing just in case this drops in the pool, or having it on the boat with some peace of mind. And last, the same drop resistance is offered as well. As with my other reviews, I dropped this thing several times and it’s still going strong.

Taking a look at the top, all of your buttons are labeled in the picture above, pause if you need to. The very bottom button – the mutli-function button – allows you to skip and go back on songs and answer phone calls. For a speakerphone, it does do better than most other Bluetooth speakers on the market, especially when you move further away from the speaker, the audio doesn’t get worse and your voice, for the most part, still stays at the same level.

Getting back to the tactile buttons and features, holding both volume up and down will turn on or off voice prompts, which some do prefer. When turning on the speaker, you will receive battery level remaining which is always a huge plus in my book, and holding down Bluetooth pairing and volume up or down will enable Party Mode or Stereo mode, allowing for two compatible Bose speakers to play at the same time or left and right audio channels respectively. The very last button is the input selector – you can toggle between Aux audio or USB audio. Both of those connections are on the rear. The Micro-USB cord when connected to your PC can play music, but it also charges your speaker at the same time.

And touching base on battery performance. Bose claims up to 12 hours of life. I was able to get 10 hours and 50 minutes of use at 50% volume. When comparing to the competition, at the $200 price tag, there are many other speakers that do better, at cheaper prices, too. But for it’s size, which I’ll admit it is very portable, it’s performs on average.

So, to the moment you have been waiting for: the audio test.  The Revolve on its own and comparing in general to the competition, it’s indeed loud for such a small speaker. It provides ample sound for small to medium-sized rooms. Large open rooms about 40 linear feet in all directions, the signal never cuts out and the speaker is still capable of providing an entertaining experience which is highly impressive, again, for it’s size. One caveat when you’re trying to fill up a large room, bass can be overwhelming when volume is high. If you happen to walk by and be 7 to 10 feet away from the speaker, there’s a significant amount of distortion that can be heard. Outside of a 10 feet radius or more, it’s not quite as bad.

Testing this at medium volume, again, on certain bass heavy tracks, the bass is still overpowering where you lose quality in the vocals. With that being said, standing further away with not-so-bassy tracks, the speaker does sound great and has more impact than the JBL Flip 4, JBL Charge 3 and the UE Boom 2 that I tested. Getting into vocal performance and the mid-range frequencies, when bass is not spilling over, the vocals do provide a warmer, more resonating tone which I know some would prefer. For non-bassy tracks, the vocals are clear and pronounced, not as forward as some of the other speakers on the market, I do wish there was a bit more forwardness for my personal taste, but it’s still very enjoyable experience. Last are the high notes which weren’t tinny or ear ringing, even at high volumes which is always a plus. Because of the full 360 degree sound, which helps greatly in filling up the room, you do lose the open sound stage that you get with other Bose Bluetooth products. It’s essentially give and take.

Last up and briefly showing you the Bose App. It gives you battery life, provides a list of devices connected, and allows for switching to party or stereo to be done remotely, which is convenient. What is missing though, are sound profiles and a built-in equalizer if you prefer to have everything done in one app.

In the end, yes, the bass is quite overwhelming where you do lose some audio quality. But under the right circumstances, again, medium volume or using this preferably outdoors, it’s great. I would at least hear it myself first as this speaker does offer much more punch than the competitors and offers 360-degree sound. I think those who prefer a flatter sound signature or are a bit more analytical, they might not enjoy this speaker too much, but for the average consumer, I think most will find this speaker enjoyable.

So that’s it for this review. Be sure to Like and Subscribe to help support my work. Follow me on my social media at Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram. You guys take care, and I will see you on the next one.

[table id=2 hide_columns=”all” show_columns=”a,b,e,h,q” /] Specs from manufacturer. If incorrect, please contact us.