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Best Bose speakers

Get better sound with Bose.
By

Published onSeptember 28, 2023

Bose Portable Smart Speaker
A product render of the Bose Portable Home Speaker.
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Positives
Sound quality
AirPlay 2 and Bose SimpleSync
Integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Microphone for calls/smart assistant
IPX4 rating
Negatives
Heavy for portable speaker
Limited selection of streaming services
Cost
The Bottom Line.
If you want a compact speaker to live in the home and take on adventures, the Bose Portable Smart Speaker is it.Read full review...
Bose Companion 2 Series III
The two black Bose Companion 2 Series III speakers against a white backdrop.
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Positives
Sound quality
Proven track record
Desk friendly size
Headphone jack
Negatives
Analog connectivity only
No software
The Bottom Line.
For those who like to host events and are already knee-deep in the Bose ecosystem, the SoundLink Color II makes for a great addition to the collection.Read full review...
Bose Smart Soundbar 600
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Positives
Two upward-firing speakers for immersive Dobly Atmos experience
TrueSpace upscales 5.1-channel and stereo content
Voice assistant access (Google, Alexa)
Expandable via accessory speakers
Negatives
Sound quality varies upon seating position
Remote collects dust and oils from skin
No room sound correction
The Bottom Line.
If you want a reasonably priced home audio solution from Bose, the Smart Soundbar 600 is a solid pick.Read full review...
Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II
Bose SoundLink Revolve+ on white background.
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Positives
Good 360-degree sound
IP55 rating
17-hour battery life
Bose SimpleSync
Microphone for calls/voice assistant
Negatives
No in-app EQ
Expensive
The Bottom Line.
The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II features a sleek design and emits 360-degree sound, making it a great option for beach days and backyard gatherings. Read full review...
Bose SoundLink Flex
An angled shot of a Bose SoundLink Flex Bluetooth speaker showing the grille, carrying loop, and logo.
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Positives
IP67 rating
Portable and durable
Microphone
USB-C charging
Loud, party and stereo modes
Attachment loop
Negatives
Indistinguishable controls
Finicky Bluetooth multipoint
Bluetooth 4.2; SBC only
The Bottom Line.
The SoundLink Flex isn't the best-sounding speaker but if you want something rugged, this is your best Bose pick. Read full review...

Bose — it’s a household name with brand power, and for good reason: much like Apple, Bose understands how to manufacture user-friendly products. It has developed an ecosystem to streamline usability further. While the company has some of the best headphones, we’re talking about the best Bose speakers on the market today. Home theater enthusiasts and outdoorsy folk are bound to find something to suit their needs.

What's new?

  • This best Bose speakers list was updated on September 28, 2023, to adjust formatting and spelling to our current style.
  • For more options outside of Bose, be sure to check out our list of the best Bluetooth speakers available now.

Why is the Bose Portable Smart Speaker the best Bose speaker for most people?

The Bose Portable Smart Speaker is a worthy adversary of the Sonos One (Gen 2). Unlike Sonos’ One (Gen 1 and Gen 2), Bose’s speaker doesn’t require constant power. There are similarities: both include Wi-Fi integration for 24bit/96kHz audio streaming.

Bose Portable Smart Speaker
Bose Portable Smart Speaker
A Bose Portable Smart Speaker sitting on a wooden bench outdoors.The top of a Bose Portable Smart Speaker showing all the control buttons.cA Bose Portable Smart Speaker sitting outside on a wooden deck.The underside of a Bose Portable Smart Speaker showing where a charging pad could attach.
Bose Portable Smart Speaker
Bose Portable Smart Speaker
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The Bose Portable Smart Speaker sets itself apart from the Bose Home Speaker 500 because of its wireless battery functionality, water resistance, and excellent audio reproduction. Bluetooth functionality is also an option.

These must be within the Bose Smart Home family if you want to use the Bose Portable Smart Speaker with other speakers. Alternatively, you can go through the extra steps via Bose SimpleSync to pair it with a Bose SoundLink speaker to sync up music playback.

Bose Portable Smart SpeakerBose Portable Smart Speaker
Bose Portable Smart Speaker
IPX4 water resistance • Carry handle • Easy set up process
A smart home speaker simple and easy to use
If you want a portable speaker to live in the home and take on adventures, the Bose Portable Speaker is it.

The Bose Companion 2 Series III is for your desktop

The Bose Companion 2 Series III isn’t the flashiest, but these computer desk speakers have a proven track record. The simple design offers a plug-and-play experience with strictly analog connections for an auxiliary input, a computer input, and a headphone jack output.

Bose Companion 2 Series III
Bose Companion 2 Series III
The Bose Companion 2 Series III sits next to the Bose Companion 2 Series II speakers on a wooden surface.The Bose Companion 2 Series III speakers stand on a leather surface in front of ViewSonic monitors and a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface.A close-up of the front controls of the Bose Companion 2 Series III speaker.A closeup to the back of the Bose Companion 2 Series III
Bose Companion 2 Series III
Bose Companion 2 Series III
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Despite the lack of digital connectivity, you still get signature Bose sound quality from the Companion 2 Series III, the main selling point. These speakers don’t have any software, and the front has a volume knob that doubles for power. If you want something to plug in and hit play from your computer, simplicity is welcomed and unencumbered by software updates. Having released the Companion 2 Series III about a decade ago, we know these are workhorse speakers, and their dimensions will fit pretty much on any desk.

Bose Companion 2 Series IIIBose Companion 2 Series III
Bose Companion 2 Series III
Supports Mac and Windows • Slim design • Volume dial
MSRP: $149.00
A loud pair of compact computer speakers.
The Companion 2 Series III offers Bose’s premium sound signature at an affordable price. It features a frequency response that’s more balanced than found on most computer speakers, wrapped in a desk-friendly enclosure that will suit any user’s workspace.

Home audio enthusiasts should get the Bose Smart Soundbar 600

Regarding home audio, it seems you can never spend enough. Soundbars and multi-channel systems can be astronomically priced, quickly burning a hole through anyone’s pockets. Fortunately, among the best Bose speakers is the Bose Smart Soundbar 600. It’s a mid-level home audio solution that’s easy to install and has upward-firing speakers for a more immersive Dolby Atmos viewing experience.

Bose Smart Soundbar 600
Bose Smart Soundbar 600
The Bose Smart Soundbar 600 rests on a TV stand beneath a TV.The red LED indicates the mic is off on the Bose Smart Soundbar 600.The top of the Bose Smart Soundbar 600 rests against a wooden surface.The Bose Smart Soundbar 600 on a TV stand.Screenshots from the Bose Music app when paired to the Bose Smart Soundbar 600.The inputs on the back of the Bose Smart Soundbar 600.A hand holds the Bose Smart Soundbar 600 remote while pointing it at a TV.The Bose Smart Soundbar 600 rests on a wooden surface.The remote for the Bose Smart Soundbar 600 rests on top of the speaker.The Bose Smart Soundbar 600 beneath a TCL TV.
Bose Smart Soundbar 600
Bose Smart Soundbar 600
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The upward-firing speakers use your room’s ceilings to reflect sound down to you. This allows for a more convincing height effect than soundbars that rely on virtualization alone. The Smart Soundbar 600 has its issues: the sound quality varies depending on where you’re seated relative to the soundbar. This is the case for any soundbar, particularly without room correction software. Bose’s workaround for this is by giving listeners the option to purchase accessory speakers.

Ultimately, if you need a good quality soundbar without spending a fortune, the Bose Smart Soundbar 600 deserves a spot above the mantle. If you want extras like room correction and additional connectivity options, pick up the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 ($899 at Amazon).

Bose Smart Soundbar 600Bose Smart Soundbar 600
Bose Smart Soundbar 600
Bluetooth and HDMI connector • Voice control • Music library
A powerful soundbar that slots in right beneath your TV.
The Smart Soundbar 600 features Dolby Atmos and Bose's TrueSpace technology to produce immersive sound. It supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II is a great Bluetooth speaker with smart features

In shape and size, the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II is identical to the previous SoundLink Revolve+, but it packs an additional hour of battery life, giving you up to 17 hours of playtime. That’s five hours more than the more compact Bose SoundLink Revolve II. The tapered cylindrical housing allows for evenly distributed 360-degree audio.

Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II
Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II
Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II on a side table with a candle.A woman holding the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II and showing its bottom. .Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II sitting on a side table with a candle.The top of the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II displaying the buttons.Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II speaker grille and input ports up close.
Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II
Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II
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Bose upgraded the SoundLink Revolve+ II with an IP55 rating, protecting it against dust and water. This and the rotating handle make it your perfect pool or beach companion. You can enjoy high-quality audio over the AAC codec if you own an iPhone. Unfortunately, aptX isn’t supported with the speaker, but if you’re listening with it on the patio or from the pool, you’re unlikely to hear a difference.

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II lasts all day, meaning you can keep the party going without concerning yourself with battery life. It includes a mic for phone calls and accessing smart assistants. Note that it still comes with a micro-USB charging port and cable. For a speaker that works just as well in the home as it does out of it, the Revolve+ II is one of the best Bose speakers you can buy.

Bose SoundLink Revolve Plus IIBose SoundLink Revolve Plus II
Bose SoundLink Revolve Plus II
Microphone for voice assistance • 360-degree audio • IP55
MSRP: $329.00
An excellent balance between Bluetooth and smart speakers.
The Bose Sound Link Revolve+ II speaker is durable, with an IP55 water-resistant rating, and its 360-degree audio output makes it great for indoor and outdoor use.

The Revolve+ II may be paired to another Revolve or Revolve+ speaker to enable either party mode or stereo listening. Party mode uniformly relays music through both speakers, while stereo listening designates one speaker as the left channel and the other as the right for a 2-channel system. To pair two devices, hold the Bluetooth and volume up buttons simultaneously.

The Bose SoundLink Flex is for adventurers

The Bose SoundLink Flex directly competes against the likes of the JBL Flip 6 ($99 at Amazon

) and UE BOOM 3, and is more durable than either due to the IP67 rating. Thanks to the integrated loop, its build is relatively compact and easy to attach to any bag. Bose is one of few big-name speaker manufacturers to keep a microphone on its latest portable speaker, and while the mic quality isn’t the best, it’s useful for phone calls.

Bose SoundLink Flex
Bose SoundLink Flex
A black Bose SoundLink Flex bluetooth speaker hanging from a clip attached to a person's backpack near their right hip.A photo of the Bose SoundLink Flex Bluetooth speaker lying face-up on the beach next to the ocean surrounded by shells and debris.The Bose SoundLink Flex next to an open book.The Bose SoundLink Flex USB-C charging input on its left-hand side.The Bose SoundLink Flex in black on top of a gray surface.The top of the Bose SoundLink Flex Bluetooth speaker showing a finger pressing the Bluetooth pairing button.A head-on shot of a Bose SoundLink Flex Bluetooth speaker showing the grille, carrying loop, and logo.The Bose SoundLink Flex Bluetooth speaker sitting on a wooden box above a plant next to a white sofa.The black Bose SoundLink Flex Bluetooth speaker against a white background.A photo of the Bose SoundLink Flex Bluetooth speaker sitting on a desk next to a monitor and laptop visible in the background and a mouse and keyboard to the left.
Bose SoundLink Flex
Bose SoundLink Flex
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You can access Google Assistant by holding the multi-function button to set reminders, alarms, and other essential functions. The SoundLink Flex doesn’t support any high-quality codecs, but it does support multipoint connectivity. When multipoint works reliably, you can alternate between devices without disconnecting from one and connecting to another.

Sound quality is what you’d expect from an outdoor speaker, which is perfectly fine but not the best. The Flex gets quite loud, making it a solid pick for city bike commuters and dorm room party hosts. For

, this is the toughest Bose speaker you can get for any adventure or shower concert.

Bose SoundLink Flex Bluetooth SpeakerBose SoundLink Flex Bluetooth Speaker
Bose SoundLink Flex Bluetooth Speaker
IP67 rating • Powerful Bass • Highly portable
MSRP: $149.00
A bluetooth speaker that can be a great adventure buddy
The Bose SounLink Flex is a sturdy Bluetooth speaker with IP67 rating for water and dust protection. It can travel well in your backpack and is loud enough for a mimi party and provides powerful bass to pump up your tunes. Bose is also using a feature called PositionIQ to ensure the speaker can be used in all sorts of positions.

The best Bose speakers: Notable mentions

The Bose Home Speaker 500 sitting on an end table with a phone beside it, the speaker screen is showing that the speaker is playing Anti-Hero by Taylor Swift.
Sam Smart / SoundGuys
The Bose Home Speaker 500 sounds really good.

If you didn’t find what you were looking for from this list, a few other standout Bose speakers are available. Alternatively, you may consider stepping outside the Bose family in favor of something by JBL. This company has a tight grasp on the consumer speaker market, especially regarding portable, durable options. Sure, you could get the Bose SoundLink Micro, but consider the JBL Flip 6 for something truly versatile.

  • Bose Home Speaker 500 ($379 at Amazon): If you want a true smart speaker with Amazon Alexa integration, this is among the best Bose speakers to get. It’s a bit pricey but includes Apple AirPlay 2 support, Wi-Fi, an eight-microphone array, and a color LCD display.
  • Bose Soundbar 900 ($899 at Amazon): Bose’s current flagship soundbar hosts a bevy of features, including Dolby Atmos, smart assistants, and it can expand to include other Bose speakers as part of your theater. It also has ADAPTiQ for calibrating to the room. It even has an ethernet connection, which is unusual but will get you the most reliable connection.
  • Bose SoundLink Micro ($99 at Amazon): The Bose SoundLink Micro directly competes against the likes of the JBL Clip 4 and UE WONDERBOOM 2. Its squared-off build is compact and easy to stow away into a bag. In the worst-case scenario, you can loop it to the exterior of your backpack via the rubberized strap that partially detaches from the back.

Hold up! Something’s different:

Some of our picks’ frequency response and isolation charts were measured with our old testing system. We’re still ironing out our standardized speaker tests with the appropriate support equipment to update our testing and data collection. It will take a bit to get everything fleshed out, but we will update this article (and many others!) once we’re able with improved sound quality measurements and performance plots. These will be made obvious with our new chart aesthetic (black background instead of white).

Thank you for bearing with us, and we hope to see you again once we’ve sorted everything out.

What you should know about the best Bose speakers

When it comes to Bose speakers and consumer speakers at large, there are a few key features to be aware of when shopping around. Each subsection has its dedicated article, but if you need the gist of it, read on.

Wireless streaming and Bluetooth quality

Best Bose speakers - A chart showing the AAC Bluetooth codec's performance on the Huawei P20 Pro, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, LG V30, and Apple iPhone 7.
It may be a high-frequency sound, but these drop-outs will be audible to younger ears.

More and more speakers support Wi-Fi integration, which allows for high-quality streaming over an 802.11b/g, 2.4GHz connection, which is likely what your Wi-Fi has. Wi-Fi integration is helpful as it lets you stream over various music services for more reliable connectivity and high-quality 24bit/96kHz audio. This is great news for Amazon Music HD, Qobuz, Apple Music, and Deezer subscribers who want to stream high-resolution FLAC files.

Although Bluetooth audio can’t outperform wired listening, it can be improved with certain codecs, which transmit Bluetooth from the source to the speaker. AAC and aptX codecs are commonly supported by higher-end headphones and speakers. The former works best with iOS devices, while the latter is great for Android users; both facilitate perceptibly lag-free streaming. If you’re using a speaker that supports AAC, be aware that audio quality varies greatly with Android devices.

Why do so many speakers have an IPX4 rating?

Best Bose speakers - The Charge 4 pictured in hand.
The JBL Charge 4 has an IPX7 waterproof fabric, so you don’t have to worry about water damage.

We have a full rundown here if you’ve ever wondered what the “IPX” means. The long and the short of it is this: “IP” stands for ingress protection, and the X is a placeholder for a dust-resistance certification. Often following the X, there’s a number (1-8), denoting water resistance. IPX4 is sufficient for most products and is commonly assigned to workout earbuds. If you want to be able to submerge any of the best Bose speakers, though, keep an eye out for IPX7 or higher.

Why you should trust SoundGuys

SoundGuys serves as an accessible portal for those looking to expand their audio knowledge. Whether you’re a general consumer or a self-proclaimed audiophile, there’s something to be learned from any one of our comprehensive features. Moreover, our writers respect and understand that audio is both a quantifiable science and an experiential preference, hence why objective testing methods and real-world tests are in place.

Sol Republic Soundtrack Pro shown on mans head listening to music
We do as much hands-on testing as possible to give you objective facts and a rundown of our subjective experiences.

Ultimately, our writers work hard to help educate our readers and want everyone to enjoy what they’re listening to, whether running or studio headphones. Products featured on best lists, including the best Bose speakers, are awarded on merit alone.


Frequently asked questions about the best Bose speakers

As with other smart speakers, you can stream from your favorite music services like Amazon Music and Spotify, so long as Wi-Fi is available. Apple users can even take advantage of AirPlay 2 support for easy streaming. The Bose Portable Home Speaker is compatible with both Google Assistant and Alexa.

Because the Bose SoundLink Micro doesn’t have an aux port, connecting it to your TV will be difficult. You may be able to connect it via Bluetooth if your TV has that capability, but you’ll likely experience latency issues. We recommend getting a soundbar for TV use.

No, if you want to use Alexa to control your smart home devices, such as Philips Hue lighting or a smart security system, you’ll need to have a designated smart hub. You can use something like the Amazon Echo (Gen 4) or get a designated smart hub.

No. At this time, Bose speakers do not support aptX.

Party Mode can be enabled through the Bose Connect app or your speakers’ control buttons, and it allows two connected speakers to play the same audio. Stereo Mode is similar, but each speaker becomes either the left or right channel. These features are available with the SoundLink Micro, SoundLink Color II, and Revolve speakers.

Not necessarily. Depending on what you’re looking for, you may want to look for a more affordable brand, such as Anker, or maybe you prefer the Sonos’ available home speakers line-up. Perhaps you need a fully waterproof Bluetooth speaker, so go for JBL. Bose speakers offer a lot, including excellent audio quality and smart assistant integration, but they are only one of many great speaker brands.

Bose produces “consoles,” which replace the stereo receiver in their home theater sound systems. This console/receiver receives signals from various inputs, such as your DVD player, and then outputs signals to your home theater – the television and speakers. Replacing the Bose console with a third-party A/V receiver is difficult, but it can be done. You need to ensure that the receiver’s inputs and outputs are compatible with those of the speakers. Because Bose wants to keep you within their brand, you must research whether a third-party receiver is compatible.

Keep in mind that many Bose home theater speakers come with wireless receivers. This different type of receiver allows you to wirelessly add a set of speakers onto a Bose soundbar or sound system. These wireless receivers also cannot be easily replaced by a different brand. If you are not buying a speaker for home theater, you don’t need to worry about either type of receiver.

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