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Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II sitting on a side table with a candle.

Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II review

For folks who can't decide between a smart speaker and a dumb speaker.
By
October 17, 2022
Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II
The bottom line
If you're on the fence between getting a smart speaker and a dumb speaker, the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II bridges the gap. Though it doesn't have an internal smart assistant, you can easily hook it up to your phone's native smart assistant and take advantage of its microphone to make calls and carry out other commands. The speaker is also portable, durable, and has great sound quality, so is overall an excellent find.

Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II

If you're on the fence between getting a smart speaker and a dumb speaker, the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II bridges the gap. Though it doesn't have an internal smart assistant, you can easily hook it up to your phone's native smart assistant and take advantage of its microphone to make calls and carry out other commands. The speaker is also portable, durable, and has great sound quality, so is overall an excellent find.
Release date

April 8, 2021

Price

Original: $329 USD

Dimensions

18.4 x 10.5 x 10.5 cm

Weight

907g

Model Number

858366-1110

Waterproof

IP55

What we like
Includes a microphone for calls and voice assistant access
Bose SimpleSync
Sound quality
Carrying handle
IP55 rating
Many ways to connect
What we don't like
No in-app EQ
Expensive
microUSB charging (or optional charging cradle for an extra $29 USD)
SBC and AAC only, no aptX

You just cashed in your birthday money and you’re looking to buy a new speaker, but after researching online, you’re struggling to decide between a smart speaker and a portable Bluetooth speaker. Maybe there’s no need to compromise on any of the features you want. Though the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II isn’t technically a smart speaker, it may satisfy your smart speaker needs with its ability to access your phone’s integrated assistant. Its handy handle makes it easy to transport, and the dust and water-resistant build is great for any adventure.

Let’s dive in and see what the SoundLink Revolve+ II is really all about.

Editor’s note: this review was updated on October 17, 2022, to updating formatting and add some frequently asked questions.

Beach-goers who are getting ready for summer will appreciate the IP55 rating on Bose’s portable speaker. Party hosts who want their music to reach every corner of the house can take advantage of the 360-degree audio output here. Anyone with a Bose home audio setup can get the SoundLink Revolve+ II and sync it up to their other speakers via Bose SimpleSync.

How is the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II built?

Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II sitting on a side table with a candle.
The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II has pretty good sound quality, but it would be nice if you could EQ the sound signature in the companion app.

Like many Bose products, the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II looks sleek. It has an all-black (or silver) cylindrical design that widens out on the bottom, making for a sturdy base that won’t tip over. If you do knock it over, don’t worry: the edges of the speaker have soft silicone bumpers built to absorb blows. This durability is useful for taking the speaker out, which you can do thanks to its small size and fabric carrying handle.

The speaker comes with a charging block and USB-A to microUSB cord, a quick start guide, and limited warranty documentation.

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II is not fully waterproof, but it has an IP55 rating, which means it’s water resistant, and can withstand water jets with a maximum flow rate of 12.5L/min before damaging. Basically, if you take it to the beach and accidentally splash it with water, you don’t need to worry too much about it losing any of its function. The first “5” in the IP55 rating means that the speaker is also dust-protected, and should be fine if it rolls around in the sand a bit.

The  SoundLink Revolve+ II feels like a smart speaker, but it is not technically a smart speaker because it does not have a built-in smart assistant. Full-fledged smart speakers can connect to your Wi-Fi directly and answer queries or execute music playback commands via Wi-Fi, and this requires your smartphone. As long as you have a smartphone with Siri, Google Assistant, or Amazon Alexa built in, you will be able to access it through the multifunction button on the SoundLink Revolve+ II.

The speaker has a microphone, which isn’t something you can say about every Bluetooth speaker on the market, and this is what allows it to be a pseudo-smart speaker. It’s also a nice touch that the speaker uses voice prompts—when you first turn on the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II, it will ask you to select your preferred language.

How do you control the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II?

Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II on a side table with a candle.
The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II is pretty durable, with an IP55 rating and soft silicone edges that can take a tumble.

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II features buttons for easy control over your music, phone calls, and more. The top of the speaker has a power button, Bluetooth pairing button, volume increase and decrease buttons, multifunction button, and an input mode button. The input mode button is what you’ll use if you want to switch your listening source between Bluetooth, USB, and aux input.

It’s a bit difficult to keep track of everything the multifunction button does, so we’ve made this handy table to help you:

ModeFunctionAction
Mode
Media playback over Bluetooth
Function
Pauses audio
Action
Press once
Mode
Media playback over Bluetooth
Function
Skip forward to next track
Action
Double-press
Mode
Media playback over Bluetooth
Function
Skip backward to previous track
Action
Triple-press
Mode
Media playback over aux or USB
Function
Mutes audio
Action
Press once
Mode
Media playback or standby
Function
Activate your phone's smart assistant
Action
Press and hold
Mode
Incoming call
Function
Answer
Action
Press once
Mode
Incoming call
Function
Decline
Action
Press and hold
Mode
During a call
Function
Transfer the call to your smartphone
Action
Press and hold
Mode
During a call
Function
End the call
Action
Press once
Mode
Incoming call during an ongoing call
Function
Answer incoming call and put current call on hold
Action
Press once
Mode
Incoming call during an ongoing call
Function
Decline incoming call
Action
Press and hold
Mode
Two active calls
Function
Switch between calls
Action
Double-press

Should you download the Bose Connect app?

The top of the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II displaying its buttons.
You can control the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II via the buttons on its top or through the Bose Connect app.

The Bose Connect app (iOS/Android) offers a lot of convenient options for controlling your SoundLink Revolve+ II. You can use the app to hook up your speaker with other Bose SoundLink Bluetooth speakers with Party Mode or Stereo Mode. Party Mode plays the same audio output from both connected speakers, and Stereo Mode channels the right-panned audio to one speaker and the left-panned audio to the other. The app is also great for enabling and disabling voice prompts, setting the auto-off timer, and more.

Pretty much every function provided in the app is also accessible without it—it’s just a lot more convoluted to do things manually. For example, if you decide you want to really sharpen your Mandarin speaking skills and need to switch your speaker’s language, you can easily do so in the app with its comprehensible interface. Alternatively, you can try to remember that a press-and-hold of the volume down and input buttons simultaneously triggers a language reset, but it’s definitely more convenient to have the app. Still, we empathize with people who don’t want to download it.

Bose SimpleSync lets you pair your SoundLink Revolve+ II Bluetooth speaker with Bose home speakers and soundbars. This comes in handy if you have a Bose multiroom home audio setup and just want to add this portable Bluetooth speaker on top of it. To connect the SoundLink Revolve+ II to your home audio ecosystem, you’ll need to use the Bose Music app (iOS/Android). Yes, it’s another app to get. Here, you’ll be able to group your speakers together for simultaneous playback in every room of your house.

How do you connect to the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II?

Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II speaker grille and input ports up close.
You can connect your audio source to the SoundLink Revolve+ II via Bluetooth or aux cable.

There are many ways to connect to the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II. You can pair it to your smartphone via Bluetooth with the dedicated Bluetooth button on the speaker, use the NFC touchpoint on the top of the speaker, or download the Bose Connect app. The Bluetooth indicator light, which shines next to the Bluetooth button on the speaker, displays different colors depending on its status. When it is ready to pair, it will blink in blue. When it is connecting, it will blink in white. And once it is connected, it will glow in stable white.

You can also connect a source device to your SoundLink Revolve+ II via a 3.5mm aux cord or a USB cable. Connecting through these methods means you won’t have access to all the same controls that you have when connecting through Bluetooth, such as app control and the ability to pause or skip media from the speaker.

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II has multipoint audio, which means it can be simultaneously connected to two source devices. If you’re playing audio on your phone and your friend’s phone is also connected to the SoundLink Revolve+ II, all you have to do to switch the DJ power is pause media on your phone and then play it on theirs. The speaker can also store up to eight paired source devices to easily connect to anytime. The Bose Connect app also offers a tool to easily manage the different devices connected to the speaker.

You get a microUSB cable, power brick, three A/C power adapters, and the speaker.

How long does the battery last?

A woman holding the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II and showing its bottom. .
You can buy an optional charging cradle for your speaker or just charge it with the included cable.

Bose reports that the SoundLink Revolve+ II lasts 17 hours before depleting its battery, and takes 4 hours to fully charge up. This is quite an impressive battery life, but we’ve yet to put the speaker through our new and improved battery testing process to see if Bose’s word rings true. If you plan to use the speaker at home and don’t want its battery to drain, you can use it while it’s plugged in.

The SoundLink Revolve+ II has an auto-off feature you can adjust in the Bose Connect app, setting your speaker to power off automatically after a set period of time. This feature will only kick in if your speaker is completely inactive, and you can also disable it altogether if you don’t want it to ever power off. Similarly, if you leave your speaker unplugged and unused for three or more days with a 10% battery life or less, it will automatically enter a battery protection mode. Once it is in this mode, you’ll need to plug it into a power source to turn it back on.

An LED light near the speaker’s power button indicates its charging status. When it glows green, the battery has a medium to full charge. When it glows stable yellow, it has a medium charge. When it blinks yellow, it means it is actively charging, and when it blinks red it means it is almost completely depleted.

How does the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II sound?

Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II side view.
The speaker is decently portable and includes a carrying handle.

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II sounds very good. Although it can only reproduce sound in mono by itself, it is an omnidirectional speaker, which means it projects audio in a 360-degree sound field in the horizontal plane. Sound comes out through the metal grille near the bottom portion of the speaker, and it is definitely loud enough to supply the soundtrack to your next garden party. The SoundLink Revolve+ II contains dual passive radiators for boosting bass frequencies (something we’ve seen in JBL’s Bluetooth speakers), a single, full-range transducer, and an acoustic deflector, which acts as a waveguide.

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II projects a pleasing sound signature in a 360-degree field around itself.

The speaker sounds very good and you can hear all the parts of the track Cheer Captain by Charli Adams. The kick drum comes through loudly, keeping the song danceable, but you can still clearly hear the vocals, background synthesizer, and catchy guitar riff throughout the song. Unfortunately, the Bose Connect app doesn’t offer any kind of equalizer options, so if you don’t like the way the speaker sounds out of the box, you’re stuck with it.

Hold up! Something’s missing:

This section is typically where we display a frequency response chart to show you exactly where the audio output shines and where its deficiencies lie. 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 review (and many others!) once we’re able with improved sound quality measurements and performance plots. These will be made obvious by a new chart aesthetic.

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

Should you buy the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II?

The top of the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II displaying the buttons.
The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II is not a smart speaker, but it does have a button that can access your source device’s smart assistant.

If you can’t quite commit to a smart speaker, but don’t want to miss out on smart features, the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II is a great middle ground. This Bluetooth speaker can access your smartphone’s native smart assistant, and has a microphone for you to make calls and give commands. The speaker is very durable and portable, making it a great beach or party companion. Its sound quality is also nothing to balk at, and its 360-degree audio output makes it great for indoor and outdoor use. You can get the SoundLink Revolve+ II in silver or black.

Bose SoundLink Revolve Plus II
Bose SoundLink Revolve Plus II
Microphone for voice assistance • 360-degree audio • IP55
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.
$229.00 at Amazon
Save $100.00
$229.00 at Amazon
Save $100.00

However, every rose has its thorns, and cost is the thorn of the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II. This little speaker costs $329 USD, at which point it may be worth getting an actual smart speaker. But the SoundLink Revolve+ II kind of has the whole package, being both portable and compatible with your home audio system. If you can afford it, it’s definitely a solid contender.

What’s the difference between the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II and the Bose SoundLink Revolve II?

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II is a slightly less fancy version of the SoundLink Revolve+ II, and costs $219 USD rather than $329 USD. It has an IP55 rating just like the SoundLink Revolve+ II, but it has a 13-hour battery life rather than 17 hours. It also doesn’t have the carrying handle that the SoundLink Revolve+ II has, so it’s less portable.

Like the pricier speaker, the SoundLink Revolve II can access your phone’s smart assistant, has 360-degree audio, and is compatible with Party Mode, Stereo Mode, and Bose SimpleSync. If you’re willing to sacrifice a couple of fancy features for a more affordable speaker, check out the Bose SoundLink Revolve II.

What should you get instead of the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II?

A woman touching the JBL Charge 5 as it rests on the armrest of her chair.
The JBL Charge 5 is a great buy if you don’t already have a previous iteration of JBL Charge.

The Sonos Roam is impressive, and some might say a significant threat to the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II. This portable speaker is a smart speaker with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa built into it. You can hook it up to your Sonos home audio system over Wi-Fi, or connect your phone to it via Bluetooth. It’s a smaller speaker than the SoundLink Revolve+ II and has only a 10-hour battery life, but it is IP67 rated, making it more dust and water-resistant than the Bose speaker. The Sonos Roam is also $100 cheaper than the SoundLink Revolve+ II, retailing at $229 USD.

Don’t care about smart features? Check out the JBL Charge 5. This speaker is a similar size as the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II, but it doesn’t have a microphone, so it only costs $179 USD. It has great sound quality, an IP67 rating, and Bluetooth multipoint. Beyond that, it doesn’t have many fancy features, but this is what makes it a more affordable option.

Frequently asked questions about the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II

As the name implies, the Bose Portable Home Speaker is a true smart speaker with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built into it, and it integrates nicely with your other Bose SimpleSync speakers. It isn’t as lightweight as the SoundLink Revolve+, has a 12-hour battery life rather than a 17 hour one, and only has an IPX4 water resistance rating. It’s a great alternative to the SoundLink Revolve+ II if you don’t really want to sacrifice smart features or portability, but care more about the smart features than the portability.

No, the speaker must be powered on and have at least a little bit of charge in order to function at all.

Yes, it comes in black and silver.

If you accidentally left the speaker in the rain, it should be fine, since it’s IP55 water- and dust-resistant. It’s best practice not to leave it out in the rain just in case water pools too much around it for an extended period of time, but a bit of rain won’t hurt it.