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Review: Bose Soundlink Revolve II and Bose Revolve + II

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Erin L

Erin L

Review: Bose Soundlink Revolve II and Bose Revolve + II in boxes.One of the most watched videos on my YouTube channel with hundreds of thousands of views is my hands-on review of the original Bose Revolve and Revolve +. I had some small troubles with those speakers, so when I heard Bose had announced a 2nd generation of the Revolve line more than 5 years after launching the originals, I knew I wanted to test them out to see if they’ve made improvements. In this review I’ll look at the sound quality, pairing, stereo coupling of the Bose Revolve II and Bose Revolve + II and whether I think these are a good buy for you.

Bose Revolve II & Bose Revolve + II
4.5

Summary

I’m glad to see that these speakers are small but powerful with outstanding sound quality While there’s no native voice control or smart speaker connections, and the battery life could be longer, particularly at this price point, these are a good choice.

Pros

  • Small, powerful
  • Good looking
  • Portable
  • Sound great
  • Multi-room options
  • App remote control
  • Stereo pairing
  • Water resistant

Cons

  • Battery life could be longer
  • No voice control

Video Review: Bose Soundlink Revolve II and Bose Revolve + II

Bose Soundlink Revolve II and Bose Revolve + II: what’s the difference?

Let’s do a quick comparison to show you what the main differences here are if you’re deciding between these two speakers. (This is the Revolve II and the Revolve + II)

These are both portable Bluetooth wireless speakers. The main differences are the size, battery life and volume, and of course price – which we’ll get to.
SoundLink Revolve+ II is larger and generates higher-volume, more “room-filling sound” claims Bose, than SoundLink Revolve II. SoundLink Revolve+ II also has a carrying handle and has up to a 17-hour battery life, while SoundLink Revolve II has up to a 13-hour battery life. All other features are identical.

I’ll make a quick note on battery life… each speaker here only adds an hour of addition battery life over the original Revolve speakers. That’s not a lot, given Bose has had over 5 years to upgrade. While some portable speakers can get you 20 hours of life or more, I’d say what Bose is offering here is merely average. Charging time, by the way takes about 4 hours on either speaker… which is an incredibly long time.
Review: Bose Soundlink Revolve II and Bose Revolve + II

Set up

The first thing I noticed is that the speakers don’t arrive charged, which is a bit of a disappointment and means you’ll need to wait 4 hours before your first use.
Even so you can set these speakers up in seconds; when you turn them on, they go into pairing mode and you’ll find them instantly in your phone’s Bluetooth menu. You can also get them connected in the Bose Connect app.

Bose Connect app

Bose’s app give you a few additional features for your speakers including the ability to pair them together for stereo left and right channels, or set them up in what’s called party mode where the same sound will play across multiple speakers.

Both of those are done at the click of a button inside the app and both worked well and instantly for me. Verbal confirmations (which you can enable or disable inside the app) follow from the speaker. You can also check battery levels and manage your Bluetooth connections.

Sound quality

Let’s get to the real reason you’re here… the sound quality. I can say for a fact these speakers both sound outstanding. Delicate sounds are easily audible, like the rasp of a brush on a drum-skin. They are extraordinarily well balanced and have bass that’s prominent but not buzzy. Each of the layers—the high, the mids and the low end— feel like they each have their own place in the room and overall they sound really really great.
Review: Bose Soundlink Revolve II and Bose Revolve + IIWhen it comes to volume, even the Revolve II is plenty loud enough at 50% volume. At 75% volume on the Revolve +II the sound filled the huge open concept living room and kitchen and carrying on a conversation was impossible. Even at that volume, the audio stayed clear.
One quirk I noticed: If the speakers are linked together and you turn one off, the whole system shuts off. Better to go into the app, unpair them and then power down so you can keep the music going.

Stereo Pairing Bose Revolve II and Bose Revolve + II

Stereo pairing is a really nice way to get more immersive sound if you do want to splash out and get two speakers. You can, by the way, pair two Revolve IIs or mix and match the II+ Stereo pairing is as easy as flipping a switch in the app and sounds wonderfully balanced and dizzyingly symphonic.

Special features: IP55 water rating

There are a few other features worth noting. The Revolve II and Revolve II+ are both water resistant with an IP55 rating. This essentially means these speakers will stand up to some pretty good splashing but you can’t submerge them. As this speaker was on loan to me I didn’t test this out.
Review: Bose Soundlink Revolve II and Bose Revolve + II

Alexa/Google/Siri Smart voice control: sorta

The Bose Revolve II and Revolve+II can get you connected with your preferred digital assistant… kinda.
While you can’t call for voice assistance just by asking, if you push and hold the multi-function button on the speaker you can summon your phone’s built-in digital assistant. There’s no support for voice control built into the speaker… meaning you can’t connect the speaker directly to Google or Alexa so you can’t use just your voice. In today’s market where almost every speaker has the ability to be a smart speaker and to operate your smart home without touching a single button, Bose has skipped this functionality and I have to say I’m a bit surprised. While this is probably not a make or break feature for some shoppers, I do feel like giving consumers the option to add voice control is now table stakes, so the fact that it doesn’t have voice control makes it feel a bit lacking.

Bluetooth Range

It sucks when you’ve got your phone connected to your Bluetooth speaker and you walk away and then the speaker starts cutting out because the connection is fragmenting. According to Bose the speakers have a wireless range of up to 9 m (30 ft) which of course can be affected by walls, or interference from Wi-Fi or other wireless devices.
I tested this out, placing the speaker on one end of the house and then going to the other, putting multiple walls between me and the Revolve. There was absolutely zero breakup.
Review: Bose Soundlink Revolve II and Bose Revolve + II

Price difference

It’s worth spilling some ink on the difference in price between these two models. Bose Revolve II sells for about $249CAD and Bose Revolve + II is listed for about $369CAD.
Yes, Bose thinks the Revolve + II is worth about $120CAD more than the Revolve II.
Now that’s a lot, particularly considering you can buy a whole other Bluetooth speaker with that $120. So what’s that extra cash buying you? A carrying handle, 4 more hours of battery and louder volume. I guess you’ll have to decide if that’s worth it.
In my opinion after testing both, you can be very happy with the size, power and room-filling ability of the smaller, less expensive Bose Revolve II and save yourself some cash.

Overall review: Bose Revolve II & Bose Revolve + II

Overall I’m glad to see that these speakers are small but powerful with outstanding sound quality and easy set up, pairing and multi-room connections. They look great and will please modern minimalists as much as audiophiles.
Downsides? There’s no native voice control or smart speaker connections, and the battery life could be longer, particularly at this price point.
But I can recommend either one of these or both if you’re looking for a water resistant portable wireless speaker.
Bose Revolve II sells for about $249CAD and Bose Revolve + II is listed for about $369CAD

**A note about Affiliate Links: TechGadgetsCanada is supported by our readers. Occasionally I will include affiliate links in my reviews. I do this partly for convenience of the reader (since I’ll almost always include a link to the company website or similar anyway) in case you want to read more or purchase, but I also may get a small commission from the click, which helps me keep the blog running. If you choose to use this link I thank you greatly for supporting the blog. There’s no obligation or cost to you for using these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Erin L

Erin L

I'm a journalist, tech blogger, writer, TV producer, silversmith& jewelry designer, foodie and world traveler. I blog, write for publications, and supply freelance writing services to Calgary, and the world.

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