Bose House Speaker 500 preliminary assessment: Alexa for audio connoisseurs?

Bose is becoming a member of the sensible line-up of Alexa audio system with the launch of the Bose House Speaker 500. 

In some ways, the brand new House Audio system 500 follows the lead of plenty of SoundTouch fashions, reflecting recognisable Bose design. Integral to that is the show on the entrance, which is reasonably distinctive for sensible audio system.

Bose’s goal, after all, is to ship the unrivalled sound you’d count on from Bose. 

Classical Bose design 

Seamless aluminium physique
Entrance color show
203mm x 169mm x 109mm

Take a look at the Amazon Echo or related and also you just about have a minimalist cylinder. The thought is that you simply work together with voice and use your smartphone when one thing extra is required, however the Bose House Speaker 500 needs to maneuver past this place.

That sees the show taking part in an even bigger function, and one of many good touches is the flexibility to show album artwork. That is pulled from the supply – Spotify or Amazon Music for instance – and we have seen it working with each in our preliminary introduction to this new speaker. It definitely helps this speaker stand-out, with Bose telling us that it might be used for different components sooner or later – like notifications.

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The Bose House Speaker 500 is bigger than most sensible audio system, the seamless aluminium physique sitting some 203mm vast and 169mm tall; it is going to be obtainable in black or silver. Moderately than being spherical, its footprint is oval, the physique rising to satisfy the plastic high and there is a high quality to its building.

Actually, it is one of many higher trying sensible audio system on the market, maybe slightly extra conventionally designed which could assist it enchantment to those that’ve but to enterprise into the realm of such a machine.

Wider connectivity than your common sensible speaker 

eight mics
6 presets
Contact controls
Enhanced connectivity

The highest of the House Speaker 500 integrates eight mic arrays. These are designed to be close to and much subject to make sure that Alexa can hear you regardless of the place you’re. We have not had the possibility to totally take a look at it, however in our demo it appeared to work completely nicely.

However to high of the speaker reveals much more. There are the types of controls you count on – mute, the Alexa button and quantity controls, however there are additionally controls that Bose customers will discover acquainted. Once more, Bose is leaning in direction of conventionality reasonably than taking the minimalist method that some sensible audio system provide. 

These embody a play/pause button and enter controls, in addition to six presets. These presets might be programmed through the Bose Music app (Android or iTunes) and can take you on to no matter you need them to: that is likely to be a track, album, playlist or radio station from the supported sources. For instance, if you need a Taylor Swift button, you possibly can have it. Meaning you are able to do so much with out your cellphone – you simply poke the button and it’ll begin streaming, which isn’t solely helpful, it is distinctive.

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The Bose Music App truly unlocks are lot of the superior performance of the House Speaker 500, as a result of it is not nearly Alexa voice management, it is going to do an entire lot extra – nevertheless it’s not suitable with SoundTouch audio system. So, not like the Sonos One, it will not play good with different audio system you have already got from Bose. 

Nonetheless, one of many updates we’ve got confirmed is AirPlay 2 in 2019. This may please these Apple customers, particularly those that need to use Apple Music, though that may then want you to make use of the cellphone to regulate music reasonably than voice via the speaker itself. What that also needs to imply is that you may then group the House Speaker 500 with different AirPlay 2 audio system sooner or later – together with supported SoundTouch fashions.

Will probably be a helpful addition for some, however probably suggests you are shopping for it for the mistaken causes if the first music supply is Apple Music. Apple Music is not supported by Alexa, so the entire “sensible” voice management then goes out of the window. Nonetheless, who ever complained about having too many connections? 

Alexa is the launch platform for the House Speaker 500, however Bose says that “different” choices can be coming sooner or later, so there’s an opportunity that Google Assistant could also be added through an over the air replace.

As a result of it runs on Amazon’s platform, it is possible for you to to additionally create multiroom teams with different Alexa audio system through the Alexa app. There’s additionally Bluetooth and a three.5mm line in, so in case you’re looking for a technique to play your legacy music, you continue to have choices.

Tech specs and sound high quality

Twin opposing transducers

Bose is not saying a lot in regards to the tech specs for the Bose House Speaker 500, nevertheless it has detailed that it has two customized transducers arrayed back-to-back, in order that they hearth outwards from the speaker.

That is designed to widen the soundstage and let the sound bounce off the partitions. The message from Bose is that that is the widest sensible speaker sound on the market, however in our demo that was troublesome to discern so we’ll reserve judgement; definitely there’s some robust competitors from single-unit audio system just like the Apple HomePod, whereas Amazon will promote you a pair of Echos with a subwoofer for a 2.1 association that is £100 cheaper than the Bose. 

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There’s additionally QuietPort expertise which is designed to present you bass with out distortion, to present the audio system the rounded and wealthy high quality you’d count on. 

We have solely listened to a few tracks on the Bose House Speaker 500, however they have been spectacular. Actually it will provide you with shocking quantity for the dimensions, so in case you’re in search of a high quality single sensible speaker association, then it is definitely one to contemplate.

We are going to, after all, be bringing you a full assessment of the Bose House Speaker 500 as quickly as we are able to. It is obtainable now for £399.95 at Bose retailers.

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