Review

Gulf Business - - CONTENTS -

Bose SoundLink Re­volve+

Por­ta­ble speak­ers have be­come some­thing of a stan­dard cor­po­rate gift in re­cent years, with a brief scan through my draw­ers yield­ing some­thing close to half a dozen minia­ture sound sys­tems.

I was there­fore cu­ri­ous to see what Bose thought it could ac­com­plish in a mar­ket ap­proach­ing com­mod­ity sta­tus.

The an­swer in the case of the Re­volve+ turned out to be a pleas­ant sur­prise, although ad­mit­tedly you would ex­pect some­thing spe­cial given the price tag of al­most Dhs1,200.

Af­ter slid­ing the speaker out of the box the process of con­nect­ing via Blue­tooth with my phone was sim­ple enough, and there is also the even smoother op­tion of NFC con­nec­tion for de­vices that sup­port it.

The de­sign from the out­set is sleek, prac­ti­cal and fairly min­i­mal­ist and is per­haps best de­scribed as a sound lantern. The top – where the con­trols are – has a pre­mium rub­ber tex­ture and this is where you will find the han­dle for easy trans­porta­tion.

As the name sug­gests, the Re­volve+ is the larger of the man­u­fac­turer’s two speak­ers and the less por­ta­ble, mean­ing it is not as eas­ily thrown in a bag for a trip to the beach or else­where. De­spite this, for use around the home the added han­dle means bring­ing it with you be­tween rooms is sim­ple and com­fort­able.

I tested the Re­volve+ in sev­eral dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios – cook­ing in the kitchen, as back­ground mu­sic in the liv­ing room and for an evening on the bal­cony – and was left gen­er­ally im­pressed by the sound qual­ity.

In com­par­i­son to your stan­dard por­ta­ble com­pan­ion there is a no­tice­able dif­fer­ence in the oomph of the bass, clar­ity of lyrics and gen­eral sound range, mean­ing you will no­tice more of the in­tri­ca­cies of a song than on other sys­tems.

Also worth men­tion­ing is the vol­ume and depth of sound, which thanks to the 360 de­gree de­sign of the speaker man­aged to eas­ily fill my liv­ing room when po­si­tioned cen­trally on a cof­fee ta­ble. It should prove an ad­e­quate com­pan­ion for par­ties and other so­cial oc­ca­sions in a small to medium-sized room and may even cause noise com­plaints from neigh­bours if you aren’t care­ful.

You can also bring the Re­volve+ with you to the pool and the beach with­out too much worry thanks to the water and shock re­sis­tant de­sign, so long as you have don't mind hav­ing to carry the ex­tra bulk.

Dur­ing my use the Re­volve+ lasted more than a week of on and off lis­ten­ing be­fore need­ing to be charged, and the man­u­fac­turer says it should be able to man­age 16 hours of con­tin­u­ous mu­sic. Once it is out of juice the charg­ing process is fairly sim­ple via the in­cluded USB ca­ble. Bose is also sell­ing a charg­ing cra­dle at an ex­tra Dhs129 for an even more seam­less ex­pe­ri­ence. How­ever, it has to be said that this is adding to what is al­ready a fairly ex­pen­sive pack­age and should have been in­cluded as stan­dard.

Over­all, the Re­volve+ left me im­pressed with a sig­nif­i­cant jump in per­for­mance of­fered over any por­ta­ble speaker I’d en­coun­tered pre­vi­ously. The han­dle makes it easy enough to take around the home and the added shock and water re­sis­tance means you don’t need to be afraid of putting it in harm’s way.

With this said, the sound qual­ity does not match some wired sys­tems and as some­one who will of­ten only bring out a por­ta­ble speaker once a week – if that – it is some­what dif­fi­cult to jus­tify the price tag.

Those us­ing one more of­ten, though, will find plenty to like here and with sum­mer now upon us in the Gulf re­gion it could prove a wel­come com­pan­ion for the long months spent in­doors. The SoundLink Re­volve+ is avail­able in black and grey for Dhs1,199

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