Bose have announced the launch of a $400 premium smart speaker this October, along with two Alexa-enabled soundbars.
Audiophile favorite Bose are relatively late to the smart speaker game but they’re likely to draw in a lot of fans if they deliver on audio quality.
The smart speaker, dubbed the Bose Home Speaker 500, is pretty big compared to competitors like Amazon Echo and Google Home, and comes with a small screen ostensibly to show album art.
This is a smart speaker designed for music.
With eight near and far-field mics attached, Bose claim that the Home Speaker 500 can deliver true stereo audio separation from one unit alone. The speaker body contains two custom drivers pointing in opposite directions, designed to separate instruments and vocals, providing the truest sound possible.
That puts the product more in line with premium offerings from Sonos, rather than the inferior audio quality from Amazon and Google’s smart speakers.
It comes ready equipped with Amazon Alexa, which you can either preset to be ‘always listening’ or available at the touch of a button. Bose have announced that Google Assistant and Apple AirPlay 2 compatibility will be available from early 2019 too.
You’ll control the Home Speaker 500 from the Bose Music app, and also use it to set up individual user accounts, preset any favorites, enable multi-room playback, and also tune and adjust speakers in multiple rooms across your house.
Commentators seem to be divided on the aesthetics of the speaker, and we’ve got to say that we’re not sold on the look going from the promotional photos. Plus, it seems like a wasted opportunity to have such a small screen, without touchscreen capability, that appears to be only able to show album art.
We’re prepared to reserve judgment until we see the Home Speaker 500 in the flesh, however, and let it be known that if the audio quality is as high as we’ve come to expect from Bose, we’ll be more than happy to get over any less-than-cool aesthetics.
Also accompanying the smart speaker in the October launch are two soundbars: the $550 Soundbar 500 and the $800 Soundbar 700.
The Soundbar 500 is 31 inches long, while the 700 is bigger at 38 inches in length and comes equipped with its own universal remote.
Both are Alexa-enabled and promise that same high quality we know and love from Bose: custom low-profile traducers and automatic Adaptiq tuning, all while supporting 5.1 surround sound.