The best Bose speakers are serious pound-for-pound performers. You get a premium build quality, intuitive controls and some bold, expressive audio from a pretty reliable audio manufacturer.
We've found a few of the best that Bose has to offer, and with so many deals flooding the internet, now could be a great time to invest.
How to choose the best Bose speaker for you
Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.
In the past, we've criticised Bose's lack of support for hi-res audio files, but the latest models now support the likes of FLAC and WAV. Some even support Amazon Alexa voice commands and music services like Spotify and Deezer, too.
If you're looking to create a wireless multi-room system, the SoundTouch range is Bose's answer to a Sonos set-up. It comprises three speaker sizes – 10, 20 and 30 – that can be linked together to create room-filling sound.
The Bose speaker range covers a range of prices at the more affordable end of the market but, generally, the more you spend, the more powerful and dynamic the sound is going to be.
The usual considerations when buying any speaker should apply to Bose products. Sound quality should be key to your decision, as models can often vary wildly even though they're made by the same manufacturer. The sound profile might be different within a brand's output, too, with some giving bright enthusiasm as opposed to the spacious clarity of others.
Size and power should also be considered, especially if you need a portable speaker as opposed to a domestic heavyweight, or vice versa. If you're choosing a portable option, you need to consider aspects such as battery life, durability and IP ratings (waterproof) into the bargain.
Then there's the small matter of features. Bose is usually pretty good in this department, but the more you spend the more you'll get is the standard rule for those of us who desire things like aptX support, multi-room functionality, voice control or even simply an onboard control app.
Sometimes you need simplicity in your life. You want a portable Bluetooth speaker that does what it says on the tin? You got it: the Bose SoundLink Flex is portable, easy to use, and plays any music through Bluetooth within seconds. Job done.
Sure, it has other tricks (speakerphone, party mode) and comes with a dedicated app, but instead of getting overwhelmed with features, Bose just wants you to listen to music anywhere you go, be it a carefree canoeing trip, a skip through a field or while sawing wood in overalls and protective goggles (all examples from the company's own website).
Pairing and playing is also super easy from such a straightforward Bluetooth speaker, and we love how easily we can start listening to music within seconds. What you'll immediately notice is how vocals take centre stage, so if you’re a podcast fan, you’ll love the Flex, with speech coming through cleanly and clearly with plenty of detail and tone.
Switch to music and so much is beautifully delivered. The Bose does a great job of balancing the delicacy and edge evoked in proper vocal performances, and there's a really strong sense of rhythm underneath it all. Basslines are also ample and plump and, although they could be deeper and more well-defined, the SoundLink Flex is no slouch whatever you’re listening to.
Read the full review: Bose SoundLink Flex
This multi-talented speaker gave us goosebumps with its bright, bold dynamic sound and refined performance. With an IPX4 water-resistance rating and superb 12-hour battery, it's also set up to make a pretty solid outdoor speaker, too.
Bose has managed to extract huge performance from its cylindrical design, which pumps out 360-degree sound in an effort to eliminate sweet spots. The clever configuration even includes a pressure trap to reduce distortion, something that really impressed us upon testing. Swift pairing will get you listening quickly, which is just as well considering how nice the Revolve sounds – it's colourful, melodic and great with voices, never lacking for detail or depth along the way.
It also comes with a raft of features, including a dedicated button that allows you to tap into your phone's voice assistant (even if your phone is in another room). If you're looking for one of the best portable Bose speakers, this is a great option.
Read the full review: Bose SoundLink Revolve
If you're looking for the best Bose speaker that also doubles as a Dolby Atmos soundbar, the Smart Soundbar 900 is just the ticket. Its wraparound metal grille and polished, impact-resistant tempered glass top give it a refined look, while nine channels of amplification ensure plenty of oomph.
As you'd expect from Bose, there are lots of connectivity options and features on board, including a single HDMI eARC port, optical in, ethernet and a USB socket. For music streaming, there's wi-fi, Bluetooth 4.2, Spotify Connect, AirPlay 2 and Chromecast (a retroactive firmware update). You also get support for both Amazon’s Alexa and Google assistants.
Sound-wise, you're guaranteed an impressively wide soundfield, clear forward projection and bright character. Many listeners will likely be very pleased with its responsive cinematic performance but it does have a tendency to add its own tonal colour to music.
All in all, though, the Smart Soundbar 900 is a smart choice.
Read the full Bose Smart Soundbar 900 review
How we test speakers
Here at What Hi-Fi?, we review hundreds of products every year, including no small amount of speakers of all shapes, sizes and types. So how do we come to our review verdicts? And why can you trust them?
The What Hi-Fi? team has more than 100 years experience of reviewing, testing and writing about consumer electronics. We have state-of-the-art testing facilities in Reading, London and Bath, where our team of expert reviewers do all our in-house testing. This gives us complete control over the testing process, ensuring consistency. We always ensure we spend plenty of time with the speakers, trying them with different electronics, in different positions and with different music.
All products are tested in comparison with rival products in the same category, and all review verdicts are agreed upon by the team as a whole rather than a single reviewer, helping to ensure consistency and avoid individual subjectivity.
From all of our reviews, we choose the top products to feature in our Best Buys, such as this one. That's why if you take the plunge and buy one of the products recommended here, or on any of our other Best Buy pages, you can rest assured you're getting a What Hi-Fi?-approved product.
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