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Bose SoundLink Revolve Review

The best portable speaker for audiophiles
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bose soundlink revolve bluetooth speaker review
Credit: Bose
Price:  $220 List
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Manufacturer:   Bose
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  May 15, 2017
  • Sound Quality - 40% 10.0
  • Portability - 25% 7.0
  • Volume - 20% 8.0
  • Battery Life - 15% 8.0

Our Verdict

The Bose SoundLink Revolve was the one speaker we tested that sounded so good we almost thought the sound was coming from a full-fledged stereo system. If you self-identify, even slightly, as an audiophile, then this is the portable speaker for you. With its water-resistant and packable shape, it is the best speaker for taking a refined and nuanced listening experience on the road. The Revolve's little brother, the SoundLink Mini II, also provides exceptional, if slightly inferior sound. It is not water resistant, but its price is currently dropping at most online retailers.
Excellent sound quality
Water resistant
Great battery life
Relatively heavy
Want something louder?

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ is essentially a larger and louder version of the SoundLink Revolve. It does weigh and cost a bit more, but if you're looking for something that sounds great and can really roar then the Revolve+ will serve you well.

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Bose SoundLink Revolve was the best sounding speaker in our testing, which vaulted it to the top of our score sheets and earned it our Editor's Choice Award. Below we discuss how well the Revolve performed in each of our individual tests.

bose soundlink revolve bluetooth speaker review
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Performance Comparison

Sound Quality

The Revolve earned a perfect 10 out of 10 in our sound quality testing, as it redefined what we thought a small, portable speaker was capable of.

In our testing, the Revolve delivered the kind of crisp, balanced, immersive sound that we did not expect to come from a Bluetooth speaker. It maintained perfect clarity even with piccolo instruments blaring high notes, and the bass was always well defined and never muddy, even when playing the booming baritone soundtracks of ominous sci-fi movies. We started testing soundbars shortly after Bluetooth speakers, and we all felt the Revolve as good, if not slightly better in some aspects, than the low-end soundbars we had in our testing studio. This is incredibly impressive, considering these soundbars are much larger and must be plugged into an outlet. If you've become accustomed to the nice sound system in your living room and don't want to make too big of a sacrifice when you're doing your listening outside at the beach, this is likely the only speaker that will deliver anything close to the sound quality you're looking for.


The Revolve earned a respectable 7 out of 10 in our portability testing, putting it just above average in a metric where scores ranged from 2 to 10.

The Revolve is a tad on the heavy side at 1.5 pounds. This isn't particularly heavy in the scheme of things, but it is heavy enough that you'll probably at least notice the extra weight in your bag or backpack. However, the cylindrical shape lets it slide into a bag easily, and we had no trouble fishing it out of bags stuffed full with towels and snacks. The IPX4 water resistance rating also lends some peace of mind, as you don't have to worry about stuffing the speaker back into your bag with all of the wet towels from your day at the beach. Plus, it won't leave you heartbroken after an unexpected rainstorm.

bose soundlink revolve bluetooth speaker review - the revolve has simple, intuitive controls.
The Revolve has simple, intuitive controls.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman


The Revolve earned an 8 out of 10 in our volume testing, putting towards the top of a metric that saw scores from 4 to 9.

The Revolve was easily able to fill our testing apartment with rich sound, and could definitely still be heard even when that apartment was full of a bunch of people chatting. If you're looking for something loud enough for a large backyard party you'll want to look into the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4.

Battery Life

The Revolve Lasted an impressive 18 hours in our battery life testing. This was a full 50% better than it's manufacturer stated 12 hours of battery life. In our opinion, this is more than enough battery life for most situations, as that pretty much covers all of the hours you'd be awake on an average day. However, we had some incredibly impressive battery life performers in our test, so the Revolve only scored a 7 out of 10 in this metric, where scores ranged from 2 to 10.


The Bose SoundLink Revolve is pricey. However, it also delivers incredible sound. If you place a premium on sound quality then this speaker is a great value. If you're more concerned about something that's lightweight and portable you'll find a better value in the UE Roll 2.

bose soundlink revolve bluetooth speaker review - the revolve comes with a charging cable and usb wall outlet...
The Revolve Comes with a charging cable and USB wall outlet converter. You can also get a charging base for another $29.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman


The Bose SoundLink Revolve was far and away the best portable speaker that we tested. If you want the best sound you can get while you're out and about, this is the speaker for you. Plus it is water resistant, so no worries about listening to it by the lake. The only downside is that it's slightly on the heavy side, so if 'lightweight' is at the top of your priority list you may want to look elsewhere.

Other Versions and Accessories

Bose SoundLink Revolve+
bose soundlink revolve bluetooth speaker review
Credit: Bose
  • Larger, louder, and more powerful
  • Weight a bit more: 2 pounds

Bose SoundLink Revolve Charging Cradle
bose soundlink revolve bluetooth speaker review
Credit: Bose
  • Provides a convenient charging station, just place the speaker onto the cradle
  • Works with both the Revolve and the Revolve+

Max Mutter and Steven Tata

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