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Bose Home Speaker 300 Review

Impressive bass and good overall sound in a compact and versatile package
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Price:   $259 List | $199 at Amazon
Pros:  Great sound quality, compact, loud, multiple connection options
Cons:  Slightly pricier than some comparable models
Manufacturer:   Bose
By Max Mutter and Michelle Powell  ⋅  Oct 17, 2019
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SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 9
  • Sound Quality - 40% 8
  • User Friendliness - 20% 8
  • Volume - 20% 8
  • Connectivity - 20% 9

Our Verdict

The Bose Home Speaker 300 is a fantastic sounding and small speaker that sells for a mid-tier price. Though it is just a bit too expensive for us to call it a steal, we still think it's worth a look for budget conscious shoppers seeking a single speaker to serenade their main living space. The 300 also offers almost every input option you could imagine, including WiFi, Bluetooth, and a physical audio jack. No matter how you like to play your music or what type of music you like to listen to, chances are the 300 will be able to accommodate it technologically and flatter it acoustically.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award   
Price $259 List
$199.00 at Amazon
$500 List
$499.00 at Amazon
$400 List
$299.00 at Amazon
$399 List
$399 at Amazon
$350 List
$349.00 at Amazon
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Pros Great sound quality, compact, loud, multiple connection optionsExcellent sound quality, great volume, easy multi-speaker management, AirPlay compatableExcellent Sound, Great volume, relatively compact, many connection optionsGreat sound quality, great volume, battery powered, easy to connect/control multiple speakersExcellent sound, great volume, many connection options
Cons Slightly pricier than some comparable modelsExpensive, somewhat large, no BluetoothExpensive, multi-speaker management leaves a bit to be desiredExpensive, somewhat heavy to move around when used in battery modeExpensive, optional app can be problematic
Bottom Line Impressive bass and good overall sound in a compact and versatile packageProvides the best-sounding base for a multi-speaker systemThe best sounding speaker we've tested, but asks a high priceIf you’ve ever wanted to bring one of your Sonos speakers outside with you, this is what you’ve been waiting forA great choice for a single-speaker system
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Rating Categories Bose Home Speaker... Sonos PLAY:5 Bose Home Speaker... Sonos Move Bose SoundTouch 20
Sound Quality (40%)
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Specs Bose Home Speaker... Sonos PLAY:5 Bose Home Speaker... Sonos Move Bose SoundTouch 20
Smart Home Compatability Alexa, Google Home Alexa, Google Home Alexa, Google Home Alexa, Google Home Alexa
Bluetooth Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Inputs Bluetooth, Micro-USB, 3.5mm Aux, WiFi, AirPlay WiFi, Ethernet, 3.5mm Aux, AirPlay Bluetooth, 3.5mm Aux, WiFi, AirPlay Bluetooth, WiFi, AirPlay Bluetooth, 3.5mm Aux, ethernet, WiFi
Dimensions 4" x 5.6" x 6.3" 14.3" x 8" x 6" 4.3" x 6.7" x 8" 9.4" x 4.9" x 6.2" 7.4" x 12.4" x 4.1"
Weight (lb) 2.09 14 1.8 6.61 7
Warranty 1 year limited 1 year limited 1 year limited 1 year limited 1 year limited

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Bose Home Speaker 300 is one of Bose's smaller speakers, but it packs quite a punch. We were impressed by its balanced yet powerful sound in our testing, as well as the myriad of features it offers.

Performance Comparison



Sound Quality


The 300 definitely managed to differentiate itself from the other small speakers in our review, earning one of the top scores in this metric despite its small stature.


The biggest thing that sets the 300 apart from most of its similarly sized rivals is its bass power. Though this speaker will easily fit on most shelves, it is able to produce a deep, low rumble worthy of the most dramatic and ominous cinematic scores, while keeping that low end tight and well defined. Sure, it lacks some of the actual floor shaking bass power that many of the significantly larger and more expensive speakers possess, but chances are your visitors will be looking for the hidden subwoofer when you turn the 300 on.

All of our testers were impressed with the Home 300's sound.
All of our testers were impressed with the Home 300's sound.

The 300 rounds out that bass power with good clarity that offers solid separation and definition. Even in complex melodies we had no trouble discerning individual instruments and even the individual notes those instruments were playing.

Overall, we'd say the clarity of the 300 is about even with that of the similarly sized speakers from Sonos, their main competitor, while the bass is noticeably but not overpoweringly better.

User Friendliness


We found this speaker to provide a pleasant overall user experience. Despite having multiple input options and different settings, it offers easy avenues for control and navigation.


Onboard Controls


The speaker features a simple set of touch controls that let you play/pause, adjust volume, switch between auxiliary and Bluetooth inputs, and control the voice assistant. There are also six preset buttons, to which you you can program any number of music streaming services.

Bose Music App


In our opinion, the redesigned Bose Music App rivals the similar app from Sonos when it comes to managing multiple streaming services and playing those services on one or multiple devices (note: Bose Music does not support Apple Music as of this writing, while Sonos does). If you think you'll mostly be streaming music to your speaker via WiFi, we think the Home Speaker 300 and its associated ap will serve you well.

The Bose Music App is straightforward to use  but only works with the latest offerings from the company.
The Bose Music App is straightforward to use, but only works with the latest offerings from the company.

We would like to note that, even though Bose has significantly upped its app game, we would still suggest going the Sonos route if you're looking to build a multi-speaker system. While Bose is now putting out a multi-speaker management app that is nearly as good as Sonos', the products from Bose lack the same amount of compatibility. Every speaker that Sonos has ever made can be linked to every other speaker they've ever made, while Bose has somewhat arcane families of products that are compatible with one another, but there is very little cross pollination between those families. For instance, it's very unlikely that the Home Speaker 300 will be able to be linked to any *Bose product you bought before 2018, and based on their track record who knows if it will be compatible with any future Bose lines.

Smart Home Compatibility


The 300 has all of the microphones and software built-in to allow you to control it with either Alexa or Google Home voice assistants. To set the speaker up with your account you'll have to have the Alexa or Google Home app on a device that is connected to the same WiFi network as the speaker.

The Home 300's touch controls  which include 6 easily programmable streaming music presets.
The Home 300's touch controls, which include 6 easily programmable streaming music presets.

Volume


Despite its relatively small size, the 300 was one of the louder speakers in our tests. Even if you have a particularly large apartment or main living area, we don't think the 300 will have any trouble filling it up with music. You'd need a party with dozens of rowdy dancers before the volume of the 300 might feel limiting.


Connectivity


The 300 offers pretty much every avenue of connection possible: Bluetooth, direct WiFi streaming, a 3.5mm auxiliary input, and Apple AirPlay. Really the only option it lacks is a physical ethernet port. This certainly isn't a necessary feature, but it can be nice if your WiFi tends to be spotty.


Value


The Bose Home Speaker 300 isn't particularly cheap, and it is notably more expensive than the similarly sized speakers from Sonos. However, if you're looking for a single speaker that sounds great and you want that speaker to have a Bluetooth and/or physical input, it still offers a fairly good value.

The Home 300's power port and 3.5mm aux in.
The Home 300's power port and 3.5mm aux in.

Conclusion


The Bose Home Speaker 300 offers high-quality and loud audio in a relatively affordable package. It is a great choice, particularly if you're looking for just a single speaker, and want the convenience of a Bluetooth connection.


Max Mutter and Michelle Powell