When you know something is right, you go for it. That might be a song by Iggy Azalea or Maroon 5, and it probably is, but a new Wi-Fi speaker I tested recently has all the hallmarks of an impulse buy. For a music lover, it’s one of the best models I’ve tested.
That because, more than anything, the Bose Home Speaker 500 sounds robust and clear, a deep and pleasing sonic experience. I went through my usual battery of tests: I played songs by Chelsea Wolfe to make sure the speaker can handle low, guttural goth music. I queued up Wilco to listen for precise audio fidelity. I played an audiobook I’m about halfway through called The British Are Coming to test whether this speaker is one I’d listen to at home for an hour or more. I also played Spotify radio all day.
The Home Speaker 500 is quite loud and rich, fuller sounding than most Wi-Fi speakers. You can also stream over Bluetooth and, for iPhone and iPad users, the speaker is Apple AirPlay 2 compatible. Setup was super easy with no problems.
I like the built-in 2.5-inch screen, which shows the album cover, book cover, radio station, or other related information. You can also use a setting to show the time. It made the speaker a bit more unique than the typical Sonos or Amazon model. And, like most Wi-Fi speakers for the home, the Home Speaker 500 has Alexa built-in. (You can also use Google Assistant.) That’s almost expected these days and allowed me to ask about the weather, play my audiobook, and even make a phone call to my friend.
So what’s the big selling point here? Other than the clear sound, I also liked the presets on top. I added my audiobook, Spotify, and a few other favorite streams. With a few taps you can mute the mic button, raise and lower the volume, and access a voicebot. The finger-sensitive buttons worked like a charm. At 8-inches tall, the Home Speaker 500 is big enough to fill an entire room, and you can sync this speaker to other Bose models to fill your house with the wonderful sounds of grunge rock.
I liked it so much that it has -- at least for now -- taken a prominent position in my living room, replacing the amazing Ikea Symfonisk speaker lamp. That says it all.
Bose Home Speaker 500
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