Bose is expanding its smart speaker offerings with the aptly named Bose Portable Home Speaker, which includes Bluetooth connectivity, voice control and virtual assistant integration into a 7.5-inch by 4-inch package. The 2.3-pound speaker is made for on-the-go activities, with 12 hours of battery life, an IPX4 water-resistance rating and -- of course -- a handle.
The Bose Portable Home Speaker pushes out 360-degree sound using one active driver, three passive radiators and a deflector. To offset the speaker's small size, Bose is using that deflector to focus its bass frequencies, which can be lacking in portable speakers that sport a small form factor. The combination of a single driver and proprietary mono-signal technology accurately reproduce music and voice recordings in all directions; there's no need to worry about sitting in the "sweet spot".
Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are both pre-installed on the unit so that users can access features such as podcasts, news and weather, and control smart home devices without connecting a phone. The unit also features a "mic-off" button, which cuts power to the microphone, ensuring that no NSA agents or contractors are listening in on your conversations or judging your taste in music.
The Bose Portable Home Speaker will be available on September 19th for $349 and will come in Triple Black and Luxe Silver color options.
The market on smart speakers is getting crowded, but given Bose's focus on sound reproduction, music fans may gravitate toward their offerings over those from Apple, Amazon or Google. However, its high price point may lead some toward less expensive portable options that do not feature virtual assistants or smart home integration.