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Mixing good sound and Alex, at a price



Robust sound with strong bass • Stylish design gives a sense of premiums • No distortion • Even in large quantities • Alexa integration is good

More expensive • The screen does not do much • Unable to share related services between accounts

The Bose Home Speaker 500 is more expensive than other smart speakers such as Apple HomePod or Google Home. But you get a great sound next to the smart ones.

Sonos and Apple have to move because Bose enters the top smartphone market.

At $ 50 more than Apple's HomePod and $ 100 less than Sonos Play: 5, the home speaker 500 of Bose could hit the sweet spot for the ultimate smart speakers.

Do not get me wrong – $ 399.95 is great for speakers, especially those aimed at a wide consumer audience. Bose hopes that audio technology will give the 500 player an edge over the competition.

The paper is smarter than HomePod, thanks to Alexa (Amazon's assistant is just better than Syria at this stage of the game), and Bose says the 500 speaker creates the "widest sound of any smart speaker". I wanted to see if there is a truth for this claim.

The loudspeaker 500 has a price of 399.95 dollars, so it would be hopeful that it will at least confuse the blow. Well, after testing the speaker almost every possible way, I can say that it does.

Superior look

Bose designed a full gas.

Bose designed a full gas.

Image: ZLATA IVLEVA / MASHABLE

Apple and Amazon chose the external network design of their smart speakers, but Bose decided differently and chose all the choices. It is also obviously one of the reasons for the high cost of speech.

At first glance the elegant chassis does not look completely like a speaker. It is relatively small, it is only 8 cm high, shaped like an oval. It's not portable (plug it into a wall), but it's easy transportable, weighing 4.75 pounds. Available in luxury silver or triple black; I would recommend the latter.

The lower half of the speaker has perforations all around it for sound. However, the home speaker 500 does not produce omnidirectional sound – it comes from the left and right sides. This separation is usually not great for a real stereo, but the loudspeaker will use walls and space around the loudspeaker to create a space for charging sound. This is not unique to the loudspeaker 500; this is an argument that many smart talkers, Amazon Echo included.

Presets at the top make it easy to set up your favorite sources.

Presets at the top make it easy to set up your favorite sources.

Image: ZLATA IVLEVA / MASHABLE

Bose puts a small LCD in the center of the front of the speaker. It looks nice and can show the time, which makes it one of the more expensive times you will have.

On the reverse side is the Aux connector for connecting other devices.

On the reverse side is the Aux connector for connecting other devices.

Image: ZLATA IVLEVA / MASHABLE

Physical control lives at the top and includes typical playback, shutdown, volume, and buttons. You can also manually turn on Bluetooth or switch to the Aux minijack input back. By pressing the application you can set up six preset buttons to allow you to access various music sources with one touch. You can get very grainy with it – for example, you can set Preset 2 as hit 1 from Sirius XM.

Bald sound

Do not underestimate your home speaker 500 with a small size. It gets very loud.

Do not underestimate your home speaker 500 with a small size. It gets very loud.

Image: ZLATA IVLEVA / MASHABLE

Bose obviously tries to stay up-to-date by adding smart features, but the company has built up its reputation in sound quality and does not swing back to the home speaker 500. It can play very loudly – without distortion or any loss of quality. It sounds good playing music. However, try, as you can, never convince that there is more than one speaker in the room.

It can fill the room with sound and you can hear it throughout the house even in medium sizes, but a clear separation is not true.

I tried a lot of songs. Bruce Springsteen's "Racing on the Street", a more accentuated track with many instruments in different tones, was an excellent presentation of what a speaker could do. The beginning of the piano melody opens in the middle and high tones before the beginning of the vocal. This continues with several instruments on top, but the home speaker 500 did not allow the part of the track to beat the rest even if the drums hit a high gear.

On my ears, the sound quality of the home speaker 500 is comparable to HomePod. HomePod has more basses and is a bit more balanced. However, the home speaker 500 has the advantage of being able to easily adjust the bass. In any case, Sonos Play: 1 and the second generation Amazon Echo Show can be played more loudly.

Alexa provides wisdom

Although you do not see this, Alexa's bright blue light is covertly displayed at the top edge of the Bose's Home Speaker 500.

Although you do not see this, Alexa's bright blue light is covertly displayed at the top edge of the Bose's Home Speaker 500.

Image: ZLATA IVLEVA / MASHABLE

Alex's Amazon is on the roof of the home speaker 500 and works well. This is mostly the same smart assistant that you can find on Echo or another Alex speaker.

Eight-string microphones at the top of the device can hear you remotely, as they are far-reaching and use Bose's own microphone technology, which also allows the active noise reduction on some headphone models. The best thing is to activate Alexa with volume to the end (some Echo models have trouble hearing when the music is loud). It also needs to allow you to save your voice, as you will not have to scream when you say "Alexa."

As with most smart speakers, you can press the mute key at the top to reduce the power of the microphone.

The screen is neat, but it does not do much

The basic screen, which does not have some colors, provides much more than simple information.

The basic screen, which does not have some colors, provides much more than simple information.

Image: ZLATA IVLEVA / MASHABLE

Amazon's Echo Spot and Echo Show have laid the foundations for using Alexa with the screen. But that did not affect the Bose Home Speaker 500; its 2.3 x 1.3-inch LCD does not display any media that you use in Alex, which you see with Amazon products.

The screen is really just a small window to see the time the songs are playing and what music services you're listening to. For supported services, he will show artwork in the album and hit or miss him in streaming Bluetooth. But in addition to those basic information, the screen does not add anything to the screen. It's also hard to watch LCDs when you're not tuned to it.

Very connected experience

It's connected, but why should Alexa not use the screen?

It's connected, but why should Alexa not use the screen?

Image: ZLATA IVLEVA / MASHABLE

By building Alexa, Bose allows you to connect many of the streaming services to your home speaker 500. All this is controlled by the Bose Music application that is required to set up. If you are thinking, "Oh no, another application," I'm with you. Bose has 10 different applications in the app store – you really should do something about it.

The setup includes creating a Bose account, connecting the speaker with WiFi, and connecting Alexe. In the app, you will connect Bose with streaming services, such as Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Sirius XM and TuneIn. You can also download music from any Bluetooth device. (or any device via the Aux input).

This is really a liquid experience, and since the home speaker 500 lives on your WiFi network, someone can connect to it. The disappointment lies in the fact that the services connected to the Bose speaker can only be connected with a single account. This means that everyone in the home has to use the same login, which can be disturbed occasionally. I hope that support for more profiles will come in the future.

The iOS users will get extra love in 2019 when Bose pledges support for Apple AirPlay 2, which allows users to stream music to multiple audio devices at once.

The price you pay

The Bose Home Speaker 500 really brings noise.

The Bose Home Speaker 500 really brings noise.

Image: ZLATA IVLEVA / MASHABLE

Finally, the Bose Home Speaker 500 comes to a decision on the price. If you are looking for a wonderful stupid speaker or the same smart speaker, there are other options. At $ 399.95, this option is not the most affordable.

He prepared a good sound for all musical genres, for which they can claim that there are some speakers of this size, and Bose makes it easier for you to connect streaming services to your home speaker 500. Alexa comes with a hand and the microphone technology is truly impressive.

If you like Bose and trust a brand, you will not be disappointed. But if you want similar results for less money, it's not hard to find alternatives from Sonosa and even Apple.

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