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One of the most watched videos on my YouTube channel with hundreds of thousands of views is my hands-on review of the original Bose Revolve and Revolve +. I had some small troubles with those speakers, so when I heard Bose had announced a 2nd generation of the Revolve line more than 5 years after launching the originals, I knew I wanted to test them out to see if they’ve made improvements. In this review I’ll look at the sound quality, pairing, stereo coupling of the Bose Revolve II and Bose Revolve + II and whether I think these are a good buy for you.
Early heads up like & SUB
Bose Revolve II and Bose Revolve + II: what’s the difference?
These are both portable Bluetooth wireless speakers. The main differences are the size, battery life and volume, and of course price – which we’ll get to.
The Revolve II is on the left and the Revolve + II is on the right.
The overall design is unchanged from the original Revolve series: you’re getting tapered cylindrical speakers with rubberized bottoms —and tops that house basic touch controls.
For the most part these speakers are identical except SoundLink Revolve II has up to a 13-hour battery life.
While SoundLink Revolve+ II is larger and has up to a 17-hour battery life. The larget + II also generates higher-volume, more “room-filling sound” claims Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II also has a carrying handle.
I’ll make a quick note on battery life… each speaker here only adds an hour of additional battery life over the original Revolve speakers. That’s not a lot, given Bose has had over 5 years to upgrade. While some portable speakers can get you 20 hours of life or more, I’d say what Bose is offering here is merely average.
Charging time, by the way takes about 4 hours on either speaker… which is an incredibly long time.
Let’s talk set up…The first thing I noticed is that neither of my speakers arrived charged, which is a bit of a disappointment and means you’ll need to wait 4 hours before your first use.
Even so you can set these speakers up in seconds; when you turn them on, they go into pairing mode and you’ll find them instantly in your phone’s Bluetooth menu. You can also get them connected in the Bose Connect app. A Bluetooth pairing button on top is yet another way to connect.
Bose’s app gives you a few additional features for your speakers including the ability to pair them together for stereo left and right channels, or set them up in what’s called party mode where the same sound will play across multiple speakers.
Let’s get to the real reason you’re here… the sound quality.
I can say for a fact these speakers both sound outstanding. Delicate sounds are easily audible, like the rasp of a brush on a drumskin. They are extraordinarily well balanced and have bass that’s prominent but not buzzy.
Each of the layers—the high, the mids and the low end— feel like they each have their own place in the room and overall they sound really really great.
Let’s touch on that Stereo pairing – this is a really nice way to get more immersive sound if you do want to splash out and get two speakers. You can, by the way, pair two Revolve IIs or mix and match the II+
There are a few other features worth noting. The Revolve II and Revolve II+ are both water resistant with an IP55 rating. This essentially means these speakers will stand up to some pretty good splashing but you can’t submerge them. As the speakers were on loan to me I didn’t test this out.
While you can’t call for voice assistance just by asking, if you push and hold the multifunction button on the speaker you can summon your phone’s built-in digital assistant.
It’s worth spilling some ink on the difference in price between these two models.
Bose Revolve II sells for about $249CAD and Bose Revolve + II is listed for about $369CAD. Yes, Bose thinks the Revolve + II is worth about $120CAD more than the Revolve II.
Now that’s a lot, particularly considering you can buy a whole other Bluetooth speaker with that $120. So what’s that extra cash buying you? A carrying handle, 4 more hours of battery and louder volume. I guess you’ll have to decide if that’s worth it.
In my opinion after testing both, you can be very happy with the size, power and room-filling ability of the smaller, less expensive Bose Revolve II and save yourself some cash.