Bose Home Speaker 500 Wifi – By Tim Gideon Tim Gideon Contributing Editor, My Audio Audio I’ve been a contributing editor since 2011. Before that, I was the lead audio reviewer from 2006 to 2011. Although I’m now freelancing, it’s been my home for over ten years, and audio gear review is still mine. first look. Before doing technical analysis, I worked as an audio engineer—my love of recording led me to write about audio gear. Read the full biography
The Bose Home Speaker 500 offers wireless audio via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi with Amazon Alexa voice support, but it costs quite a bit for the sound quality it produces.
Bose Home Speaker 500 Wifi
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Bose Smart Speaker 500 Wireless All In One Smart Speaker Luxe Silver Bose Home Speaker 500
Bose enters the smart home game. The Home Speaker 500 is a smart speaker with built-in mics for Amazon Alexa (and, according to Bose, other voice assistants down the road). At $399.95, it’s more expensive than you might expect for its size, but that’s part of its selling point: Bose says the Home Speaker 500 has a very large image of a smart, albeit modest speaker that fills a room with great stereo sound. Footprint While we can confirm that the speaker produces a rich, full-bodied bass depth and crisp highs for balance, it is difficult to determine where the bass is from in front of the large stereo image. There is no doubt that it is a functional, powerful smart speaker, but the price feels a little high.
The Home Speaker 500 is available in black or silver, and measures just 8.0 by 6.7 x 4.3 inches (HWD). The speaker has a round shape, with a flat top, and a rubberized bottom that keeps the speaker from moving around on tables and counters.
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The front of the Home Speaker 500 has grill perforations on the bottom half, and a small color LCD on the top half. Something about the 2.3-by-1.7-inch display feels a little small. It’s not a touchscreen, the resolution isn’t great, and it almost feels like an unnecessary integration. Yes, it’s nice to see the audio source and album art, but there are other ways to do it that don’t remind us of the old-school iPod display.
Bose Home Speaker 500:smart Bluetooth Speaker With Voice Control Built In And Wifi Connectivity Superior Voice Pick Up And 6 Preset Buttons
Behind the grill, the Home Speaker 500 packs two 2.5-inch drivers that point to the side, left and right. It offers what Bose calls “the biggest sound of a smart speaker.” Also built in is the company’s QuietPort technology, which is a design that allows for deep bass.
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The top speaker panel is a series of touch-sensitive controls. There are play/pause buttons and dedicated volume plus/minus buttons in the middle area on either side of the playback controls. On the left side, there is an action button, which calls Alexa when touched. (Alexa can be called by voice, of course.) Below that, there is a button that does not understand the microphone, because if you do not want the speaker to listen to your commands. On the right side, there is an Aux button, to switch to the 3.5mm input on the bottom back (however, there is no audio cable for this input). There is also a Bluetooth connection button, and below it all, a series of classic buttons, one to six, that can be assigned to different playlists or radio stations in the app.
Currently, the Home Speaker 500 works with Amazon Alexa, but Bose plans to add Apple AirPlay 2 compatibility, as well as “other voice assistants” in the near future. As an Alexa device, the Home Speaker 500 works like an Amazon Echo. Alexa setup can be done directly through the Kiss app. Once set up, the mics pick up commands from several meters away without issue—I was able to moderate the volume and control which songs were playing, adjust the volume, pause playback, all without a hitch.
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The eight-mic array is impressive. It’s easy to see how taking voice commands from a potentially noisy environment would be a strength for Bose, given its flight gear and NFL training head. The mics seemed to pick up everything, even when I was trying to change my words quietly while the music was playing.
The Bose Music app is required to work if you want to use it for anything other than Bluetooth music playback. Once the app recognizes the Home Speaker 500 via Bluetooth, it connects to your wireless network (requires you to provide a password). After that, the app can stream music from Amazon, Deezer, iHeartRadio, Pandora, SiriusXM, and Spotify. Of course, you can also stream audio via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Any sources you move will be displayed on the speaker screen along with the song title and artist information.
Bose says the Home Speaker 500 has the best sound for a smart speaker. When I listen to the Home Speaker 500, its power is immediately apparent, but the wide stereo image is not on the list. The drivers produce solid bass—an incredibly rich low-frequency response for a speaker of this size. There’s a tight balance between lows and highs, and Bose says there’s no digital upscaling or frequency reduction at play. This is a silly preference, because some drivers will only boost the bass depth when set in certain modes, so you don’t need an active digital amplifier to have a more bass-forward sound signal. What’s more, this does not mean that there is no digital signal processing (DSP) in play – there is. The DSP lowers the high frequencies to prevent distortion, as usual. So while some part of the frequency range may not be improved, there are other frequencies that will be limited, and this is an example of a sound signal without you clipping it.
So the Home Speaker 500 usually sounds strong and clear, but I’ve never seen anything like a great stereo image. When we try some screens that offer wide, immersive stereo images, or even some that try to create a surround-like experience, we are often surprised by how well some of them create a sense of space. But it’s not really happening here. There’s nothing wrong with trying to kiss, but this speaker won’t fool you into believing you’re listening to two stereo speakers placed far apart. That said, we never expect a wide stereo image from a speaker of this nature.
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On tracks with a lot of sub-bass content, like Banga’s “Silence Sound”, the Home Speaker 500 produces strong bass depth at moderate volumes, while at extreme volumes, the DSP cuts the bass to prevent distortion. Somewhere between mid and high volumes, there are minor problems with this track. It’s not a fault, but it sounds like the bass is moving around. At first I thought the bass vibration might be damaging my desktop, but raising the speaker up didn’t fix the issue. Is this a deal breaker? Well, it shouldn’t happen at this level, but the fact that the DSP does its job at high volumes shows that most tracks will be able to avoid this problem, and it’s a matter of the right frequencies at the right volumes that cause the drop. In other words, you can just adjust the volume slightly until it disappears.
Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” a track with very little bass in the mix, gives us a good idea of the Home Speaker 500’s signature overall sound. The drums on this track sound very powerful – they have a full, rounded depth to them that doesn’t sound unnatural, and Callahan’s baritone vocals have a strong mid-range presence as well. The mids and highs are well balanced at medium and high volumes, providing a sound signature that is rich and full in the lows and smooth and clear in the highs.
On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild,” the kick drum loop gets just the right amount of mid-range presence, allowing the attack to do its thing. Sub-bass synth hits that punch the beat are delivered with less depth than you would hear through a speaker with real subwoofer capability—here, drums pack more bass punch than sub-bass synth hits. Voices are delivered cleanly and clearly without any added sibilance.
Orchestral music, like the opening scene from John Adams’ Gospel According to Mary, is rich and clear through the home’s five hundred speakers. Low-register instrumentation takes a bit of a front seat in the mix while high-register brass, strings, and vocals take center stage. Things are less polished in orchestral music and jazz than in other genres, probably because there is less depth to the DSP.
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The Bose Home Speaker 500 sounds great for its size,
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