Bose’s portable speaker offerings have tended toward the cheaper end of the spectrum — bringing colorful competition for companies like JBL. With the dryly named Portable Home Speaker, however, the company looks to split the difference between portable and premium. And it’s certainly priced for the latter.
The $349 speaker looks to be something of a high-end take on the dearly departed Amazon Tap. It’s pretty small for the price, with a large handle up top so it can be moved from room to room, accordingly.
Bose continues to take the diplomatic approach, using built-in mics for both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. There’s also AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect functionality built in, covering pretty much all of its bases outside of Bixby — that means, sadly, that it might not be able to talk to your fridge.
There are a handful of physical buttons up top, as well, including the all-important mic-off. The device has an IPX4 water rating, which means it will handle some splashing or light rain, but don’t dunk the thing. It’s also pretty clear from the press materials that the speaker’s not designed to live outdoors, though the occasional picnic table should be fine.
The Portable Home Speaker arrives in stores on September 19. It’s already got plenty of competition, of course, and Sonos is set to add to the list with its own Bluetooth speaker rumored to be in the works.