bose bluetooth speaker review
Speaker Reviews

Bose Bluetooth Speaker Review – The SoundLink Flex

Bose Bluetooth Speaker Review

The Durable SoundLink Flex


This Bose Bluetooth Speaker Review is one of many on Google after the release of the SoundLink Flex. This is the newest of the SoundLink line, and falls into the mid category for price and size along with the Bose SoundLink Color 2.

Aiming to maximize portability, this new speaker features some of the top IPX ratings, durability, and battery life while still maintaining the quality Bose sound we are used to. Don’t forget the tear-resistant utility hook, that helps you hang, clip or strap it to you or anything around you.

This new speaker is a proven showboater, and is rated 4.8/5 stars on Amazon.

Is it everything you could want out of a Bose speaker? And is the heavy, almost $149 dollar price tag worth it?

Check out my Bose Bluetooth Speaker Review below to find out more!



Overview

During development, Bose was aiming to take portability to the next level. They had to have durability, life-span, and compact size with all the regular features to win over their consumers. Although there’s nothing revolutionary with their new product, it’s sure to impress the outdoor enthusiast.

As per all of Bose’s speakers, the SoundLink Flex features their digital signal processing (DSP) technologies, proprietary code and custom algorithms that give Bose its name. Included with the SoundLink Flex is the PositionIQ technology, helping the speaker understand if it’s upright, horizontal, or flat on its back so it can produce the best sound at each angel.

It connects with the Bose app for EQ features and battery life information. This speaker can also pair with other Bose speakers for a stereo experience, and features a mic for hands-free calling and Smart Assistant technology. bose bluetooth speaker review

The SoundLink Flex comes in three colors, Black, Blue, and Cream and has a tear-resistant hook/loop on the end of the speaker for you to connect to backpacks, paddle boards or jackets.

This speaker carries a 12-hour battery life and takes up to 4 hours to fully charge, which is a long-time for a speaker that is meant to be portable. There is also no quick charge feature with the Flex.

Featuring Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity, you’ll only be able to move away from the speaker up to 9 meters with your connected device. The newest and best Bluetooth 5.2 gives you upwards of 400 meters. That’s quite the difference, however, being a smaller speaker, you may not want to move too far away from it from fear of not being able to hear it.


Design

As mentioned above, this Bose speaker was built to be portable, and measures 9 cm H x 20.1 cm W x 5.2 cm and weighs a mere 1.3 lb. It’s a very light speaker, however not the most compact we’ve seen in this category.

It is made from soft-touch silicon on the outside and a powder-coated steel grille, built to resist corrosion and UV light damage. The powdered coat won’t peel or flake, and is designed to withstand outside abuse. The utility hook/loop on the right-side end is fabric and tear-resistant. It’s a shame this loop isn’t adjustable, or made to be in clip form. In order to attach it to anything you need to either have a clip on what it is you’re trying to hook it to, or purchase a hook/utility clip for it.

It is IP67 rated, meaning it claims to be completely water and dust proof. The design is built to float in the off chance it falls into deep water.

At the top of the speaker there are silicon buttons for power on, Bluetooth connectivity, volume up and down and a multi-functional button.


Sound

bose bluetooth speaker review

The SoundLink Flex has one tweeter and one transducer that is “as big as could fit” for the biggest bass from the smallest speaker.

Whether you place it upside down, face side up, or everything in between, the PositionIQ technology will adjust the 2 speakers to project where you’ll get the best quality sound.

Bose is known for its sound, and you’re sure to be satisfied with the quality. However, some reviews have said they are less than impressed with this speaker comparable with other Bose speakers.

Being a smaller speaker, it’s obvious you’ll only be able to project sound so far. Despite how loud you may have it at, this speaker does produce clear, crisp sounds and bass.


Cons and Considerations

Bose can’t go wrong, and with their patented sound technology, they are sure to be consistent with the quality of their products’ sound, feel and performance.

It’s clear that this speaker is designed to be taken anywhere, no matter how wet, dusty, or rough you get on your adventure. The peace of mind with this speaker is nice, but nothing new on the market. The 12-hour battery life is great, but with no quick charging in a pinch, and a 4 hour full battery charging time, it loses some points in my books.

This is a smaller speaker, designed to be compact, so the Bluetooth 4.2 fits its purpose. However, there are significantly better Bluetooth versions out right now.

The utility hook is a must for speakers such as this one, but if I don’t have a clip on me or on the item I am trying to hook the speaker to, it defeats its purpose. I really wish they had made this similar to the JBL Clip or even the Tribit Stormbox micro, as they both have adjustable straps without needed something else to hook it on.


My Verdict: A Premium Product That Doesn’t Stand Out

I am sorry Bose, but there’s nothing significantly different or revolutionary with the SoundLink Flex. There’s so many competing brands out there, and at one point in history, there wasn’t a chance that any of these products matched with Bose. Brands like JBL and UE are easily competing with top brands now.

Gone are the days of one brand being the top dog. If these top brand names want to continue to fight the good fight, they need to come up with new features and revolutionary advances to impress the everyday consumer.

With the SoundLink Flex you’re paying a premium price, but there’s nothing significantly different from this one compared to what’s on the market today. Battery life’s are ranging upwards of 20 hours, almost all new portable Bluetooth speakers are IP67 rated, and most of them have attachment capabilities.

Bose can’t rely on their sound anymore, and will have to step up their name to continue to compete with other brands that are quickly matching quality, sound and features.

The SoundLink Flex has it all, but so does everyone else!

I hope you enjoyed my Bose Bluetooth Speaker Review! Let me know what you think below!

Until next time…

-B

 

 

 

6 Comments

  • Daniel Tshiyole

    JBL is currently my favorite speaker. I don’t trust any other speaker but I’m open to finding one that’s better. Seeing that you’re the expert in this field, which speaker would you recommend that I try out? Will it be good quality and how long does the battery last? Thank you 

    • Brooke

      I have a few of them, but by far the JLB Xtreme 2 is my favorite owned speaker. I know the Xtreme3 came out and if it wasn’t for the fact I had the Xtreme 2 I’d go buy it now!

      To be honest, I would suggest staying with JBL. Depending on how big of a speaker you need, theres the Xtreme 3 that I mentioned above, and the Charge 5 both by JBL and both with significant sounds. I did an article on the best bluetooth speakers for 2021 and I mention both of those speakers on it. 

      Both have really good battery life, the charge at 12 hours and the Xtreme 3 at 20 with good charge times. 

      I hope this helped!!

  • Aly

    Hmm, this was an interesting read. I have a portable rechargeable Bose Bluetooth speaker that I’ve had for probably 10 years, and I’m happy to report it’s still going strong. I love the warm tones and rich bass it produces, and the small size is perfect. It was definitely a top-notch product when it was purchased. 

    I was checking these out to consider a more rugged version that would be waterproof and better for summer adventures, but it sounds like there may be some more versatile options to consider these days. Thanks so much!

    • Brooke

      Bose is such a good product, and quality is so important these days with everything breaking after one use! Unfortunately, as you mention, there’s so much on the market, and Bose is getting muddled with how much there is out there being offered. The speaker industry is so competitive, and there’s no one company that truly stands out as much anymore.. there’s always a top 5 that are all similar in quality and performance.

      I am glad your Bose still produces what it is you’re looking for 🙂

      -B

  • Erick

    Hi Brooke, I appreciate the straightforward honesty of your conclusion. Bose, like so many incumbent companies, seems to have become comfortable to rest on its previous successes an coast, believing it’s customers will always want to buy their products just because they have “Bose” written on them. I’ve always found Bose to be overpriced, but that’s just me. Also, I don’t associate the brand “Bose” with portable speakers; JBL is definitely capturing that market as I’ve seen (and heard) JBL speakers all over the place over the past decade.

    Good review 

    • Brooke

      I love the way you put it, to coast. It’s so right! Unfortunately, speaker companies cannot rely on a brand name to stand for cost and performance anymore … its so competitive. 

      JBL is my favorite, and you make a good point, Bose charges a lot. I used to like Bose just because it was a luxury speaker brand. Personally, I feel there’ve lost that in the recent years.

      So appreciate your comment 🙂

      -B

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