The Bose Home Speaker 500 is an excellent wireless speaker that honors the history of the Bose manufacturer and its signature sound so specific sought by many audiophiles. Have it... Read the conclusion Where to buy the Bose Home Speaker 500 at the best price!
In the era of connected smart speakers, the big name of the Bose sound has chosen to release its Home Speaker 500 powered by Amazon Alexa. But does she manage to be as efficient as it is intelligent? Answer in our comprehensive test!
The Bose Home Speaker 500 follows the flagship manufacturer of the audio world by offering a device of appearance, modest, sober, clean. Destined to be forgotten in your living room, it does not do much to stand out from your other home appliances.
We are therefore in the presence of a thick and heavy oval made of brushed metal and pierced all along the bottom by the grid to let the sound of its speakers. At the rear, there is the auxiliary socket jack female to connect a wired device easily. On the front, there is a small screen that displays the time and your current readings (with display of the cover art of the current album), overhung with a LED strip to appreciate the understanding of your actions on the part of the machine.
On the top, the oval now a light gray plastic is also pierced on its contours so you can capture your voice with eight microphones integrated throughout. We find the classic capacitive keys of Alexa devices (action, silence, volume) in bonus of a play / pause button, a key to activate the auxiliary input, and another to manage the Bluetooth. But the most important thing is the 6 numbered buttons that are actually totally customizable buttons. You can set your favorite radio to 1, a particular playlist to 2, and so on.
This upper part is perhaps this one less well worked of all the rest. Although pleasant to the touch and very functional, its flexibility a bit too pronounced that touch is not necessarily very convincing. When the capacitive keys are pressed, there is no physical feedback that returns our pressure, whether it is a hard surface or the click of a button. Here, the frame bends slightly under the finger, which does not offer a satisfactory haptic feedback to the user.
Finally, at the bottom, there are simply feet each with a soft rubber pad for excellent grip. It is also here that you have to connect the power supply angled, which exceeds the blow very discreetly of the body once the device standing. This design works. The Bose Home Speaker 500 exudes sobriety as well as solidity, and has the aura of a high-end product that is expected to perform above the lot the minute we look at it. It must also be said that the good reputation of Bose precedes it.
The main interest of this chamber is obviously its sound. She has a lot of interest in succeeding to prove her worth. And one thing is certain: it definitely is.
Let's start with raw power first. Here, we have a speaker capable of filling the space in no time, with a power more than surprising compared to the small size of the machine. Making my selection of music sound throughout the Humanoid offices did not even require that I push the volume to its maximum, where the sound is still clear and only a few bass lines saturate a little. Staying at the middle setting will be enough to liven up a big party in a 60m² without the slightest problem.
The real surprise of this speaker is none other than his bass. Well defined, they are not less powerful and resonate deeply, perhaps a little too much by default for certain types of music, but nothing prevents to lower them somewhat in the settings of the application. The breath emitted by these makes quickly understand the groove provided in the design of the enclosure: all this is very windy!
The highs are also surprising. Well defined, they are precise, but do not miss as much heat. The metal effect often heard is not present, and the voices that benefit from it are only magnified. It's a real pleasure for the ear. The 360 ° sound is perfect to fill a room as well as enjoy the music with a very wide scene, which with these good waves are very well transcribed.
All is not perfect though. You will surely understand: the mediums still lack a little sharpness. The simplest sounds tend to drown in the power of bass or treble and lack definition. Without saying that they are inaudible, far from it: they are still very clear, but would be worth a little more respected.
We really stay on a high-end speaker with an above average audio experience. The Amazon Echo Plus is obviously far behind, but the Google Home Max too: the expertise of Bose gives it a certain lead over its competitors more Tech.
INSTALLATION AND CONFIGURATION
The installation of the Bose Home Speaker 500 is quite simple. It is based primarily on geolocation and Bose Music application. When the speaker is connected for the first time, she asks you to download the famous application: it is with her that you realize your initial configuration.
The first step will be to create your Bose account, required to use the application. Then, simply enter the Wi-Fi credentials you want to connect to. From there, the real customization of your speaker can start. You first give it a name (office, bathroom, office, whatever) and activate or not the possibility for other users to connect to your speaker. We will come back in the use part.
Sharing enabled or offline, it's time to connect your favorite streaming service between Amazon Music, Deezer, SiriusXM and Spotify. Be aware that you can fully connect an account of each service if you wish. Since the speaker is powered by Amazon Alexa, do not expect to find YouTube or Google Play Music at this stage. Moreover, the last configuration allows to activate or not Alexa, and to select the language of use. You will need an Amazon account for this.
As numerous as these options may appear at first glance, the process itself is indeed very simple and the most complicated step of all is to finally enter the passwords of its services. It is a success from this point of view.
In terms of configurations, do not expect to be able to control your sound perfectly. Bose has its signature and holds it, making the only audio settings available are two sliders that can raise or lower the bass and Treble. No precise equalizer for audiophiles.
In terms of machine settings only, it is again a summary past the first configuration. You can edit the name of your product, change your account and language for Amazon Alexa or enable / disable the famous sharing of your speaker. On small works, we can count the language setting, the display or not of a clock in standby mode, and the automatic attenuation of the screen.
That's all. Although using Amazon Alexa, the forced application by Bose does not allow to review the classical configurations yet important for the voice assistant, including geolocation, and does not allow to discover new skills for the assistant easily even though the speaker is obviously compatible. You'll have to play it the hard way, and search for yourself on your smartphone or computer to maximize the potential of your Bose Home Speaker 500.
Connecting a wired device just plugs in your cable and press "AUX". Connecting any Bluetooth device is like pressing the Bluetooth logo, pairing up as you probably did 1000 times, and playing your music. On this point, the Bose Home Speaker 500 is far from disappointing since it resumes reflexes already well anchored in the average user.
As for the use, it's a totally different thing. The most disappointing point of this forum is the obligation to use the linked application to really control your actions. Without this, you end up with a poorly integrated Alexa who lives more in parallel with the system than he controls, and limited touches that only allow to delay the actions rather than realize them.
Let me give you a concrete example: I added Queen's album A Night at the Opera - from Amazon Music - to one of the preset buttons, making it start automatically as soon as I the key. If I want to go to the next track, Alexa does not work: "go to the next track" only causes a song request, any one, from the assistant.
No key is provided for this purpose, and the screen - which is not tactile - does not allow any form of interaction. Only the application will allow me to execute this basic command. The screen is all the more dispensable that it is not used by artificial intelligence on simple tasks like display the weather: it is really only to provide the cover of the album in course. Waste.
Remain the six programmable keys, which are a good addition for anyone who already has his wide playlist of evening and his favorite radio. Easily configurable via the application, they are very accessible and do exactly what they are asked to: facilitate access to everyday uses.
Let's add, however, a personal mishap: connected to my Amazon Prime account (which includes some Amazon Music titles for free, including the Queen), the voice assistant refuses to start any music even when everything is perfectly configured and the same operation works perfectly well on an Echo device. Artificial intelligence only has the answer "undefined". Would not it be rather "unrefined"? Launching it from Amazon Music in the Bose Music app is no problem.
PRICE AND RELEASE
The Bose Home Speaker 500 is priced at 445.95 euros, in black or silver. Currently, we can find it in promotion around 400 euros. The Bose Home Speaker 500 is an excellent wireless speaker, which honors the history of the Bose manufacturer and its signature sound so specific sought by many audiophiles. Having it is sure to get you a lot of auditory pleasure, on a wide variety of sounds.
However, as a product, the Home Speaker 500 is more than perfectible. This for a simple reason: it presents itself as an intelligent speaker. And this little game, his intelligence exists only in parallel to the audio experience and is not really integrated. If that had been the case, we would have a smart speaker connected crazy. Out of this, it is "only" an excellent speaker.
- Bose sound
- Surprisingly powerful bass
- Sober and well built
- All the options that are expected
- Alexa is not really integrated
- The mid could be better