Yesterday, Bose announced three new entries into its smart speaker line-up. Each comes with Alexa, though Bose notes that "other voice assistants [will] follow," meaning that Assistant is hopefully not too far off. As usual, you can expect very high prices, but also that sound quality the company has built its reputation on.
Starting small, there's the Home Speaker 500. Encased in aluminium, it's just 8" tall, 6" wide, and 4" deep. Its custom drivers face opposite directions, meaning that you'll get an immersive and directional sound experience.
Left: Soundbar 500; Center, Right: Soundbar 700
From there, Bose introduced the Soundbar 500 (31") and 700 (38"), both of which are svelte and subtle devices designed to blend in with your TV (except maybe the white 700) and wow you with the audio quality. They use Bose's Adaptiq technology, which dynamically adjusts to your environment. ARC support is standard, too.
Obviously, the 700 has a few more features, like a universal remote for controlling the TV and soundbar, multi-channel sound, exceptional depth for vocal tracks, dialogue, and sports.
All three have eight microphones for near- and far-field pickup. The Home Speaker 500 will cost $399.95 and comes in black and white. Going up from there, the Soundbar 500 will go for $549.95 and the 700 for $799.95. The smaller soundbar only comes in matte black, while the larger one will be available in black or white. Bose says that you can grab any of one of these for yourself starting in October.
BOSE INTRODUCES NEW SMART SPEAKER AND SOUNDBARS
Begins Next Chapter in Company’s Legendary Home Audio History
August 28, 2018 — Today, Bose begins the next chapter in its legendary home audio history with a new wireless smart speaker and two new smart soundbars — the Bose® Home Speaker 500 for music, and the Bose Soundbar 700 and Soundbar 500 for music and home theater. Each crushes the limitations of spaciousness from a single enclosure, combining size-defying performance with superior voice pickup and the power of Amazon Alexa now, other voice assistants to follow, and AirPlay 2 for simple streaming from Apple devices added in early 2019.
Engineered from the ground up, the new Bose smart speaker and soundbars use the proprietary mic technology found in Bose headsets and headphones to hear commands better over louder listening levels. With Bluetooth®, Wi-Fi, and Alexa built-in, they deliver instant, easy access to millions of songs and tens of thousands of skills for information, entertainment, smart home control, and more. They work brilliantly alone or together as a multi-room system. And they’re all available beginning this October.
“Voice-controlled speakers aren’t new, and there are plenty of great options to choose from. But we had a different vision for ours, inspired by what we could uniquely do to make the experience better,” said Doug Cunningham, category manager in the Bose Consumer Electronics Division. “All of our new smart speakers double up on functionality. It takes just one Home Speaker 500 to deliver true stereo separation — there’s no need to pair two. Our Soundbar 700 and 500 are thin and discreet with jaw-dropping surround sound — whether you’re streaming Spotify or watching a movie. They combine Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for unbeatable ease of use, can be mixed and matched to play in sync or separately, and with new Alexa functionality and more VPAs on the way, they’ll only get better over time.
Voice Control — The Bose Microphone Difference
The new Bose® Home Speaker and Soundbars use advanced Bose microphone technology developed over years of research for Bose commercial headsets, consumer headphones, and other applications — past and future. They each feature a custom-designed eight-microphone array precisely positioned for accurate near-field and far-field voice pickup — when it’s quiet, noisy, or your music is playing loudly. Whether you’re close by or across the room, or a playlist is set for the background, a party, or competing with conversation, they’ll hear you the first time
The Bose Home Speaker 500
The Bose Home Speaker 500 has the widest soundstage of any smart speaker available today. It’s wrapped in seamless anodized aluminum, is a mere 8" high x 6" wide x 4" deep, and uses two custom drivers pointed in opposite directions — so sound reflects off surrounding walls, separating instruments to the far left and right, and placing vocals where the artist did. The result is powerful and lifelike — without artificial effects or distortion. And when touch control is preferred, or the phone is out of reach, there are buttons for basic functionality located right on top.
The Bose Soundbar 700 and Soundbar 500
The Bose Soundbar 700 was engineered to outperform every other product in its category, matching its stunning performance with equally stunning design. At just over 2" high by 4" deep and 38" long, it has curved clean lines, a wraparound metal grille, and a gorgeous tempered glass top. Inside, it’s packed with proprietary technology. Bose PhaseGuides™ have to be heard to be believed, sending multiple channels of a soundtrack or song throughout a space, placing discrete sound in places where there are no speakers. Bose DSP, custom low-profile transducers, and QuietPort™ technology deliver exceptional detail and depth for your favorite tracks, crystal clear dialogue for Netflix, and dramatic realism for sports. To manage the TV or other connected equipment, the Bose Soundbar 700 also comes with an intelligent universal remote.
Like the Soundbar 700, the Soundbar 500 is a workhorse — letting you switch seamlessly from audio for video to music. At 1.75" high x 4" deep and just over 31" long, it’s smaller, thinner, and features a subtle matte finish to fit neatly under a television screen, virtually invisible — until you turn it on.
Both new soundbars use proprietary ADAPTiQ® — a technology pioneered by Bose and refined over several years — to acoustically adjust to their surroundings, and HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC) for compatibility with future technology. They also can be wall-mounted or expanded with a wireless bass module and rear speakers for a full 5.1 experience.
Pricing and Availability
The Home Speaker 500 will retail for $399.95. The Soundbar 500 and 700 will retail for $549.95 and $799.95, respectively. All are sold at Bose retail stores, Bose.com, and from authorized Bose dealers.