There are a lot of Assistant-powered smart speakers out there these days, but portable speakers with the same functionality and the benefit of a battery are less common, especially from higher-end brands. But today, Bose is announcing its new Portable Home Speaker, with both Google's Assistant and Amazon's Alexa built-in, plus AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect, all powered by a battery that lasts up to 12 hours. As a Bose product, sound quality is sure to please, though it comes with a Bose-appropriate $350 price tag.
The speaker provides 360-degree sound and clocks in at 2.3 lbs, easily toted via the big round handle. In addition to Assistant support (and therefore Wi-Fi), the speaker includes Bluetooth for old-school streaming from your phone or laptop. Actual size in watt-hours or mAh for the built-in battery isn't provided, but neither is the wattage of the built-in speaker. Either way, Bose expects it can last up to 12 hours on a charge.
Physically, it's 7.5" tall and a bit over 4" across at its widest point. Though it's mono, it's driven by "three passive radiators, a high-excursion driver, and a proprietary deflector," which are supposed to provide size-defying bass, all in an IPx4 rated package able to withstand a bit of rain or knocking around. Charging happens over USB Type-C, though there's an optional charging cradle as well (pictured above).
Hardware controls include a play/pause button, volume controls, on/off, a button for Bluetooth pairing, wake/dismiss, and a mic cutoff that ensures Google's Assistant or Alexa aren't listening. With the Bose Music app, you can create multi-room systems that include other Bose smart speakers, and download future updates including "synchronized, voice-controlled audio" with other Bose SoundLink speakers, planned to land later this year.
The Bose Portable Home Speaker will be available in Triple Black and Luxe Silver colorways and lands on September 19th for $350.