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Bose launches SoundLink Max – its heftiest portable speaker, for $399

The flexible handle gives the Bose SoundLink Max a handbag-like appearance (Image Source: Bose)
The flexible handle gives the Bose SoundLink Max a handbag-like appearance (Image Source: Bose)
Bose has just unveiled the SoundLink Max, the latest and largest member of the SoundLink portable speaker lineup, boasting a carry handle and rugged, IP67 rated construction. It also features Snapdragon Sound and Bose’s SimpleSync technology to enhance connectivity and sound quality. The speaker is priced at $399 and will be available from May 16.

If there’s one thing Bose is known for (apart from its prowess in ANC technology), it’s the ability to eke out big sound from a small speaker, as the SoundLink lineup has proven. Well, now Bose has just announced its largest portable speaker, the SoundLink Max, so expectations are proportionally higher. While we’ll have to wait until May 16 (which is when it starts shipping) for the reviews, the specs and design seem well in line with what we’ve come to expect from Bose lately.

Looks wise, the SoundLink Max is essentially a very brawny SoundLink Flex. It follows a familiar design language of well-rounded edges, a solid, rubberised-metal build and soft-touch buttons along the top. The speaker is IP67-rated for water and dust resistance, capable of handling some knocks and tumbles, and will even float in water, although Bose advises against using it when wet.

An optional, longer shoulder-strap can be purchased separately (Image Source: Bose)
An optional, longer shoulder-strap can be purchased separately (Image Source: Bose)
The SoundLink Max is built to handle splashes and knocks (Image Source: Bose)
The SoundLink Max is built to handle splashes and knocks (Image Source: Bose)
Two speaker is available in two colours – black and blue (Image Source: Bose)
Two speaker is available in two colours – black and blue (Image Source: Bose)

The highlight, undoubtedly, is the removable rope handle, which should make carrying the 2.1 kg (4.7 lb) speaker a breeze, despite making it look like a small handbag. Adding to that impression is the optional, longer shoulder strap, sold separately. Battery life is rated at 20 hours (measured at 65% volume), and conveniently, the USB-C port can also charge other devices.

Bose has stepped up connectivity with Bluetooth 5.3 (up from v4.2 on the Flex), multipoint connections and Google Fast Pair. Snapdragon Sound and aptX Adaptive codec are also supported for improved sound quality, connection stability, and latency. The 3.5 mm aux input is much appreciated, allowing connection to wired-only sources.

Three front-facing active drivers create the sound, assisted by two passive radiators. Unsurprisingly, powerful bass is a highlight, as is proper stereo separation, and while there’s little doubt Bose can deliver on the former, the latter is typically hard to achieve on a portable speaker because of…well, basic physics.

The SoundLink Max, through the Bose Music app, can use SimpleSync to sync up with other Bose speakers and soundbars. The app also has equaliser and other settings to customise the listening experience.

The SoundLink Max is priced at $399 and can be preordered now on Amazon in two colours – blue and black. The price, while high, is not entirely unexpected from Bose. It enters what is by now a competitive category, and will be up against the likes of Marshall’s Middleton and Kilburn 2, the Ultimate Ears EpicBoom, the Sonos Move 2 and the JBL Authentics 300, among many others.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2024 05 > Bose launches SoundLink Max – its heftiest portable speaker, for $399
Vishal Bhardwaj, 2024-05- 2 (Update: 2024-05- 2)