Bose Soundlink Max review: A summer staple

Source: Pocket-Lint added 19th Jun 2024

  • bose-soundlink-max-review:-a-summer-staple

Key Takeaways

  • Bose’s Soundlink Max is twice the size and the sound quality of its previous model, making it a perfect summer speaker upgrade.
  • The speaker’s easy portability, deep bass sound, and personalized EQ settings make it a great choice for music lovers on-the-go.
  • Although priced at $399, the Soundlink Max offers 20 hours of battery life, waterproof and dustproof features, and impressive sound quality.

Bose recently released its latest speaker just in time for the summer. A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Bose Soundlink Max London launch event and was shocked by the booming sound quality of the speaker. Just one speaker was able to produce sound loud enough for the rooftop celebration of 20 people. After having had a couple of days to test the speaker out for myself, I can attest that the speaker is worth the hefty $399 price tag.


Bose’s SoundLink Max is its biggest Bluetooth speaker yet

The powerful speaker packs a punch in terms of sound and battery life.

The Soundlink Max is available in blue dusk or black, with the option to buy swappable handles and a handle that extends so you can carry it on your shoulder. The Soundlink Max follows the massive success of Bose’s $149 Soundlink Flex speaker. I was quite content with the $149 Soundlink Flex speaker, but after using the Soundlink Max, I will never be bringing the Flex speaker to an event again.

Bose’s Soundlink Max is almost twice the price of the original speakers for good reason; the speaker is twice the size of the original and the sound quality is four times better. If you’ve been searching for the perfect summer speaker, the Bose Soundlink Max may just be what you’ve been looking for.


Bose SoundLink Max

Bose’s Soundlink Max is a huge step up from its Soundlink Flex. The Soundlink Max is twice the size and the sound quality, making it the perfect summer speaker.


  • Great sound quality
  • Easy to carry


  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t connect to speakerphone


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We don’t do arm-chair research. We buy and test our own products, and we only publish buyer’s guides with products we’ve actually reviewed.

Price, availability, specs

Since the speaker just came out in May for the United States and June for Europe, the Soundlink Max is easy to find. The speaker is available at Bose, Amazon, and Best Buy for $399. All websites offer the speaker in both blue and black.

Bose SoundLink Max

Bluetooth Connectivity?

Input Type

4.73″ H x 10.42″ W x 4.13″ D


Blue Dusk, Black

Pause, Play, Volume up and down

20 hours

Wireless capabilities

Better look, sound quality and features

The first thing that stood out to me about the speaker was its massive size but easy portability. Although the speaker is one of the biggest portable speakers by Bose, it doesn’t feel extremely heavy. The speaker weighs 4.7 lbs, which is heavy for a portable speaker but light enough to be transported to the beach or the park. When I first got the speaker, I needed to drag it all around London on public transportation with me. If I can manage that, then you can definitely manage bringing it from the car to the beach. The grab and go handle on the speaker allows for it to be carried around easily. Plus, those wanting to change up the color of the rope handle can replace it with an add-on rope handle of a different color.


5 reasons I’d buy the Bose QuietComfort Ultra over Bose NCH 700

The 3.5mm jack, bigger bass, more settings, and a 90s-centric design has me leaning towards Boses’s QuietComfort Ultra headphones.

Of course, the best part of the speaker is the impressive sound quality. With portable speakers it’s hard to get a true surround sound experience, but the Bose Soundlink Max gives just that. The two passive radiators on the speaker produce a deeper bass sound, which makes listening to music a great experience. On the Bose Music app, users can adjust the EQ settings, allowing for more personalized listening.

When I went to the London launch event, the first thing I noticed was how great “Lost in Japan” by Shawn Mendes sounded on the speaker. One of the Bose DJs gave us a run through of the speaker’s features, demonstrating the bass with a whole playlist of songs perfect to play on the speaker. I won’t gatekeep, the Spotify playlist is called LONDON–Bose Soundlink Max Summer Mix. Of course, I insisted that the DJ add Pink Pony Club by Chappelle Roan to the list, so you can thank me when you get to that song.

The speaker has 20 hours of battery life and a USB-C port in the back which users can plug their phone charger in to charge their phones while music is playing. Plus, there’s no need to worry about accidentally dropping the speaker. The Soundlink max is waterproof, dustproof, and is said to be able to survive 30-foot drops.

An expensive purchase

Truthfully, it’s hard to find something I didn’t like about the speaker. The most obvious downside is the price. Other portable Bose speakers range from $75-$200, but the Soundlink Max is nearly double that at $399. Yes, $399 is a lot of money to pay for a portable speaker, but I think the sound quality helps to justify the price.

The speaker isn’t speakerphone capable, which means it’s not the best option for those looking to use the speaker for business purposes. Plus, at the moment, the speaker doesn’t yet have party mode capability like other Bose speakers can. However, Bose reps at the launch event explained that party mode capability should be coming soon.


Why this older Bose speaker has become my new portable go-to

After a month with the BoseSoundLink Flex, I realized it walked so the newest SoundLink Max Portable Speaker could run.

If you have the ability to, I would definitely recommend upgrading to the Bose Soundlink Max.


Bose SoundLink Max

The Soundlink Max will help liven up any gathering, barbeque, or beach party. I used it recently for a get-together with my friends and my one friend even went and bought it afterward. Plus, after summer beach parties are over, you’ll need a quality speaker for fall tailgates (my favorite event of the year).

Anyone searching for a Bluetooth capable portable speaker with surround sound quality would be hard-pressed to find a better speaker than the Soundlink Max.

Read the full article at Pocket-Lint

media: Pocket-Lint  

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