Bose has decided to flex its muscles with the brand new SoundLink Flex portable Bluetooth loudspeaker. We doubt the folks at Sonos are too intimidated but the Roam now has a genuine competitor and we’re going to put both through the ringer soon during a planned weekend in the woods. Two bluetooth speakers will enter the woods. Only one will come home. The other will be returned with its pride damaged.
Bose has introduced a new member of the SoundLink Bluetooth speaker family: the SoundLink Flex. The $149 portable speaker features an ultra-rugged design that detects its own orientation to optimize sound quality. Meanwhile its IP67 waterproof and dustproof rating combines with up to 12 hours of battery life to make it a tough, portable workhorse.
Bose claims Flex delivers astonishing audio performance. A custom transducer is said to maximize clarity, while dual-opposing passive radiators brilliantly turn vibration into powerful audio output from the compact speaker. Bose proprietary digital signal processing (DSP) technology dramatically minimizes distortion so you hear natural, full sound.
For the first time in a Bluetooth speaker, the Bose SoundLink Flex dynamically detects its orientation and automatically adjusts to deliver uncompromised audio through Bose PositionIQ technology. Whether the Flex is upright on the kitchen counter, hanging from a backpack, or lying flat next to the pool, you don’t need to do a thing to ensure optimal sound quality.
Rugged & Portable
With its IP67 rating and premium materials, the SoundLink Flex is rugged and resilient — ready for whatever your day throws at you. Together, its soft silicone back and powder-coated steel grille protect it from drops and bumps, won’t peel or flake, and are resistant to corrosion and UV light. Its tightly sealed acoustic components keep water, dust, and dirt out and won’t compromise audio performance. It will even float to the water’s surface after an accidental drop in the bathtub, pool, or ocean. And its durable utility loop can easily attach to a carabiner or buckle on your bag, or hang from a hook in your shower or beach chair.
Measuring 7.9″ wide, 2.1″ deep, and 3.6″ high, and weighing just over 1 pound, the Flex fits effortlessly in your hand, feels good to hold when you grab it and go, and looks elegant on your bookshelf. It comes in comes in three gorgeous colors: Black, White Smoke, or Stone Blue.
The SoundLink Flex’s setup is straightforward with simple voice prompts for Bluetooth pairing to your phone or tablet within seconds. It remembers up to eight connections for seamless switching from one device to the next. Using the Bose Connect app, you can control the Flex, personalize settings, and receive the latest software updates. And on-speaker buttons allow you to power on/off, turn volume up/down, connect to Bluetooth, and play, pause, or skip tracks.
You can also access your phone’s voice assistant or take and make calls with exceptional clarity through a built-in microphone. The microphone in the speaker acts as an extension of the microphone in your smartphone. It’s activated when you make or take a call and when you use the multi-function button to access the voice control capabilities on your device to ask Siri or Google Assistant to play music, tell you the weather, give you the score of a game, and other common tasks.
The Flex has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that offers up to 12 hours of playback — enough to last you through your all-day family reunion or lazy afternoon at the park. The Flex uses USB-C® charging with the charging port strategically placed on the opposite side of the utility loop, so you can charge and play the Flex in any position without missing a beat.
Pair a second SoundLink Flex or Bose Bluetooth speaker for Stereo Mode (left-right channel) or Party Mode (simultaneous music playback). When at home, the Flex works flawlessly with one or more Bose smart speakers and soundbars to extend your listening experience using Bose SimpleSync technology. When the Flex is connected, ask your voice assistant to play music on your smart speaker, and content will play simultaneously on both.
Ultimate Ears was first to make waves in the rugged portable Bluetooth speaker market with their BOOM and Megaboom series, now in their 3rd generation. The JBL Flip 5 has also proven popular, now in its 5th generation. As mentioned previously, the Sonos Roam should be a worthy competitor, while the Bang & Olufsen Explore angles to offer a more premium option. Bose SoundLink Flex is attempting to rise to the top of a crowded field, which also includes dozens of less expensive copycats on Amazon.
Price & Availability
The Bose SoundLink Flex is available now for $149 at Bose.com in black, stone blue or white smoke.