The Introduction of the Bose SoundLink Flex Portable Bluetooth Speaker: Raised a Few Eyebrows
Bose recently debuted the SoundLink Flex, its first Bluetooth speaker in a long time.
It is a warm welcome as the newest member of the SoundLink family, thanks to the value it brings to the table. With its release, Bose made some bold claims, such as “as big as it could fit” and “so much bass you can feel it in your chest.”
I initially mistook that for marketing hype, but I was proven wrong when I had the opportunity to test the speaker myself. It certainly lives up to the expectations, I mean all bose speakers do at some point we all are aware of the quality of a portable Bluetooth speaker from Bose.
So without wasting time let’s jump on the Bose SoundLink Flex review
A wonderful buddy who will accompany you everywhere you go this is a compact, robust portable Bluetooth speaker with the sound quality you'd expect from Bose.
It Swims, The Design
The Bose SoundLink Flex is currently available in 3 colors: Black, White Smoke, and Stone Blue. It measures 2.06 x 7.93 x 3.56 inches and weighs only 1.75 pounds. Not a mini Bluetooth speaker but pretty close to that.
On the right side, you will see a thick strap that can be hung on any surface. Feel free to hang it on the wall while you are working or even in your backpack.
The front of the speaker is adorned with the Bose logo like most bose speakers, and the famous large Bose grill runs the length of the panel.
The rest of the speaker is covered in a rubberized/silicone material.
It feels soft and nice to touch while giving us a good grip on the speaker.
Overall, it is one tough boy that won’t mind tossing or slamming it around. With this being said, feel free to hand it over to your kids, even if they take it swimming.
The SoundLink flex is rated IP67 for water resistance and dust resistance too. That means the flex can be dropped into a body of water up to a meter deep for half an hour.
What’s more, it even floats on water, so you won’t have to dive and look for it, but don’t go overboard and try to swim with it since the audio quality falls short when it’s wet.
Buttons and Connectivity
At the top of the panel, it has a strip for controls that runs along the Flex’s length.
From left to right, we have the power button, a minus button that lowers the volume, a central button that is multifunctional (you can pause the music, take calls, and more), a plus button to increase the volume, and the Bluetooth pairing button.
A built-in microphone is also included for taking phone calls and activating the voice assistant on your smartphone.
The Flex is Bluetooth 4.2 compatible, which means it can handle high-quality wireless audio with plenty of room to spare. It also supports the SBC codec, but not AAC or AptX. Wish it had a better Bluetooth version, nevertheless the fact that it charges through a USB c cable is more than enough, micro USB cables are so outdated.
The First Bluetooth Speaker to Know which Way it is Oriented.
The feature that sets Bose SoundLink Flex Bluetooth speaker apart from the competition and also from other bose Bluetooth speakers is the PositionIQ. This bose speaker can detect which way it is oriented, standing or hanging. No problem, the flex will tune the audio output accordingly to the position.
Sadly, there’s no user-adjustable EQ on this Bose SoundLink Flex but there sure is stereo pair/stereo mode.
For some reason, Bose has shown us that it is not interested in providing adjustable EQ. It would have been a great experience to tune the songs to your own liking, but yeah.
The Bose Connect App, which is available both for Android and iOS, lets you access a bunch of features for the speaker, such as enabling, disabling voice prompts, and adjusting the auto-off timer, and also the Party Mode feature, which lets you pair the Flex with other speakers. You can pair it with up to eight other speakers.
How does it sound? Audio Performance
This is a mono speaker and beneath the powder coated steel grille, you will find a full-range, 60mm transducer that delivers the audio and a dual-passive radiator that helps with the bass enhancement.
However, I’m not sure why Bose refuses to disclose frequency range information.
The Soundlink flexes on other speakers with the great bass Bose is known for (pun intended).
It has a rich, punchy deep bass bass with a focus on the lows and mids. But yeah, the bass is simply too small to create rumble effects, something that is common to all portable Bluetooth speakers.
Overall, the sound quality is crisp and clear. It sure does fill the whole room with sounds, and on top of that, there’s no distortion at all, so you can hear everything clearly and in good sound quality, something you would expect from a Bose Bluetooth speaker.
Bose promises us 12 hours of battery life with the Flex.
Still, it depends a lot on your volume level, but at a moderate volume level, it easily met the 12-hour battery life claim.
Charging the speaker with the original cable takes approximately 4 hours. But using the USB-C port will greatly influence the charging time, for good. So yeah I am not going to lie, there is nothing groundbreaking about its battery life but nothing at fault either.
- Compact and Good looking
- Robust, and fully waterproof
- Good Battery-Life
- No Audio input
- Would have been good if it used Bluetooth 5.1 instead of 4.2
- The silicone finish can attract dust.
Wrap Up, Verdict
To finish things regarding the flex, the price it comes with for some people might be too much. I think it’s quite accurate for the value it brings to the table, so yes this is an excellent portable Bluetooth speaker.
Like, you get a robust Bluetooth speaker that floats in the water and provides great sound quality, especially great bass. great battery life and, on top of that, a previously unseen feature called “PositionIQ.”
The only Bluetooth speaker I can think of right now that has pretty much the same price tag and can trade blows with the Flex would be the JBL Flip 5.
Bose Takes on Its Rivals
If you wanna find out how other Bose speakers compete with other Bluetooth speakers, I have some great blogs you can check out.
What I consider a legendary battle between soundbars, would definitely be the one between Sonos Arc and Bose 700. Sonos is a worthy opponent for Bose.
If you want to see a “dog fight”, which one is the best pilot headset between Lightspeed Zulu 3 and Bose A20, don’t miss out on that blog.
Yet the most interesting one in my opinion would be, AKG trying to take on Bose with their Harman Kardon lineup. Harman Kardon Vs Bose.
There are also other articles in which Bose competes with themselves, like Bose Home Speaker 300 vs 500.
I hope everything made sense, enjoy.
Mix & Mastering
I love to get my hands on all sorts of audio equipment, from headphones and speakers to audio interfaces. I love putting these products through their paces and seeing what they can do.