A speaker you can wear? That’s the promise of Bose SoundSear. Gimmick or great? My review.
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Every so often a new product comes along that promises to change the way we think about traditional gadgets.
And A new personal speaker from Bose promises just that. Called the Bose SoundWear, this speaker has some unique properties; primarily that you don’t put it on a surface near you, you wear it. I recently received a Bose SoundWear unit for two weeks of testing and review.
Bose calls SoundWear a “companion speaker”. It’s a U-shaped speaker that wraps around your neck and directs sound primarily to you. Bose says the speaker, “rests comfortably on your shoulders, with sound that is full and clear to you—yet minimises the sound for others.”
The set up process is very easy and worked the first time each of the two times I tried new pairings.
The band stays in place even when leaning forward and moving around, so it’s wouldn’t be annoying for gardening, cooking or working in your shop.
Wearing a speaker around my neck is a completely new sensation.
It’s a weird feeling, but not unpleasant. Just unique. You’re hearing speaker sound, but around your head. It makes me think that if I was wearing a space helmet and it had Bose speakers inside, that this is what it would sound like.
Not surprisingly, the sound quality is outstanding. It’s crisp and clear. The vocals cut through well and there’s no raspiness or hollowness. The bass is actually good too.
In theory, you could take these off, set them down and use them as a speaker but they’re not designed for that.
There’s another feature of these that’s supposed to make them unique.
On Bose’s website, the company says that by using the SoundWear device, you can enjoy top quality audio “while minimizing the sound for others”. I don’t agree with this statement.
In my testing at home, I wore the device around, as did my husband. We each agreed that it’s possible to clearly hear the sound coming from the SoundWear device even from across the room. Is it as loud as what you might get from a Bluetooth speaker? Probably not. I guess it all depends on what volume levels were talking about.
I really loved using the Bose SoundWear for phone calls. The call quality was crystal clear, and my callers sounded perfect.
Despite what you may think, Bose says the SoundWear are not suitable for gaming. Bose says in general, the audio/video delay will be excessive and quite noticeable in games where action and audio are supposed to be synchronised.
Similarly, you can’t watch videos with them either.
I’d say the battery life on these speakers is pretty good. SoundWear plays up to 12 hours, and a 15 minute charge will give you up to 3 hours of use.
Overall I was surprised at how much I enjoyed my SoundWear experience. The audio quality is off the hook great and the space helmet bubble effect of sound it creates around your head is really cool.
The Bose SoundWear sells for about $399 CAD at Best Buy