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Bose SoundLink Revolve vs Revolve+ Bluetooth Speaker Review

hardisj

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Copy/paste from my site. Review may not translate from my site so here is the link to the full review on my site:
https://www.erinsaudiocorner.com/loudspeakers/bose_soundlink_comparison/


Bose SoundLink Revolve vs Revolve+ Bluetooth Speaker
  • Sunday, Jun 27, 2021
DSC02067.JPG

Foreword / YouTube Video Review
The review on this website is a brief overview and summary of the objective performance of this speaker. It is not intended to be a deep dive. Moreso, this is information for those who prefer “just the facts” and prefer to have the data without the filler.
Note: Coming Soon

For a primer on what the data means, please watch my series of videos where I provide in-depth discussion and examples of how to read the graphics presented hereon.
https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnIxFR_ey0b37Ex4KV2mBz-kYB7QLffR1


Information and Photos

The Bose SoundLink Revolve and Revolve+ are Bluetooth speakers. The design of these speakers are intended to provide 360° sound throughout the room and does so using a “fullrange” drive-unit with a waveguide paired with a set of passive radiators to provide the lower frequency content. See below photo for illustration.

Mechanically, the differences are in size and weight. The standard SoundLink Revolve is smaller and weighs about 0.50 lbs. less than the SoundLink Revolve+. The former has 12 hours battery life while the Revolve+ has 16 hours battery life.

Current MSRP for the Revolve is $180 USD and $250 USD for the Revolve+.
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CTA-2034 (SPINORAMA) and Accompanying Data
All data collected using Klippel’s Near-Field Scanner. The Near-Field-Scanner 3D (NFS) offers a fully automated acoustic measurement of direct sound radiated from the source under test. The radiated sound is determined in any desired distance and angle in the 3D space outside the scanning surface. Directivity, sound power, SPL response and many more key figures are obtained for any kind of loudspeaker and audio system in near field applications (e.g. studio monitors, mobile devices) as well as far field applications (e.g. professional audio systems). Utilizing a minimum of measurement points, a comprehensive data set is generated containing the loudspeaker’s high resolution, free field sound radiation in the near and far field. For a detailed explanation of how the NFS works and the science behind it, please watch the below discussion with designer Christian Bellmann:

Given that this is a device that is less about “ideal listening conditions” and more about “convenience”, I am less interested in the absolute accuracy of the frequency response and more interested in the radiation pattern and the maximum SPL limits. In other words, most will be listening to this while moving about the home or as background music but I can’t imagine many attempting to use a SoundLink Revolve for “critical listening”. The goal of this review is to answer some basic questions: 1) What is the difference between the two versions, 2) what is the sound radiation characteristic and 3) which one gets louder.
With the above said, the reference plane in this test is at the waveguide level. Just above the bottom of the speaker. Volume set to max and signal was applied via the Aux Input. The speaker was measured fresh out of the box with no additional settings enabled (if they even exist). So there was nothing to disable in terms of “DSP”.
I modified the NFS to use a pole, placing the speaker on top rather than directly on top of the NFS’ platform. This was done to make sure there was no artifacts - comb filtering - from the stand back to the microphone as this is intended to provide anechoic data, as previously discussed. An example of this can be seen below from my Apple HomePod Mini test.
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Measurements are provided in a format in accordance with the Standard Method of Measurement for In-Home Loudspeakers (ANSI/CTA-2034-A R-2020). For more information, please see this link.
Since this review is intended to be a comparison, I will provide a pair of results for each section and have removed some (redundant) graphics out of my typical review format to shorten the review. Bose SoundLink Revolve first. Followed by the SoundLink Revolve+. This should make it easier to compare as opposed to splitting the data over two separate reviews.
CTA-2034 / SPINORAMA:
CEA2034%20--%20Bose%20SoundLink%20Revolve.png


CEA2034%20--%20Bose%20SoundLink%20Revolve%2B.png


Estimated In-Room Response:
Estimated%20In-Room%20Response.png


Estimated%20In-Room%20Response.png


Horizontal Contour Plot (not normalized):
Bose%20SoundLink%20Revolve_Horizontal_Spectrogram_Full.png


Bose%20SoundLink%20Revolve%2B_Horizontal_Spectrogram_Full.png


Vertical Contour Plot (not normalized):
Bose%20SoundLink%20Revolve_Vertical_Spectrogram_Full.png


Bose%20SoundLink%20Revolve%2B_Vertical_Spectrogram_Full.png





Additional Measurements

“Globe” Plots
These plots are generated from exporting the Klippel data to text files. I then process that data with my own MATLAB script to provide what you see. These are not part of any software packages and are unique to my tests.
Horizontal Polar (Globe) Plot:
This represents the sound field at 2 meters - above 200Hz - per the legend in the upper left.
Bose%20SoundLink%20Revolve_360_Horizontal_Polar.png


Bose%20SoundLink%20Revolve%2B_360_Horizontal_Polar.png



Vertical Polar (Globe) Plot:
This represents the sound field at 2 meters - above 200Hz - per the legend in the upper left.
Bose%20SoundLink%20Revolve_360_Vertical_Polar.png


Bose%20SoundLink%20Revolve%2B_360_Vertical_Polar.png



Harmonic Distortion
Harmonic Distortion at max volume (84dB @ 1m). This was literally the loudest I could set the SoundLink Revolve to play:
Bose%20SoundLink%20Revolve%20Harmonic%20Distortion%20%28max%20volume%20~84dB%20%40%201m%29.png


Harmonic Distortion at max volume (88dB @ 1m). This was literally the loudest I could set the SoundLink Revolve+ to play:
Bose%20Revolve%20SoundLink%2B%20Harmonic%20Distortion%20%28Max%20SPL%20~88dB%20%40%201m%29.png




Dynamic Range (Instantaneous Compression Test)
The below graphic indicates just how much SPL is lost (compression) or gained (enhancement; usually due to distortion) when the speaker is played at higher output volumes instantly via a 2.7 second logarithmic sine sweep referenced to 76dB at 1 meter. The signals are played consecutively without any additional stimulus applied. Then normalized against the 76dB result.
The tests are conducted in this fashion:
  1. 76dB at 1 meter (baseline; black)
  2. 86dB at 1 meter (red)
  3. 96dB at 1 meter (blue)
  4. 102dB at 1 meter (purple)
The purpose of this test is to illustrate how much (if at all) the output changes as a speaker’s components temperature increases (i.e., voice coils, crossover components) instantaneously.
Bose%20SoundLink%20Revolve_Compression_full.png

Bose%20SoundLink%20Revolve%2B_Compression_full.png

You can clearly see a built-in limiter is used to keep from overpowering and blowing the speaker. However, the Revolve+ is capable of higher output.


Parting Thoughts
  • Max SPL is 84dB @ 1m (SoundLink Revolve) and 88dB @ 1m (SoundLink Revolve+).
  • Both speakers implement limiting to keep from blowing the speaker.
  • The response of the Revolve+ is clearly boosted on the low end. Even when switching back and forth with music shows this to be the case even at the same volume. But as volume increases, the limiter kicks in and lowers the bass output on both units.
I find the Revolve+ to be the better speaker overall. It gets louder without suffering (as much) distortion. The bass is fuller (a bit too full at low volumes but some may like this). Connection to both units is quick and extremely easy. Easier than using the Apple HomePod Mini. For the extra $70 or so, I’d get the Revolve+.

However, at lower levels where the bass does not need to be limited, I prefer the sound of the Apple HomePod Mini. It doesn’t have the low end response the Revolve+ does but it does generally sound more neutral (as neutral as a speaker like this can be).


Support / Contribute

If you like what you see here and want to help me keep it going, please consider donating via the PayPal Contribute button below. https://www.erinsaudiocorner.com/contribute/
 
Last edited:

RobL

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Bought the Revolve+ for my son for xmas. He loves it. Great battery life, water resistant, and sounds fine for an omni portable bluetooth speaker. Thanks for the review, it’s interesting to see how it actually measures…better than I thought really :)
 

Colonel7

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I've had the Revolve+ for a few years. Got it with some frequent flyer miles that were expiring. It serves its purpose as our vacation and pool speaker and the kids like being able to carry it around with the handle. Listening to it right now hanging from a rafter hook on a screened porch at a beach rental. You can also sync 2 of them to cover more area. Was at a party where the host hung 2 in a couple trees and people couldn't figure out where the sound was coming from.
 

TimVG

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The estimated in-room response shows the homepod mini and not the revolve I believe.
 

TimVG

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Ok. I'll update this later. Can't right now.

Don't sweat it - I'm still amazed at how much content you and Amir put out .. for free no less! I've been trying to find time to build and measure a speaker for months now and I'm still nowhere near finished.
 

MZKM

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Note: Rating meant for monopole speakers.

Bose Revolve gen1
Preference Rating
SCORE: -0.3
SCORE w/ sub: 2.4


Frequency response: +/- 19.1dB 80Hz-20kHz

Spinorama-4.png
Horizontal Directivity-5.png
Horizontal Directivity Normalized-4.png
Vertical Directivity-4.png
Vertical Directivity Normalized-4.png
chart-4.png

____________________

Bose Revolve+ gen1
Preference Rating
SCORE: 0.7
SCORE w/ sub: 3.1


Frequency response: +/- 7.9dB 80Hz-20kHz

Spinorama-5.png
Horizontal Directivity-6.png
Horizontal Directivity Normalized-5.png
Vertical Directivity-5.png
Vertical Directivity Normalized-5.png
chart-5.png
 

abdo123

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the globe plots reminded me of the model flat earthers use to explain the Coriolis effect, they're both a disaster with flashy colors

1624902552127.png
 

warpdrive

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love all the measurements of soundbars, bluetooth speakers, and smart speakers. Keep up the great work
 

Foulchet

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I got a refurbished Soundlink Revolve (stock price was too high for this product in my opinion) to use in my car and very rarely for other purposes and honestly I know that Bose is somewhat disregarded as a "marketing" company but the sound of their gear is generally pleasing. My father also likes the Bose Soundsport Earbuds a lot. I heard that they did research on psychoacoustics and...why not ? After all what matters is the pleasure to hear so this is not that a bad metrics to use, and in fact a good one.

To come back to the Soundlink Revolve, build quality is good and the speaker does what it advertises (360 sound, maybe not perfect but there).
 

JohnBooty

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Note: Rating meant for monopole speakers.

Bose Revolve gen1
Preference Rating
SCORE: -0.3
SCORE w/ sub: 2.4


Frequency response: +/- 19.1dB 80Hz-20kHz
I'm laughing so hard at the negative preference score. I realize that these scores are a synthetic construct and are meant for monopole speakers but, lol

Discarding reality though it's hilarious to think about what a negative score would mean. A speaker so bad silence would be preferable? A speaker so bad it detracts from your enjoyment of the next speaker? A speaker so bad it permanently lessens your enjoyment of music?
 

thewas

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A speaker so bad it permanently lessens your enjoyment of music?
Negative scores means antiloudspeaker (like antimatter) that is it makes you enjoy music genres you normally hate and vise versa. :p
 
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