Bose Releases The SoundLink Max

Bryn De Kocks | May 15, 2024 6:36 am

Bose has officially released the SoundLink Max, a new addition to the popular SoundLink lineup, with the SoundLink Flex being one of their best-selling speakers. The SoundLink Max is a slightly larger speaker than the Flex and provides some outstanding upgrades thanks to the rapid progress of Bluetooth speaker technology over the last several years.

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Microphone:No Microphone
Sound Options:Stereo, SimpleSync, Full Range Speakers
Aux Cable Included?:No
Bluetooth Version:5.3
Product Material:Aluminum, Fabric, Nylon, Plastic, Silicone, Steel
Battery Life: Up to 20 Hours
Charging Time:5 Hours
App Support:Bose Music App
Dimensions:4.73″ x 10.42″ x 4.13″
Weight:4.9 lbs

Modern Engineering At Its Finest

Expect a broad soundstage performance with Bose’s inclusion of their Articulated Array setup, which is popular in their PA systems. The Bose Articulated Array is an approach to speaker design where the drivers are angled outward instead of all facing the same direction. This engineering approach helps to increase sound dispersion, allowing listeners to enjoy vibrant and clear sound from a broader area in front of the speaker.

The Bose Soundlink Max makes use of three drivers in the front of the speaker, along with two of Bose’s custom passive radiators for additional bass. According to Bose, this design results in a deep, powerful bass that defies the speaker’s compact size.

Bose has harnessed their experience in soundbar designs to bring new technology to SoundLink Max. The DSP (digital signal processor) improves dynamics and results in reduced distortion and a full, natural sound, regardless of what genre of music you enjoy. These advances provide clear vocals and powerful bass that allow the SoundLink Max to stand out from the competition.

A Speaker That Can Withstand An Outdoor Lifestyle

With dimensions of 4.73″ x 10.42″ x 4.13″ and weighing just under 5 lbs, the SoundLink Max is an easily portable speaker that you can take with you anywhere. It features a built-in rope handle for increased portability, and a rope strap is available as an optional extra if you’d like to be able to carry it on your shoulder (retailing for $45). There are also some colorful optional handle extras to customize your speaker. The speaker itself comes in either Black or Blue Dusk. 

This speaker isn’t made to just sound great; it’s built to last. Like the SoundLink Flex, it prioritizes durability and comes with an IP67 waterproof rating, shock resistance, UV resistance, and rust resistance, ensuring comprehensive protection against the elements. Additionally, it floats in water (this should be considered an emergency protection feature rather than an invitation).

Experience premium sound on Android! Bose SoundLink Max leverages Snapdragon Sound™ for richer audio, rock-solid connection, and minimal lag. Pair with a compatible Android device and enjoy high-fidelity aptX Adaptive Bluetooth for near CD-quality audio.

Wired & Wireless Connectivity

It incorporates Bluetooth 5.4 with support for SBC and AAC codecs. Additionally, it uses both Snapdragon Sound™ and Qualcomm® aptX™ Adaptive codecs for high-definition audio, resulting in lossless quality. Including Snapdragon Sound will benefit some Android users, with supporting devices resulting in decreased latency, more efficient connectivity, and optimized power consumption. Additionally, Google Fast Pair support makes it easier than ever to pair the speaker to Android devices quickly.

An overlooked feature of the SoundLink Max is its inclusion of an auxiliary input. Aux inputs have become a rare feature on modern portable Bluetooth speakers, and its inclusion is a welcome one. Additionally, it has a USB-C output that can charge your phone while you listen.

A cool feature that Bose has included is the ability to pair the SoundLink Max with a supported Bose soundbar. This allows you to increase the range of your audio and means you don’t need to miss a second of your favorite sports game when you have to leave the room (as long as it’s within the connection range).

Unlike most modern Bluetooth releases in this price range, the SoundLink Max doesn’t include support for voice assistants or calls.

It can store up to 8 connected devices in its memory, ideal for sharing with the whole family.

Battery Performance

Bose rates the SoundLink Max for up to 20 hours of playtime, though in practice, if the Max is anything like the Flex, you can expect closer to 15 hours at moderate volume levels. Still, there’s enough battery power to provide hours of fun. The recharge time is around 5 hours, so it takes longer than the Flex to charge but is also rated for 8 hours more playtime.

Use The Bose App For Additional Refinement

The SoundLink Max is supported by the Bose mobile app, which is available on Apple and Android. Through the app, you can manage the speaker, perform firmware updates, and also adjust the speaker’s sound. Use the EQ option to dial in your bass, mids, or highs to match your preferences.

Premium Sound At A Premium Price Point

While the SoundLink Max has a lot going for it, it’s not what one can consider a budget-friendly option, with retail pricing of $399. At this price point, the SoundLink Flex competes with the Turtlebox 2, another portable Bluetooth speaker that is built to withstand a rugged outdoor lifestyle. However, the SoundLink Max’s focus on pristine audio reproduction puts it in a league of its own.

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Author: Bryn De Kocks

Bryn has worked in the field for several years, writing in-depth speaker reviews for various audio publications. His work has historically focused on headphones and Bluetooth speakers, while incorporating his understanding of the Bluetooth speaker market to help educate potential buyers.

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