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"Powerful Sound, Anywhere You Go"

Bose SoundLink Flex Review

Discover the Bose SoundLink Flex, a sleek and durable mobile speaker delivering impressive sound quality, portability, and waterproofing. Perfect for your next adventure!

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Bose SoundLink Flex front
Bose SoundLink Flex front side
Bose SoundLink Flex next to powertool grinder
Bose SoundLink Flex on table next to measuring tools
Bose SoundLink Flex hanging on hook next to person working
Bose SoundLink Flex on table and buildsite
Bose SoundLink Flex top
Bose SoundLink Flex top side
Bose SoundLink Flex side
Bose SoundLink Flex side
Bose SoundLink Flex red version
Bose SoundLink Flex white version
Bose SoundLink Flex green blue turqoise version
Bose SoundLink Flex white version
Bose SoundLink Flex green version
Bose SoundLink Flex pink purple version
Bose SoundLink Flex front
Bose SoundLink Flex front side
Bose SoundLink Flex next to powertool grinder
Bose SoundLink Flex on table next to measuring tools
Bose SoundLink Flex hanging on hook next to person working
Bose SoundLink Flex on table and buildsite
Bose SoundLink Flex top
Bose SoundLink Flex top side
Bose SoundLink Flex side
Bose SoundLink Flex side
Bose SoundLink Flex red version
Bose SoundLink Flex white version
Bose SoundLink Flex green blue turqoise version
Bose SoundLink Flex white version
Bose SoundLink Flex green version
Bose SoundLink Flex pink purple version

Introduction

If you're on the hunt for a mobile speaker that packs a punch, you're in the right place. Portable speakers have come a long way, and the latest releases are proof of just how advanced audio technology has become. Today, we're diving into one of the latest contenders in the market, a speaker that promises to deliver both in terms of sound and portability.

What makes a mobile speaker stand out? Is it the audio quality? Perhaps the build and design? Or maybe it's the added features that make life easier. In this review, we'll cover all these aspects and more, focusing on what makes this particular model a contender (or not) for your next portable audio buddy.

Stay tuned as we break down everything you need to know, from design and build quality to durability and waterproofing. Ready to dive in? Let's get started!

If you like this review, you might also like our review on the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II.

Design and Build Quality

When it comes to design and build quality, this speaker really shines. It's got a sleek, modern look that feels right at home whether you're chilling at the beach or hosting a backyard BBQ. The rectangular shape with rounded edges gives it a contemporary vibe, while the soft-touch silicone exterior makes it super easy to grip.

The design isn't just about good looks, though. The front grill is made from powder-coated steel, which means it can withstand drops, bumps, and even splashy adventures. The grill also has a matte finish, so it doesn't show fingerprints or smudges easily. Who wants to be constantly wiping down their speaker, right?

One standout feature is its compact size. Measuring about 2.1 by 7.9 by 3.6 inches and weighing just over a pound, it's perfectly portable. You can toss it in your bag without it feeling like you're lugging around a brick. Perfect for those spontaneous trips or impromptu dance parties.

However, the compact design does come with a slight downside: the top control buttons are somewhat small and might be a bit tricky to use, especially if you have larger fingers. But hey, it's not a deal-breaker, just something to keep in mind.

The build quality speaks volumes about its durability. The materials used are top-notch, and everything feels solid and well-constructed. No creaky plastic or loose parts here. It's clear that a lot of thought went into making this speaker both stylish and rugged.

Overall, the combo of thoughtful design and robust construction makes this speaker a real winner in the looks and durability department. Whether you're looking to impress your friends or simply enjoy a reliable device, this one ticks the right boxes.

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Audio Performance

So, how does this little beast sound? Well, let's dive in. The Bose SoundLink Flex punches well above its weight. The audio quality is downright impressive. It's got that classic Bose balance, with a rich, full-bodied sound that can fill a room or serenade a backyard BBQ without breaking a sweat.

The bass is solid—oh, it's there alright. It thumps just enough to get your feet tapping without drowning out the mids and highs. Speaking of the mids, they're clear and natural, making vocals sound like you're in a live performance. The highs are crisp without being harsh, giving you the details in your music without the ear-piercing screech.

Ever tried listening to music in a noisy environment? The Bose SoundLink Flex handles that like a champ. The passive radiators and custom transducers work together to maintain quality even at higher volumes. You won't get that dreaded "tin can" effect you sometimes hear with smaller speakers.

However, it's not all rainbows and unicorns. If you're a hardcore audiophile, you might notice a slight dip in the ultra-high frequencies. It's not a deal-breaker, but worth mentioning if you're obsessed with that pristine sound signature.

And let's not forget the speaker's 360-degree sound capability. No matter where you are in the room, the sound stays consistent and immersive. Perfect for parties or random kitchen dance-offs.

Overall, the audio performance of the Bose SoundLink Flex is a harmonious blend of power and finesse. Whether you're cranking up the volume or enjoying a mellow playlist, this speaker's got you covered.

Bose SoundLink Flex next to powertool grinder

Battery Life

When it comes to battery life, the Bose SoundLink Flex doesn't disappoint. This little powerhouse offers up to 12 hours of playtime on a single charge. That's more than enough to last through a full day of beach lounging, a backyard BBQ, or even a road trip. But hey, let's not get overly excited just yet—real-life usage might vary based on your volume levels and audio content.

Need to power up? The speaker’s USB-C charging port ensures fast and efficient charging. Seriously, who has time for outdated ports anymore? With USB-C, you can plug it in and get back to your jam session in no time.

Oh, and here's a quick tip: if you're someone who tends to forget charging their devices (no judgment here), the Bose SoundLink Flex has got your back with its auto-off feature. This function kicks in after a period of inactivity to conserve battery life, so you won't find yourself stuck in silence just because you forgot to plug it in.

But let's keep it real, shall we? While 12 hours is quite impressive, some might wish for a bit more juice, especially for those extended trips with no access to power outlets. And if you're planning to blast your music at max volume, you might notice the battery life taking a bit of a hit. It's just the nature of the beast.

In summary, the Bose SoundLink Flex offers a reliable battery performance that's suitable for most casual and moderate uses. Whether you're indoors or out exploring, it ensures your tunes keep flowing without too many interruptions.

Bose SoundLink Flex on table next to measuring tools

Connectivity and Compatibility

When it comes to connectivity and compatibility, the Bose SoundLink Flex doesn't disappoint. This mobile speaker uses Bluetooth 4.2, which is not the latest version, but it still offers solid and reliable connections. Pairing your devices is a breeze – simply press the Bluetooth button, and you're good to go. Plus, it remembers the last eight devices you connected, making it easy to switch between your phone, tablet, and laptop.

One cool feature is the ability to connect two SoundLink Flex speakers for stereo sound. Imagine setting up an impromptu dance party with immersive audio streaming from two corners of the room! It’s as easy as pressing a button, and you're enveloped in sound. However, let’s address the elephant in the room: the absence of NFC (Near Field Communication). If you're a fan of one-tap pairing, you might feel a bit let down. Also, while Bluetooth 4.2 is reliable, it’s not the most advanced version available. For those who are tech-savvy and craving the latest, this might be a minor drawback. Now, let’s talk about compatibility.

This speaker plays well with both iOS and Android devices, so no matter your preference, you're covered. It also supports voice assistants like Siri and Google Assistant, which means hands-free control is just a voice command away. But, if you're hoping for Alexa support, you might need to look elsewhere. In terms of range, you get about 30 feet (9 meters), which is pretty standard for Bluetooth devices. So, feel free to wander around your home or yard without losing your connection. In summary, while the connectivity options are solid and user-friendly, a few modern upgrades like NFC and a more recent Bluetooth version could have added an extra layer of convenience. But for most users, the Bose SoundLink Flex will connect swiftly and seamlessly to their favorite devices, delivering the tunes with minimal fuss.

Features and Functionality

The Bose SoundLink Flex is packed with a bunch of cool features that definitely make it stand out in the crowded world of mobile speakers.

Voice Assistants

First off, it's equipped with support for popular voice assistants like Siri and Google Assistant. Yep, you can just shout commands at your speaker and it’ll handle the rest. Super convenient, right? 

PositionIQ™ Technology

One of the standout features is the PositionIQ™ technology. Ever noticed how some speakers sound different depending on how they're placed? The Bose SoundLink Flex has a nifty trick up its sleeve—it automatically adjusts the audio based on its orientation. Whether it's upright, hanging, or lying flat, you get consistent, top-notch sound. 

Bose Connect App

With the Bose Connect app, managing your speaker becomes a breeze. You can easily switch between devices, check battery life, and even get firmware updates. Plus, you can use the app to pair multiple Bose speakers for a more immersive sound experience. Imagine hosting a party and having music play seamlessly across different rooms! 

Integrated Microphone

Making calls through your speaker? Totally doable thanks to the integrated microphone. The sound quality is crisp and clear, which is a game-changer for those impromptu conference calls or quick chats with friends. 

Party Mode

If one speaker isn’t enough, you can activate Party Mode. This allows you to pair two SoundLink Flex speakers together for a more robust sound experience. Think of this as turning up the volume on your life’s soundtrack. 

Battery Indicator

A handy feature is the battery indicator which audibly tells you the remaining battery life when you turn it on. It’s a small but thoughtful addition that you’ll appreciate more than you think. 

Negatives

But hey, no product is perfect. While it’s cool that you can connect multiple devices, the process can sometimes be a bit finicky. There can be occasional hiccups when switching between them. Also, for some, the lack of an AUX input might be a bummer, especially if you have devices that don’t support Bluetooth. In summary, the features and functionality of the Bose SoundLink Flex are designed to give you a seamless, enjoyable listening experience with a few minor quirks. It's packed with tech that not only makes it sound great but also makes it super easy to use.

Bose SoundLink Flex hanging on hook next to person working

Durability and Waterproofing

Durability and waterproofing are super important for mobile speakers, especially if you’re the adventurous type. The SoundLink Flex doesn’t disappoint here. It’s designed to be tough, and you can really tell from the moment you pick it up. The speaker is built with high-quality materials that feel both sturdy and premium.

IP67 rating? Oh yes, it’s got that! This means it’s not only dust-tight but also can handle being submerged in water up to a meter deep for about 30 minutes. So whether you’re taking it poolside, to the beach, or just dealing with an unexpected downpour, you're good to go. Pretty cool, right?

But let's be real—life happens. Dropping your speaker can be a heartbreaker. Fortunately, the SoundLink Flex has been designed to take a bit of a beating. Its rugged exterior can withstand drops, knocks, and bumps. However, as tough as it is, it's still a good idea to avoid throwing it around like a frisbee. 😅

One more thing: it also floats! Yep, if you accidentally drop it into the water, it won't sink to the bottom like a stone. It’ll stay afloat, making it easy to retrieve.

To summarize, whether you’re hiking, chilling by the pool, or just being clumsy at home, this speaker is built to last. Its durability and waterproofing features are robust, ensuring you can enjoy your music anywhere without worrying too much about damaging your gear.

User Experience

Using the SoundLink Flex is like having a personal DJ in your pocket. The setup process is a breeze. The voice prompts guide you through connecting your device, which is perfect if you're not tech-savvy or just want to get the music going without any fuss.

Once you’ve got it going, the controls on the speaker are super intuitive. The buttons are well-placed and easy to press, even if you’ve got clumsy fingers. You can change tracks, adjust volume, and even take calls with just a few clicks. However, the buttons could be a bit larger for those who might struggle with finer motor skills.

One standout feature is the Party Mode. Ever felt like one speaker just isn’t enough? With Party Mode, you can connect two speakers for double the fun. It’s perfect for those impromptu get-togethers where you need more oomph.

On the flip side, the speaker doesn’t come with a dedicated app, which means no fancy EQ settings or customizations. For some, this might be a deal-breaker, but for others, the simplicity is a bonus. Less fiddling, more listening, right?

Taking calls on this thing is a dream. The in-built mic provides clear audio, making it feel like you’re right there with the person on the other end. Although, in noisy environments, it can struggle a bit to pick up your voice clearly. It’s not a microphone designed for concerts, after all.

Overall, the user experience with the SoundLink Flex is smooth and enjoyable. It's designed to be straightforward and effective, making it a great companion for both tech enthusiasts and casual listeners alike.

Bose SoundLink Flex on table and buildsite

What's in the Box

When you unbox the Bose SoundLink Flex, you'll find a few key items that set the stage for a great audio experience. What's inside? Let's dive right in! First off, you get the speaker itself, which is compact but packs a punch. It's wrapped securely, ensuring it arrives in pristine condition. Alongside the speaker, you’ll find a USB-C charging cable. This is great because USB-C is the go-to standard these days, making it super convenient to charge with other devices you might own. You also get the quick start guide and safety instructions.

The quick start guide is pretty straightforward, showing you how to get your speaker up and running in no time. It’s perfect if you’re not into reading long manuals and just want to start jamming. The safety instructions, while not the most exciting read, are essential to ensure you use the speaker correctly and avoid any mishaps. But that's about it. Bose keeps it pretty minimalistic here—no extra accessories or frills. Some might see this as a downside, especially if you're used to getting a bit more in the box. But hey, it also means there’s less to clutter your space. Does it come with a carrying case or any other extras? Unfortunately, no. If you're looking for additional accessories, you might need to purchase them separately, which could be a bit of a bummer for some users.

All in all, the unboxing experience is clean and straightforward, getting you quickly to what matters most: the music.

Video by: CNET

Conclusion

In a nutshell, the SoundLink Flex is a solid choice if you're hunting for a mobile speaker that balances sound quality, durability, and portability. Sure, it’s not the cheapest option out there, but you do get what you pay for. The audio performance is a standout, delivering clear and crisp sound that punches above its weight. One of the standout features is its durability.

This speaker can handle a splash or two, making it perfect for poolside jams or surprise rain showers. Not to mention, it feels sturdy and well-built, a testament to its premium materials. However, it's worth noting that the battery life, while decent, may not blow you away. It’s quite alright for most uses but if you're planning a weekend camping trip, you might want to bring along a power bank just in case. Also, while the connectivity is generally seamless, some users might find the lack of certain advanced connectivity options a bit limiting.

In conclusion, the SoundLink Flex is a robust and reliable choice for those who prioritize sound performance and build quality. It hits most of the right notes and is versatile enough for various settings, whether you're at home, at the beach, or on the go. If you can overlook a few minor quibbles, this speaker is likely to become your new favorite audio companion.


Pros & cons

Pros

  • Impressive audio quality
  • Durable and waterproof (IP67)
  • Compact and portable design
  • Supports voice assistants
  • PositionIQ™ technology

Cons

  • Small control buttons
  • No NFC for quick pairing
  • Lacks AUX input
  • Battery life could be longer

Technical specifications

Product Name Bose SoundLink Flex
Dimensions 3.6" H x 7.9" W x 2.1" D (9.1 cm H x 20.1 cm W x 5.3 cm D)
Weight 1.3 lbs (0.6 kg)
Battery Life Up to 12 hours
Battery Type Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Charging Time Approximately 4 hours when using the included USB-C cable
Bluetooth Range Up to 30 ft (9 m)
Bluetooth Version 4.2
Water Resistance IP67 (waterproof and dustproof)
Inputs USB-C port for charging
Microphone Built-in microphone for speakerphone or voice assistant access
Controls Power, volume, Bluetooth, multi-function button
Compatibility Works with Bose Connect app, Siri, and Google Assistant
Color Options Black, White Smoke, Stone Blue
Included Accessories USB-C to USB-A charging cable
Warranty 1-year limited warranty