Bose Soundware Companion: The Busy Music Lover's Best Friend
Hello everyone. I'm here again with yet another review, this time of the Bose Soundware Companion speaker. This device I cannot speak highly enough of. Even at it's full price of $299, it is an absolute steal and I'll tell you why.
I am a music lover. One of the complaints, if you will, that I have of the current generation is that people do not take time to really sit and appreciate their music. They throw it on in the background as something to do whilst doing something else, and while this is perfectly fine sometimes it's just good to sit and listen and enjoy, however if you are one of those folks who is on the go but you enjoy listening to music while you're going about your daily life, this speaker is perfect for you. Now, to describe it, I actually think of it as a giant flashy collar of sorts. It sits on your shoulders, around the back of your neck and the speakers point up towards your ears to better direct the sound. You can use the Bose Connect app to set how much intensity or bass, as you prefer, the speaker will have so you get just a bit of tactile vibration on bassier tracks. The unit also vibrates when you get a call and the quality of phone calls is actually very good on this particular device.
It's actually a speaker, not a headset or one of the newer bone-conduction headsets, just a speaker, but you can hear very well while those around you hear very little, if anything. It leaves your ears open so you can enjoy your tracks and still be completely aware of what's around you.
Now, to finish describing the rest of this speaker, on the right side there are three buttons, the middle being a power/multi-function button and the two buttons to either side being volume buttons. On the left side there is a micro USB charging slot. No aux cable or headphone jack on this one, it's Bluetooth only. Now, let me describe the two scenarios that really made me fall in love with this speaker.
The first one is related to traveling around my city. I enjoy walking when the weather is decent, and in recent years there have been a whole slew of GPS apps that can give you turn-by-turn walking directions, let you mark points of interest and a whole host of other goodies. Until recently, I was not really able to enjoy this. The headphones I use are all pretty bulky, sound-isolating if not actually noise-cancelling and that makes walking around with them especially in an urban environment dangerous. One of the first things I tried with the Soundware Companion was getting turn-by-turn directions to a local coffee shop. I was able to walk along, cross streets safely and even over the rush of traffic and some use of the up volume button, clearly hear the GPS voice directing me. I was blown away. I don't want to have to try to walk with earbuds in my ears that might pop out or have one giant earcup on my head and the other one off to the side while I'm trying to navigate and not be able to hear a vehicle on the side of my body where my ear is covered.
The next scenario is in a crowded restaurant. I'm sure many of you have gone into a restaurant and been annoyed by so-and-so's ringtone blaring all the way across the room, or perhaps you've had to hear the Youtube video someone's watching while you just want to have a conversation with your significant other and relax. With the Soundware Companion I don't have to annoy those close to me anymore. I can wear it, listen to whatever I fancy, talk to my wife and not be distracted, and interact with the server who comes to take my order all while enjoying whatever jam I happen to be bumping that day. Also, when we were inside the nearby Applebee's, I had the volume turned up to what I thought surely would be an annoying level. I could hear my music and I thought it was loud, but I was able to get the waiter to first stand to my side then behind me, and he told me he could barely hear it, and not even enough to be able to pick out lyrics or to name the song. Let me add this was at 1:00 on a Sunday afternoon when the restaurant was still fairly crowded from the church rush.
Now, I will appologize. I did not spend a lot of time in this review discussing the look of the speaker or the different buttons. IN my opinion Bose made a very simple speaker with a very high goal in mind--to give people the freedom to enjoy their music while not annoying others and still being able to focus on their tasks. It doesn't look very elegant, in fact I've been told it's a bit of an eyesore, but it does it's job in my opinion and does it well. The Bluetooth battery's very good, and as I said earlier in this review the Bose Connect app does let you customize some of the features of the speaker, my favorite being the intensity setting.
I really don't have any complaints about the Soundware. I give it a solid 5 out of 5 stars. If you have $299 to spend, spend it on this speaker if you're a busy person but you still want to enjoy your music.
Devices Accessory Was Used With
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Let me just start out by saying that in my opinion, that speaker is not worth the price. I understand that traveling with earbuds stuck in your ears aren't a safe way to travel as specially if you need to focus on where your going. The Bose connect app is a joke. When I first got that App, it was very accessible and I had no problems with it. Then an update later broke the accessibility. Yes, of course, I did sent an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with no reply or an acknowledgment that they had received the feedback. So I got rid of the app on my IPod touch, and my IPhone. Now I do updates on the Mack computer. If the speaker were lower in price, I might consider it. But, that's highway robery in my opinion and Bose and Amazon know that.
Are there any devices you'd recommend that do the same thing this speaker does and as well as it does? I'm sorry but in the world of wearable audio that doesn't isolate you from being able to hear your surroundings I hadn't heard of anything else quite like the Soundware.
This sounds like a great product, but because of its lack of a 3.5mm port, this is not the speaker for me. Still, I really love what it does after reading this review. Thanks for sharing!
My recommendation is the KTC iPhone compatible on ear wired headset.
These are open back on ear headphones that are quite comfortable. They let in most of the outside sound. I don't feel isolated. The sound is fantastic! Very smooth balanced open clear with very good base.
These are hi-fi headphones that don't cost a lot, About $80 US. You can get them on Amazon. Sometimes they go on sale.
They aren't perfect. The microphone could be a little louder and a little clearer but is still quite useable on the iPhone.
You can't fold The ear pieces flat to rest around your shoulders. However, this isn't really a dealbreaker for me.
Another good choice if you can find them is the PX 100 I I I open back headphones by Sennheiser, However, they have been discontinued. Very sad about that because I prefer them in someways.
Thanks for the review of those interesting speakers.
Those speakers are not for me because I'm more into headsets, but they sounds really cool. Can you both wear those and a backpack also? I'm surprised to hear that people sitting next to you don't get disturbed when using those speakers out in the public.
I did not try using the Soundware with a backpack on, but I'm guessing it can be done. The Soundware sits around your neck, kind of perched on your shoulder. I've heard of a person putting the Soundware under a collar so as not to display it openly—apparently according to some Youtube reviewers it's kind of an eyesore.
Thanks for the reply. I'll share the information of this cool speaker for sure.
I just got the Bose Soundware and was trying it out. Is it just me or do the volume buttons on the Soundware not have an effect on VoiceOver? I can change the VO volume with the iPhone's volume which is a relief, but I was expecting more from the volume buttons. I've not tried a music app yet.
Hi, I have one of these speakers, which I have easily worn with a backpack on. I use mine when I'm on the treadmill, or riding my exercise bike, and just going about my day. I have even used mine on the bus, the driver could hear it a bit, but it wasn't disturbing. I think it's a great speaker. It's one of those things I didn't think I'd really use it much until I got it, but now that I have mine, I use it every day. :) Also, it's much easier to get to the charging port, because while most headsets, speakers, etc. have those stupid tabs that you actually have to use your nails to get open, this has a zipper, which is WAY easier in my opinion. Anyway, this speaker isn't for everybody, but I personally love mine.