Bose launches its biggest Bluetooth speaker yet for beefy barbecue tunes

A woman holding the Bose SoundLink Max speaker

(Image credit: Bose)

Bose has made its biggest push yet for a spot on our guide to the best Bluetooth speakers by launching the new SoundLink Max – a powerful, stylish new wireless speaker that looks ideal for blasting out a soundtrack to big-group barbecues or picnics.

The SoundLink Max is Bose’s largest Bluetooth speaker so far, weighing in at just under 5lbs / 2.27kg and measuring 26cm wide. That’s still a fair bit smaller than the likes of the Tribit Stormbox Blast, but Bose’s rival is more stylish, and equally built for the outdoors with its IP67 rating bringing resistance to water, dust and shocks.

As you’d expect from the high-end audio brand, it also promises to deliver a weighty but well-rounded sound, thanks to its combination of three transducers and two custom-designed passive radiators for bass. Interestingly, the SoundLink Max’s specs also include Snapdragon Sound and aptX Adaptive, which means it can support hi-res lossless audio and dynamically scale your music’s bit-rate.

Another bonus from the Max’s beefy design is that it promises an impressive battery life of 20 hours, which should last long enough for most outdoor shindigs. If your smartphone’s low on charge, you can also plug it into the speaker’s USB-C port for a quick top-up.

Talking of phones, Bose’s new Bluetooth speaker also supports Google‘s Fast Pair standard to let those with Android phones pair their devices quickly. If you’re a bit more old-school, there’s also an aux input for hooking it up to an MP3 or CD player.

Like Bang & Olufsen’s, Bose’s speakers tend to be towards the pricer end, and that’s again the case here. You’ll be able to buy the SoundLink Max for £399 / $499 / AU$765 when pre-orders open on May 14. We’re hoping to let you know if it’s worthy of that price tag soon by way of a full review.

A new premium contender?

The Bose SoundLink Max speaker on a blue background

(Image credit: Bose)

There’s no doubt the SoundLink Max is at the weightier end of what we’d consider a ‘portable’ speaker, so its appeal may well depend on where you typically listen to al fresco tunes (and how far you’ll need to carry it).

Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.

But on paper, it sounds like a promising new contender if you need more power than the average Bluetooth speaker. TechRadar’s Audio Editor Becky Scarrott says: “It’s very interesting to see Snapdragon Sound and aptX Adaptive on the spec sheet, since Snapdragon Sound supports high-resolution lossless audio up to 24-bit/96kHz audio – and aptX Adaptive (the codec that’s able to automatically adapt up to lossless quality) means if you’re a paid-up member of one of the best music streaming services, you should be able to hear your playlists at their most detailed.”

The SoundLink Max’s price tag could be a prohibiting factor for many, given that the current number one pick in our guide to the best Bluetooth speakers is the Sonos Roam, which costs $179 / £179 / AU$299 and packs some powerful sound for its size.

But there could certainly be a spot for it as a premium option in our guide, with Becky adding: “It’s a little pricey, but again, Bose products rarely enter the budget arena. I can’t wait to hear how it sounds”.

You might also like

Mark is TechRadar’s Senior news editor. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at both TechRadar and Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he’s contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph’s Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London’s Square Mile. 

Related Articles

Back to top button