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.