Bose Home 300 Speaker
Recently I received a Bose 300 speaker as a gift from Bose, for participating in focus and software testing activities. A very nice gesture indeed.
I have had an opportunity to use this speaker for the past few days and would like to share my impressions.
Packaging was very slick and attractive, right down the tear strips on the outside that keeps the top and bottom of the box together. I found the whole Smart Home line of speakers are packaged well in very modern charcoal coloured box materials.
Setup was pretty easy. The procedure feels more advanced and sophisticated than SoundTouch but was easy to navigate because of my familiarity with SoundTouch.
I was able to quickly setup TuneIn and store my presets without effort. Adding a preset can be accomplished using two methods: a command list page or the more familiar pressing and holding on the preset number resulting in the cool progress fill of the preset icons.
I had to reconnect the speaker at one point because I was making changes to my home network and passwords. I found this procedure a little unfamiliar but worked my way through the “alternate setup” procedure using the Bose Setup web page: http://192.0.2.1/
Airplay works as I expected. I used my phone to quickly link to the speaker using Apple Music and Stingray. Phone volume controls were a little touchy so I had to be careful not to set the volume too high. I don’t encounter this problem with AirPort Express which plays at a more controlled volume. The 300 speaker showed up in the Airplay connection pane along with my other Airplay devices including my SoundTouch speakers with AirPort Express. This made for a nice multiroom playing experience.
I can also confirm Bose “play all” can’t be achieved between SoundTouch and Smart Home speakers via Airplay. As such this is not a workaround to get SoundTouch and Smart Home speakers talking to each other.
Overall I found the Bose Music app pretty nice and easy to work with. Clearly a product of years of development and evolution building on SoundTouch.
Amazon and Alexa
I am an Apple Music user and know very little about Amazon Music or Alexa. I had intended on not using the feature staying loyal to Siri and Apple Music, however setup was so easy I found I was speaking to the little speaker to turn it on and off, adjusting the speaker sound level and finding songs in very short order. Overall I found the Alexa feature very easy to setup and use.
The interesting issue with Amazon Music, like SoundTouch, I can’t seem to be able to
install the Amazon Music service(I live in Canada). However the speaker will search for songs, playlists and albums on Amazon Music in response Alexa voice commands. I have read other Candian user comments reporting the same issues for SoundTouch speakers.
I initially thought the reason Alexa was finding Amazon sourced music is because Tunein is carrying Amazon playlists and Alexa is pulling from those lists. Indeed it appears Alexa is pulling Amazon genre based playlists right from the Amazon Music service even though setup can’t be completed.
Alexa can’t seem to figure out how to turn on a preset. It calls for a “skill” in the Alexa app. The skill is there but doesn’t seem to work with the Bose 300.
At any rate I could get used to giving verbal commands to my speakers. I can see the appeal of Alexa and other voice powered services. I have been using Siri and Apple Music in my truck for a couple years now.
All in all I am quite pleased with the little Bose 300 speaker and certainly grateful for the kind gesture from Bose. This is a tidy little device, that sounds very good and has very big sound. Fit and finish is superb! Airplay is nice, Apple Music would be better. Alexa does a good job pulling in Amazon playlists when requested. Adding my own stations to the presets is very easy.
A Bose Home Speaker 700 would be a great addition to the Bose Home Speaker lineup.