KRF1
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Jun 4, 2021

Bose Smart Speaker 500 - Alexa Voice Recognition/Response Inconsistency

Hello all,

 

Fairly recently I was gifted a Bose Smart Speaker 500, having been a big fan of the older Bose iPod docking station and it's wonderful sound quality (and the other Bose products I own too).

 

The Bose Smart Speaker 500 is incredibly disappointing, I must say. It falls way short of the standards expected of a Bose product, and a Bose product at this price point at that. 

 

One of my main frustrations with this (apart from the average sound quality) is the massively inconsistent Alexa recognition/response it provides when commanding it by voice. 

 

The recognition and response time on an Amazon Echo device is perfect, 99% of the time. Quick, easy and accurate. 

 

When using the Bose Smart Speaker 500, however, the voice recognition and response accuracy for the same command is around 50% at best. I often have to repeat myself at least once, often twice - slowly and in a clear voice - to get the required outcome.

 

Have other users found this same issue? This isn't a new issue/gripe either, as it has been this way since new in February 2021. 

 

I have updated it, reset it...the lot, and still the issue remains.

 

It's a frustrating 'first world problem', but a problem all the same. 

 

Can anybody shed some light on this? Is this a common gripe at all?

 

I think this falls way short of the standards expected of any Bose product.

 

Also...can you provide a simple remote control with this product?

 

Picking up the phone and accessing the app just to adjust the volume and/or select a pre-set is a drag.

 

Many thanks.

 

8 REPLIES 8
Marvin_B
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Re: Bose Smart Speaker 500 - Alexa Voice Recognition/Response Inconsistency

Hi KRF1.

 

Thank you for your post and welcome to the Community!

 

Sorry to hear about your Alexa issue with the speaker. Please check on this LINK on how you can address it.

 

Hope that helps!

 

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KRF1
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Jun 4, 2021

Re: Bose Smart Speaker 500 - Alexa Voice Recognition/Response Inconsistency

Hi and thank you for your reply. However, your reply suggests that I haven’t tried all of these things already, and that I don’t also own an Amazon Echo. 

 

I know exactly how Alexa responds, and it’s response time and consistency on the Bose product is woefully below the response rates when compared to the CHEAPER Amazon product. 

 

The problem isn’t with my WiFi, or additional noise in the room, or anything other than the way the Bose product has been manufactured. 

 

I want someone from Bose to communicate with me directly on this, as the product as it stands is woefully sub-standard. 

 

Alexa on the Bose product for the most part is awful, the cover art on the display panel will show now & again, but definitely not always, and the product needs a basic physical remote control to be supplied as standard. I could go on.

 

It’s an unbelievably frustrating sub-standard product for a Bose and at the price point it’s set at. 

 

I have seen messages similar to mine dating back a couple of years with replies along the lines of ‘we’ll feed your comments back to our engineers’. Obviously, nothing has happened has it? 

 

Talk to me, Bose. Let’s sort these things out and stop letting this inferior product tarnish your good name. 

Marvin_B
Moderator

Re: Bose Smart Speaker 500 - Alexa Voice Recognition/Response Inconsistency

Thank you for getting back to us.

 

Factory reset the speaker and set it up again. That should be able to remove any corruption in the settings.

 

1. Remove the speaker from the app and sign out of your account.
2. On the top of the speaker, simultaneously press and hold the Volume minus and AUX buttons for 10 seconds to reset the product. Do not let go until you see the speaker rebooting. It will have a solid amber light when it is ready.
3. Once you have the amber light, sign in back to your account in the app and add the speaker.

 

Then, set up Alexa again.
 

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KRF1
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Jun 4, 2021

Re: Bose Smart Speaker 500 - Alexa Voice Recognition/Response Inconsistency

No thanks, as I tried this previously and it didn’t solve the issue then, so I’m hardly likely to try it once more am I? 

 

Stop giving me standard stock answers and actually talk to me. 

 

How’s that for a solution? 

Liam_G
Moderator

Re: Bose Smart Speaker 500 - Alexa Voice Recognition/Response Inconsistency

Thank you for clarifying! 

I would like to dig a little deeper into this with you. What commands are you giving to Alexa? Anything specific or just a basic command? 
When you call Alexa do you see a response from the light bar on the front of the speaker? 

I would also recommend that you try removing Alexa from the speaker completely and then setting up the voice assistant again to ensure that it is operating correctly. 
You can do this via the steps on our support website here

Looking forward to hear from you! 

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Jun 4, 2021

Re: Bose Smart Speaker 500 - Alexa Voice Recognition/Response Inconsistency

I'm issuing the exact same commands I would typically give to the Echo Plus I have in another room. The difference being that the Echo Plus works perfectly and the Smart Speaker 500 is utterly woeful. 

 

I don't have to repeat myself 2-3 times with the Echo Plus. I don't have to deliberately speak slowly and clearly with the Echo Plus after the first attempt, and I don't have to rephrase the command with the Echo Plus. I do, however, have to do all of the above with the Smart Speaker 500. 

 

Yes, there is a response light when I give the wake command.

 

Does that help at all? 

Liam_G
Moderator

Re: Bose Smart Speaker 500 - Alexa Voice Recognition/Response Inconsistency

Yes that does help, thank you for confirming. 
 

What I'd recommend attempting is a full Alexa cleanse. This way, you can clear the history of Alexa and then re-connect. Please ensure you follow all steps below to completely cover all bases.

  • Remove Alexa from all Bose Smart speakers in the Bose Music account.
    • Settings >> Voice Assistant >> Alexa >> Remove
  • Remove all speakers from the Bose Music app
    • Account Settings >> Manage Products >> Edit >> Select all speakers >> Delete
  • Log out of the Bose Music app
    • Account Settings >> Sign Out
  • Factory default all Bose Smart speakers.
    • SB500/700 = Press and hold Power and Skip Forward simultaneously for 5 seconds on the remote.
  • De-register all Bose Smart speakers from www.amazon.com
    • Login to Amazon using the same account linked to the Bose Music account
    • Accounts & Lists >> Your Content and Devices >> Devices >> De-register
  • Forget all Bose Smart speakers listed in the Alexa app
    • Login to www.alexa.amazon.com via web browser or using the Alexa app using the same Amazon account
    • Smart Home >> Devices >> Forget
  • Disable all Alexa Bose skills including Bose (not for SoundTouch), ECO2 Alpha, ECO2 Integration
    • Login to www.alexa.amazon.com via web browser or using Alexa app using the same Amazon account
    • Skills >> Your Skills >> All Skills >> Select the Skill >> Disable Skill
  • Setup all Bose Smart speakers, including enabling Alexa integration
     

Give this a try and please update me on how things go!

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KRF1
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Jun 4, 2021

Re: Bose Smart Speaker 500 - Alexa Voice Recognition/Response Inconsistency

Look, I have done as much as can reasonably be asked of me to get YOUR product to work correctly.

 

I have reset it to factory settings AS ADVISED and I have removed Alexa from the Smart Speaker, reinstalled and reset it all. 

 

Do not send me on wild resetting goose chases any more!

 

The bottom line is that the product isn't up to the required standard for a product a) from Bose and b) at this price point.

 

All of the "fixes" you have advised thus far haven't worked, so if you think I am going painstakingly trawl through yet more reconfigurations then you can think again.  

 

The display still only shows the artwork when it feels like bothering to do so, Alexa may or may not work on first command and the speaker itself still needs to be issued with a basic physical remote control for the money you have charged to buy the thing. I accept the remote control cannot be retro-supplied. Going forward, however, you really do need to supply one with future versions of the speaker. 

 

The issue isn't with the settings, my WIFI, how I'm speaking to it or even what day of the week it is. The issue is with the poor technology you've built this thing around. 

 

The Amazon Echo Plus works perfectly and I wanted the Bose speaker based on the fact that I have a trusty and excellent Bose iPod dock and Bose 5.1 surround sound installed in my lounge. Both of those are great. Sadly, the Smart Speaker 500 is the exact polar opposite I'm afraid. 

 

I won't do any more resets, tests or generally wasting of my time with this at all. You still need to solve the problem, however.

 

Over to you.