Alexa or Google Assistant
Physical preset buttons
None that we could find
About the Bose Home Speaker 300
The Bose Home Speaker 300 is one of the most capable speakers you'll find, and it manages to stay around the $200 price point that's reasonable to expect of a midsize smart speaker. Its understated aesthetic will be at home in almost any room, and its 360-degree sound field means you can place it on any counter or table and still get good sound throughout the space.
This is a very loud speaker for its size, and clarity does begin to suffer as the volume nears its max, but for most uses, it's not going to be a dealbreaker.
Here are the Home Speaker 300's specs:
- Price: $199.95
- Colors: Triple Black, Luxe Silver
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, WiFi, Airplay 2, auxiliary cable
- Smart assistants: Alexa, Google Assistant
- Weight: 2.1 lbs
- Dimensions: 6.3" H x 5.6" W x 4" D
What we like
Myriad ways to connect
Bose’s smart speakers really excel when it comes to connectivity. The Home Speaker 300 can stream music via WiFi, Apple Airplay 2, Bluetooth, Spotify Connect, the Bose Music app, Alexa and Google Assistant, or even a 3.5 mm audio cable. No matter how you listen, this speaker can accommodate you.
No other smart speaker we tested has so many source options. We even found it can double as a decent little soundbar. We connected the Home Speaker 300 to a TV via the auxiliary cable, and our only gripe was that the speaker won't automatically play from the cable when plugged in. Instead, we had to tap Aux on the top of the speaker or in the app every time we turned on the TV. We had the same hassle with a Bluetooth connection to our Fire Stick 4K.
All smart speakers have at least a few physical buttons. Most commonly you’ll see buttons for smart assistant activation, volume up/down, and microphone on/off. But physical control is another area where the Home Speaker 300 sets itself apart, as the top of the speaker is home to not only the standard three buttons, but also play/pause, Bluetooth, Aux, and seven preset buttons.
The presets can be programmed in the Bose Music app or via a long press of the physical button, and they provide one-touch access to your favorite playlists, podcasts, and stations. This feature is a rare find among smart speakers, and it’s handy for those of us who find ourselves listening to the same things frequently.
Extensive smart home integration
Taking a page from the Sonos playbook, Bose smart speakers allow you to choose whether you want to use Alexa or Google Assistant. You can’t use them both at the same time, but switching from one to the other only takes a few taps in the Bose Music app. Since each assistant has different capabilities and access to different streaming services, access to both ensures that your favorite smart feature or streaming source is available.
Likewise, smart home products integrate differently across smart assistants, but it’s likely your smart lights, door lock, security camera, or whatever will work with either Alexa or Google Assistant, as these are by far the two most popular assistants.
The accompanying app is where you’ll choose your smart assistant, adjust bass and treble, view and change your presets, and change what’s playing. It’s a simple, intuitive app that somehow manages to do a lot without being confusing. It’s available in both the App Store and Google Play, so both Apple and Android users are covered.
What we don't like
Just fine sound quality
While the sound quality of the Bose Home 300 is about what you’d expect from a midrange smart speaker, and it can put out a surprising amount of volume, this speaker is not likely to blow you away.
The ever-impressive Sonos One and Echo Studio are both at the same price point and outperform the Home 300. But when it comes to smart speakers, there’s a lot more to consider than just the sound, and this is the only category where this speaker doesn’t leave the others in the dust.
The bottom line
The Bose Home Speaker 300 is the best and most versatile smart speaker we’ve ever tested. It offers solid sound, extensive connectivity, and an intuitive app. No matter what tech is already in your home, which streaming services you use, or whether you prefer Alexa or Google Assistant, this speaker can accommodate you seamlessly while giving you a pretty good listening experience.
Meet the tester
Editor, Smart Home@sarahkovac
Sarah Kovac is an award-winning author and smart home editor for Reviewed. Previously, she worked with a multitude of outlets such as Wirecutter, TIME, PCMag, Prevention, The Atlantic, Reviews.com, CNN, GOOD, Upworthy, Mom.me, and SheKnows.
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