Bose Introduces HomePod Competitor With Display for $400, AirPlay 2 Support Coming in 2019

Bose today revealed the "Bose Home Speaker 500," a new smart speaker that comes with Amazon Alexa built into the device and support for Bluetooth music streaming from iOS and Android smartphones. The Wi-Fi enabled speaker has many of the same features as competitor devices like HomePod and Sonos One, including music streaming, smart home automation, smart assistant inquiries, multi-room music syncing, and more.

In "early 2019," Bose says that it will introduce support for AirPlay 2 in the Bose Home Speaker 500, as well as in a pair of smart soundbars also announced today, the Bose Soundbar 500 and Bose Soundbar 700. For the Bose Home Speaker 500, the device includes an eight-microphone array for near-field and far-field voice pickup -- all when it's both silent and noisy from currently playing music.


For music playback, users will be able to play Spotify or Amazon Music directly from the Bose Home Speaker 500 when it's connected to a home Wi-Fi network. Buttons on the top of the speaker will also allow customers to set up to six different presets for playlists, Internet radio stations, and more. Of course, with Bluetooth any audio can also be streamed from a smartphone or tablet.

The company says the Home Speaker 500 has "the widest soundstage of any smart speaker available today," and is encased in an anodized aluminum shell that measures 8" high by 6" wide by 4" deep. Two custom drivers pointed in opposite directions ensure that sound reflects off surrounding walls to separate instruments and "place vocals where the artist did," all without "artificial effects or distortion."
“Voice-controlled speakers aren’t new, and there are plenty of great options to choose from. But we had a different vision for ours, inspired by what we could uniquely do to make the experience better,” said Doug Cunningham, category manager in the Bose Consumer Electronics Division.

“All of our new smart speakers double up on functionality. It takes just one Home Speaker 500 to deliver true stereo separation — there’s no need to pair two. Our Soundbar 700 and 500 are thin and discreet with jaw-dropping surround sound — whether you’re streaming Spotify or watching a movie. They combine Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for unbeatable ease of use, can be mixed and matched to play in sync or separately, and with new Alexa functionality and more VPAs on the way, they’ll only get better over time.”
Notably, Bose's smart speaker includes a front-facing display, but it doesn't appear to be a touchscreen. In the announcement, Bose says that, "when touch control is preferred ... there are buttons for basic functionality located right on the top," allowing users to skip track, adjust volume, and more. In the owner's guide, Bose says, "The speaker display shows speaker information and icons as well as the streaming service, album and artist currently playing."


To compare, the HomePod has a 6 microphone array that allows the speaker to hear spoken Siri commands even when loud music is playing. HomePod measures in at 6.8 inches tall and 5.6 inches wide, so Bose's option is also slightly larger. Compared to the Bose Home Speaker 500's aluminum, Apple went for a mesh fabric webbing around the HomePod, and it only has a small 272 x 340 LED display at the top to display Siri's waveform when commands are invoked.

The Bose Home Speaker 500 will launch in October for $399.95, which is about $50 more than HomePod's $349.99 retail price and $100 more than recent discounts for Apple's speaker. The Bose Soundbar 500 and 700 will cost $549.95 and $799.95, respectively, and also launch in October at Bose retail stores, Bose.com, and at authorized Bose dealers.

Tag: Bose


Top Rated Comments

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10 months ago
Thats one ugly speaker. Looks straight from the 90s
Rating: 21 Votes
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10 months ago

Thats one ugly speaker. Looks straight from the 90s


Someone’s gonna mistake this for portable tv
Rating: 7 Votes
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10 months ago
These competitors make me laugh.
Rating: 6 Votes
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10 months ago

I will NEVER buy homepod unless they add Bluetooth support.
it’s ridiculous that they removed Bluetooth support from a speaker.
AirPods support Bluetooth,why not HomePod??


Because AirPlay.

Why would you need Bluetooth streaming?
Rating: 5 Votes
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10 months ago
Awesome. Alexa + Bose = instant win. Apples smart home market products are a total joke.
Rating: 5 Votes
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10 months ago

Oh, isn't it that name, that audiophiles simply LOVE?


Only the newly initiated would dismiss what Bose does for the money. It's a mid-level brand that requires very little configuration for the casual listener to find a good sound. There's plenty to criticize if you're comparing it to other brands for audiophiles but nobody should ever be doing that. It's like a world renowned chef whining about McDonald's all day, pointless.
Rating: 4 Votes
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10 months ago

Thats one ugly speaker. Looks straight from the 90s


Yep... gotta second that comment. It's so UGLY. LORD have mercy!
Rating: 4 Votes
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10 months ago

It’s Bose so you know it will sound great - I have an 8 year old Bluetooth box which still runs perfectly.

But what’s with the division sign on the front of it? That is ugly. And to price it more than The HomePod? Someone at Bose needs to be fired.


That's Ed Sheeran album's artwork.
Rating: 4 Votes
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10 months ago

I have to disagree with all you folks who disparage the value of Bluetooth with the HomePod. The worst problem with the HP is its limited usefulness. Without BT I can't even consider the possibility of picking up a pair to run with my t. v. or my sound system. The number and variety of programming sources one can access with the HP is painfully limited. Compared to what I can access on my t. v., for example, the amount and variety of programming available via Apple TV, even taking into account its TV app., is very small.

Apple could fix this, it seems. I have read that the HP does contain BT circuitry but that it is only used for the initial setup. If this is true, maybe a firmware update could change this, but for some reason that seems impossible to understand Apple appears to have no interest in helping us climb out of its notorious Walled Garden. Sometimes the mentality of its corporate culture seems downright psychotic. Maybe the advent of the Bose product will goose it into changing its mind. Certainly this issue of limited usefulness must be having a hugely negative impact on the HP's sales figures. You reap what you sow.

The HP, in short, is a niche product: at least as currently configured it is useless as a general-purpose speaker. Whereas BT will allow the forthcoming Bose competitor to function as such. So, if you can bring yourself to forget about its clunky appearance, it seems to me that it is a much smarter investment, the price differential seems very worthwhile, and my guess is that it is destined to blow the HP out of the water.


I have a Sonos system, and I don't wish it had bluetooth. The biggest problem with bluetooth is latency (makes it terrible for TV), and lossy sound codecs (low quality audio is poorly compensated with bass-heavy DSP usually).

For simple home set-it-and-forget-it audio, I don't think anyone even comes close to Sonos. For out-and-about audio, a battery-powered bluetooth speaker is the way to go. But the two products shouldn't be merged into one.
Rating: 3 Votes
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10 months ago

Because AirPlay.

Why would you need Bluetooth streaming?


Because with BT you can connect your device to it and leave it connected for ever (I do this in my kitchen with a dedicated ipad and some Harmon Kardon BT speakers). I never turn the iPad off. I have instant music all the time at the touch of a button.

Now bring in the HomePod with Airplay 2 to replace my BT speakers.....

A few minutes after the iPad stops playing the AirPlay connection disconnects. Every sodding time I wanted to place music, later that day, tomorrow, in a hour.....I’d have to re-connect the iPad with the HomePod.

Boxed the HomePods back up and returned them for a refund.

That’s why you need BT streaming.
Rating: 3 Votes
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