Bose Soundlink Max Review: Premium Sound

Bose has just released its new flagship speaker, the SoundLink Max. It sounds excellent, but it retails for $399, which is not cheap. Its predecessor, the SoundLink Flex, was very popular because of its sound quality as well as because it didn’t cost this much. The SoundLink Max is about three times bigger than its predecessor, so the sound is considerably bigger and heavier. This review dives into the key features, performance, and overall user experience of this premium Bluetooth speaker.


Sound OptionsStereo, SimpleSync, Full Range Speakers
Water ResistanceIP67
Dimensions4.73″ H x 10.42″ W x 4.13″ D (4.900 lb)
MaterialAluminum, Fabric, Nylon, Plastic, Silicone, Steel
Battery Life20 hours
Battery Charge Time5 hours
Charging InterfaceUSB-C In/Out
Bluetooth Version5.4
Bluetooth Range30ft
MicrophoneNo Microphone


It has a premium look and feel with a powdered-coated silicon-wrapped body. It weighs 4.9lb, has fantastic build quality, and is built to withstand bumps and drops. Bose says that the finish won’t peel or flake and it is resistant to corrosion and UV light. The speaker is rated IP67, which means that it is dustproof and it can withstand spills. If the speaker gets too wet then a white light will flash and you will have to dry the USB-C port before charging it.

The SoundLink Max comes with a 15-watt power supply and a USB-C charging cable, and it takes 5 hours to fully charge it. It has a battery life of up to 20 hours at 65% volume and drops to only 3 hours if you use it at full volume. The USB-C port is both charge in and charge out, this means that you can charge another device with the speaker. If you want to connect a device like a mp3 player the speaker also has a 3.5mm auxiliary port.

The speaker has Bluetooth 5.4, and its supported codecs are SBC, AAC, and AptX Adaptive. It has three transducers on the front of the speakers which deliver a spacious stereo experience. There are two passive radiators to enhance bass performance. The SoundLink Max holds up together well but there is still some distortion at high volumes. It has decent stereo separation with a wide soundstage.

You can change equalizer settings in the Bose app, but the speaker sounds good on its default settings. Its performance is in another league when compared to the SoundLink Flex. The Soundlink Max can fill a medium-sized room with sound without taking up too much space, and it is a good beach and outdoor speaker. 

It has no built-in microphone, and it cannot link with other Bose speakers in party mode as of now, however, Bose has said that the party mode feature for the SoundLink Max will be coming later this year with a firmware update.

You can get a rope handle along with your speaker for an extra 25 dollars. The rope strap will cost you 45 dollars.

What’s in the box

  • Bose SoundLink Max Portable Speaker
  • USB-C (C to C) cable
  • USB-C power supply (US only. Not available in all regions)
  • Safety sheet


There is not much to complain about the Bose SoundLink Max aside from its high price and the fact that it does not have a built-in microphone. Overall It is very well designed and sounds very good for its size. Remember that choosing speakers is not just about sound quality, it’s about the experience. Although this is a solid choice for a portable speaker, there are still more affordable options, such as the Sonos Era 100.

Buy the Bose SoundLink Max here.

Check out our Sonos Era 100 review here.

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