Bose unveils SoundLink Max — a chic boom-box speaker with 20-hour playback

Bose SoundLink Max
(Image credit: Bose)

Bose has some of the best Bluetooth speakers on the market. And with its strong durability and battery life, the new Bose SoundLink Max looks like it could be a top contender for the best outdoor speakers.

We got a glimpse of the jumbo sequel last month. Today's (May 2) official announcement confirms most of the early rumors with the arrival of the SoundLink Max, and what Bose itself describes as a boom-box-like product that's the company's biggest portable speaker yet. 

As the model name suggests, the SoundLink Max is a larger version of the Bose SoundLink Flex ($149) portable Bluetooth speaker. Available in the U.S. from May 16 from, the Max aims to bring powerful stereo sound in a rugged, portable design with long battery life. 

It's priced at $399, which makes it more expensive than the Ultimate Ears Epicboom ($349) and just $50 less than the Sonos Move 2 ($449). For U.K. residents, the Bose SoundLink Max will be priced at £399 and has an official on-sale date of June 4. We're told that U.K. pre-orders start from May 14 at At the time of writing, there was no information on availability in other territories.

Bose SoundLink Max color options at launch will include black and dusk blue.

Built to roam

Bose SoundLink Max in Blue

(Image credit: Bose)

While the original Flex measures 7.9 x 3.5 x 2 inches, the Max is said to measure 10.4 x 4.7 x 4.1 inches and weigh just under five pounds. The SoundLink Max has an integrated, removable rope handle so it’s easy to carry around. There's also an optional rope shoulder strap available, although there was no information on the price at the time of writing.

As a go-anywhere speaker, the Bose SoundLink Max has an IP67 rating for durability that protects it from UV light, shocks, dirt, water splashes, and short-time submersion, making it the perfect companion for a trip to the pool, beach, or park.

The Max press release doesn't say whether PositsionIQ technology (as found on the smaller SoundLink Flex) is on board to automatically optimize the speaker's sound output to its orientation. But Bose does say that the speaker reproduces full, natural sound regardless of what you’re listening to or where the speaker is placed. So it may be included after all.   

Bose also says that the SoundLink Max has three speaker drivers across the front of the speaker to deliver a spacious stereo experience, while two custom-designed passive radiators provide a level of bass output that defies the speaker size.

The built-in battery runs up to 20 hours, and there's a USB-C port to top up a mobile device. It uses Bluetooth 5.3 and supports SBC, AAC, and aptX Adaptive for high-quality Bluetooth streams from Android devices. There's a 3.5mm AUX input jack to connect to wired sources such as a turntable or media player. A shortcut button on the speaker can be used for AUX switching or customized to enable Spotify Tap. 

Google Fast Pair is also on board for pairing to Android devices.

Once again, the Bose SoundFlex Max costs $399 and will be on sale from May 16 at Look out for our review coming soon.

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Lee Dunkley
Audio Editor

As a former editor of the U.K.'s Hi-Fi Choice magazine, Lee is passionate about all kinds of audio tech and has been providing sound advice to enable consumers to make informed buying decisions since he joined Which? magazine as a product tester in the 1990s. Lee covers all things audio for Tom's Guide, including headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars and loves to connect and share the mindfulness benefits that listening to music in the very best quality can bring.