Are you one of those who momentarily leave the scrubbing room to go to the other side of the house and listen loud and clear to what is playing on your stereo before continuing with the task? Or one of those who always carry music on their cell phone everywhere in their pocket? Yes, they are quite peculiar situations, but they are repeated week by week. We don't know if Bose thought of that when developing its SoundWear Companion speaker, a kind of personal wireless neck speaker . Yes, as you read it. To carry it on your shoulders and listen to it in a more or less individualized way. What you use it for on a day-to-day basis is up to you. Of course, do not lose sight of the price, because its 300 euros can further limit your market.
It is a silicone headband that adapts to the user's neck to wear it like a necklace (more or less). It is really comfortable and ergonomic. However, what is remarkable is that it has speakers aimed directly at the wearer's ears. In this way, the sound is concentrated on the user , minimizing the impact on the environment. All this to act as an almost individual portable speaker, or even as a handsfree . And with Bose sound technology for a deep, defined and immersive result, without the need to tuck headphones into your ears.
We have tried it for a few days to learn about this curious proposal. And it certainly surprises. This is what we found the Bose SoundWear Companion.
Design more comfortable than headphones
Server has certain problems with earphones. That is, with those that are embedded within the ear cavity. By genetic inheritance my ears are smaller than the average (no jokes are necessary), which causes pain in these appendages when one has been listening to music for more than half an hour . So I find Bose's proposal curious and practical, at least on paper.
Its design is circular, like a kind of thick choker that is placed on the shoulders and the back of the neck, leaving the front part open. This makes it easy to adjust, get rid of or move it around. It is really comfortable because its 260 grams are hardly noticeable. You can wear it for hours, off or on. In addition, its body is made of silicone and it is completely malleable. You can bend, adjust and mold it to your liking, size or the placement you prefer. Maintains the given shape without problems.
It must be said that the speaker is protected by an outer fabric . A kind of black cover that allows the sound to come out of the device without any type of distortion, and that in turn protects it from splashes, stains and more. It is washable and Bose sells other designs and colors (gray, blue and plum) for 30 euros to personalize this peculiar neck speaker.
If we look at the device itself, we find two speakers located at the ends . In these there are also several buttons. On the left side is the on / off switch, along with the LEDs that indicate the battery status. There is also another button nearby to switch between devices connected by Bluetooth, and that is that this Bose SoundWear Companion allows you to connect to two different devices. For its part, on the right side we find two buttons to control the volume and another that serves as a multifunction. We will discuss later how it is used.
We do not forget your loading port on the far right. It is a microUSB port, like that of mobile phones (although it is not the reversible type C). You only have to remove part of the zipper from the protective fabric to find it, so it is not tedious every time you have to load it.
Ultimately, the device feels good on the neck. It does not load it and it adapts to any shape . It has all the buttons accessible and it is a virtue to be able to wash the cover to avoid damaging its image.
But let's get to what really matters here, which is still the sound. Or, rather, how it is reproduced in this peculiar device from Bose. The body shape of this Bose SoundWear Companion allows the two speakers to be housed upright, right in the direction of the user's ears . However, it is not the only thing that Bose has studied to achieve the best possible sound experience.
The rest of the body, the part that can be bent and shaped, has two flexible waveguides . Its technology causes the transducers to push the air through these guides throughout the headband of the headset along its almost 28 centimeters. The result is a feeling of surround sound and deeper than a normal wireless speaker. And yes, in my experience of use I have verified it. The sound comes from the ends of the device, but the feeling is of being surrounded or next to a complete sound system. It is as if an aura or a helmet of sound is created around you. And be very careful with the bass, because they are present and seem to reverberate from the neck. Wow, Bose has gotten the feel of a good surround sound wireless speaker around us by taking advantage of the shape of this SoundWear Companion.
One app to control them all
This Bose SoundWear Companion doesn't work alone. The speaker must be paired with an Android mobile or an iPhone. For this there is the Bose Connect application, available in the Google Play Store and the App Store for free. With it, the link is created and different aspects of its configuration are managed, such as the possibility of vibrating and ringing when we receive a call .
The linking process is simple. We turn on the headset, download the application and follow the steps on the mobile screen. The connection is made via bluetooth, and it allows us to get up to 9 meters away from the device without losing the link . Once the process has been closed, you just have to activate the bluetooth of the mobile every time we want to play music on the Bose SoundWear Companion.
Now, we do not need to be aware of the mobile every time we want to change the song. Once we have started Spotify on the mobile, for example, the buttons on the right side of the speaker allow all functions to be carried out . From here we can lower and raise the volume at will. In addition, the function key (in between the volume keys) allows us to manage playback: two quick presses jump to the next song. Three keystrokes takes us to the previous one. And there is still more.
A long press of this function key activates the smart assistant of our mobile , either Siri on iPhone or Google Assistant on Android. Thus, out loud, we can request any action from our mobile, either to play music or to take notes on the calendar, for example.
It is also possible to take calls directly through this neck speaker. This same function key raises the phone and allows us to listen and speak as if it were a hands-free to use . So we are covered in any situation while we wear it, without having the mobile in hand.
Ideal to use at work or cleaning the house
My experience has been peculiar, but satisfactory in terms of sound quality . It is very strange to wear a headphone around your neck that plays music almost just for you. The sound is really good, with its deep bass and definition in the highs. It is certainly much better than any other portable wireless speaker, although you cannot enjoy the highest possible sound quality as with in-ear headphones, due to possible ambient noise. But it does its job more than satisfactorily under the circumstances.
And it is these circumstances that have given me the most to think about its use. Turning your head or turning it with the Bose SoundWear Companion on your shoulders alters the sound equalization. That if you turn your head to the left, you will hear more through the left ear. This creates sonic situations that are rarely experienced with other speakers or headphones, and which reminds you that you have this device around your neck. Once you play with it for a few minutes, the experience is as expected, and be careful because it may be more useful than you think at first .
I have personally tried it as a musical accompaniment while cleaning my house . And, hey, great. Until now I used headphones that I had to take off after half an hour due to discomfort. She also suffered limitations such as not hearing outside noises such as a call to the landline or the house bell. Or I used my mobile in my pocket, with the corresponding loss of sound quality, to accompany me wherever I moved the mocho. However, the Bose SoundWear Companion fits these criteria perfectly.
Not only is it comfortable to wear for a long time on the shoulders, but it does not preclude any other action. Moving the arms, turning the head or making any movement does not imply hooking on any cable or having discomfort . And all this being able to listen to the environment. And what is better, serving as hands-free in case you have to take a call. Even if you need to carry out some action with your mobile, you can take advantage of its function key to activate the Google Assistant and note an appointment on the calendar, request that a certain YouTube video be played or search for a song on Spotify, for example. It is really comfortable and very useful if you need freedom of movement with both hands.
Something that can be extrapolated, for example, to offices where a little background music does not disturb. And it is that the rest of the people, if they are more than two meters away, will hardly notice the murmur of the Bose speaker , while whoever wears it enjoys the music in all its splendor. And all this without losing skills when it comes to listening to their colleagues, answering them out loud, etc. Interaction with other people wearing the Bose SoundWear Companion is doable, and without being disappointed in the process.
Autonomy more than acceptable
According to Bose data, this device holds up to 12 hours of continuous music , depending on the volume at which we use it, of course. More than enough for any type of use. And it is that, even in the most intensive uses that occur to us, it allows us to spend the day without having to load it.
The good thing is that it has fast charging technology , so you can get three hours of autonomy just by keeping this Bose SoundCloud Companion connected to the power for 15 minutes. Of course, if we want to charge it in its entirety, the time extends to almost three hours.
In any case, a manageable time and with a fast charging feature that can save us from any trouble in case it is necessary.
In short, Bose has created a most peculiar wireless speaker . With sound technology capable of reproducing music in an immersive way, aimed at the wearer and with deep bass. All this taking advantage of a most attractive and moldable design. It is comfortable to use, both due to its shape and the options it offers: speakerphone and hands-free.
Now, precisely its design and purpose limits it quite a bit in the face of being a common wireless speaker. Where or when to use it depends only on the user, since it is a one-man speaker. We have encountered certain situations like cleaning the house where it stands out above the alternatives, but we also understand that taking it in public places can be rude and disrespectful. Of course, there are work environments where it has a place , or in common situations such as walks outdoors, where cables are not an impediment to movement and residual music does not bother others.
Of course, there will be those who think twice when paying 300 euros for the Bose SoundWear Companion just for listening to music when it comes to taking walks without headphones. Here again, decide who needs it.