Bose comes to the party with a stylish new portable Bluetooth speaker – the Bose Soundlink Flex. The inside word? It‘s a ripper.

I‘ve got a few Bluetooth speakers set in permanent positions around the house, so I can take the party wherever I go. However, a decent portable Bluetooth speaker has been on the wish list for some time now to take away on day trips or lessen the complete and utter boredom of gardening. While there‘s no shortage of compact portable Bluetooth speakers on the market, the problem is, when it comes to sound quality, most of them flounder miserably.

Enter the Bose Soundlink Flex. Size-wise, it certainly is portable. At only 9cm high, 20cm long, and just over 5cm thick, the Flex resembles a clutch you‘d expect to see anchored in the hand of a celebrity walking the red carpet. This is emphasised by the strap attached to the end that can be looped over a finger or a hook. It feels good in the hand and is great on the eye. It‘s light, too, at just 0.6kg.

On the top of the speaker are five buttons. Power on/off, volume up and down, Bluetooth pairing, and a multi-function button with more actions than a Swiss Army Knife. Alongside play, pause and skip, the Flex has a built-in mic, so there‘s an array of functions for making a phone call.

The Flex‘s portability is matched with durability. A robust unit primarily clad in a rubberised coating, it carries an IP67 rating. The waterproof rating will hold if you accidentally knock it into the pool – and it floats, too. However, it‘s not recommended to leave it in water for longer than necessary. It‘s also dust-proof and will weather a camping trip to the bush or a day out at the beach.

Bose has brought a technology called PositioniQ to the Flex, and it works well. Far from being another creative marketing buzzword, the tech ensures the same quality of sound will be projected whether you place the speaker upright, on its back, or suspended from the material strap.

And it‘s the sound that differentiates the Flex from similar-sized Bluetooth speakers.

There is an element of brand expectation that follows a name like Bose, but when you‘re dealing with a Bluetooth speaker of this size, generally, you‘re prepared to make some concessions. Not here. Whatever you throw at it musically, it will handle exceptionally well. It‘s just as at home with the Pistols as it is with Prince. The Flex‘s sonic backbone is all about the bass, and there‘s a real weight to the bottom end here. The sound holds even at the higher end of the volume scale. Despite its compact design, this speaker will fill a big room with ease – no mean feat for such small real estate.

Available in black, stone blue and white smoke, the Soundlink Flex succeeds on many levels. It capably ticks the boxes on the all-important audio front, and its portability opens the door for an array of different applications. Aesthetically, it‘s reminiscent of the transistor radio your old man used to have in the garage – but with far more grunt. Compact, light, and boasting a 12-hour battery life, it‘s a tough speaker designed to embrace the elements. An ideal companion for whatever adventure you‘ve got planned, the Flex fills that portable Bluetooth speaker void I‘ve been searching for.

Playing with the Bose Frames Tempo Audio Sunglasses

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