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JBL Charge 4 vs Bose Revolve (2021): Which Portable Bluetooth Speaker Is Better?

With so many Bluetooth speakers available in the market, comparing each one’s pros and cons get tiresome. We’ve done that research for you for these two well-reviewed portable devices: the JBL Charge 4 and the Bose SoundLink Revolve. Find out which one meets certain criteria better to determine the best one for you to get.

JBL Charge 4 vs Bose Revolve Comparison Chart

ModelJBL Charge 4Bose SoundLink Revolve
 
PriceCheck Price

at Walmart

Check Price

at Walmart

Height4.9″6″
Width10.8″3.2″
Depth5.9″3.2″
Weight2.9 lbs1.5 lbs
Water ResistanceIPX7IPX4
Colors 102
Multi SpeakerJBL Connect+Bose SimpleSync
MicrophoneNoYes
SpeakerForward-facingOmnidirectional
Voice ControlNoYes
Battery Life20 hours12 hours
PowerbankYesNo

Design

The JBL Charge 4 is waterproof, but the Bose Revolve is more portable.

JBL Charge 4 vs Bose Revolve Design
Do you prefer the horizontal orientation of the JBL Charge 4 (left) or the vertical build of the Bose SoundLink Revolve (right)?

As you can see, there are quite many striking differences between these two Bluetooth speakers. The JBL Charge 4 is built horizontally, with waterproof fabric stretching out over its cylinder and a flattened bottom. In contrast, the Bose SoundLink Revolve stands tall, cased in a seamless aluminum shell with softer rubber cushioning its top and bottom. On simple looks alone, the Bose Revolve looks more modern and elegant, fitting into any room easily. The ruggedness of the JBL Charge 4 does make it look tougher for outdoor use though.

However, when actually taking either speaker on trips, the smaller Bose Revolve is a lot lighter, being only half the weight of the JBL Charge 4. It likely won’t matter bringing it in a car, but for backpacking it can make a difference. In addition, it’s much easier to grip and handle the Bose SoundLink Revolve, thanks to its smooth yet matte finish as well as slimmer diameter. You’ll likely want to hold the JBL Charge 4 with both hands and carry it nestled, which can be tiring after a time.

Still, there’s no question that you’d rather have the Charge 4 if you’re going near water, as its IPX7 rating makes it full waterproof up to a meter underwater. The Revolve is only IPX4 water-resistant in comparison, which is enough to survive splashes but not dunks.

Setup and Controls

The Bose Revolve enables calls and voice control but you can sync more JBL speakers together.

JBL Charge 4 vs Bose Revolve Setup and Controls
Aside from the top buttons, the mic on the Bose SoundLink Revolve provides voice integrated commands and lets you answer phone calls.

Both sets of buttons can be found at the top of each speaker, and the usual power, volume and pause/play buttons are present. The power button on the JBL Charge 4 lights up nicely, making it easier to spot in the dark. It’s not as nifty as the multi-function button on the Bose SoundLink Revolve though, as this turns on its mic so you can speak with Siri or Google Assistant.

In a pinch you can also answer phone calls and send texts with the Bose Revolve’s voice input, which is great if you’re a fan of voice commands. Those who prefer taking calls in private won’t miss it though.

Although you can connect multiple compatible speakers with either model, you can wirelessly sync the JBL Charge 4 with as many JBL Connect-enabled speakers as you like. You and your friends can turn any meetup into a full-blown party bringing all of your JBL speakers along. You can also connect up to 2 devices per Charge 4 and take turns playing music instead.

In contrast, the Bose Music app on the SoundLink Revolve only allows you to pair it up with one other SoundLink speaker to get full stereo sound. It does fit easily within the Bose family of smart speakers though, but that’s usually limited to in-home situations.

Sound Quality

The Bose SoundLink Revolve delivers superior sound compared to the JBL Charge 4.

JBL Charge 4 vs Bose Revolve Sound Quality
It can be hard to believe how deep the bass goes on the tiny Bose SoundLink Revolve.

It’s surprising how much power and clarity the full-range transducer on the Bose SoundLink Revolve is capable of. It fires down onto an acoustic deflector which then spreads out the sound in all directions, which is why its grill covers its lower half. The dual passive radiators do a lot of work in cleaning up any distortion, so you get clean tones with more depth and full-roundedness.

In short, the Bose Revolve sounds amazing. It hits high notes with startling clarity and definition while bellowing low ends with authority. The 360 degree coverage it provides performs even better indoors, while outside you can simply plop it down. You will certainly experience the well-deserved reputation that Bose has cultivated with their audio products.

Not to be simply outdone, the JBL Charge 4 does manage to create well-defined highs and mids, so you can pick out vocals and strings with ease. Where it falls short is in the lower registers, which can get muddled especially at higher volumes. As a result, the Charge 4 sounds much better when playing out in the open than indoors, since the bass tends to get diffused better without walls to bounce from. At its highest volume setting it can easily provide the beats to any barbecue or beachside hangout.

Battery

The JBL Charge 4 can charge your phone and has a longer battery life than the Bose Revolve.

JBL Charge 4 vs Bose Revolve Battery
Bring the JBL Charge 4 on your next outdoor jaunt and enjoy music all day long.

All the extra weight of the JBL Charge 4 comes into play with its larger battery, capable of powering the speaker for up to 20 hours. In contrast, the Bose SoundLink Revolve only has a listed battery life of 12 hours. Volume level and the content being played does play a role in how long you can expect each speaker to last. Still, testing shows that a single full charge of the Charge 4 can stretch up to 34 hours, while the Revolve bows out after 18.

Perhaps an even more welcome feature of the JBL Charge 4 is that you can use it as a power bank. Plug your phone to its USB-A port and you can play music while charging your device at the same time.

Verdict

The JBL Charge 4 is built for the outdoors while the Bose SoundLink Revolve is better suited for indoor use.

Taking all of its strengths and features together, the JBL Charge 4 is our recommendation if you’re looking for a durable Bluetooth speaker to take outdoors. Despite its bulk and extra weight, you’ll likely prefer the device that can run longer and charge your phone if needed. Its loud sound performs better in open areas, and its powerful enough to drown parties in sound. To top it off, its waterproof build and scratch-resistant fabric can survive rough conditions more ably.

While it’s lighter and definitely easier to move and carry, the Bose SoundLink Revolve performs much better as an indoor device. Its smooth and elegant design looks fabulous in any room, which can be covered more easily with its 360 sound. You can certainly bring it on trips, though you’ll have to be more mindful of its battery level the whole while. Whether you use it outside or in, you’ll get one of the best-sounding Bluetooth speakers available today.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Is Bose better than JBL?

Based on their sound signature alone, Bose speakers are overall better than JBL. However, in our comparison of the JBL Charge 4 and the Bose SoundLink Revolve, the former is the better speaker for outdoor use while the latter sounds better when used indoors.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Bose SoundLink Revolve worth it?

Its omnidirectional speaker that delivers high-quality 360-degree sound makes the Bose SoundLink Revolve worth your money. It’s hard to find speakers that can rival Bose’s stunning sound quality across its line of speakers.

๐Ÿ“Œ What’s the difference between the Bose SoundLink Revolve and the Revolve+?

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ has a slightly bigger frame and delivers a more powerful sound than the SoundLink. For better portability, Bose added a handle to the SoundLink Revolve+.

๐Ÿ“Œ What’s the best brand of speakers?

Bose is definitely among the top speaker brands today. Trailing close are Sonos, JBL, and Sennheiser.

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Derick Bondoc

Managing Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, gaming and snacks.