7 February 2020

REVIEW: Bluesound Pulse Flex

Bluesound Pulse Flex review
Portable power

As sound reproduction technology continues to improve, the size of high-quality speakers continues to shrink. Whereas just a decade ago a home music system would be a bulky, multi-speaker bit of kit, these days the same level of oomph can be recreated with something you can drop in your bag and take out on a picnic. We check out one such pint-sized powerhouse, the Bluesound Pulse Flex.

At just 18 cm tall, the Bluesound Pulse Flex will not dominate the room you put it in. Until you turn it on, that is. Despite those compact dimensions, this versatile speaker boasts a 20 watt output delivering crisp and clear sounds.

Bluesound Pulse Flex review

However, unlike many other speakers of this size, the Bluesound Pulse Flex does not feature a built-in battery. If you want to take it on your travels an additional battery pack is available from Bluesound for a price. So think of this more as an inside only bit of kit.

But... don't let that initial downer turn you off. The Bluesound Pulse Flex offers a multitude of ways with which to connect, allowing you to stream and play to your heart's content. Primarily this is a WiFi speaker, hooking up to your home network (easily done in the speaker's companion app) to stream from whatever music service you like best.

Bluesound Pulse Flex review

Bluesound were kind enough to lend us access to a Tidal HiFi account, to take advantage of the high-quality MQA lossless stream. Good God we were grateful, as that high band of music, which normally might be wasted on a more traditional, cheaper speaker, absolutely shone on the Pulse Flex. Our ears were luxuriously bathed in gorgeous sounds, and all genres of music came in smooth and rich. Highs were clear and lows were resounding - a perfect living room musical experience.

There's more, however. The Bluesound Pulse Flex features aptX Bluetooth for connecting to your phone or tablet, as well as Ethernet and headphone ports. There's a full-sized USB on the back, to accept music from flash drives and other tech, and everything can be controlled on-device by way of the top-mounted (or side, if you place it that way) buttons.

Bluesound Pulse Flex review

If you can afford more than one (and you might not - more on that later) you have the option of connecting two or more together. So long as they can all reach your WiFi network, you can enjoy multi-room fun and keep the party going throughout the entire house. Other speakers are capable of doing this, but there aren't many that do it with such excellent sound reproduction and power.

If you can afford it. As we mention above, the Bluesound Pulse Flex ain't cheap. At a pinch under £300 for just a single unit, dreams of connecting an entire network of these things around your home might involve a fair bit of investment. Again, there are cheaper alternatives to achieving that, but the Bluesound Pulse Flex really did impress us in terms of sound quality. If you've got the dosh, it might be worth the splosh.

Bluesound Pulse Flex review

So although the initial price might put you off, true audiophiles will be just as impressed as we were with the Pulse Flex's power and versatility. As home speakers go, this is fantastic.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk

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