Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker

For those of you who know me, you'll know that I love my music. In fact, if you've ever been at a rally early, you can always find the TechnoRV booth during setup, just follow the music. Up until now, my favorite way to play music was to stream using Pandora, with my iPhone plugged into my BlockRocker. The sound is great, but it's quite big and bulky.

Back in August it was my birthday and everyone was asking what I wanted. I'd seen a friend with a small portable bluetooth speaker called a Jawbone. It looked pretty cool, but when I read the reviews, I came across the Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker. It got 5 stars out of 316 reviews on Amazon and even though it was a little more expensive, that's what I put on my birthday list!

I Love it!!
When reviewing a new gadget I always try to think of both the positives and the negatives. In the case of the Bose SoundLink, I really can't think of any negatives. I've been using it now almost daily for the last month and absolutely love it. The main reason is the sound quality which is simply amazing. If you shut your eyes it's hard to imagine such good quality sound coming from such a small box. In particular, the richness of the sound is very impressive, with good solid base notes belying its small size.

Bose have made the whole bluetooth pairing pairing process a snap. In the past with my bluetooth headsets connecting to a new device had always been a bit of a hassle. With the Bose, it's a simple press of a button and you're done. For example, if you're at a friends house and want to let them use it, you simply press the bluetooth button and it pops up on their phone. Connect and you're done. I've tested it with my iPhone4, Motorola MAXX HD and Apple PowerBook and they all work faultlessly.

Let me run through some other noteworthy points:

  • Build-Quality is excellent. So often when you buy electronic gadgets they work but feel as if they're going to break any minute. When you pick up the Bose, you know it's a quality product. For a start, it weighs a ton, feels great in your hand and has simple, no fuss controls. The accessories are also well made which is rare nowadays.
  • The rechargeable battery lasts a long time, at least a day of continuous listening.
  • It's loud. This was one of the main criticisms of the Jawbone. It's very rare that I have the Bose on full volume (the only time was when we were partying outside). 
  • The charging dock is simple to use and convenient, just rest the Bose on the dock and it charges.
  • The charger comes with adapters for multiple countries, great if you travel.
  • It's small size makes it portable. In fact, I often have it on the dash of my car (be careful to put it out of sight when leaving).
  • Being wireless makes it very easy and convenient. The bluetooth range is impressive (20 feet) and it's very convenient being able to change the track and volume from your phone without having to go over to the speaker.

I guess my only criticism is the lack of a case. Amazon has a Bose Travel Bag, but at $45 it's pretty steep. I use a Skooba Travel Wrap which we used to sell and I find that works great at less than half the price.