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679 of 712 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Side by Side Review of Soundlink I vs Soundlink II...Amazing just got even more Amazing
I'm tempted to do a video review of a side-by-side comparison between the SoundLink I and the Soundlink II, but, when all is said and done, it's the sound that matters and there's no way to convey that unless you yourself preview the sound difference live. That said, here's my assessment in comparing the two:

Yes, the sound is quite a bit fuller, yet better...
Published 22 months ago by PositiveLogic

versus
534 of 584 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Incremental upgrade from original SoundLink offers marginal improvement in sound
Customer Video Review     Length:: 8:17 Mins
UPDATE: Jul 28, 2013 - I've just reviewed the BoseSoundlink Mini and it has surprisingly good sound, I actually prefer the sound of the Mini to the SoundLink. The SoundLink however can produce louder sound and has more bass. But you should definitely see if you can listen to the SoundLink Mini before making a decision because it is a pretty...
Published 22 months ago by M. Erb


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679 of 712 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Side by Side Review of Soundlink I vs Soundlink II...Amazing just got even more Amazing, September 21, 2012
I'm tempted to do a video review of a side-by-side comparison between the SoundLink I and the Soundlink II, but, when all is said and done, it's the sound that matters and there's no way to convey that unless you yourself preview the sound difference live. That said, here's my assessment in comparing the two:

Yes, the sound is quite a bit fuller, yet better balanced with improvement on the mids and highs -- w/ crisper sound on the top end without beginning tinny, hissy or overly blaring. Another reviewer stated the treble was diminished on the SL II, but I'm hearing differently. From the big brassy sounds of 60s era Sinatra to the Edge's (from U2) guitar -- you actually get more of that nice shimmering mid-range and treble. The bass is solid and expansive without being exaggerated. There are times when it sounds and feels like I've got a dedicated floor standing subwoofer, and then I look over and I'm reminded that all that sound comes from something no bigger than a hardcover book. Some reviewers have said that they hear little or no difference between the Soundlinks I and II. So I'll add to points here:

--You will probably hear the difference in sound quality between Soundlink I and II if you play a wide variety different musical genres. I did.

--If you read the hundreds of Soundlink I reviews on Amazon, you will hear one consistent theme, the mid-range and highs on the Soundlink I sound muddy or muffled, especially compared with Big Jambox. While I hear the difference, the Soundlink I still provides me with a pleasant listening experience. If the Soundlink II did not exist, I'd be very happy with the Soundlink I. At the same time, the improvement in sound quality in the Sounndlink II will, I believe, address the concerns of those who did voice this concern.

I like the bi-fold cover, which now allows me to more easily carry the unit around the house while playing it. With the SL I, that the cover would be hanging awkwardly if you wanted to walk across the living room playing your music.

Battery indicator light now provides more information about battery status...going from green to yellow to red.

By the way, here's an important tip to anyone wanting to make an objective comparison between the Soundlink and any other portable speaker. Remember that the Soundlink has passive subwoofers that project backwards. Whether or not you are comparing it to something that does not have this feature, keep the Soundlink away from a wall, otherwise it would get that disproportionately boomy bass so that so many have complained about. I think this one little detail has inadvertently and , perhaps unfairly, negatively skewed a few Soundlink reviews. Personally, there are times when I like it close to wall because the music sounds more live that way...but it's a matter of taste.

All that being side, now that I've lived with the Soundlink for over a week, here are some further impressions:

LIKES
--Big, well balanced sound in small form factor. Like a book, it's easy to carry.
--Bluetooth pairs easily
--Versatility. You can also connect via wire
--New bifold cover allows for easier carrying while playing music
--Minimalist design. I like the fact that there is no software baggage, remove controls, computerized voices to deal with.
--Gives me a break from having to wear my iPod earbuds all the time.

DISLIKES
--Battery life not as long as others in this category
--No volume reading. While it is easy to adjust the volume, you cannot tell where the volume setting is relative to the highest and lowest settings.
--AC Adapter seems to be bigger than it needs to be.
--Distasteful, overly expensive covers.

Overall, the sound is better than some 2.1 systems with dedicated floor subwoofer I've heard. Also, while I admit I have not heard the Big Jambox, it's hard to imagine this would not turn some folks in that camp...particularly with the smaller, more portable SL form factor. When I was in my 20s, back in the component system heyday, I had Sherwood amplifier/receiver, turntable and cassette deck with...two giant speakers with 12 inch woofers. Today, I am carrying that same big sound around the house with from room to room, some times even playing the same music I used play. What a trip. Thanks Bose.
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534 of 584 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Incremental upgrade from original SoundLink offers marginal improvement in sound, September 27, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Length:: 8:17 Mins

UPDATE: Jul 28, 2013 - I've just reviewed the BoseSoundlink Mini and it has surprisingly good sound, I actually prefer the sound of the Mini to the SoundLink. The SoundLink however can produce louder sound and has more bass. But you should definitely see if you can listen to the SoundLink Mini before making a decision because it is a pretty amazing sounding speaker for its size. Here is the ink to my review of the SoundLink mini... http://www.amazon.com/review/R2LM0EQRW8AWY6

----

My rating is closer to 3.5 but Amazon only allows whole star values so that's why I've given it 3 stars.

The Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Mobile Speaker II is an incremental and evolutionary, not revolutionary, upgrade from the previous SoundLink speaker. You'll notice a ever so slightly tweaked sound profile that Bose claims extends the bass response while also improving the clarity and definition of the mid and high frequencies.

In my A/B comparison tests between the original SoundLink and SoundLink II, the aural differences were modest. Bottom line here is that if you have an original SoundLink you needn't worry about upgrading since the sound difference is minor. The only other significant difference between the two is the SoundLink II has a different cover which is of a bi-fold design. This results in a smaller footprint at the expense of stability.

If you are sold on the Bose SoundLink and are trying to decide between the two, I'd get the original SoundLink if the price is less than the SoundLink II. You certainly won't be giving up anything significant in the sound department and other than the bi-fold cover, the SoundLink II is practically the same speaker. There has been no improvement in battery life and both utilize the same 1700mAh battery. Cosmetically the two units appear identical with the only visible difference being the new bi-fold cover.

I have previously reviewed the SoundLink speaker and viewed that speaker as a decent sounding speaker with good build quality. The SoundLink II is virtually identical so my previous comments still stand. It is a substantial, solid feeling speaker that exudes quality. That quality comes at a fairly steep price however and with the plethora of bluetooth speakers entering the market, there are many competing speakers that also offer good sound at reasonable price points and with more features.

Operation of the SoundLink II is fairly straightforward. The speaker has the ability to remember pairing with up to 6 different devices. You may also connect a wired device via the AUX input on the back of the speaker.

Pairing is fairly simple although in my attempts to pair with my iPhone 4 and a MacBook Pro notebook computer, the pairing failed in my first two attempts with both devices. I have no explanation for that suffice to say that I eventually did get the unit to pair with both, but it wasn't foolproof in the first two attempts. The SoundLink will always first attempt to reconnect with the most recently paired device and if that device is not available will search for the any other device that it has been previously paired with.

When I received the Bose SoundLink II I knew that it did not include a remote or additional features. It is a bare-bones bluetooth speaker. But many other bluetooth spekars include useful additional features such as a remote, speakerphone capability and USB charging capability. If you plan on using this speaker in a vehicle, having speakerphone capability is a big plus. Some competing products such as the EcoXbt Grace Digital ECOXGEAR ECOXBT Rugged and Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker (Black) or the Jambox Jawbone BIG JAMBOX Wireless Bluetooth Speaker - Graphite Hex - Retail Packaging, include these useful extra features. I'm not saying either of those other speakers are comparable sounding, I'm just saying that there are lots of bluetooth speakers out there in the marketplace and many offer additional features at less cost.

Battery life is unchanged from the previous SoundLink and provides a maximum of 8 hours using the same 1700mAh battery, but you'll rarely see that kind of life especially if you listen at higher volumes. Typically you can expect more like 4-5 hours of sound at louder listening levels. Bose offers an optional car charger, Bose® SoundDock Portable® and SoundLink® car charger that will allow you to simultaneously charge the SoundLink as you listen to it but as far as I know there is no USB charging option which is a pretty big disappointment for me.

The speaker cover is user replaceable but the bi-fold design may or may not be an improvement depending on your use of the speaker. In the house where it will typically be on a shelf or table, the reduced footprint of the speaker may be a benefit. However for outside use, or in a car or boat, the reduced footprint results in significantly reduced stability and the speaker is prone to tipping over backwards if bumped or as a result of sudden movement or change in attitude.

As this speaker utilizes a passive, rear facing speaker, optimal sound is realized only when the rear firing speaker has a reflective surface such as a wall behind it. Thus if using the speaker outdoors, unless it is against a wall of some sort, bass reproduction will be reduced. And another consideration of this type of speaker is that it is not intended to be put in an enclosed space such as a cubby hold in a desk or something as that will adversely affect the sound.

Overall, the Bose SoundLink II is a well-built, solid speaker. If you like the "Bose sound" you will probably like this speaker. There is great competition in the bluetooth wireless speaker arena however and it is worthwhile checking out other speakers as you may find lesser priced speakers with more features that offer very good sound and certainly more accurate, unbiased sound. Bose still does not offer as many features as other comparably priced bluetooth speakers. For the premium price Bose is charging for this speaker, I expect more.

Ultimately, everyone has differing expectations and opinions of what constitues a "good sounding" speaker. You owe it to yourself to listen for yourself before deciding and ideally being able to do some A/B listening tests. It's not easy to describe the sound of a speaker and everyone has preferences in what sounds good to their ears.

PROS:
-Compact yet full-sounding
-Nice size for travel
-Solid feel and seemingly well-built

CONS
-No USB charging (a feature available in many other bluetooth speakers)
-No remote (a feature available in other bluetooth speakers)
-No Built-in Speakerphone (a feature available in other bluetooth speakers)
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245 of 267 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic rechargeable portable bluetooth audio system, September 30, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In my experience with this rechargeable speaker, I think the majority of those interested in a portable self powered Bluetooth speaker will be thoroughly satisfied if not impressed with the SoundLink II.

Expectations

I came into this speaker expecting about the same performance of other speakers this size and shape, and I couldn't have been more wrong in my expectations. From the beginning I knew this unit was different-- it's heavy, relatively speaking, for a speaker it's size in the way that many Bose speakers are. Only once you fire it up will this customary heavy feel make sense. I'd kept my eye close on the Jawbone JAMBOX Wireless Bluetooth Speaker - Black Diamond - Retail Packaging but ended up with this one.

First Impressions

From opening the box, the unit is heavier than expected, but also thinner than expected from the picture (I'll be adding some of my own pictures). Charging took about 2.5 hours, and it is usable while charging. I did open the manual for about 5 seconds for Bluetooth pairing instructions and of course it was simple-- press & hold the Bluetooth button to pair. The device is svelte, stylish, minimalist and sounds great. My parents even thought it sounded better than their less-than-year-old Wave® Music System III - Graphite Gray. It's clear that the design was well thought out-- a durable but thin magnetic speaker cover folds under and back as a stand-- very similar to how the iPad Smart Cover works.
Sound

This speaker's ability to produce mids and lows is jaw-dropping for its tiny size-- in a way that makes you want to feel, touch and flip the thing around to see where the bass is coming from. You don't even feel the normal vibration of bass which makes it even more shocking. I actually had a grin on my face the first time I started testing out the unit because of the shock of how great the sound range is. The volume isn't tremendous but the sound could easily fill a room and host a room of party goers and provide all background music-- you might even want to turn it down a bit.

My thoughts on Bose

I'm not new to Bose-- I have had the Bose Companion 5 Multimedia Speaker System - Graphite/Silverfor my PC, I have had Bose in my vehicles before and now, and use their middle channel speaker on my home theater system. This one, however, outperforms its class more than any of the others. I don't buy Bose because of the name, but because of specific situations where I think the sound or utility is superior.

Operation

Operation is simple-- press power, volume up, volume down and mute, auxiliary if you don't use Bluetooth. There is no LCD or screen, just a few small very useful lights on the front-- bluetooth active, battery status, etc. Simple, understated useful lights.

Where to use

This would be perfect for a beach party if you are the careful type and wouldn't fill it with sand. A picnic, yard party, office desk, or if you travel in sales and want to provide an impressive audio presentation with a visual and don't want to carry wires & a speaker system are all things where this would have great application. Today I used it while visiting my grandma in the retirement community to provide some relaxing background music as she was having a rough day. The uses for this device are endless. this would be a perfect device for a traveling massage therapist! I never thought I'd be so enthusiastic about a Bluetooth speaker. It's that good.

Drawbacks

So far I've only discovered two drawbacks. First, the power adapter is a bit oblong as far as the wall brick is concerned. I found myself unplugging it accidentally a few times just in the first couple hours I was using it. This one small inconvenience is why I rated the speaker 4 stars instead of 5.

Second-- the unit is heavy! Maybe worth it if that weight is what makes the sound so great and battery life good but-- you'll be shocked when you pick up this brick.

Overall conclusions

I'm still exploring battery life but so far every other aspect of the speaker has been great. It is a premium product with a premium price. I don't think you'll be disappointed. If you have any particular questions I'm always happy to answer those in the comments below.

Update: I see a few "unhelpful" votes here, which is pretty uncommon. If you find my thoughts unhelpful, please post a note in the discussion to help me improve and meet your expectations.
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348 of 388 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bose Sound-link 2 vs Big Jawbone by an amateur audio engineer, November 16, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Hello...

So I searched high and low for the review I am about to give. If you go out there and search you will end up just as confused as I did but I have your golden ticket right here. I am also going to make it quite succinct..

Now. For you folks with a MAC... Run to the app store and grab an app called Boom. It is $7 an completely essential. Basically, it gives you an EQ for your MAC output. Without it you are going to have a hard time making a decision.

Now the bottom line.

The Bose, when placed about 6 inches from a solid wall and if you have a MAC, eq'd with Boom, is capable of a far more high fidelity sound that the BIG Jawbone... I tried multiple genres of music in a side by side comparison. The main complaint about the Bose is the Bass is overpowering at low levels... It can be. That is what the EQ is for. However, the Big Jawbone has a terrible bass response. On several occasions I found it completely unlistenable because of bass distortion. Louder is not necessarily better.

The Bose is simple. It has no extra features like a speakerphone. I honestly think the Big Jawbone and its speakerphone are quite a gimmick. It may be useful for other people but I simply wanted the best sounding speaker.

Outside of sounding like a LOUD tinny version of the Bose. The Big Jawbone had another deal breaking issue for me. The Bluetooth connection dropped and had to be re-paired more times than I'd like to admit. The Bose remembers my mac every time. I just have to turn it on.The BJS 'Live Audio' feature was interesting and made some genres sound better.

The two positive perks of the BJ I will point out are the shape and loudness... It really gets up there. If you are listening to any kind of acoustic, latin or fusion it actually sounds pretty good. Anything with deep or droning bass will illustrate major sound issues it has pretty viscerally. The square shape is a little more portable than the Bose. it can be set up anywhere but the Bose really needs the bass reflection.

My final verdict is I wanted the best sounding speaker and that is the Bose with some tweeks. I will add one caveat... Mp3s are really compressed as-is. They get even further degraded over bluetooth. Streaming songs from Grooveshark and Pandora are almost unbearably bad without EQ. Neither of these speakers will impress an audiophile. However, they are handy, portable and great at what they are.

Now you may go out, much like I did, and read a bunch of reviews..Most of them say the BJ is superior soundwise. However, I believe the Bose is engineered to be more capable. It is not as loud. If you get the bass reflection off a wall right there is just no comparison... Neither will WOW you but on the same token they are both pretty good.

Great for

Singer Songwriter
Instrumental
Ambient Electronic
LAtin
Jazz
Fusion
Rock <90s
Classical Music

Ok for
Modern Rock
Ska
Metal
House
Punk
Vocal Pop
Streaming Audio

Bad for
Rap
Dubstep
Industrial
Dance Driven Pop

Remember the Eq. If you listen to it flat on a MAC you are going to scream Whiskey Tango Foxtrot and send it back... Also, if you do use the BOOM EQ make sure your itunes eq is off. If you use both at the same time You are going to have a bad time...
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61 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soundlink II or Soundlink mini?, August 17, 2013
By 
Phronesis (Washington, D.C.) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I own the Soundlink II and the Soundlink mini. If you are wondering which one to buy, the answer is, it depends. Both have amazing sound - yes, both sound better than the UE Boom, the Braven, the Soundmatters speakers and pretty much anything else on the portable bluetooth speaker market. There is no hype or bells and whistles with these speakers - they just simply look great and have rich powerful sound. The Soundlink II plays louder and bit clearer than the Soundlink mini. But the mini holds its own with the Soundlink and amazes with its warmth and volume. The Soundlink II is of course larger than the mini, but not by as much as you might think. Hold them in your left and right hands, and you you will be struck that either could go in your carry on luggage or accompany you to the beach. We have found that the Soundlink II is actually shaped better to slip in and out in a carry on bag. Both are sturdy and impeccably built. Both have good battery life. Both connect easily to your phone or computer. The Soundlink II costs $100 more than the mini. But even there, the comparison is closer than you think. If you buy the neoprene cover and travel case for the mini (both recommended), you are up to within $20-$30 of the Soundlink II cost. In balance, I recommend the mini if you must have your speaker as small and light as possible. For example, you are hiking with it or a frequent business traveller. On the other hand, if you using the speaker at home - on your deck for example - or travel now and then, well the Soundlink II shines. Either speaker can excel in all of these situations, but we find ourself using and travelling with the Soundlink II because it sounds just a bit better. If these were cars, the Bose mini is the BMW 3 series and the Soundlink II is the BMW series 7. Both are luxury rides and very capable. They share many similarities. But the additional money you spend on the Soundlink buys you just a it more of what makes these the best bluetooth speakers on the market.
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59 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OUT OF THIS WORLD or simply good enough, depending on your point of reference, February 2, 2013
I've gone through a pretty surprising journey in the last couple of weeks that started with me completely dismissing the sound quality of the Bose Soundlink Mobile Speaker II -- and ended with me shelling out $349 for the premium/leather edition and starting a Spotify Premium subscription. I thought I'd share the journey in case there are others out there looking for similar audio solutions.

It all started when a friend showed his Bose SoundDock Portable that he had won. This is a relatively small dock for your iPhone, but it produced impressively rich sound quality. I already have a very sophisticated home cinema system in our living room (>$5,000 range) that I've owned for the last ten years, so I consider myself spoiled with very high fidelity audio at home -- but only in the living room, not in the bedroom on the second floor. I was compelled by the basic idea of having a secondary sound system that could play Bluetooth audio wirelessly because that could become the perfect solution for our bedroom and potentially my home office.

Inspired by what I heard at my friend's place, I started to look for an equivalent sound system that wasn't tied to Apple's proprietary standards but used Bluetooth instead. The two Bluetooth speakers that kept coming up everywhere in online reviews described as the "best" portable speakers were the Bose Soundlink II and the Jawbone BIG Jambox. I read countless of reviews and I really didn't like that both of these systems seemed to be optimized for size and weight, rather than sound quality. These speakers are actually quite expensive when you consider the limited fidelity they output, but what you're paying for is the portability factor -- including built-in battery, microscopic footprint, and rugged durability. Well, I wasn't really looking for that at all -- I wouldn't mind a slightly larger system that wasn't as portable, but was still "carryable" so I could move it across different rooms in our house. I then found systems like the Samsung DA-E670, which is in the same price range as the comparatively tiny portable Bluetooth speakers, but less portable and supposedly much higher fidelity.

However, the more I looked at those options, the more I started to actually like the idea of ultimate portability. My wife (who is surprisingly supportive when I have an urge to buy new gadgets -- maybe because she hopes that will allow her to shop more stuff too?!) started to talk about how nice it would be to be able to bring a speaker like this with us on vacations. Also, there was something with the look of the Bose speaker that clicked with me on an emotional level already the first time I saw it -- it reminds me of one of those old radios that people older than me had in their garage or kitchen back in the days.

So I decided to go to a store and test both the Soundlink II and the BIG Jambox. Immediately, I was disappointed with both of them. Just like I had feared, they sounded great for their size, but ultimately nowhere near hifi quality. The salesman was quick to demo a larger machine that only supported Airplay (the Bose SoundLink Air) and it definitely sounded better but was out of question for me since I specifically wanted a Bluetooth speaker. I was upset that it would be so hard to find something relatively portable that didn't sound like crap and wasn't coupled with Apple's proprietary solutions, and I even had to write a blog post to sort out my thoughts: [...].

But even after having tested the Bose Soundlink II in the store, there was this emotional urge still left in me that made me want to give it another try at home. Bose offers you to try their products out at home for 30 days, so I figured I had nothing to lose. And besides, the speaker probably would sound better at home than in the large locale where I tried it in store. So I brought one home and tested it without all the noise in a busy store, and the difference was definitely noticeable. What's more, when placing it in the bedroom and putting on some music at a moderate volume level, the sound quality was what I'd call *good enough*. I enjoyed listening to music in the bedroom for over two hours and probably the best testament of the quality of the sound from the speaker is that I sometimes forgot that I was playing it from a TINY battery-powered Bluetooth speaker!

So let's talk about its sound quality. The soundstage is definitely limited/narrow, and just like many reviews point out, it lacks a bit of clarity in the mids and treble. As I was experimenting with a trial of Spotify Premium for Android, I found that just increasing Spotify's built-in 5-band equalizer to (0, 0, +1, +1, +1) made the sound just perfect for my taste. Another thing I noticed is that the speaker actually sounds better if you step back a few meters and let it fill the whole room. If you stand too close to it (e.g. a meter or less), the stereo sound is rather narrow and directed. The sound becomes more natural and wide/rich if you take a couple of steps back.

The bass? It's incredible considering the size of the speaker. If you place it up against a wall, it's boomy all the way down to around 50 Hz, but below that there's nothing -- definitely no subwoofer magic hiding in this book-sized speaker here, but still impressively deep bass. For certain genres like classical music, this speaker can sound almost as good as my home cinema system (though with a much narrower stereo sound). As I was enjoying some scores by Hans Zimmer (Inception movie soundtrack), I completely forgot that I was playing it from the same speaker that I completely dismissed when trying it in the store. If you listen to house or pop, it's easier to tell that compromises had to be made in order to make the speaker this small -- but it still sounds good.

Let's get real though: although I was never able to actually test the Samsung DA-E670 and similar systems, I'm pretty sure that those will sound better than this tiny portable speaker I ended up buying. It's just that as I went through this research journey, I started to actually like the idea of being able to bring the speaker with me to more places than just between the bedroom and home office. Case in point: I'm writing this review from a hotel room in San Francisco, thousands of miles from home! This is also what made me ultimately decide to pay for a Spotify subscription. The combination of this Bose speaker and Spotify has changed the way I listen to music (and podcasts!) in very real ways.

Btw, for those interested in the differences between the BIG Jambox and the Bose Soundlink II, my impression in the store was that the Jambox had a more even/flat EQ curve, while the Bose had slightly weaker treble but richer bass. With richer, I don't just mean louder in the EQ curve -- the Bose seems to reproduce frequencies at a wider spectrum than the Jambox (i.e. the Bose gets down to 40 Hz and the Jambox only to something like 60 Hz). The Bose sounded better in my ears. While the slight loss in treble/clarity of the Bose can be fixed with a tiny tweak of the EQ of your phone/tablet/computer, you can never get the same deep bass back in the Jambox. So for me, the choice is very simple since the Bose is also about ten times more attractive (in my very subjective opinion).

The bottom line is that there are two ways of describing the Bose Soundlink II: it's either "OUT OF THIS WORLD", if you consider the size of the speaker and the portability-favored design -- or it's simply "good enough" as a secondary sound system in your house if you close your eyes and judge it based on sound quality alone. Given the added benefit of portability that this form factor enables and the remarkably sleek design, the Bose Soundlink II deserves nothing less than a five star rating.
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48 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shopped literally for years, and finally found the product!, November 21, 2012
By 
orionredwing "orionredwing" (San Jose, CA United States) - See all my reviews
I have literally been shopping for a portable speaker for years. As much as we try to be realistic in understanding that a small portable unit won't provide the big sound of a full system, you can't help but wish that somehow, somewhere, physics can be defied to give you something decent in a small portable package.

The Soundlink 2 doesn't defy physics, but it's pretty darned good. The portability of this unit continues to grow and amaze. It's so light and easy, I find myself moving it from bedroom night stand to garage, living room, kitchen, and elsewhere without a second thought.

But to be perfectly honest, my initial impression was NOT 5 stars....more like 3.5. While decent at in store demo listening volumes, the Soundlink 2 automatically reduces bass if you crank it up further. For someone like me who loves to listen to Top 40s, it was a disappointment not to be able to go louder. However, when switching genres, playing songs like Andrea Bocelli's Time to Say Goodbye (where bass wasn't a req), the vocals really came out great with little distortion. So why 5 stars now? Simply because in the 2 months of owning the Soundlink 2, I found I really didn't need or want to go that loud :) Keep in mind that I currently own a 5.1 Lifestyle system, so my purpose for purchasing this as a bedroom night stand speaker may be different than yours.

A Tip: If you want more booming bass, position the Soundlink 2 about 1 to 1.5 ft from a wall, even better close to a corner where 2 walls meet to amplify the bass reflection. If you want less, set the unit in a more open area. It's so light and portable, you can experiment with ease to find your perfect location.

It's kind of funny cuz right as I typed the above tip, my iPod shuffled to a song with great lows, and I turned my head in amazement (again) at the deep bass coming out of the unit. Coming out of this small package?!? For real!
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37 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bose Provides A Sound Link For Mobile Music!, October 5, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I own several similar audio products, a couple of which might be considered "high end", including a Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin. I have never owned a Bose product other than a Soundlink.

The Soundlink II is a mobile speaker. It can play music from Bluetooth sources, and has a 3.5mm port as well. It has no actual docking station other than the 3.5mm port. It is not WiFi-capable, so it cannot be connected to a wireless network. Bose provides a 1 year warranty.

The sound on the Soundlink II is astounding. At about 9" x 5" x 2", It is not much larger than a paperback book. But it packs a lot of sound. The volume is great, and the sound clarity is consistent throughout the range of volume.

I listen to a variety of music on the Soundlink originating from iPad, iPods, and Blackberries. The highs are great and very clear, midranges are crisp, and the bass is powerful and booming. I don't know that I notice any difference in sound quality over the original model, although Bose advertises the sound as improved. Frankly, I don't know how far you can improve on `incredible.'

So what is in the box?
* The Soundlink II.
* AC adapter/charger.
* 3.5mm cable.
* Instruction manual.

The design is sleek all the way around. There are a total of six buttons, all on top, and all with lighted icons. These are: Power, Aux, Bluetooth, Mute, and Volume Up and Volume Down.

The Soundlink II pairs easily. Simply hold down the Bluetooth button for a second and confirm the pairing on your wireless device. That's it - you're connected and ready to play your music! You can pair up to six devices in the Soundlink's memory. For devices you need to connect without BlueTooth, just plug in the device with the included 3.5mm cable and press the Aux button. I use my iPod that way.

Volume can be controlled by the Soundlink Volume buttons or through your paired device's volume controls.

On the surface, the Soundlink II appears to be pretty much the same as its predecessor, Bose's Soundlink product. One notable difference is the design for the built-in cover. The new cover folds in its middle (bi-fold) so you can fold it to just about the same width as the Soundlink bottom and use it as a rest. This is an improvement to you if you place the Soundlink on narrow surfaces.

The built-in cover is available in leather as an option, as opposed to nylon. It is also available in several colors.

The wireless range is excellent. I'm sure it depends on the structure you are in and other variables such as other interference and battery charge. But I have stayed connected from 40 feet away, while I was in my yard and the Soundlink was on my deck plugged into an outlet. The Soundlink is great for use inside or outside, to take to parties, or a park, etc. It IS NOT waterproof so treat it as you would any other fine electronic product.

The rechargeable lithium-ion battery is rated for 8 hours. Bose says at maximum volume the battery will last for 3 hours. I have used it for much longer, like 12 hours (not straight, but total) without a charge before it shut off. If you hold down the Power button, the battery icon changes color to provide battery status: green 70-100%, amber 20-70%, and red, less than 20%. When plugged in to charge, the battery icon will light up amber and remain that way while charging, when it will shut off.

This is an incredible mobile speaker. It is well worth the price. I would highly recommend it for someone who wants a high quality sounds system that is also mobile.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker, December 2, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Bose® SoundLink® Bluetooth Mobile Speaker II VS. Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker:

I read extensive reviews and answers to questions on Amazon, before deciding between the Bose® SoundLink® Bluetooth Mobile Speaker II and the Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker. Based on everything, I came away with the feeling that the Mini is as good and to some folks sounds better than its bigger older brother. I went ahead and purchased the SoundLink Mini.

Forward one day, and I just happened to be passing a Bose store and decided to try them out just for kicks. Boy - glad I did! They are night and day different! The mini definitely needs to be heard at lower volumes to enjoy... and when I say lower I mean lower than I would normally listen to music. The mini is definitely better then speakers in its class but in my opinion, the Bose® SoundLink® Bluetooth Mobile Speaker II stand in a class of their own.

Other comments:

The speakers, as one would expect, connected in less than a minute to each of my devices - iphone, ipad, mac. Really felt the beauty of the device when we watched a movie on Netflix and switched output between macbook pro speakers and the Bose soundlink II. The switch felt like moving from your home to a theater... I say this because I did not expect this from a portable speaker set.

The speakers are reasonably light but do not expect to carry it in your hand while dancing for a long time :)
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39 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding BT speaker, October 9, 2012
This review is from: Bose® SoundLink® Bluetooth Mobile Speaker II - Leather (Electronics)
Just picked up the Soundlink II at the Bose store. I had recently bought the first soundlink and thought if this one is better I will just return the older version. After listening to the first one for about a week and then hearing the new one, you can tell there is a slight adjustment to the bass and the overall sound it produces. I would describe it to be more natural sounding and more accurate low end/bass notes. After listening to other BT speakers (altec, jawbone, jabra, etc.) the soundlink can produce better performance/loudness in its overall sound. If you want something small and 50% of the sound then you should stick with something cheaper such as the solemate, monster clarityhd, or small jambox.

I notice how there many positive reviews on the Soundlink II and many people saying it wasn't a very helpful comment - (ex. 0/5 people found this comment helpful). Hmmm interesting.. bose haters?? lol. I have many other speakers including Klipsch 2.1 prodmedia, logitech 5.1 system pc speakers, and the energy take classic 5.1. so I know a little bit about sound.

The sound that comes out of these speakers is outstanding considering its a wireless BT speaker small in size. Go check it out in the bose store or best buy and see for yourself. Bose does have a certain sound not fit for everyone including audiophiles but if you can name 2 other BT speakers in this price range with better sound I will be shocked. And please dont say the jawbone jambox.. its a toy compared to the soundlink.
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