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562 of 685 people found the following review helpful
Truly Amazing Sound - But some issues led me to the UE Boom
on August 29, 2013
This little speaker IS truly amazing when it comes to sound. The quality and fullness of sound that you get from a such a small footprint is staggering. Many reviews go over the sound quality - so I'm not going to concentrate on that - this gets 6 stars for that. If you want something that you'll only very occasionally use in a mobile setting but just want something TINY that sounds phenomenal: Get this. If you want something that's truly mobile - maybe check out the UE Boom before making a decision.
I have some major gripes that led me to such a low rating, to return this and get the UE Boom. I mean, I know that the main purpose of this device is to emit sound, which should dictate a high rating - but it's also supposed to be mobile which is where it falls short. If this were $100, I wouldn't be so critical, but it's not. When V2 of the SoundLink Mini comes out I'll definitely look into it!
CHARGER - Why on earth do you put a micro usb port on a device which is technically capable of charging using a standard that many other mobile devices use (phones, kindles, etc ...) not use that and then put another NON-standard charging port next to it (for firmware updates, I know)? V2 has to have micro-usb charging. The charger is small though, I guess. But, go on a vacation and forget the charger and you're out of luck. The UE Boom uses mirco usb and micro usb is readily and cheaply available at almost every store in the US and abroad IF you don't already travel with one or have a friend who does.
CHARGER HISS [Please see comments for a possible resolution to this issue] - When it's not charging the speaker the CHARGER emits a high pitch hiss. I'm sensitive to this kind of thing, but this seemed pretty loud to me. I had a couple others verify that I wasn't crazy - but maybe I had a bad charger? Does anyone else have this? It really surprised me. It only happens with the charger is plugged in and isn't plugged into the speaker. This is high enough pitch that it may be out of range for older ears.
DURABILITY (Appearance) - This thing is a built like a tank. I'm sure it's very durable. But its grill is pretty prone to scratches. The edges are sharp and can get dinged. You kinda need a case or something to keep this device's appearance in perfect condition. Maybe it's just like a new car and the first scratch is the worst - but with the UE Boom - you just throw it in a bag along with everything else and jog on.
THE DOCK - The dock is a REALLY cool idea, but Bose's execution isn't great. It's a little tricky to place it properly. You end up having to pick up and put down the speaker a few times and wait for confirmation that it's charging or place it really carefully. At this point you might as well skip the dock. Another minor grip is that for something that is so elegant and aesthetic - the charging cable just juts out the side. The charger should have an angle and for the dock at least it should really plug into the bottom and come out the back with the flexible portion of the cord so you can hide the cord and have it flush against the wall if you wanted.
BATTERY LEVEL - I'm not sure about how long the battery lasts. It's certainly sufficient for most needs - but there's no battery indicator except when it gets really low. It would be really nice to know a percentage. When the UE Boom connects to an iPhone it shows it's battery level next to the phone's battery level ... and with the Boom you can also push the volume buttons together and it will tell you how much charge is remaining (in several languages).
VOLUME - Somewhat minor or maybe a plus, but when using this via bluetooth on an iPhone there are two volumes - one on the phone and one on the SoundLink Mini. Other devices link the phone and device volumes so you don't have to optimize between the two. It would be nice if this could be resolved. That being said, with the UE Boom (where there is one volume to deal with) I almost wish there was a way to separate the two - Why? Because the UE Boom is SO loud that with only 16 increments of volume, where the last 12 are jet engine loud for most purposes, the difference between two increments it too big. With the Bose system you could fine tune a bit better.
I did go with the UE Boom - It also sounds great, but Bose is the undisputed champ in most settings unless you're BLASTING music. This Bose is plenty loud - in fact - it's loudness is optimal for me. The UE Boom is excessively loud. Also, you don't really ever have to plug the UE Boom in (listen for 3 hours a day for 5 days easily) - and when you do, you use a really nice micro usb port / included charger. When you're on the go, consolidating chargers is a big deal.
In summary - Both the UE Boom and Bose are excessively expensive - which is why I'm so picky. Both are truly amazing!