on December 29, 2013
I returned approximately 6 Bluetooth speakers to Staples, Walmart and Amazon for various reasons. For some it was sound quality, for some it was battery and for some it was connectivity issues. This small piece of hardware from Bose, was just perfect in all departments. A tad costlier than other speakers, but i really did not find anything to complain for this one. the sound quality, battery, bass and tweets are just GREAT.
on July 23, 2013
So here we go: Bose managed to stir up the whole competition again. Most of the time when Bose is mentioned in some article I always read comments like "no highs no lows, must be Bose", but the reality is just the other way round, because when i read all the empty promises from other manufacturers like "full-range JBL® sound with exceptional bass" for the JBL Flip, or " the Beats Pill produces powerful sound [...] enjoy soaring highs and deep, booming bass" for the Pill that doesn't produce any bass at all, or "the JAMBOX delivers shimmering highs and thumping lows that you can literally feel - the richest sound all in the palm of your hand", it is ridiculous to actually hear the real result: Tinny sounding small speakers, that sound even worse if you listen at lower levels.
Now Bose came out with the Soundlink Mini which is hardly any bigger than the Jambox (it is twice as heavy though), but it sounds like a much bigger speaker with really powerful bass that you will never expect from that size. At least at normal levels the sound is really in a completely different league than that of JBL Charge, JBL Flip, Jambox, Shoqbox, UE Boom whatever. I always thought that there must be more potential for sound from a speaker this size, but no one really managed anything outstanding, expect Bose now. Not sure how long it took them to develop and design this little beast, because Bose is quite late to the mini speaker party, but at least they really put out something special and unique, not just another useless screaming and overpriced speaker.
I had waited for something like that for several years, and I tried nearly all of them, the smaller ones as well as the bigger ones, still i I was quite surprised when I heard the Soundlink Mini for the first time. I didn't expect it to nearly match the much bigger Soundlink II in sound and bass-response, which is no slouch either, but the Mini is 30% of its size and fits into your pocket.
When listening closer and comparing both intensively i even found that the Mini sounded better than the Soundlink II, because it has an overall clearer sound with similarly powerful bass and it is less directional than the original Soundlink, which could become quite muffled and veiled especially when listening off-axis and at lower levels. The only point where the Mini loses is upper treble, which has no sparkle at all. Overall it sounds very natural without exaggerating any frequency too much, but the upper treble is a little bit missing, at least for my taste. Still when compared to many other even bigger speakers the Mini wins in overall sound. I tested it against a BIG Jambox, a TDK A33, even a Libratone Zipp and the Mini sounded best with the most impressive performance. It is only at higher levels where it starts to fall apart a little bit soundwise. Up to 70-80% of its volume the sound remains very consistent and balanced with powerful bass, but above 80% bass is brought to the background and dynamic compression kicks in. Funnily it still sounds quite acceptable even at highest levels, without any hints of obvious distortion. But it doesn't sound that impressive anymore. Now at these levels BIG Jambox or TDK A33 of course have an edge and they also play considerably louder. I would say both the TDK A33 and the Soundlink II play about 30% louder than the Soundlink Mini, but the A33 isn't that clean either at its highest volume.
The Soundlink Mini is definitely not meant for an outdoor party with dozens of people, although i was nevertheless quite impressed, when i used it outside in the garden for the first time and heard how powerful the sound was even outside, and this is the biggest point: The Soundlink manges to maintain a full bodied sound outside, without any walls. You don't have the impression to be listening to a palm-sized speaker, it sounds like a bigger boombox.
I won't talk much about the quality, design etc, because even here the Mini outclasses most other products like the Beats Pill or Jawbone Jambox, which have a cheapish plastic-feel to it. For 200 bucks this is probably the first Bose speaker which is not overpriced at all, when I look at all the prices other companies are asking for. The included cradle is a big plus and i wonder why other portable speakers never had anything like that. With some you even have to lift the speaker first and try to fit in the plug into the bottom recessed hole (the Libratone Zipp comes into my mind).
What is a pity though, that the additional covers are a bit expensive also the colors so far a bit flashy, that's why i hope Bose will come up with some more neutral covers sooner or later. But the cover gives perfect protection for the speaker and acts like a bumper, therefore I wouldn't like to use it without, even if i prefer its slim design without any cover.
If you are in the market for a portable small but really powerful sounding speaker, the Soundlink Mini is the way to go, and is the only one i would really want to recommend. It doesn't have special features like speakerphone, or app-support, or voice prompts etc, it just plays music but it does it with totally outstanding quality!
Since i own the Soundlink Mini, I hardly ever turn on my main stereo anymore, as it is so much fun to carry it around in the house, in the garden or even in the park when i take my lunch break! Thank you so much Mr. Bose and RIP!
on September 4, 2015
Arrived in adequate packaging and on time. Sound quality is GREAT! I'm taking one star away because I do not like the charging base it sits on. It seems flimsy and you have to put it on there PERFECTLY for it to connect. I find I cannot just set it down on there and have it connect. I have to pick up the base, align it perfectly, then set both of them down at once to get it lined up properly. It's not that big of a deal, but I wish it was more forgiving in that respect. Otherwise, everything else is great. Bluetooth connection is fast and easy. Oh, I also appreciate the sound coming out of the back as well as the front.
on August 28, 2015
Based on overall sound, I would give this 4 stars, but when you add in the style, easy to use functions, and excellent paring quality, it is a 5 star unit. I compared the sound of this to the " URGE BASIC SOUNDBRICK" which I paid less than $25 for, which certainly isn't a match for the Bose, but considering the huge price difference, it gives one to pause a minute. Nonetheless, very happy with this purchase!
UPDATE: Placement of this speaker is crucial to it's preformance....changed where I had initially placed it to a more "open" spot and it sounds incredibly better...almost "surround". 10 STARS!!