Bose SoundLink Mini II Deep Review: Buy On Black Friday 2020
What’s the very best product Bose has available? That’s hard to state, but a case could be designed for the SoundLink Mini , the business’s 2013 compact Bluetooth speaker that has impressive construction and sound because of its size and isn’t too outrageously coming in at $200 (£170 and AU$299).
Now we get the brand new SoundLink Mini II, which retails for the same price, will come in two colors — Carbon and Pearl — and aims to repair some of the original Mini’s shortcomings while adding some a few new feature additions, including a boost in battery life.
The brand new 1.5-pound (0.67kg) model looks practically identical to its predecessor — a very important thing, since it’s among the sharpest-looking small speakers out there — nonetheless it now includes a built-in microphone for speakerphone capabilities. Another improvement is its 10-hour battery rating, up from 7 hours for the prior model.
Rounding out the improvements: the speaker now charges with a standard USB cable instead of a proprietary AC adapter, which is a crucial change. Bose says it “charges with most USB power sources.” In addition, it carries a charging cradle, which acts as a dock these devices in the home. (Personally, i would always leave that cradle linked to the Bose-provided USB charging cable, and just carry around another Micro-USB cable and charger for the street.)
As I said about original SoundLink Mini, it looks lot such as a speaker Apple would design. Perhaps it is the unibody aluminum enclosure that surrounds both small drivers and front and back radiators. Or the actual fact that, at 1.5 pounds, it feels somewhat more substantial than a lot of the tiny all-plastic Bluetooth speakers now in the marketplace. Whatever it really is, that is a sleek-looking, very compact wireless speaker.
The new speaker permits you to pair two devices to it concurrently — you can switch backwards and forwards between your devices, alternating audio tracks streams — and it could remember up to eight devices. Bose also says it’s streamlined the pairing process with new voice prompts and the speaker identifies your devices by name using text-to-speech.
Soft covers, sold separately for $25, £21 or AU$30 each, will be accessible in deep red, “energy green,” dark blue, charcoal black and gray. (Our photography shows the initial SoundLink with the now-discontinued bright blue color.)
As far as I could tell, the sound hasn’t changed. The initial SoundLink Mini could produce impressive sound because of its tiny size, which model does aswell. It just plays a whole lot bigger than it looks, with a respectable amount of bass and relatively clean, natural sound. It’s a good speaker for your kitchen, bedroom and smaller rooms (for instance a dorm room).
I compared it to the Sony SRS-X55, that is a tiny bit bigger speaker and costs around the same price (the Sony comes with an MSRP of $180). For what they are, they’re both very good speakers, with the Sony coming to its best if it is plugged in (it plays just a little louder on AC power instead of working off the unit’s internal rechargeable battery).
The Bose casts a slightly larger sound stage and excels with acoustic material, flattering it a lttle bit a lot more than the Sony. For instance, Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie – Live,” Laura Marling’s “Strange” and Queensryche’s “Silent Lucidity” all sounded excellent on the Bose.
What you enter the box (charging dock is roofed). Sarah Tew/CNET
It isn’t as smooth with rock and harder driving music, so when you crank the quantity and throw complicated tracks at it — or music with a whole lot of bass — the speaker compensates by restraining the quantity just a little and clipping certain frequencies therefore the speaker doesn’t distort. Basically, it has its limitations (it performs best at significantly less than 75 percent volume levels).
On a positive note, the Bose did an improved job with Bleachers’ “Wild Heart” when compared to a large amount of Bluetooth speakers we’ve tested. It’s a hardcore track to handle and may sound like chaos on lesser Bluetooth speakers and headphones. However the Bose were able to hold it together pretty much at higher volumes.
It’s worth noting as with with each one of these small Bluetooth speakers, you do not really get any stereo separation (maybe if you are siting several feet from it). With some Bluetooth speakers — the UE Boom and Megaboom , for instance — you can wirelessly join two speakers to augment the sound or create a stereo pair. You can’t do this with this Bose — it’s made to work only as an individual speaker.
Bose makes two other Bluetooth speakers — the bigger and more costly SoundLink III ($300 USD, £260 in the united kingdom, AU$400 in Australia) and the slightly lighter but less expensive SoundLink Color ($129 USD, £120 in the united kingdom, and AU$179). The SoundLink Mini II sits right in the Goldilocks spot among — the ideal price, with the ideal feature set.
If you desire a speaker for the pool, the identically priced (and waterproof) UE Boom is an improved bet. And Sony’s SRSX55 provides Bose a run because of its money on sound quality in this price class. But ultimately, it’s hard to fail with the Bose SoundLink Mini II . It’s one of the better compact wireless speakers overall, with a fantastic design, strong sound, a better feature set and solid battery li