BOSE SOUNDLINK II: Listen to the music

Written by Sudhir Chowdhary | Updated: Feb 14 2013, 14:34pm hrs
In the late eighties, well-known poet and lyricist Gulzar directed a TV serial on Mirza Ghalib, one of the most admired poets in the history of Urdu and Persian writings, with the same title.

The formers style marks a sensitivity that is best reflected through his writings and treatment of films. A major highlight of the biographical television drama series were the Ghalib nazms or ghazals in the voice of Jagjit Singh. Be it Aah Ko Chahiye or Hazaron Khwahishen Aisi, the late singer sang the ghazals in his beautiful, deep voice.

Recently, I revived the magic of Mirza Ghalib at home on a Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Mobile Speaker II. Truth be told, only a Bose system can do justice to the soulful voice of Jagjit Singh and beautiful narration of Ghalibs letter in Gulzars voice. Bose has made and excellent portable speaker. On this R23,513-a-piece device, you can enjoy your music wirelessly from your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or other Bluetooth enabled device anywhere you choose.

Personally I believe that techies at the Massachusetts-based audio equipment firm (Bose) come up with better sound through research. They strive to reproduce the musical sounds as closely as possible to those of the original performance. This means that they genuinely avoid flashy sounds such as those associated with accentuated bass and/or treble frequencies. While those sounds may be initially attractive to the novice, they are not real and are not enduring.

Back to the SoundLink II. This is an update to what was already a popular Bluetooth speaker. It works wirelessly with your Bluetooth phone, tablet or laptop. Theres nothing to hook up or dock. You can play music files or stream music from your system or internet. And the rechargeable battery keeps the music playing for hours.

The SoundLink II is about 5 inches high, 9.6 inches wide and 2 inches deep. Its surprisingly compact, yet feels very durable and well-built. Its compact size makes it nice, not only for travel, but also for placing the speaker in tight spaces. The device is available in two variants: LX model features dark brown leather cover, silver aluminium grille and polished chrome trim. The Standard model features dark gray nylon cover, black aluminum grille and brushed chrome trim.

I carefully unpacked the mobile speaker and power supply. When opened, the cover forms a stand for the speaker. No sound is heard from the speaker unless the cover is opened. When you close the cover, magnets hold it in place. When closed, the cover protects the speaker. Also, if you close the cover while audio is playing, the speaker turns itself off.

When using the SoundLink II indoors, the tonal quality may vary depending on where the speaker in placed in a room. As per my assessment, the speaker is designed to sound best when placed on a shelf, desk, or tabletop that is 24 to 48 inches high. For best bass response, the speaker should be placed near a wall; bass response decreases as the speaker is placed closer to the centre of a room. When operating the speaker, always use the cover as a stand. Do not lay the speaker on its back. Sound is emitted from both the front and rear of the unit.

I spent quite a few hours listening to the SoundLink II and was pleasantly surprised with the overall package, including its sound quality. I paired the SoundLink Speaker II with my Dell laptop and the entire experience was seamless and hassle-free. I also successfully connected it to my better halfs iPhone 4. Of course, the user manual was of great assistance.

From both the devices, I was able to enjoy clear, full sound on this small speaker. Bass response was good and tight for a small speaker. The overall sound was impressive. It also never distorted, even at high volumes, and could easily fill a large living room.

My assessment: The SoundLink II is an excellent Bluetooth speaker. It connects easily, looks great, and has very good sound quality. If you are looking for a premium Bluetooth speaker, you can take a good look at this Bose innovation.

Estimated street price: Rs 23,513