Bose Soundlink mini speaker: Hear it to believe it

Written by Sudhir Chowdhary | Updated: Nov 7 2013, 20:18pm hrs
Bose Soundlink mini speakerBose Soundlink mini speaker
Headphones and digital music systems made by Massachusetts-based Bose Corporation are known to be quite expensive in the market simply because they are great. The company is known to invest in long-term research with one fundamental goal: to develop new technologies which deliver a mind-blowing audio performance. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Bose products for the home, in the car, on the go and in public spaces have become iconic.

Marketing folks at Bose India are putting in that same passion to become market leaders here. Quite aware that the Indian market is extremely price-sensitive and that the Bluetooth speaker segment is fiercely competitive with numerous other players around, the Indian subsidiary has introduced two new productsQuietComfort 20 headphones and SoundLink Mini Bluetooth speakerwhich are decently priced by Bose standards and deliver very good audio.


Specifications

*Dimensions: 5 x 18 x 5.8 cm (H x *x D)

*Wireless range: 30 feet

*Inputs/outputs: 3.5 mm auxiliary input, micro-USB port

*Power rating: 100 240V

*Battery life: 7 hours

*Weight: 680 grams

* Estimated street price: Rs 16,200


We had reviewed the noise-cancelling headphones (QuietComfort 20) a few weeks back; its time now to look at the new SoundLink Mini speaker, a completely new Bose SoundLink family member. It joins the widely popular SoundLink Bluetooth Mobile speaker II in the Bose Bluetooth speaker product line. This new Bose creation (SoundLink Mini) fits in the palm of your hand, connects wirelessly to a mobile phone, laptop or a tablet, and delivers a new level of performance for personal, out-loud listening. It retails for R16,200.

Of late, we have reviewed numerous hand-held, Bluetooth-powered speakers, but none are like the SoundLink Mini. It is small, but it offers far better sound than any speaker of its size. At 680 grams, it weighs no more than the average tablet. The SoundLink Mini measures just 5 x 18 x 5.8 cm (H x W x D)30% the size and 50% the weight of the original SoundLink Mobile speaker. With its anodised aluminum housing, it resists scratches and fingerprints, and is strong and durable enough for the rigours of everyday use.

Out of the box, the SoundLink Mini has a clean and compact shape and an elegant design. It comes with a charging cradle, making it easy to grab-and-go with your music. Accessory soft covers in orange, green and blue, and a travel bag, are also available for customisation and convenience. These accessory soft covers retail for R1,350; the travel bag will cost you another R2,250.

Now on to the speaker itself. The SoundLink Mini features several engineering advancements precisely integrated in its enclosure: two new passive radiators feature a proprietary surround to reproduce the lowest low notes. The passive radiators are driven by new custom-designed, high-efficiency Bose transducers. Debuting in the SoundLink Mini, the new Bose transducers move twice the air as conventional same-size transducers and deliver clear mid- and high-frequencies.

To optimise the audio output, Bose digital signal processing is integrated for tonally balanced sound at any listening level. The resulting experience is pretty good: the SoundLink Mini plays the full range of musiclifelike and powerful. The speaker has a built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery thats rated for seven hours of listening. At my end, it lasted for much more at moderate volume levels.

The SoundLink Mini speaker uses Bluetooth A2DP and a powerful antenna for a reliable wireless connection. Its easy to pair and play, connecting to a mobile device at the touch of a button on the speakers control panel. The six most recently used Bluetooth devices are stored in memory, eliminating the need to pair again.

I had no trouble pairing a BlackBerry phone, a Dell laptop and an Apple MacBook Pro with the speaker. You simply hold down the Bluetooth button on top of the speaker and it goes into pairing mode. After you select Bose SoundLink Mini from the Bluetooth setup menu on your phone or other device, after a few seconds you should be linked up wirelessly to the speaker and be able to stream audio to it. In all, the connection was pretty stable.

A heady mix of cutting-edge hardware design and some nice piece of software is behind the speakers good sound. In my reading, the speaker plays incredibly loudly for its size. It can actually fill a medium-size room with great sound and what impressed me the most was that the sound doesnt distort at higher volumes. Theres rattling or shaking of the speaker whatsoever. All music genres sound goodfull, rich, and deep, without artificial boosts or distortion. Put simply, it has to be heard to be believed.

Just like your phone, youll want to take this SoundLink Mini everywhere, every day. Highly recommended!