When it comes to portable speakers for use on the go, there are a ton of products out there. The options available are relatively cheap, affordable and also offer a reasonably high quality of audio and performance. However, fewer options out there really push the boundary. Hopefully, Bose's newly launched SoundLink Wireless Mobile Speakers will change that.
On Video: Bose SoundLink
The one thing, other than paying a hefty price that we’ve come to expect from luxury brand, Bose, is quality of design and overall performance. In the last few years, though, we’ve noticed an ever so slight drop in the performance aspect and that is also evident in Bose’s mobile savvy, SoundLink portable speaker. Durability, as it seems, will not be an issue as it looks sturdy enough to take quite a beating, if necessary.
A fancy, but sturdy cover for a stylish product
The Bose SoundLink is a single unit speaker with nothing, but a flap covering it. There are two models available. The one we received was the brown leather one, but there’s also a cheaper nylon cover that costs a good Rs. 4,500 less. The model we received had a neat chrome bezel that runs along the edges of the speaker. The leather cover neatly fits into the speaker and a magnetic panel makes sure it stays in place. The large buttons on the top make for easy control and a small LED panel is placed in the bezel just above the speaker to indicate charging or Bluetooth activity. A micro USB port is located at the back for interfacing the device with your PC for updating firmware, when available.
In terms of specifications, Bose sticks to their ideology of detailing little about the product. No details on the power output and the size of drivers have been mentioned. This compact little speaker comes with a 3.5mm analog jack at the rear and a power adapter to power it. You can then connect devices that support audio streaming over Bluetooth. A bundled remote control with a simple volume control and power on/off switch would’ve been handy, especially considering the price of this product.
But let’s talk about the quality of audio. Thanks to their own and tested through the ages, speaker technology you won’t be disappointed with overall performance, unless of course, you’re an audiophile with a overly keen sense of hearing. What we did notice is that in a large room, with volume peaked, the level of distortion was just a tad higher when a device was connected wirelessly via Bluetooth, as compared to when one was hooked up via a 3.5mm jack. On the whole though, Bose’s dual-opposing passive radiators do tend to provide quite a significant amount of bass when you’re in close proximity to the speaker. Naturally the further away you move, the lesser it becomes.
A compact setup
Keeping the price in mind, as well, we were not totally displeased with the performance of this little speaker. The dynamic range of the device is stretched to a rather taunt limit with the volume maximized, but sounds quite robust in a smaller room when you’re closer to the speaker. It’s definitely a better performer when compared to the likes of Creative or Logitech, and what they have to offer in the same category. In the end, you will have to have a seriously heightened sense of hearing, think Wolverine style, to look for any seriously big issues, in terms of sound quality.
With regards to the range for Bluetooth-enabled devices, your handset, tablet or any other capable device will be in adequate range even 15-20 feet away from the SoundLink Mobile Speaker with a few obstacles in its path. In a wide open space, you can take your device up to 27 feet easily without any interruptions, whatsoever. Don’t expect it to go through the walls without the audio cutting off. Then again, it’s not really designed for that.
For common users who're looking for something neat, easy to lug around even in their knapsack, and of course for those with a rather large bank balance, the Bose SoundLink Mobile Speaker is quite a good bargain.
For portable use
For everyday use at home, or a little tag along for picnics, it’s an expensive investment, especially when its price is Rs. 23,513 for the leather cover model and Rs. 19,013 for the nylon cover model.
Updated 21 May, 2013, 8:08 pm IST
Bose SoundLink Wireless Mobile Speaker Review
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