the Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Mobile Speaker.
Forget about docks and cords, wireless accessories are where it’s at these days, and the Bose SoundLink is my personal favorite in the wireless speaker category. It’s small and compact, with a solid feel and a sleek look, and it has pretty good overall volume and sound reproduction for a device of its size and portability.
It pairs with and remembers up to 6 Bluetooth devices. After 6, every new device you pair it with bumps an old one out of its memory. I currently have it paired with my laptop, iPod touch and my Smartphone, all were a snap to pair, and all reconnect to it instantly after initial setup. Its sound is warm and impressive with nice full bass, not sonically perfect, but nice, and it has enough volume and clarity to use outdoors.
The controls are simple, just a few buttons on the top of the device for power, volume, mute and Bluetooth pairing. No remote, but that’s fine with me. The paired device performs that function quite nicely. It also has a built in cover with a magnetic latch that does triple duty. It protects the speaker when it’s closed, acts as a stand when it’s open, and turns the unit off when you close it again.
Like most Bose music systems, speaker placement is key to maximizing its sound; you want to have a solid surface a few feet behind it to reflect the bass, especially when you’re using it outdoors or at a large party. The SoundLink’s range is at least 30’, which gives you a lot of options in the placement department.
I’ve actually had the device for a few months now, but have been holding off on a review until I’d really put it through its paces, and this baby passed my summer torture test with flying colors. The only problem is, I waited so long that Bose has just released a second generation device, the SoundLink II, and a software update for the original device. The SoundLink II has been sonically improved, and now comes in 2 flavors, Bluetooth or AirPlay (Apple’s proprietary Wi-Fi).
The sonic improvements come in the form of new transducers and better digital signal processing, and the addition of an AirPlay version gives the device even more flexibility when paired with an iOS device or iTunes.
The software update for the original model is easy to install, the SoundLink has a micro USB port on the back labeled service, and it’s great to know that the device is upgradeable, seeing as the electronic landscape seems to change every nanosecond these days.
Bottom line, there are other Bluetooth sound systems out there, and most are a lot cheaper than the SoundLink, but for my money the SoundLink has just the right mix of sound, portability, function and form. Small and sturdy enough to travel with, perfect as an add-on speaker for your laptop, iPod or Smartphone, powerful enough to use as a boom box at your next party, and it pulls it all off with style.
That is all.