The Bose SoundLinik Mini Bluetooth Speaker 2 is Bose’s second attempt at audio nirvana from a compact speaker. Every surface of the speaker not only looks, but feels tops notch. When you pick this compact speaker up you know it means business by its weight and almost all metal design. The speaker I tested came in the limited edition black/copper color scheme which looks classy. The majority of the enclosure is a satin black painted aluminum. Across the top of the device is a plastic plaque with the SoundLink Mini branding. To the front of this are five rubber buttons which include a dedicated power button, volume decrease button, volume increase button, Bluetooth button which is used for entering pairing mode and switching between devices, and a multi-function button that is used for play/pause/answer/end/and skipping tracks. The multi-function button is over used in my opinion and I wish Bose had moved the skipping of tracks to the volume buttons like most Bluetooth devices. This would prevent double and triple pressing a button to skip tracks. I do like the inclusion of a Bluetooth LED indicator above the Bluetooth button. On the right end of the speaker is an aux input jack and micro-USB port for charging. The device can also be charged via the included dock via four pogo pins on the bottom of the device. The front of the device features a metal grill with the Bose logo on it in copper while the rear has the same grill minus the logo. The buttons are also marked in copper color. Also included with the speaker is a charging cable, USB charger, and user manual.
The battery life of the SoundLink Mini II is rated for 10 hours and I had no problem getting 8+ hours of listening from the speaker, even at high volumes. The Bluetooth range of the speaker is much better than all other speakers I have tested which seems to be trend with all of the Bluetooth Bose products. The speaker features a microphone for hands free calling which is a great feature. Earlier I mentioned the weight of the device adding to the build quality of the device, with the build quality and weight comes one minor flaw, if you put this speaker in your bag to carry, you will notice it is in there. Would this stop me from taking it on a trip or a hangout session with friends, absolutely not. The convenience and sound quality more than make up for the weight. Another convenience of the SoundLink Mini II are the guided voice prompts for pairing, battery status, incoming phone calls, etc.
The most important things when it comes to Bluetooth speakers are sound quality and output. As for sound output the Bose does pretty well. While it is not the loudest speaker I have tested of this size, it is still louder than most people would expect. As for sound quality, like many Bose products, the SoundLink Mini II is unique in that Bose has done an absolutely amazing job of making it sound great below ~75% volume. This is the only portable speaker I have tested to date that actually produces low bass. I believe Bose is doing some magic in the background through dynamic equalization to make this happen, but the end result is nothing short of phenomenal. At moderate levels this speaker will put many large stereo systems to shame as far as sound quality. I am not saying this little guy will keep up with a full sized sub woofer, but I have not heard a speaker this small come close to hitting the lows so well. The highs are crystal clear with sharp detail while the mids are smooth. This speaker is very easy to listen to and non fatiguing below ~75% volume. Crank the volume on this speaker and the old saying, “no highs, no lows, must be Bose,” is unfortunately true. As the volume increases above ~75% the bass vanishes and those crystal clear highs begin to get muddy. While this may sound harsh, even at these levels the speaker sounds decent, but in comparison to itself at lower volumes, it is nowhere near as good. I believe Bose has done this to save the drivers. The small drivers simply can’t move enough to keep up with the bass at this volume, instead of causing distortion and possibly damaging the speakers, Bose simply turns the bass and trebble down. This is smart really, and should allow the speaker to last through abuse of excessive volume. This approach is actually better than most speakers in my opinion as they simply get distorted at high volumes.
Overall the Bose SoundLink Mini II is one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers I have ever used. The battery life is enough for a full day of work. It gets loud enough to use at a small party or gathering and sounds good enough to listen to your favorite songs while relaxing. The sound quality is good enough to surprise even the pickiest of listeners and don’t forget the awesome build quality and classy aesthetics. So what are you waiting for, get to your nearest Verizon Wireless store, where it is currently on sale, and pick one up for the Christmas party or gathering you are having in the coming weeks.
The Bose SoundLink Mini II Can be found here.