The first time I heard the Bose SoundLink® Mini Bluetooth® speaker I couldn’t believe it. The sound is so clean, so tight, so… perfect for such a small speaker. Even the bass is good, which is even more amazing when you take into account the Mini’s small enclosure. But the most amazing thing of all is the price. At $199.95 you just can’t beat it.
Now that i am through gushing over the Mini, some background is in order. The SoundLink Mini is the latest in a long line of Bluetooth speakers to hit the market in the last few of years. If you’re like me, you heard the term Bluetooth several years ago, knew it had something to do with wireless headsets for cel phones, and then promptly forgot about it. At least, that’s that the way it was for me. Now I know what Bluetooth is, how to use it, and couldn’t live without it.
The most common use of Bluetooth technology in the United States is for hands-free cel phone use in cars. You “pair” your cel phone with your car radio and then when your phone rings you can answer it by pushing a button on your steering wheel, carry on your conversation with the caller, and then hang-up by pushing another button on the steering wheel. As Bluetooth has become more popular, more devices are taking advantage of it’s wireless capabilities.
Many people feel that while Bluetooth is good enough for voice communication, the signal quality just isn’t good enough for music. They have a right to this view, and I can see where it might be justified for a dyed-in-the-wool audiophile, but for my purposes and my ears, Bluetooth sounds just fine. I have been using a pair of Bose PC speakers with a Bluetooth adapter for over six months and the sound quality is excellent. Considering the way Bluetooth enabled speakers are flying off the shelves there are many people that agree with me.
How does the SoundLink Mini produce such amazing sound? To quote Emperor Kuzco “don’t know, don’t care.” I do know that the Mini has two speakers (or transducers as Bose calls them) and two “passive radiators”. If you care about such things Bose has produced a short video that explains it… sort of.
What I liked the best about the SoundLink Mini is it is so small. It measures 7 inches wide, 2 inches high and 2.3 inches deep and weighs 1.5 pounds. Bose claims it’s rechargeable lithium-ion battery will last up to seven hours. The Mini comes with a charging cradle and a wall charger.
If you are interested in the convenience of a Bluetooth speaker I suggest you listen to several and make your own judgement. If you listen to the SoundLink Mini I believe you will be converted. And for the audiophiles, the SoundLink Mini does have an auxiliary input so you can have a wired connection between your iPhone, iPad, iTouch or other MP3 device.
For $300 dollars ($100 more than the Mini) you can purchase the larger SoundLink® Bluetooth® Mobile speaker II. It will play louder than the Mini, but even though it is larger, the bass is noticeably lacking. Personally, I would save the $100 and buy the Mini.