We’ve had a chance to spend some time with Bose’s SoundLink Mini, their ultra-compact portable bluetooth speaker. It’s priced at Php 13,000.00, which is much more expensive than the other bluetooth speakers we’ve reviewed here in PTB (if not the most). It’s not unexpected, as we know that Bose makes premium audio products; but is the SoundLink Mini going to be worth that much of your hard-earned peso?
This speaker comes in at a height, width and depth of 5.1 x 18 x 5.8 cm weighing in at 1.5 pounds (.67kg). That’s a little heavy on the hand compared to the other speakers we’ve reviewed, but still small enough to be holdable by one. It’s because it has a single-piece aluminium body where all the components attach to. It feels very very solid after the fact. There are speaker grilles front and back; I liked the attention to detail they have here, as the ends of the Bose logo aligns to the edges of the centre speaker inside. You can find controls for the power, mute, volume, bluetooth and auxiliary functions at the top, which are of a soft rubber material, with the volume buttons raised so you can recognise them without looking. The SoundLink Mini has a rubber-padded bottom, and there’s a microUSB jam at the bottom of the unit right next to the charging dock contacts, which are used to connect to your PC for firmware updates. At the right side you get an auxiliary and power jack. Out of the box, you get the requisite manuals, a charging dock, power adapter and a set of adapter plugs for international travel.
So I set it up with my iPad and started playing some music. It was amazing. From the get-go I immediately noticed that it had better range than all the other bluetooth speakers I’ve used. The bass has a lot more oomph in it and you can crank the volume up really loud with this one before you notice any noise or degradation in quality. Battery life is more or less spot on with their claim of 7 hours per charge with its internal Lithium-Ion battery.
With regards to its size, the SoundLink Mini is portable enough to carry with you in a bag to take at parties or to hang out. It’s sure to impress your friends with what it can do. It may not be the lightest of the bunch, but then again I wouldn’t imagine carrying it around outside everyday for you to worry about the weight. It’s an ideal speaker at home during the evenings or at weekends where you can just sit back and play tunes with your tablet as you browse the web.
For those who would wonder if this can be used as a speaker for answering calls, the answer is no. It will transfer the audio back to your phone, but it will resume playback at the end of your call. Also, whenever you power it up, it automatically connects to your last connected device for your convenience.
You can buy coloured covers (Php 1,800.00; in blue/grey, neon green/gray and orange) for the SoundLink Mini if you find the colour a little too boring as well as adding some protection to it. It also has a travel bag you can buy for Php 2,500.00). You can buy the SoundLink Mini at the Bose stores in any of the major malls.
After using this for a few weeks, I’ve actually grown to love the SoundLink Mini. Yes, it is quite pricey but I do believe you’ll get your money’s worth with it.