Bose Soundlink Review

bose soundlink nylonAmazon Rating: 4.5/5
Amazon Reviews: 498
Price: $299
Dimensions In Inches (Length x Height x Width): 9.6 x 5.1 x 1.9
Weight (Ounces): 40
Minimum Frequency Response: 40
Maximum Frequency Response: 20000
Dock For Apple Devices: No
Remote Control Device Provided: No
Controllable With Phone/Tablet: Yes
No. Of Frequency Drivers: 5

First Impressions

The initial impression that I got out of the Bose Soundlink Bluetooth Wireless Speaker was its surprisingly powerful sound despite the fact that it’s a portable Bluetooth speaker. It certainly does not lack in the sound quality aspect like most other bluetooth speakers that trade off their audio quality in return for lighter weight and reduced size but we’ll get more into that later.

If you’ve owned Bose speakers or you’ve read any Bose Soundlink review prior to this, you should know that its previous models were dock-based, whereby you have the capability to dock your iPod into it. This is no longer the case as Bose seems to be heading towards something new. Indeed, with this latest version of the Bose Soundlink, it’s simply a wireless speaker. Since it doesn’t come with an external remote control device, you now manage it directly using any smartphone, tablet or laptop that have Bluetooth enabled on it. The range of the wireless connectivity is pretty good as well at a maximum of 10 metres.

bose soundlink coverLooks & Design

A particularly attractive feature is the fact that it comes with an attached protective cover, which you can fold it down over the front of the speaker. Doing so will turn it off automatically. The impression it gave me was that of a large purse or a clutch bag. At least that’s what it looks like. When you want to use it, you can fold it backwards and it’ll act as a stand. The Bose Soundlink comes in 2 editions.

The original one that costs $299 has a black, plastic finish to it with a black nylon cover whilst the premium edition, which costs an additional $50, has silver brushed metal at the sides, a tinge of chrome near the edges and a dark brown leather cover instead. There’s no difference in terms of the audio quality though so you’re really paying an extra $50 for the enhanced looks. Design-wise, it’s really difficult to do any better than this. It looks and even feels classy especially with the leathery cover and metallic finishes.

Bose Soundlink brown leather

Audio Quality

In terms of its audio quality though, it performs surprisingly well. Once you’ve taken a look at its specifications, you’ll understand why. It has 1 low frequency, 2 medium frequency and 2 high frequency drivers. That’s pretty impressive for a seemingly compact speaker. Just in case you don’t know how frequency drivers affect its sound quality, I’ll attempt to explain it here. These drivers essentially control how well the sound is produced at various frequency levels. Generally, the more frequency drivers a speaker has, the better the sound quality will be as a whole. So, if it comes with 2 high frequency drivers and only 1 low frequency driver, its ability to produce high frequency sound will be better than that of its low frequency sound. Low frequency sound basically indicates the quality of the bass effect. Most portable speakers do not focus on bass due to their meagre size and constrained dimensions. As such, a lot of portable speakers will seldom come with low frequency drivers as they’d rather focus on medium or high frequency sound. Indeed, again due to their physical constraints, many cheaper speakers only have 1-2 drivers while the more pricey ones will start to include a minimum of 3 drivers, with most of them focusing on higher frequencies for better clarity and pitch.

bose soundlink in handIn relation to this, the Bose Soundlink does find space to fit in 5 frequency drivers, which are well spaced out to include 1 low frequency one and any speaker like this would have the capability to produce better sound quality. A lot of users have commented in its incapability of delivering high-end bass for its price and that is simply unfair because portable speakers will never be able to compete with any other non-portable speakers with larger dimensions and weight. For the Bose Soundlink’s size, it does produce a decent level of bass effect already and it does so significantly better than any other bluetooth speakers that we’ve tested thus far.

Weight & Size

In terms of its size, it is pretty moderate with a length of 9.6 inches, a height of 5.1 inches and a width of 1.9 inches. If you’re wondering how heavy it’ll be, it weighs 40 ounces. That’s a good average for any bluetooth speakers that cost over $100.

Verdict

For a portable speaker, the Bose Soundlink certainly sounds the best among its other counterparts. Its sleek looks and stylish appearance are also some of its most attractive features. With regard to its portability, perhaps you can find smaller ones that will be less heavy but you should also be prepared to lose out on the sound quality that you can get out of them.