Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth speaker
The Bose SoundLink Mini is one of the best sounding portable Bluetooth speakers on the market
- Excellent, compact design
- Good sound quality
- Included charging dock
- Doesn't charge via micro-USB
- Aluminium finish prone to light scratches
- Accessories are expensive
The Bose SoundLink Mini may not be the loudest portable Bluetooth speaker on the market, but it's one of the best sounding and really packs a punch considering its compact size.
Price$ 249.00 (AUD)
Bose has produced a number of portable speaker systems in the past, but the SoundLink Mini marks the first time it intends to compete on both size and price. Designed for devices like smartphones and tablets, the SoundLink Mini is one of the best sounding portable Bluetooth speakers on the market and really packs a punch for its compact size.
Anodized aluminium shell, hefty weight
Bose has a reputation for impressive design, and the SoundLink Mini is no exception. It's constructed from an anodized aluminium case that matches almost perfectly with the same material Apple uses on its MacBook Pro and MacBook Air notebooks. The case appears to wrap around the speaker, creating a rather unique look.
The edges of the aluminum are broken only by a grey speaker grill on the back and front. The sharp edges can actually dig into your fingers if you aren't careful, and the aluminium finish is unfortunately prone to light scratches. Bose sells an optional, silicone cover for the SoundLink Mini in three colours ($29.95), and a travel bag ($54.95) but both accessories are ridiculously too expensive for our liking.
At 680g, the Bose SoundLink Mini is one of the heaviest speakers on the market. It's still light enough to slip in your pocket if you need to, and the extra weight really gives it a premium feel. A rubber base conceals the non-removable Lithium-ion battery and also prevents the speaker from slipping when placed on a flat surface.
The SoundLink Mini has six buttons on the top including power, mute, volume up/down, Bluetooth and auxiliary. The volume up and down keys are slightly raised above the others, but all of the rubber coated keys require a very firm press to activate, so this can quickly become an annoyance. One other annoyance: the SoundLink Mini can't function as a hands-free speakerphone for your smartphone, unlike many of its competitors.
Bose includes a standard 3.5mm audio jack on the right side, just above an AC charger input. Unfortunately, the latter is a proprietary port and means the SoundLink Mini can't be charged by micro-USB. Bose does include a charging cradle in the sales package that neatly docks the speaker, but the AC adapter is chunky and you'll need to carry it with you if you are travelling. Most rival speakers, like the UE Boom, the Beats Pill and the Jawbone Jambox, are all charged by a regular micro-USB connection.
Impressive clarity, decent bass
Setting up the Bose SoundLink Mini is as simple as you'd expect from a Bluetooth audio system. Press the power button to turn on the device where it will enter Bluetooth pairing mode automatically the first time, then connect your smartphone, tablet or other Bluetooth device. The SoundLink Mini can connect and remember up to six Bluetooth devices without having to pair them again.
Bose has a poor reputation among many audiophiles (Buy Other Sound Equipment) with critics of the company often claiming the products are overpriced compared to competitors. The compact Bluetooth speaker market is hardly audiophile territory, however, and the SoundLink Mini is one of the most impressive we've heard in this category. Bose claims the device uses two passive radiators and two custom transducers to produce "better sound than any speaker of its size".
The SoundLink Mini produces crisp and clear sound with moderate, but not overwhelming bass. Mids and highs are excellent, but while bass is relatively impressive considering the size, it can be lacking depending on your musical tastes, and obviously can't compete with larger speaker systems.
The SoundLink Mini isn't as loud as some competing Bluetooth speakers, but distortion is almost non-existent, even at full volume. The device produces loud enough sound to fill a small or medium sized room, but if you're looking for a larger space to fill then you'll need to opt for a larger and therefore more powerful speaker.
Bose says the SoundLink Mini's 2330mAh battery will last for seven hours before requiring a recharge. We managed to use the device for around six hours during testing, and found the unit takes around three hours to fully charge. Interestingly, there's a micro-USB port on the bottom of the speaker, next to the dock pin connector, but Bose says this is for loading future firmware updates to the device from a computer.
The Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth speaker is available now in Australia and retails for $249.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 BlackBerry Priv review: When old habits die hard
- 4 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 5 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- LG releases first flat screen OLED TV in Australia
- Apple's Q1: Record $US18.4 billion profit, but iPhone sales are slowing
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Netflix inches towards global dominance
- Internet TV set to surge this Christmas
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTDigital Marketing Specialist | Media BuyerNSW
- CCAngularJS DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Oracle DBANSW
- CCBusiness Project Manager - Transformation ProgramNSW
- FTIT Cyber Security Requirements ConsultantACT
- CCUX DesignerNSW
- CCSenior Android DeveloperNSW
- CCTechnical Project Manager, MigrationNSW
- CCData Stage DeveloperNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst - QlikviewVIC
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (Crystal Reports) 160129/AP/vhs-aAsia
- FTSecurity ArchitectWA
- FTSenior Project Manager - SecurityNSW
- FTTeam Lead ITIL- Permanent OpportunityVIC
- CCImplementation ManagerVIC
- CCVMWare Horizon View 6.1 roll out & IT support | Short contract | Macquarie ParkNSW
- FTPrograme ManagerNSW
- CCSolution Architect - .NET TechnologiesNSW
- FTChange & Communications OfficerQLD
- CCSystems AnalystQLD
- FTJava or Ruby Web DeveloperVIC
- CCSenior Business Systems AnalystACT
- CCBusiness Objects DeveloperNSW
- FTOracle System Integration Engineer - CANBERRASA
- CCEXCEL Guru / Data AdministratorNSW