Bose SoundLink Mini II Review

Submitted by Robbie Pyckhout on Thu, 09/03/2015 - 09:59

Introduction

No one can say otherwise, the previous SoundLink Mini impressed us all with an enormous sound for its small size. Carrying a price tag around 200 Euro, it certainly wasn't the cheapest and loudest portable speaker, but its appearence and build quality made it a pretty attractive deal. Not forget to mention that there wasn't any other portable speaker this small with the same powerful sound.

We're nearly 2 years later and Bose comes up with a successor, the 'SoundLink Mini II'. The speaker occurs with a very similar design and size. Bose claims to have improved/changed some features like; the battery life, a micro-USB charger (compared to the AC-charger in the SoundLink Mini) and more. Besides that, there're also some additional features like the all new mic which weren't present in its predecessor. 

 

Packaging

  
My interest in the product already grows unpacking the speaker! Bose says hi, like it invites you to take it out. After that, you'll need to find a groove on the side of the box where the other stuff is hidden.
  
The extra package includes a charging cradle, some manuals and a micro-USB charger. This is somewhat the same as you'd get with the previous SoundLink Mini.

 

Design

In terms of looks and build quality, they decided to keep the previous design, which means it still offers the same stylish, sharp and especially solid casing. This time, you've the choice between Carbon and Pearl. Bose sent us the Carbon edition which I personally prefer over the other color-sheme. Both variations have an expensive look in my opinion. Except for the colors and some buttons on top, the new Mini II has practically the same design as its predecessor.

However, if you still don't feel like the aluminium casing could survive a fall, you can still buy one of the soft covers from Bose to keep this from happening.
Everything taken into account, this speaker offers a very stylish and robust design with no expense spared in premium material.
 
  

 

Features

Like said in the introduction, Bose introduced the Mini II with some improved and new features. The first improvement is the battery life which should be able to play music for 10 hours on a moderate volume. This is quite a lot compared to other speakers in its price range and taking its size and performance into account. The second difference is the ability to charge the speaker with a micro-USB charger like you most likely use for your smartphone as well. An universal charger may always come in handy when carrying it around on a trip or your car. 
With the package is also a charging cradle provided which can be connected through micro-USB. It's an easy docking-station you can use next to your PC or in the kitchen. Personally, I wouldn't have much use for it, but it's always nice to have something like this. You may want to compare this to what you can find in the package of a Samsung S6, which has a wireless charger, but you still have to connect the charger with a micro-USB to get it functioning.
 
Another new feature is the integrated microphone. When the speaker is connected to your phone, you'll have the ability to talk using the bluetooth speaker. This feature was missing with the previous Mini, which was one of the things the competition offered as an addition. If we're comparing the speaker's features to what we can find on the matching market, you'll notice that all other portable bluetooth speakers of the same price class offer almost the same set of speakers. There are other speakers who stand out of the crowd like the Creative SoundBlaster Roar which features an army of different features.
 
  

 

Performance / Audio Quality

The SoundLink Mini II performs equally good as its predecessor which I was able to lend from my nephew for a few tests. It might have a little difference in balance between the Lows/Mids and Highs, but for the inexperienced ear it's difficult to say the difference.

When we're paying closer attention to the sound we can distinguish certain aspects of the sound. The lows are the least present, however, for a speaker this small, it's still impressive you can actually trace some real bass. Most speakers of this size won't have any lows to listen to. Mids on the other hand are very much present in this speaker! Altough you might hear a dip sometimes, this is actually meant to give the lows an extra boost in some parts of the track. The most present kind in cheaper speakers this size, are of course the Highs... Anyway, we didn't really hear the ear-shredding highs like we use to hear in cheap alternatives, only decent highs, still pleasant for the ears was playing through its drives. It might miss some frequencies by capping these ultra-high noises, but we prefer that compared to schrill tones.

A disadvantage of its small size is probably the inability to generate some sort of stereo seperation. But don't be fooled by its size as it easily fills the room with a majestic sound. Anyway, we have to mention that we did hear some distortion when we're using its maximum capability, especially in bassiest parts of the track.

When we compare the speaker to other offerings of its size, you'll easily tell the best performing and loudest speaker is the SoundLink Mini II. If you compare the speaker to other speakers in its price range or even a little cheaper like the Creative SoundBlaster Roar (149Euro) you'll notice that the soundblaster has a little edge in performance over the SoundLink Mini II. The highs are more present in the soundblaster (especially with its roar function enabled), but you can boost its lows with 'terra bass' as well. However, this speaker has more drives as it comes in a bigger shell... That aside, the soundlink outperforms its competitor even in battery life, which is an important mention to most of us.

If you're looking for one of the smallest bluetooth speakers with an incredible sound, you should have a look at the SoundLink Mini II for sure!

 

Conclusion

After almost two years, Bose finally launched a succesor for its SoundLink Mini. Offering a sort of remaster of the original SoundLink Mini. While there isn't much that makes the speaker entirely different from its predecessor, it still offers some great impovements in Battery life and adds new features which leaves you no choice than to go with the somewhat more expensive but superior SoundLink Mini II.

The original SoundLink Mini was an absolute ruler in the range of bluetooth speakers of its size. Such trend continues with the Mini II, but the competition's hands are on deck, they strive to take over this rulership as they aren't very far behind anymore. When you're comparing the Mini II to other portable bluetooth speakers of the same price class, you'll find offerings with the same kind of performance or even products that surpass the Mini's capabilties. Most of them remain slightly bigger. 

In the end, you can't go wring with the Bose SoundLink Mini II. It's a speaker with an awesome overall package: the right amount of features, a stylish but yet robust design, an outstanding battery life and of course a mind-blowing sound for its size.

Performance / Sound Quality (for the size/price) = 9/10

Battery = 5/5

Design = 4.75/5

Features: 4/5

Value = 4/5

 

Total Score ≈ 8.92/10

 

We decided to give the Bose SoundLink Mini II a silver award!

More Information about our awards can be found here

About the Author

Keeping up with new inventions and technological improvements is kinda my thing. Writing about technology is just a result of my fascination with it. I hope to provide readers with as much news as possible, everyday.
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