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Bose looking to play ball in the mini Bluetooth speaker market

Company better known for its high quality audio systems launches first ultra-portable speaker

The cat’s out of the bag – Bose is getting into the Bluetooth portable speaker market. This past week, the company, perhaps best known for its line of high quality audio systems, introduced a most noteworthy new product: the SoundLink Mini Bluetooth speaker.

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While the Bluetooth portable speaker market is saturated with options, the one thing SoundLink does have going for it is the Bose name — as such, it’s likely to compete rather well out of the gate with everyone from your friends here at Boombotix to the folks at Jambox.

If you’re not swayed by brand names, you’re probably curious as to what the SoundLink Mini is bringing to the table: the Bose brass there are positioning the product as a specially engineered speaker that offers “all-around sound”; specifically, this is the result of their having included passive radiators that are spaced apart so as to allow them to move more air and create better, lower notes. For the mids and highs, the audio engineers slapped in some custom-built transducers.

Translation: they paid attention to the quality of the sound that the speaker produces, which is great because it’s going to force everyone in the market to step their game up.

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SoundLink runs Bluetooth A2DP and the speaker includes a memory system that allows it to remember up to six devices once they’ve been paired up. Charging, meanwhile, is done via charging pad.

As you can tell by the images, the SoundLink Mini is small – certainly smaller than the Jambox, and comparable to the Boombot Rex in that it can fit in the palm of the user’s hand. That right there makes it a worthwhile alternative to the gargantuan Jambox and other similar models out there nowadays.

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As you can tell by the descriptions, the SoundLink is pretty similar to the Rex speaker — both offer Bluetooth portability. Both are small. Both look pretty cool and come with different color options.

One difference worth consideration, though, is battery life — Bose said that they expect the SoundLink Mini to last seven hours per charge, as compared to the Rex, which can last 8-10 hours on a single charge.

Also worth considering — Bose has made the SoundLink Mini available for pre-order for $199, a significantly higher price than the Rex, which is just $120.

Is the SoundLink a worthwhile purchase? When it comes to high-quality Bluetooth speakers, sure, it’s up there with the best of the best. It offers a nice alternative to Jambox and the other bigger, “portable” speakers on the market. But if you care about how long your Bluetooth speaker lasts (think of the long days at the beach, weekends spent camping, etc.), and price is a factor in your purchase, you may want to lean more towards a more affordable high-quality speaker, the Boombot Rex.

9 comments on “Bose looking to play ball in the mini Bluetooth speaker market

  1. this posting is so useless, comparing the soundlink mini to the boombotix rex, which are both completely different products.

    the soundlink mini will wipe the floor with any competing speakers of this size. even the bigger JBL charge is not able to produce that amount of bass.

    i am not talking about price, features etc, just about the fact, that the soundlink mini is the first really small speaker that can produce real and powerful bass. the rex is just a toy, equally overpriced for what you get. i wouldn’t like to seriously listen to music through the rex to tell the truth!

  2. They wont compete with each other. The Bose will produce better sound. As a professional DJ I use Bose 802 series speakers with the subwoofer. Size/perfomance considerations combined they are the best hands down. I am sure this device will perform handsomely. Having said that I wont be bringing this new Bose speaker with me on my daily bike ride commutes on the streets of NY or on a long bike ride so I am not in their functional demographic. The Rex appears to be the best for that right now

  3. ok, i got my mini today and wow is this incredible!

    i have heard them all, the JBL Charge, Flip (not really much difference between both to speak of), UE Boom, Jambox, Beats Pill, Philips Shoqbox, Jabra Solemate etc… etc. but the Soundlink Mini is in a completely different class.

    It sounds very mature, with lots of heavy bass. At normal listening levels you would never say, you are listening to a pocket-sized speaker. It sounds very similar to the original Soundlink up to about 70-75% of its volume, from there sound processing kicks in and reduces bass as well as compresses peaks, so the bigger Soundlink easily sounds better at higher levels.
    I also tested it against various other speakers and as it doesn’t make much sense to compare it to Jambox-type speakers, because they rather end up sounding like toys, i tested it against the BIG Jambox, the TDK A33, the Libratone Zipp and even my home-stereo from Philips. And at room-levels the Soundlink mini sounded better than my full sized stereo. It wiped the floor with the BIG Jambox as well as with the TDK A33, where both started to have an edge when higher volume levels were reached. But neither the Libratone Zipp had any chance against the Mini regarding bass-power at lower listening levels.
    I am pretty impressed, by far the most impressive speaker i have heard and owned. Will sell my bigger Soundlink now, as i defintely won’t like to carry it around anymore.

  4. I guess it is a matter of personal preference. I find the sound of the soundlink 2 muffled, the mids and high mids are not that pronounce. The bass is overpowering the mids and sound muddy in my oppinion. If the soundlink mini sound the same up to 75% of the volume, then I will pass.

  5. As the review says, this gadget is really a powerful one when you are looking for portability. Its wireless, got a Bluetooth connection, its that easy.

  6. I like the way it balances the mids and highs with custom-built transducers.
    What could I say more about it when you know the name is Bose. Superb sound quality.

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