What We Like
- Impressive audio quality for its size and weight.
- Solid aluminum chassis makes it tough and light.
- Simple to use and set up.
What We Don’t Like
- The built-in microphone could have been a lot better.
Bose SoundLink Mini II has faced some pretty high expectations. Fortunately, not only did it meet them, but it exceeded most of them. That’s why it is one of the most capable Bluetooth speakers you can grab for under $200.
The moment you lay your eyes on SoundLink Mini II, you get a feeling that this speaker means business. For a model in this price range, it looks pretty average. To us, this choice of designs says two things. First and foremost, they went with what is most practical.
Let’s be honest here, a cuboid shape is perfect for both home and outdoor applications. Secondly, by taking an easy route with design, Bose could dedicate more time and funds to making this thing sound great. Controls are found on the top of the speaker while the front side features a refined mesh grille. In terms of build quality, SoundLink Mini II feels like a tank.
Aluminum chassis is both light and durable. If you don’t like the Carbon color theme, Bose offers a number of covers that come in a variety of colors. This way you can customize the appearance of your Mini II while adding a layer of protection to its body.
Similar to the exterior, Bose kept things fairly simple on the inside as well. If you were to pop the grille off, you would find two transducers on each side of the panel. In between, they have put dual passive radiators to boost the low-end response.
With all that in mind, drivers Bose used do appear to be pretty small. However, their nature and quality put them ahead of the competition. Bose SoundLink Mini II comes with a built-in microphone, like most other models in this segment do. Actually, that alone is one of the few upgrades compared to the previous version. In terms of battery life, you are looking at some 10 hours of playtime at a reasonable volume.
MicroLink Mini II comes with a cradle charger while you can also charge it by plugging it into your computer. Last but not least, we have to mention just how light this speaker is. At 1.5 lbs, it’s easy to carry around all day.
In the past several years, Bose has built a very peculiar reputation. Their high-end stuff is regarded as some of the best in the business. However, many see their cheaper products as overpriced gear that isn’t always worth the money. With Bose SoundLink Mini II, that is definitely not the case.
Its performance actually makes it extremely attractive seeing how they have managed to cram a lot of potential in such a small package. Compared to similar speakers of the same format and design, SoundLink Mini II offers a much broader and better defined sound stage. Trebles are bright but not too sterile, mids are wide and the bass is there.
Those dual passive radiators do a solid job at creating some low end boom. The only area where it falls behind is the speakerphone feature. While it is fairly practical, the built in microphone doesn’t always produce good results. Other than that, SoundLink Mini II has no significant flaws.
What Bose has managed to do with SoundLink Mini II, is pack a whole new level of sound quality in a package that is as light and as compact as it gets. It’s one of the better choices out there.