The Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker was, and is, a quality wireless speaker that anyone can appreciate. However, Bose has just released the new iteration of their customer-acclaimed wireless speaker: The Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker II. Catchy isn’t it? Same name, better technology.
The Mini II comes with an improved lithium-ion battery that lasts 10 hours (3 hours longer than the last one). Not only does it have a bigger battery, they’ve got a new feature that recognizes two paired Bluetooth enabled devices. The dual-device feature is amazing, say your friend is hogging all the tunes while you’re at a party, all you have to do is pair your own phone to the speaker and…. BAM! The party is all yours.
The battery life is very good, though there are certainly options out there with longer life. At the end of the day you have to decide what you require before a full discharge and decide accordingly. I get nine hours out of a full charge. I don’t know how long the battery will last before it starts to degrade since the product is new, but my older SoundLink Mini is still going strong after about 8 months. The charging stand is similar to the unit itself. Well put together and doesn’t look out of place anywhere in the house. You can also plug the USB cable directly into the unit, which is nice if you plan to charge on the go. This is a big improvement over the old proprietary cable. There is even an LED charge indicator: Green, for 70% +; Yellow, from 70-20%; and Red, 20% or lower. The speakers wireless range, 30 feet, is around the usual threshold for Bluetooth currently. Although, depending on if your walls are reinforced with concrete that threshold might be more malleable.
- It has a micro-USB input so you can charge it the way you do most other USB-charged devices. That replaces the proprietary AC input plug they used to have that required you to use their AC adapter. Because there is now direct USB connectivity, Bose promises you’ll be able to download software updates in the future, such as for new Bluetooth compatibility advances.
- It has integrated phone compatibility, so if your paired phone has an incoming call while you’re listening to something on the Mini II, the speaker will take over the audio and ring, and you can press a single button on top of the speaker and use it as your speakerphone. The sound on a call is great, and my caller on the other end said the microphone must be pretty decent because he could hear me very well. As soon as the call ends, the speaker picks up playing your music or podcast.
- There are helpful voice prompts for Bluetooth pairing, identifying the device currently paired and also prompting you through setup.
We’ve had quite a few Bluetooth speakers here, and the difference between the Bose and those in the $35-$100 range is like night and day! The design of the SoundLink Mini II is incredibly sleek and stylish. It just looks good. The construction is very solid. Nothing feels loose, the buttons press well, and nothing rattles with the bass tones. I got my hands on it and it feels… powerful. Overall, if you are willing to spend $200 on a Bluetooth speaker, you won’t do better than this one.