Bose speakers have a fairly good reputation, at least when it comes to the upper price regions. Now they've released the SoundLink Color, a cheap Bluetooth speaker. Will it live up to the reputation?
Bose usually makes speakers, headphones and other audio devices in the premium price segment. Those who can afford Bose speakers know what they want and pay for it. Bose already have two Bluetooth speakers in this range, the SoundLink and the SoundLink Mini, but there was no mobile speaker from Bose for less than $150, and apparently they want to target the group of consumers that don´t want to spend a massive amount of cash. The SoundLink Color is listed at $129.95 and for this you´ll get a cheap Bluetooth speaker, which can be seen as a the little brother of the SoundLink Mini.
The SoundLink Color is compact and robust and can be taken anywhere thanks to a low weight of 1.25 lbs. It has a traditional 3.5 mm jack and can be used wirelessly via Bluetooth with a battery that lasts up to eight hours. In addition the speaker also features a microUSB for firmware updates and for charging as well as a 5V power supply.
Build & Design
The SoundLink Color immediately makes a good first impression after unpacking it. Ease-of-use and upbeat colors is apparently what Bose is going for. The design is simple with rounded corners, a rubberized top surface and side stripes, giving it a clean look. Sound holes are fitted at the front and rear and a microUSB socket for charging and a 3,5 mm jack is also installed in the rear. Thanks to the robust construction and the amazingly light weight it is also ideal for traveling as it will easily fit in a backpack.
Setup & Use
Operating the SoundLink Color is done exclusively with the six buttons on the top, all with a nice and clear tactile feel. After turning it on with the left button, you can pair it with a Bluetooth device. Conveniently, the speaker can remember up to eight devices. It can then connect to the ones it ‘senses’ and can also switch between the sources easily. Here the “Voice Prompts” comes in handy, making Bluetooth pairing very easy just by following the instructions.
As is now becoming a common practice, the unit is controlled by using the Play/Pause button, like double-clicking to skip tracks and so on. You´ll also find +/- volume buttons on the right and the AUX button lets you switch to the 3.5mm jack input. Overall, the SoundLink Color seems to cover most bases in terms of control functions.
The Bose SoundLink Color is moderately priced and therefore the sound quality is obviously not in the same league as its bigger brothers, something you will notice if you compare them side by side.
But, it sounds very good for the price range. The bass is typical Bose; powerful and a bit dominant, but the lowest frequencies are missing on the Color, which comes as no surprise considering the dimensions of the speaker. While the bass clearly is one of the highlights of the SoundLink Color, the mids and highs are a bit more restrained. This makes the sound come off as a bit dull, which means there is a lack of clarity.
This sound character can be an advantage when playing at higher volumes though. The Color can play quite loud and the sound is well adapted to the volume, which means that the bass and treble are somewhat withdrawn and less in-your-face. Listening to loud music in good quality is most times possible without any significant distortion. Any spatial stereo feeling is obviously missing due to its compact design.
Battery Life & Bluetooth Range
According to Bose, a fully charged battery should last about eight hours. With normal use it even lasted me about an hour longer. This is very good. The range of the Bluetooth is of course highly dependent on the environment, but changing rooms in a house was no problem, and I experienced no signal loss from a little over 30 feet.
The Bose SoundLink Color is overall a good Bluetooth speaker, with a more than decent sound, robust build and good battery life, but for the price you can not expect Bose to set any new standards. The unit may be made of plastic, but it does the job. The same applies to the sound. Bose already have two powerful Bluetooth speakers on the market, but with the SoundLink Color they offer a cheaper option for the more price conscious buyers. It has no serious flaws and does a good job for the money. Anyone expecting a visually larger speaker with better sound should take a look at the bigger brothers, the SoundLink and SoundLink Mini.
GET IT ON eBay!
- Current Price: $89.99
- Ends: Oct 26, 2016 8:16:29 CEST
- Current Price: $116.00
- Ends: Nov 7, 2016 15:27:01 CET
- IN THe bOX
Full, lifelike sound from a lightweight, compact design
Wireless connection to your smartphone, tablet or other Bluetooth device
Voice prompts make pairing your devices easier than ever
Up to 8 hours of music from rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Auxiliary input enables you to connect to other audio sources, like a tablet or MP3 player
Charges with most USB power sources or the included wall charger
Micro USB port allows for charging and software updates
- Height: 5.3 in (13.4 cm)
- Width: 5.0 in (12.8 cm)
- Depth: 2.1 in (5.3 cm)
- Weight: 1.25 lbs (0.57 kg)
- Height: 2.4 in (6.1 cm)
- Width: 1.9 in (4.7 cm)
- Depth: .6 in (1.5 cm)
- 3.5 mm auxiliary input
- Micro-USB port
Length: 59.1" (1.5m)
- Wireless range up to 30 ft
- Battery life up to 8 hrs
- SoundLink® Color Bluetooth speaker
- Wall charger