The first version of the SoundLink Mini bluetooth speaker was a big hit worldwide. Now that Bose have released a new version, the SoundLink Mini II, we´re curious to see if Bose has managed to improve something that was already pretty good.
Due to the laws of physics, the restrictions of a small portable bluetooth speaker can at best provide a sound best described as 'wide mono', but some models are better than others at producing a more correct stereo image. One of the best bluetooth speakers falling into this group is the Bose SoundLink Mini, which recently got a successor.
Visually, not much has changed, and Bose continues to make stylish devices that attract attention with quality finishing. Soundlink Mini II is of the same size as its predecessor, follows the same concept and uses similar (if not the same) speaker drivers and amplifiers. As usual, Bose is very reluctant to share any technical details related to the power of the built-in amplifier or the materials they use for the speaker drivers, but we kind of like that type of information, and we managed to figure out that the Mini II uses two 33mm 'full-range' drivers and two passive oval shaped drivers to help out in the bass frequencies - one at the front and one in the rear.
So, What´s New?
The packaging box, in addition to the speaker, contains a cradle for charging, USB cable with micro USB, as well as three types of connectors for battery chargers. This is where we notice the first change, Soundlink Mini II charge its battery via a micro-USB connector, so you can now use a mobile phone charger for example.
Charging can be done directly by connecting the speaker to the cradle, which in turn is connected to the micro USB - quite practical. Bose claims that the battery is now longer lasting - up to ten hours - which is a solid increase compared to the seven hours on the previous model.
Another important change compared to its predecessor is the existence of an integrated microphone, giving you the opportunity to use the SoundLink Mini II as a speakerphone. Of course, we tested this function and voices sound very clear (on both ends), and we had no problems keeping the conversation going regardless of our distance from the speaker.
The number of buttons on the top panel has been reduced from six to five, as the AUX button has been removed. The speaker can be paired with bluetooth devices, of which eight can be stored, and pressing the bluetooth logo switches to the next device in line. This is a nice feature to have, especially for those who share the Soundlink Mini II with friends and family.
When you turn on the Bose, you will hear a female voice prompt; "Battery: 100%". If the speaker is connected to a device this is followed by "Connected to [whatever device]". If there´s no devices connected you will hear a "Mobile device not found, ready to pair". These voice prompts are a great help when you first start using the speaker, but we quickly found it a bit annoying. It would probably be less annoying if there was an option to change between different voices - Morgan Freeman would be nice.
Soundlink Mini II is a bluetooth speaker and does not seem to support Wi-Fi. If you want to listen to streaming services, then you have to use your smart phone or computer as a source, which will transfer the music to the Mini II via bluetooth. Like its predecessor, it remains easy to use, without any unnecessary options or features. The improved battery life is something we especially applaud. It is disappointing that Bose has not implemented aptX codec, which probably would contribute to even better sound quality. However, the Mini II can play quite loud, and with decent precision. The treble is clear, and the sound image is rich in detail, although the bass can be a little obtrusive at times. With the SoundLink Mini II, Bose has proven that you can improve on an already excellent device, and it will be interesting to see if they manage to improve it further on the next iteration. Until then, enjoy the Mini II.
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- IN ThE bOX
- Big sound—with deep bass—for a full-range listening experience
- Wireless and ultra-compact so you can take Bose® sound anywhere
- Built-in speakerphone lets you take calls out loud
- Voice prompts talk you through Bluetooth pairing, so it's super easy
- Rechargeable battery plays up to 10 hours
- Speaker:2" H x 7.1" W x 2.3" D (1.5 lbs)
- Charging cradle:0.63" H x 6.2" W x 2" D (2.8 oz)
- Wall charger:2.65" H x 1.9" W x 0.6" D
- Cable:59.1" L
- Wireless range up to 30 ft (10 m)
- Battery life up to 10 hrs
- Power rating: 100 - 240V
- 3.5 mm auxiliary
- Micro-USB port
- SoundLink® Mini Bluetooth speaker II
- Charging cradle
- Wall charger