Review: Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth Speaker

Portable Bluetooth-enabled speakers are a dime a dozen, so you’ve got to do something pretty special to stand out from the crowd. The Bose Sound link sets itself apart...

Portable Bluetooth-enabled speakers are a dime a dozen, so you’ve got to do something pretty special to stand out from the crowd. The Bose Sound link sets itself apart from the competition by delivering great sound quality in a small, package.

Bose is a brand synonymous with sound quality and despite the limited size, its impressive what’s been achieved here when it comes to sound quality. Don’t expect it to replace a larger speaker, but if you’re looking for something better than your phone’s speakers, than this is it.

To be honest the sound that comes from this little guy is better than most laptops, so you should also consider it as option for extending your laptop’s speakers.

Design

As compact as this thing is, I don’t find it sleek and sexy, its utilitarian and that’s ok. It comes in three colours which are kind of a strange selection. Black, Midnight Blue are your conservative options and for those looking to stand out, it also comes in bright orange. Our review unit was black and that works well as an accessory sitting around the house in the office, on the kitchen bench or even on the bedside table.

Given its small size and light weight, its a perfect portable for kids as they go about their active lives and want to be entertained while doing it. The rubberised, curved exterior makes it fun and approachable and feels robust, like it could handle being thrown around a bit.

Functionality

Normally portable speakers are limited to placing it on the desk next to you, but with a strap on the back of it, combined with its relatively light weight, this speaker can be strapped to your belt, backpack or hung from locations like the inside of a tent, or even around the handlebars of your bike. These use cases simply aren’t possible with the competition so your value for money here is seriously enhanced with the diversity of applications.

Most of the time we think about electronics being an indoor-only affair, but this thing is IPX7 rated, which means its happy getting wet. While its definitely not designed to work under water, Bose are confident enough to say that if you drop this in the pool, it’ll be fine.

To control the Bose SoundLink Micro speaker its as simple as turning it on and connecting to its Bluetooth network (Voice prompts talk you through pairing process). If you grab the Bose Connect app, you’ll get some extra functionality like the ability to connect to two SoundLink Micro speakers in Party Mode, or switch the audio output to Stereo Mode.

Support for Voice Assistants
If you look that the price without knowing this piece, you won’t properly account for the functionality on offer here. You can press and hold the multi-function button on top of the speaker to launch the native voice assistant on your phone, be that Siri for iOS or your Google Assistant for Android.

This is particularly useful if you’re phones in another room charging. It is a neat trick, but this then leaves you wanting a hands-free option, where you simple use ‘Ok Google, or ‘Hey Siri’ to activate it, but this would require a microphone array, adding to the cost, so its likely a dedicated voice assistant like the Echo or Home, or even SONOS One (once it adds support for both), would be a better buy for that application.

Phone support
The Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth stack also extends to phone calls which can be made through the speaker, which means that better audio allows you to hear the other end clearer than your still terrible phone speaker.

Battery

The battery in this is good for around 6 hours and I’m actually fine with that. While its not all day listening, it is generally enough to get you through a music listening session, a workout, or even a birthday party. If you’re an all-nighter kind of person of course you can connect it to power.

You’ll definitely find other speakers with longer battery life, but Bose are propositioning you to place audio quality and functionality over battery life.

Price and Availability

You can buy the Bose SoundLink Micro speaker now from select retailers for A$169.95, or directly from Bose.

Overall

This is a seriously compelling portable Bluetooth speaker, in its simple design, simple functionality and sounds great doing it. Sure it’d appeal to more people if it was under the magic $100 mark, but if you can find your way to justifying the price, this is a great option in a small, ultra-portable package.

We’re heading into the Christmas period and if you’re looking for a technology gift for that active teenager, friend or family member, this is a great place to start.

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Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.