Bose Soundlink Micro Review – Most Affordable Bluetooth Speaker

The word portable doesn’t begin to describe the smallness of the Bose Soundlink Micro. It is as small as a powder container, a sea shell, and top bread of a medium-sized burger. Think of a Bluetooth speaker you can carry around in your pocket, yes, that’s how small the Bose Soundlink Micro is. It is the smallest and most affordable in the Bluetooth speaker line of Bose. If you are a travel person and always on the road, you might want to invest in the Bose Soundlink Micro.

Made with tear-resistant silicon rubber it is created to survive the abrasions of the outdoors, and it does it well. The small size makes this piece stand out among other portable speakers. It is ergonomically created to fit in your hand and slim enough to slide into your pocket. Usually, when an audio company produces a speaker with such endearing physical attributes, the audio output suffers. But in the case of the Soundlink Micro, Bose managed to put a great sound into an aesthetically pleasing device.

Features of the Bose Soundlink Micro:

Design

Out of the box is a pretty unassuming micro Bluetooth speaker that comes with a charging cable but no charging brick. It comes in three colors, namely black, blue and orange. The almost square speaker has a dimension of 1.4 x 3.9 x 3.9 inches. The grille is covered by a silicone rubber material, with a top-facing speaker.

The simple control panel is pasted on the top right above the speaker mesh. There are only three buttons, a button for play and two for volume controls. The Multifunction button is in the middle. One tap pauses and plays, two taps the song moves forward and three taps take it back. On the side, you’d find the power button, the Bluetooth pairing button and the micro USB charging port. There is a battery indicator LED white light directly under the charging port. Below the speaker is a mesh for ventilation of the drivers.

There is a tear-resistant handle made from texturized rubber to stretch and go around the speaker to be hooked in tightly in the charging port. It is easy to use for latching the speaker on to backpack straps, bike handlebars and just about anything the strap can go around. It can withstand the shocks and shakes of a bike handlebar.

Shielded exterior

With this piece, it looks like Bose imagined the worst possible scenarios and created a speaker that will come out of it unscratched. It is water-resistant and drops resistant. The IPX7 certified rating has made this speaker impervious to liquid. It can be dropped in water no more than a meter deep and it will continue to produce audio output. It can be used in the shower, rain and snow as it can withstand jet breeze. Bose also mentioned that it is safe with saltwater so you can take it from the bathroom to the beach. Of course, you’re not going to leave it in a bowl of water and run off to do some grocery shopping.

Secondly, it is built to be rugged. It can survive many drops and trust me, we did drop it a couple of times. It can withstand the hungry mouth of a rampaging child or the attack of a rabid dog and come out unscratched.

Battery life

Bose claims it can last 6 hours of use but when tested at maximum volume it lasted about 5 hours. When used at 50% volume, the speaker can last up to 14 hours. That’s pretty impressive for its size. The Bluetooth connectivity is strong. You can have a couple of walls in between and the connection stays the same.

The speaker gives voice prompts on the battery life and when it is paired with a Bluetooth device, tells you who. It can remember up to 8 devices at the same time.

There’s a Bose app you can use with this speaker. You can control it from your phone seamlessly. The app is however not topnotch and could use some improvements and upgrades.

Audio performance

For a small speaker, it does very well at providing audio output for personal listening. It is also great for small reception areas in need of background audio. Although it is priced at 100 USD, don’t expect it to be as loud as the JBL Flip 4 or the UE wonderboom. If you want great audio output, you might want to look somewhere else.

We are judging the Soundlink Micro on its size. For such a small speaker it has very good audio quality and especially bass. I daresay it has more bass than the average portable speaker of the price range. There’s a little thump in the music that makes this little speaker enjoyable.

Moving on to midrange, any song with strong vocals, the Bose Soundlink Micro does exceptionally well. We’re talking about the likes of Beyoncé, Sam Smith and Adele. It’s very clear and pushed forward. For pop songs that have a lot of instruments and background audio, it sounds lightly jumbled together with the upper frequencies slowly heading into the high frequencies. There wasn’t much audio separation. When a lot is going on it gets a little harder to distinguish some instruments and vocals.

For small speakers to be this loud there is usually a sacrifice made. In the case of the Soundlink Micro, there is a sacrifice with screeching and high piercing notes. Bose plays it safe and you don’t hear it in the Micro. Bose rounds the high frequencies in the top end with a lack of resolution which prevents the speaker from going overboard and sounding too sharp. It’s not a bad thing as most average consumers will be fine with it.

The speakerphone option is available and just OK. We wouldn’t describe it as great but it’s audible enough for the person on the other end.

Bose Soundlink Micro Overview:

Pros of Bose Soundlink Micro:

The speaker is straightforward and easy to use. It does not have any extra features or gimmicks.

The portability of the speaker makes it a winner. You can throw it into your shirt pocket and use it like an expanded earpiece.

The Bose Soundlink Micro is made to be durable. It is wear-resistant, waterproof and drop-proof. The texturised rubber material can withstand abrasions and a drop on a hard floor. Similarly, it can be used in the shower, under rain or snow and it will work just fine.

It has a great audio output for its size. It is not as loud as other portable Bluetooth speakers in the price range but it does well for itself. Getting a small speaker to sound like this is near impossible and Bose pulled it off.

It has a built-in microphone and can go into a speakerphone. This is really handy when your phone is in another room. It is not the best speakerphone but we’re just grateful it is there.

Cons of Bose Soundlink Micro:

It is proven to be drop resistant, and Bose has said ‘there’s no need to panic when you drop it’. However, there is no mention of a formal drop-resistant height. We don’t know if your speaker can survive one storey fall or more.

Although most devices these days are wireless, it would have been nice to have a 3.5mm aux input to connect it to a play station or laptop. This means you can’t connect the speaker to a device without wireless connectivity.

There seems to be an issue when trying to connect this with an iPhone. It requires an app which you cannot download without putting in your card details. One with expect that you will get a variety of features when this process is complete but all you get is a connection to your iPhone. You give up your details for the basic features and no added value. As a side note, the Bose app seems unnecessary for a speaker that is this straightforward and simple.

It does not float. Like a pebble that it is, it will sink to the bottom if it drops into the water. If you can’t dive in or know exactly where it fell, you may have to kiss goodbye to your speaker.

Conclusion 

Overall the portability makes this speaker a winner. It is rugged, waterproof and functional. It would have been awesome if it could float just in case you drop it in the pool. Keeping in mind how small the Bose Soundlink Micro is, the sound output is impressive. If ultra-portability is still the top of your list you should get the Soundlink Micro. If you want better sound quality and less portability you can check out the JBL Flip 4.

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