Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth speaker
The Bose SoundLink Mini is one of the best sounding portable Bluetooth speakers on the market
- Excellent, compact design
- Good sound quality
- Included charging dock
- Doesn't charge via micro-USB
- Aluminium finish prone to light scratches
- Accessories are expensive
The Bose SoundLink Mini may not be the loudest portable Bluetooth speaker on the market, but it's one of the best sounding and really packs a punch considering its compact size.
Price$ 249.00 (AUD)
Bose has produced a number of portable speaker systems in the past, but the SoundLink Mini marks the first time it intends to compete on both size and price. Designed for devices like smartphones and tablets, the SoundLink Mini is one of the best sounding portable Bluetooth speakers on the market and really packs a punch for its compact size.
Anodized aluminium shell, hefty weight
Bose has a reputation for impressive design, and the SoundLink Mini is no exception. It's constructed from an anodized aluminium case that matches almost perfectly with the same material Apple uses on its MacBook Pro and MacBook Air notebooks. The case appears to wrap around the speaker, creating a rather unique look.
The edges of the aluminum are broken only by a grey speaker grill on the back and front. The sharp edges can actually dig into your fingers if you aren't careful, and the aluminium finish is unfortunately prone to light scratches. Bose sells an optional, silicone cover for the SoundLink Mini in three colours ($29.95), and a travel bag ($54.95) but both accessories are ridiculously too expensive for our liking.
At 680g, the Bose SoundLink Mini is one of the heaviest speakers on the market. It's still light enough to slip in your pocket if you need to, and the extra weight really gives it a premium feel. A rubber base conceals the non-removable Lithium-ion battery and also prevents the speaker from slipping when placed on a flat surface.
The SoundLink Mini has six buttons on the top including power, mute, volume up/down, Bluetooth and auxiliary. The volume up and down keys are slightly raised above the others, but all of the rubber coated keys require a very firm press to activate, so this can quickly become an annoyance. One other annoyance: the SoundLink Mini can't function as a hands-free speakerphone for your smartphone, unlike many of its competitors.
Bose includes a standard 3.5mm audio jack on the right side, just above an AC charger input. Unfortunately, the latter is a proprietary port and means the SoundLink Mini can't be charged by micro-USB. Bose does include a charging cradle in the sales package that neatly docks the speaker, but the AC adapter is chunky and you'll need to carry it with you if you are travelling. Most rival speakers, like the UE Boom, the Beats Pill and the Jawbone Jambox, are all charged by a regular micro-USB connection.
Impressive clarity, decent bass
Setting up the Bose SoundLink Mini is as simple as you'd expect from a Bluetooth audio system. Press the power button to turn on the device where it will enter Bluetooth pairing mode automatically the first time, then connect your smartphone, tablet or other Bluetooth device. The SoundLink Mini can connect and remember up to six Bluetooth devices without having to pair them again.
Bose has a poor reputation among many audiophiles (Buy Other Sound Equipment) with critics of the company often claiming the products are overpriced compared to competitors. The compact Bluetooth speaker market is hardly audiophile territory, however, and the SoundLink Mini is one of the most impressive we've heard in this category. Bose claims the device uses two passive radiators and two custom transducers to produce "better sound than any speaker of its size".
The SoundLink Mini produces crisp and clear sound with moderate, but not overwhelming bass. Mids and highs are excellent, but while bass is relatively impressive considering the size, it can be lacking depending on your musical tastes, and obviously can't compete with larger speaker systems.
The SoundLink Mini isn't as loud as some competing Bluetooth speakers, but distortion is almost non-existent, even at full volume. The device produces loud enough sound to fill a small or medium sized room, but if you're looking for a larger space to fill then you'll need to opt for a larger and therefore more powerful speaker.
Bose says the SoundLink Mini's 2330mAh battery will last for seven hours before requiring a recharge. We managed to use the device for around six hours during testing, and found the unit takes around three hours to fully charge. Interestingly, there's a micro-USB port on the bottom of the speaker, next to the dock pin connector, but Bose says this is for loading future firmware updates to the device from a computer.
The Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth speaker is available now in Australia and retails for $249.
Join the newsletter!
There is a piece of technology for everything nowadays – even finding fish on a fishing trip!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Nova 3e: P20 in a pinch
- 2 Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- 3 LG E8 OLED TV (2018) and SK10Y soundbar review: If you've been on the fence about OLED, now might be the time to jump it
- 4 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 5 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Intel's 905P Optane reaches a tempting 1.5TB, but drive prices remain high
- These rare deals drop custom Radeon Vega 56 and 64 graphics cards below MSRP, with 3 free games
- Skype is coming to Alexa devices, bringing another Microsoft service to Amazon's hardware
- Amazon bolster Australian Echo lineup with Echo Show and Echo Sub
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 fans can now build an almost all-COD PC thanks to Asus
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Panasonic FZ1000U OLED TV: Full, in-depth, review
- Oppo Find X: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies