Sunday, 19 November 2017
Reviews

Bose Soundlink Micro review: This very tiny Bluetooth speaker delivers great big sound


The speakers inside smartphones improve with every new generation of handset. But they all sound like garbage when it comes to playing music without the benefit of headphones. That’s where the Bose Soundlink Micro comes in. This practically pocketable Bluetooth speaker isn’t cheap at $110, but it punches far above its weight class.

Design

Unlike the other speakers in Bose’s portable lineup, the Soundlink Micro is designed to be carried and routinely abused. With an IPX7 rating, it’ll survive a trip into the shower or a dunk into the pool to a depth of one meter for up to an hour. The X in that spec doesn’t necessarily mean its not protected from dust incursion, just that it’s not rated for such protection.

Part of this resilience in the face of the elements is due to the speaker’s silicon rubber exterior, which not only reduces the number of seams and other access points for water to seep into, but also protects its internal components from being banged around, dented, or cracked. The only port you’ll find on the speaker is a micro-USB port for charging its battery. A single charge will yield approximately six hours of audio.

bose soundlink micro size Séamus Bellamy

While smaller than some cups of coffee, the Soundlink Micro can still produce a respectable amount of noise.

As with other Bose devices, the controls on the Micro are minimal, but adequate. You’ll find power and Bluetooth pairing buttons on the side of the Micro, flanking the speaker’s LED power level indicator. On the top are the volume controls and a button that can be used to play/pause or to move back and forth between the track list on your mobile device or computer. The button also provides access for Android and iOS users to access Google Assistant or Siri through the speaker (not on the speaker itself).

The Micro has two speaker grills: One on top to blast out the mid- and high-frequency sound through a single mono transducer and a passive radiator. A second passive radiator fires out of the Micro’s bottom-facing grill to provide a little bit of additional thump. Even if the enclosure could have accommodated a second transducer, it’s too small to allow the separation needed to produce true stereo. Buy two Micros, however, and you can put them in what Bose calls Party Mode to get true stereo.

While designed to provide its best sound when set up on a hard surface, like a table or desk, a built-in silicone strap makes it possible to mount it on a set of handlebars, strap it to a backpack, or locate it in any number of other places your life could be improved by the presence of a wee speaker.

bose soundlink micro bottom Séamus Bellamy

The Soundlink Micro’s bottom-firing passive radiator adds a significant amount of low frequency thump to whatever you’re listening to.

All of this fits into a package that weighs just over 10 ounces and measures roughly 4 x 4 x 1.5 inches. Currently the Soundlink Micro is available in three colors: orange, midnight blue, or black.

Connectivity and performance

The Soundlink Micro is stupid easy to connect to smartphones and tablets thanks to the company’s Bose Connect App. When pairing a new device, the speaker will provide you with audio prompts, walking you through the process. Switching connected devices via the app is a cinch, too. Should you want to connect to a device that doesn’t have access to the app, you can still kick it old school and pair using traditional Bluetooth pairing protocols.





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