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Bose SoundLink Mobile Speaker Review: There's music in the air

Mahananda Bohidar | Updated on September 21, 2011 Published on September 21, 2011

Bose SoundLink Mobile speakers   -  BUSINESS LINE

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The guys at Bose know how to protect their secrets. From the time of short telecon when I had agreed to review the unnamed Bose product which was yet to see light of the day, until I actually received the package, I kept wondering what the mysterious product would be. Would it be a home theatre system from the Lifestyle series or a new path-breaking pair of earphones? Even when the delivery guy dropped off the parcel - that looked like a mini-version of those fake guitar cases in which the mafiosi hide guns – I still had no clue.

The climax of ruthlessly ripping off the package was quite a revelation. It was the 47-year old company's plunge into the world of wireless audio streaming. Sized almost like a chunky Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the latest from Bose carries the company's DNA – the promise of big sound packed in a compact device.

Plugged in

Connecting the device to the power source, we decided to flag off the testing experience with an Apple iPod Touch. Linking the devices via Bluetooth took under a minute. All we had to do was press the Bluetooth button on top of the speaker panel for SoundLink Mobile to recognise the streaming device. Starting with ‘Give Me One Reason To Live', we listened to Tracy Chapman's soulful voice and Eric Clapton work magic on the guitar. We then switched to a peppy new-age number ‘Dum Diddly' by Black Eyed Peas, pumping up the volume, much to the annoyance of the neighbours. There was no distortion in the sound quality even when the volume was high. We tried on more than a score of tracks that included songs by Foster The People, Pink Floyd, Florence + The Machine, Ray Charles and Dire Straits. While for the most part the detail in all the songs we played was captured, at times the overall quality of music seemed to be underwhelming.

We tried a host of devices with the Bose SoundLink Mobile speakers to check how easily they connected and how well they streamed music from various sources. So, the devices that took turns, apart from the iPod Touch, were: a tablet - Apple iPad 2 and a smartphone - Sony Xperia Ray. Both detected the Bose speakers without much delay and the quality of music streamed was as good as with the iPod Touch. With both the devices, we could let the music play in the background while being busy with Safari on the tablet or WhatsApp on the handset. One exception, however, is streaming videos or music from YouTube because that itself is an app which will stop running once you switch to another programme. Some basic handsets (Bluetooth-enabled) such as the Nokia C3 failed to connect with the speakers.

Tech talk

The Bose SoundLink Mobile speakers combine four low-profile neodymium transducers for clear high and mid-frequencies. These are coupled with dual-opposing passive radiators designed with a patented waffle-shaped surround for deep, low notes and minimum vibration at high levels.

The system is designed in a way that the six most recently used Bluetooth devices are automatically stored in its memory. This does away with the need for you to pair recently connected devices all over again, which is a big plus.

Packed neatly into the small unit is also a rechargeable lithium-ion battery array, which Bose says provides power for more than three hours of audio playback at high volume, and for more than eight hours at normal volume.

Another feature that Bose SoundLink Mobile speaker wins brownie points for is its potential for portability. The device is even small enough to fit in your satchel bag and is light enough to be carried around town.

Now the party doesn't have to be where the speakers are!

We say

With this device, Bose Corp. pits itself against contemporary biggies like Bowers & Wilkins, Harman Kardon and Klipsch. And with the SoundLink Mobile, Bose seems to have, somewhere, struck the right chord with its combination of power, price and portability.

Love: Compact, captures detail and handles high volume without distortion

Hate: Sound quality, especially richness, is limited by its form and size

Rs 19,013 (Standard Model)

Rs 23,513 (LX Model)

Published on September 21, 2011
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