Other Gadgets

When Bose gets busy

Mahananda Bohidar June 12 | Updated on June 12, 2013

Bose SoundLink Mini

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Bose SoundLink Mini

Bose is associated with black. No, I’m not just talking about the colour of their products. They almost always veil new products in black – like in a magic trick - and then take the covers off quite dramatically to showcase the new product. This time around, the second product they spoke about was hidden in black too – in the presenter’s black jacket! The setting was an exclusive preview for tech-journos being held by Bose and the magical new product was the new SoundLink Mini. It’s been two years since we reviewed the first SoundLink Mobile device and we pretty much loved it. So, I wasn’t sure how Bose could top that experience. The new SoundLink lives up to its name – it’s a petite little device which will make you doubt its prowess when you set eyes on it. At 680 grams, the device feels a bit heavy to be carried around in your jacket. But it’ll feel like just another tablet if you carry it around in your backpack. The device looks sleek with its anodised aluminium housing and comes with a charging station. We could connect up to six devices with the SoundLink Mini (via Bluetooth) at a time and took turns streaming music on to the device. We played a bit of jazz and a couple of Lady Gaga tracks, some from the Indie-rock band Imagine Dragons and some James Blunt. The music scored big on clarity with both the vocals as well as the bass being clearly defined. We pumped up the volume to the max to see how well it can handle highs and the SoundLink Mini did not disappoint. It was only on some Mp3 tracks that the sound quality suffered but it’s inherently a problem with that format of music.

It was impressive to see that the device was loud enough to fill a pretty decently-sized meeting room with the music. The SoundLink Mini is not yet available in the markets but will be retailed at Rs 16,200 by the first week of August this year.

Bose QuietCOmfort 20s

There are headphones that claim to cancel noise and then there are those that do. Thankfully the new Bose QuietComfort 20s turned out to belong to the latter category. While unveiling the pair of headphones company officials said that they’ve applied for more patents for this headphone alone than any other in the past. Soon, we were to find out why. We went through the usual drill of plugging them in – with the trademark shark-ear tips and all – to listen to a couple of music tracks. And then, without our knowledge, there was a parallel recording of traffic noise being played. Only when we pulled the earphones out did we realise that the noise was present all along and we had heard none of it with the headphones plugged in.

Although the ear tips take a bit of getting used to, the overall experience with the headphones was pretty pleasant. The sound quality – we listened to a track with lots of string instruments – did not leave any room for complaint. The company has used the proprietary TriPort technology that uses ports to increase the effective acoustic space of the ear bud. The StayHear+ ear tips sit at the entrance of the ear canal with a conical design to effectively seal passive noise.

The most innovative feature on the QuietComfort 20s however is what the company calls the ‘Aware Mode’. You know how you miss out on flight announcements while listening to your favourite tracks, waiting for your boarding to begin? Well, that’s exactly what the Aware mode takes care of. At the press of a button, the headphones switches from the noise cancelling mode and lets you hear the ambient noise as well so you don’t miss out on announcements or other alerts in the background. All this happens while the music is still playing on the device! These headphones will be available for purchase starting September 2013 for Rs 22,388.

Bose AE2 headphones

At the special unveiling, Bose hinted at the device by saying it was a new category that they hadn’t yet dipped their toes in. While my imagination was running riot thinking maybe they’ve produced a media player to rival the Apple iPods, turned out it was a refurbished version of the super-popular AE2 headphones. The new bit was that the headphones are the first stereo wireless headphones from the company. The AE2w is optimised for usage with Apple devices, but can be used with smartphones and tablets running Android as well.

The around-the-ear headphones felt comfortable with soft ear cushions and are consciously designed in a way that will help them deliver deep lows and more life-like sound.

The headphones can be paired to two sources at a time – say a tablet and your smartphone. So, in case you get a call, you can quickly switch from the tab to attend to the call on your phone. The company claims that the integrated battery provides almost seven hours of active listening on a full charge. But, in case the battery dies, you can use the audio cable (provided in the box) to connect to a gadget. The headphones are the only product among the three that are currently available in the market at Rs 19,013

Published on June 11, 2013

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