Stereo Guide verdict
+ well balanced yet mature sound
+ decent sound, never annoying
+ really handy to mount or position
- quite limited in terms of dynamics and transparency
Sound: Tonal balance / Transparency6.5
Price / Performance8
Sound: Bass / Dynamics4.8
Ease-of-use / Connectivity8.8
Bose has quite a history of surprising people with full-fledged sound out of very tiny enclosures. So their Soundlink Micro, rather smaller than two packs of cigarettes, should behold a maximum potential of astounding people. Remember Bose´s legendary Soundlink Mini defining the genre of tiny bluetooth speakers offering convincing bass.
The Soundlink Micro is also in the same vein, but its rounded and flatter shape is much better suited for handbags and backpacks. You can argue that Danish manufacturers like B&O have occupied this territory already, but Bose seem to be more consistent here in terms of colours. Black, orange and dark red give the Soundlink Micro a certain 1970s retro touch, especially when being strapped to the bicycle handlebar.
What´s the story, Bose?
What turned out to be practical from the first go: voice announcements not only confirm successful connection, but also issue a warning in case battery life is coming to an end. According to the manufacturer, this is after 6 hours, which we consider realistic and fairly average. A small battery indicator on the side also reminds when it is time to get juice or end the party.
Despite from offerting voice assistant´s help, the Soundlink Micro is a Bluetooth-only concept offering no Wifi connection or AUX inputs. The keys for standard functions such as Play, Pause and volume control are positioned quite prominently on the front.
A rubber strap for quick fastening to bicycle handlebars or e-scooters is included – and really handy. If you prefer to place the Soundlink Micro on a table, this strap serves as kind of isolating base and anti-slip. Bose is particularly proud of its IPX 7 waterproof rating, which makes it possible to submerge it for 30 minutes.
That said, a vented enclosure was no option. Accordingly, the tiny Bose uses a passive compound driver for extending its bass reproduction, as the majority of frequencies are handled by one fullrange driver. The Soundlink Micro is designed as a pure mono speaker and consequently does without features that are rather pointless at this size, such as virtual surround sound.
Summertime, and pairing is easy
Establishing a bluetooth connection worked completely flawlessly, especially since the Soundlink Micro´s voice feedback is commenting almost anything.
Two Soundlink Micros can be easily paired to create a stereo pair. You need the Bose Connect app for iOS or Android to do so. A party mode is also available with the app. For a firmware update, you might want to connect a computer via the included USB cable instead of the app.
Listening test Bose Soundlink Micro
Of course, one shouldn´t expect a miracle in terms of dynamics from a speaker of this size. But especially in the bass region, the Bose Soundlink Mirco turned out to perform surprisingly mature. The bass might not as substantial, which is quickly noticeable with hip-hop and bass-heavy pop, but you still don’t get the feeling of several octaves missing which is not an uncommon impression from speakers of comparable size.
In addition, it offers a tonally well balanced voice reproduction not overly finely resolved, but with a fair amount of clarity. It never gets annoying and is definitely suitable for long-term listening without getting lost too much in the murmurs of a spontaneous beach party.
Verdict and Alternatives
Especially in relation to size and functionality, the Bose Soundlink Micro is not the cheapest mobile speaker on the market. In return, mounting options such as the handleblar fix and its rounded shape are definitely strong points.
And so is the strong bass performance making it a relatively mature speaker. The only competitor being capable of keeping of is the comparably cheaper Tribit Stormbox Micro 2. The latter offers a bit more of dynamics and grippy speed, but cannot keep up with Bose´s relaxed timbre and subtantial bass.
Specifications Bose Soundlink Micro
- Retail price: 130 dollars/pounds/euro
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 3.56 x 9.91 x 9.91 cm
- Weight:290 g
- Features: IPX7 waterproof, mic for calls and voice assistants
- More at www.bose.com
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