Bose SoundLink Wireless Mobile Speaker

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by DakotaGuy, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. DakotaGuy, Sep 18, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011

    DakotaGuy macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    South Dakota, USA
    This product just came out a few days ago and I ordered it and was just curious if anyone had heard it yet? I assume it will probably sound close to a SoundDock or even the Computer Music Monitors (which I own) since the drivers (although this one has 4 instead of 2) and opposing passive radiators looks to be a similar design. It seems with the magnetic interchangeable cover they were looking to Apple for design inspiration since it is similar in concept to the iPad smart cover.

    It has wireless bluetooth along with a normal input on the back so will work with iPhones, iPods, iPads, Androids, Computers, etc. It also claims an 8 hour battery life at normal listening volumes and having a pretty robust build quality.

    Don't waste your time on bashing Bose either because that is not why I started this thread. Bose makes some nice products especially for the mobile and multimedia market so I don't care if your opinion is different on that. I am just curious if anyone ordered this as well or maybe have heard it.

  2. oluv macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2011
    please let us know what you think about it.
    do you also own a sounddock portable for direct comparison?

    i am also very intrigued by the new soundlink mobile speaker, although i have a sounddock portable as well, but the soundlink is even smaller and lighter, so it can be packed away much better than the sounddock with its external battery. i also have a logitech s715i, but soundwise it is just no comparison to the sounddock portable.

    i am not sure about the acoustic qualities of the soundlink, but already the miniscule computer music monitors from bose sound pretty decent and not much worse than the sounddock regarding bass-power and clarity.

    i assume the soundlink to sound a bit clearer and brighter than the sounddock as it has dedicated tweeters while the sounddock has only one driver per channel. but i am not sure how much worse the passive radiator design will be compared to the sounddock's waveguide.
    the sounddock has incredible bass power for its size, i doubt bose managed something similar from the smaller soundlink.

    i think i will take the subway and visit a bose store and have a listen during lunch break as they told me that the soundlink is already on display.
  3. DakotaGuy thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    South Dakota, USA
    I don't own a SoundDock anymore, but I did at one time. I have owned the Computer MusicMonitors for a couple of years and for their size I find them to be excellent and actually have pretty decent bass with the dual opposing radiators. The SoundLink appears to use the same technology as the MusicMonitors which makes sense because at it's size a wave guide probably is not possible.

    Actually for the features I don't find the $299 price point out of line since the Jawbone Jambox is $199 and this appears to be a far superior product as far as build quality goes and since it's larger I will go out on a limb and say it should also produce a bigger sound with more bass.

    If you get to the Bose store please let me know your opinion of the product. I will post my thoughts once I get it.
  4. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I've had the Music Monitors as well but I find Bose to be overpriced. However, if this is wireless tech and it is actually somewhat in line with Jawbone (as you said) then it may be worth a look. Problem I find with these is that they do seem to be overpriced, even if they're all around the same price.

    I'd be interested to see if the wireless technology loses something. In my opinion speakers shouldn't be wireless if you care about sound. I could be wrong, I'm far from an audiophile.
  5. oluv macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2011
    ok, i just came back from the bose store...

    ...and in the meantime the soundlink is standing on my office-desk right beside me and charging :D

    at the bose store i could test both the soundlink and sounddock portable side by side. and i must say that when i heard the first tune coming out of the soundlink it made me grin. you would never expect this little box to sound that big.

    compared directly to the sounddock portable the sound signature is quite similar, although the sound is "scaled down" similar to the size of the speaker. it sound a bit smaller, but it doesn't sound worse. the sounddock portable has deeper reaching bass and is somewhat clearer, but i had the impression as if their sounddock sounded a bit different than mine at home. mine is already several years old and i had it in use quite often, maybe that mine sounds a bit duller, at least i had this impression. i will test it more detailed when i am at home.

    the soundlink though doesn't have the same maximum volume as the sounddock, maximum volume is significantly lower. i could easily use the sounddock portable for a small beach party outside when cranked up, but the soundlink just doesn't play that loud. you can also hear that bass is taken away at higher volume, it still sounds ok, but music starts to sound a bit compressed. at normal listening levels though it sounds pretty good. i wouldn't like to push the volume that much in my garden without annoying my neighbours.

    apart from that design is pretty slick. it is much more portable than the sounddock, and the flip-cover makes it look really elegant, albeit a bit retro old-school. i don't care about the retro-look because i like retro, but some might have a problem with this.

    it is no doubt that bose products are overpriced, but i know very many portable speakers, i have tested them all and the bose soundlink as well as the sounddock sound the best in their class/size. if one is willing to pay that premium i am sure he won't be disappointed.

    also the jambox is overpriced quite a lot but it is a completely different league. it sounds considerable worse than the soundlink. it is also much smaller, but i would call the sound of the soundlink to be quite mature, while the jambox sounds like a toy, even if it is regarded as best in its own class/size as well.
    with the soundlink you hardly have any compromises in overall sound, the speaker has impressive sound range, from deep bass to highest treble. on the other hand with the jambox you will always have the impression to be listening to a mini-speaker, although a very good sounding one.

    i hope this helps a bit. if you have further questions feel free to ask!
  6. tigres macrumors 68040


    Aug 31, 2007
    Land of the Free-Waiting for Term Limits
  7. oluv macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2011
    good question but for a portable speaker Airplay doesn't make much sense. You always need an additional router for being able to connect wirelessly. I don't know any speaker which has a router built in, and i don't know if Apple's Airplay standard does foresee any audio-streaming without additional router.
    The Iphone could setup an ad hoc network, but i am not sure if there is any Apple standard to allow streaming like this.
    Bluetooth is still the best wireless standard on the way, even if audio quality suffers a bit.
  8. DakotaGuy thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    South Dakota, USA
    Oluv thanks for the report on it. I assume you were pretty impressed with the product since you purchased it.:) Mine should be here tomorrow so I will also post my thoughts on it. Looking at how it is built and from what you have said it really appears to be a mobile wireless version of the MusicMonitors, of course with less stereo seperation.

    As far as Bose not including AirPlay in this I suppose they decided that BT would be compatible with a lot more mobile devices, however support for both would have been nice. The SoundLink does have a 3.5mm audio input on the back so you could hook it to an Airport Express and use AirPlay.
  9. oluv, Sep 19, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011

    oluv macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2011
    both do sound slightly different of course. the sounddock portable is still able to pump out some deeper bass, and play louder, but overall the soundlink is pretty impressive nevertheless. i had a co-worker had a short listen to it in our office-kitchen and his jaw dropped when he heard it. i mean, i was looking for years for such a speaker. i had a virgin boomtube, a tivoli pal, various logitech speakers, but the soundlink just puts all to shame. it sounds nearly like a mature sound system.

    here is it compared to a jambox. the jambox sounds pretty nice especially if compared to other small speakers of similar size, well but compared directly to the soundlink it makes the impression of a toy soundwise.
  10. DakotaGuy thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    South Dakota, USA
    I got mine today and I am already very satisfied with this product. Considering the size the performance is outstanding.

    Honestly in my opinion sound wise it is MusicMonitors with less stereo separation when I compared the two side by side. That is about as close as I can describe it. The tonal quality and bass has the same characteristics as the MusicMonitors. Not surprising since they use a lot of the same engineering especially with dual opposing radiators for the low notes. Of course, the MusicMonitors each have their own opposing radiator and this one has one slightly larger one in the center so it has just slightly less bass.

    The sound is big and I would describe it as a sophisticated sound for it's size if that makes sense. Every other wireless compact speaker I have heard sound like toys even if they sounded ok compared to the Soundlink. Build quality and fit and finish is Apple like and it is heavy for it's size, but a lot of times a higher quality product is going to have some weight to it. It isn't real loud sort of like the MusicMonitors aren't real loud, however it has plenty of volume and sounds great at normal listening volume. Lots of clarity which you would never expect in a speaker this size. Also no difference in performance whether on battery power or plugged in. If you do push it hard you can tell it starts to compress the highs and lows to avoid distortion, however it seems like a very reasonable compromise. It synced without any issues with my Droid 2 and iPad and the Bluetooth provided good quality sound. Using the AUX 3.5mm jack hooked up to my iMac did provide slightly better sound, but Bluetooth performance is very acceptable.

    If you are in the market for a small mobile rechargeable wireless speaker the Soundlink Mobile is definitely worth a look.
  11. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Does the Bose Soundlink support speakerphone operation like the Jambox? I work remote quite often, and I currently bring a Polycom as well as Bose SoundDock speakers with me. I never use both at the same time. It would be nice if this new wireless BT speaker has high quality, signal processed speakerphone capability too.

  12. oluv macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2011
    great to hear you like it!
    when bose announced the new soundlink and i was reading the first postings the first thing i always saw were bashing comments regarding Bose, but i assume no one of these has even heard this speaker yet.

    to tell the truth, i have not heard a better sounding speaker of this size. it still impresses me and i would rather bash all other companies that want my money for speakers that sound like toys.
    bose's offerings are most of the time priced a bit higher than the rest, but the products are also better.
    i have been looking for years for something of similar quality like the new soundlink. years ago i bought a virgin boomtube EX, still a nice speaker, quite loud too, but no comparison to the bose. then i had a completely overpriced tivoli PAL that distorts even at lowest levels, i had various logitech speakers, altec lansing, jbl, harman kardon etc... but i could have saved lots of money, if i had directly bought the soundlink. so in the end i wouldn't say bose products are overpriced, because once you buy one, you will not look for something else anymore.

    first my wife was quite angry when i showed her my new toy. she asked why would we need another speaker? but then i paired it with her BADA-phone so that she could play some of her tunes, and now she doesn't allow me to use it, as she says it is her's now :rolleyes:

    @flynz4: no, the soundlink does not have a speakerphone built in. when a call comes in, the music mutes and you can take the call on your phone, then it continues to play again.
    very rarely i used the speakerphone on my jambox. sometimes i prefer talking through the phone, but when the jambox is paired it usally takes the call. on the iphone it takes some seconds to be able to switch between jambox and phone, so it can even become quite annoying sometimes. sometimes when talking through the phone, the jambox even takes back the call suddenly, which can also be a bit disturbing.
  13. oluv macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2011
    @dakotaguy: still liking your soundlink?

    meanwhile i was able to get a pair of musicmonitors quite cheap from ebay. i compared both musicmonitors and the soundlink side by side and i must confess that the musicmonitors sound quite a bit better, the bass is not that boomy while still very powerful and treble is clearer on the musimonitors.
    i still like my soundlink and it is perfect for all around music listening, especially outside sound is impressive and powerful. but now i have the musicmonitors at work and i am really satisfied with their sound. they also sound pretty neat at lowest volume.
    the soundlink has a more brutal sound it is not that refined. it's a realy pity that bose didn't manage to make the musicmonitors portable. i imagine them with built-in battery and working wirelessly. for carrying they could use magnets to stick together and also be connected by a charging plug, so if stuck together, they could both be charged at the same time. then for listening you just put them apart and have a pretty decent stereo-field, which is completely missing with the soundlink, except if you stick it in front of your nose.

    meanwhile i have written a detailed review about the soundlink and started an own blog, it is in german though, but with google translate you can at least understand a little bit, there are also lots of photos together with other gear:
  14. thatisme macrumors 6502


    Mar 23, 2010
    United States
    Depending on what your "wireless" speaker needs are, there are a few other solutions that you may want to consider. If you are looking to just simply untether your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad from the speaker directly, but don't mind having the speakers plugged into the wall outlet, then you should consider the solution that I am using currently, which works really well.

    I have the Bose Companion speakers (old black version) and the Apple Airport Express . Using a Headphone Jack to RCA converter cable, I have the speakers plugged into the audio jack on the Airport Express. I am able to use Airplay with this solution, and the sound from those little speakers is fantastic with great base. I found that the sound from these speakers bests those from the Sound Dock which I had purchased and then subsequently returned since they didn't sound like an "upgrade" to me, at least not for the price differential.

    Granted, with this solution, you are plugged into the wall with the speakers, but you can freely roam using airplay and wirelessly transmit music and DJ from afar.
  15. oluv macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2011
    i have the music monitors which i could use in such a way like you, i also have an airport express. but i rather prefer something with built in battery in order to take the speakers with me.
    most really portable speakers just sound like crap. the foxl from soundmatters is tiny and has a perfect form factor, but it doesn't deliver bose-sound. it sounds quite good at higher levels, but then starts already to distort. at low levels the sound is pretty tinny.
    the soundlink is pretty nice and sound is full and has enough bass, but you never have the impression as if you were listening to stereo-sound. you have to put the nose against the mesh in order to get a bit of stereo. 2 separate speakers would be better, but they still have to be tiny and well portable. i think the music monitors would have the perfect form factor for this. they are considerably smaller than the companions and the music monitors even sound better, with better definition and better bass. bose only needs to make them wireless and include a rechargeable battery.
    once there even was a japanese version of the musicmonitors, they were called M3 and they had the possibility to run from 4xAA cells. They only played with 2W power then, but i think if bose included a powerful Li-Ion rechargeable battery this could be a pretty nice system.
  16. den Jones macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2011
    I WAS satisfied, but now it doesn't work anymore

    In the beginning everything went really smooth and everything went great. Easy to use and an amazing sound.
    But than after a few days I couldn't get it to connect to my iMac (Mac OS X 10.5.8), my iPad and Iphone. So I followed the instructions and pushed the bluetooth button for 10 seconds to reset it, so it would forget all the previous devices and wanted to start over again.
    My iMac, iPad and iPhone detect the soundlink but they still fail to connect to the soundlink. I always get a message that sounds like, 'connection unsuccessful' (On my devices its in Dutch).
    What should I do?
  17. Stevetek macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2007
  18. Cedar Mill macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2011
    Macbook bluetooth will not connect with Bose Soundlink

    Has anyone figured out how to get the Macbook on OS 10.7.2 to connect via bluetooth to the bose soundlink? I have tried and tried. Bose told me to "ask Apple to update the driver for A2DP? the things that make bluetooth send audio. It seems like something is missing in 10.7.2. My iphone works great with it. a friends older OS works fine. Any one know what's up?
  19. Tintoria1 macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2011
    Hello, I just bought the Bose soundlink speakers. The sound is great I really love it. I am using them for now with an iPhone 4 and an ipad2. However I have a problem which I am not sure it is a problem or it is working as designed, since I have it on both devices. When I am connected via Bluetooth and I am playing music, I seem to lose my internet connection. It is obviously there but it stops downloading... So not only I cannot surf the Internet while listening to music but I cannot even use streaming sites like YouTube to mention one..... If this is as designed I will definitely return them because this is a major limitation for the use I make especially of the iPad.... Hope it can be fixed... Any clues?
    Thank you.
    Ps: Both devices are on iOS 5.01
  20. Peti macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2007
  21. Alyssa macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2003
    This is how to connect iMac, Macbook to SoundLink

    This will help you connect your iMac, Macbook Pro, MacMini to Bose Soundlink

    1. On your Mac open System Settings and click on BlueTooth section.
    2. Turn on Bluetooth and check on "Show Bluetooth status in the menu bar" and "Discoverable".
    3. Press and hold the BlueTooth button for 3 seconds on the SoundLink and pair it with the Mac by clicking the plus sign on the Bluetooth settings on your Mac.
    4. Once paired click on the Bluetooth icon on the Mac's Menu Bar (Close to the volume and wireless icons) and choose Bose Soundlink and select "Use as audio device".
  22. LakerBen macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2011
    Question about volume range

    Hey everyone,

    I just picked up one of these bad boys and am very happy with sound quality and volume. One minor "issue" (if you can even call it that) is that I am having a hard time choosing which volume to adjust and to where. Right now I have my computer volume at half and then adjust my bose to where it sounds okay. How do you all keep thinks adjusted? Do you keep the bose at some set volume and then change your computer volume, if so, can you tell me how many "clicks" on the bose seem to work best for you?


  23. chrispsaxby macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2012

    I was having the same issue (also with OS X 10.5). Here's what solved it for me: (after making the Soundlink discoverable)

    1. Under the Bluetooth section of System Preferences, click on the + symbol to open the Bluetooth Setup Assistant.
    2. Hit Continue and when you get to the Select Device Type screen, select "Any Device" and hit Continue.
    3. Here's the critical step: Select the Soundlink Speakers from list of devices, but BEFORE hitting continue, click on the "Passkey Options..." button in the lower left. Select "do not use a passkey with this device."
    4. Continue with the Setup assistant as instructed. Once you get the pairing stage, it may prompt you to enter a passcode after all, in which case enter 0000.
    5. You may have to go to the Audio section of system preferences and select the Soundlink instead of your built-in speakers. You may also have to restart your media player to get it to recognize the new output.

    That is what worked for me. My mac still thinks the Soundlink is a set of headphones, but it is transmitting audio to them, so whatever.

    Hope this helps.
  24. Norcalchavo macrumors regular

    Sep 17, 2007
    Santa Clara, California
    Thank you!

    This worked for me. Now I have my iPhone, iPad, and iMac all connected to this awesome speaker.

  25. uspoiledme macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2012
    I recently purchased the Bose Soundlink speaker and had an idea. I tried to connect the speaker, using audio cables, to my home speakers. If it worked it would allow me to stream music via blue tooth to my surround sound system. Well, I couldn't get it to work. Anyone have any ideas or was it just not designed to work that way?

Share This Page