Review: Bose's SoundLink Mini is an exceptional Bluetooth speaker

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 73
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    Nice to see AI give an unbiased review. Apple employees can't even recommend the Beats Pill with a straight face. Too bad Apple had to remove the competition from the store cause both this and the gym earphones are superb.
  • Reply 42 of 73
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    Marvin wrote: »
    And what's the deal with all the ripped jeans and dropped crotches right?

    1000

    In the mindset of a teenager, which of the following would seem like the better choice?

    300 300

    300 300

    It's more about the image and the experience. The quality just needs to be good enough to not detract from the experience and Beats meets that quality standard.

    Except Apple has never been about embracing the mediocre. I remember my first iMac had built in Harmon Kardon speakers!
  • Reply 43 of 73
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,720member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post



    Nice to see AI give an unbiased review. Apple employees can't even recommend the Beats Pill with a straight face. Too bad Apple had to remove the competition from the store cause both this and the gym earphones are superb.

     

    That was about Bose filing a lawsuit against Beats over noise-cancelling headphones (after Apple acquired Beats).  With the lawsuit settled, Bose products are back in Apple Stores.  If you'd actually been in an Apple Store recently, you'd know that.

  • Reply 44 of 73
    Spot on. While a comparison with a much larger, high quality speaker immediately reveals the limitations of this speaker, it's by far the best sound you can get out of a speaker this size, bar none.
    For a similar speaker that's almost as good, check out the Brightech bluetooth speaker. It's about the same size, doesn't sound quite as good but it's still excellent, and it won't break the bank at $35. Definitely another one of those "this big sound is coming out of this tiny thing?" speakers.
  • Reply 45 of 73
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    john.b wrote: »
    That was about Bose filing a lawsuit against Beats over noise-cancelling headphones (after Apple acquired Beats).  [URL=http:/2014/10/10/apples-beats-and-bose-settle-lawsuit-over-nose-cancelling-headphone-patent/]With the lawsuit settled[/URL], Bose products are back in Apple Stores.  If you'd actually been in an Apple Store recently, you'd know that.

    Thanks for the update. I've been in an Apple Store recently but not normally drawn to the headphone/speaker section as I don't need any so I wouldn't have know anyway. I don't recall an AI article re Bose products going back in the store- hence my ignorance.
  • Reply 46 of 73
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    Spot on. While a comparison with a much larger, high quality speaker immediately reveals the limitations of this speaker, it's by far the best sound you can get out of a speaker this size, bar none.
    For a similar speaker that's almost as good, check out the Brightech bluetooth speaker. It's about the same size, doesn't sound quite as good but it's still excellent, and it won't break the bank at $35. Definitely another one of those "this big sound is coming out of this tiny thing?" speakers.

    I have a Philips white metal one I purchased from Amazon for like $50. The sound is excellent - still better than a Pill. And great looking too. The Bose does sound great though but $200 for a portable was not my priority.
  • Reply 47 of 73
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,217moderator
    pazuzu wrote: »
    Except Apple has never been about embracing the mediocre. I remember my first iMac had built in Harmon Kardon speakers!

    They use better quality where it makes sense. They've never made the best mice, they've used poor quality display panels in products, their webcams aren't the highest quality, they don't make the best buds headphones. Beats captured a large market, nobody else comes close, there are stats here:

    http://recode.net/2014/10/04/nfl-bans-beats-headphones-on-camera/

    Beats got 61% of headphones above $100, Bose 22%, Sony 2%. That leaves 15% between the likes of Sennheiser, Bang and Olufsen, Pioneer, AKG and so on. Being nearly 3x as popular as the next closest competitor makes it a good choice.

    What they did was buy a brand and very profitable products, the hardware can be improved if it's needed. They sure get a lot of good ratings for poor quality headphones:

    http://www.amazon.com/Beats-Solo-Wired-Headphones-Black/dp/B00IYA2YRK
    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/beats-by-dr-dre-solo-2-on-ear-headphones-black/5565048.p
  • Reply 48 of 73
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,720member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post



    I have a Philips white metal one I purchased from Amazon for like $50. The sound is excellent - still better than a Pill. And great looking too. The Bose does sound great though but $200 for a portable was not my priority.

     

    This one?  http://www.amazon.com/Philips-Bluetooth-Wireless-Portable-Speaker/dp/B00AERGEW2

     

    I picked up the black version for my office last year, the day our department instituted a "no links to company assets" policy.  Nice little unit for the ~$39 I paid, and it only pairs music which means voice calls stay with my iPhone, a huge plus.  Loud enough for background music in my office without disturbing those around me.  I could've spent spent several times that amount but it wouldn't have made any difference for what I need from a BT speaker.  Horses for courses...  :)

  • Reply 49 of 73
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    john.b wrote: »
    This one?  http://www.amazon.com/Philips-Bluetooth-Wireless-Portable-Speaker/dp/B00AERGEW2

    I picked up the black version for my office last year, the day our department instituted a "no links to company assets" policy.  Nice little unit for the ~$39 I paid, and it only pairs music which means voice calls stay with my iPhone, a huge plus.  Loud enough for background music in my office without disturbing those around me.  I could've spent spent several times that amount but it wouldn't have made any difference for what I need from a BT speaker.  Horses for courses...  :)

    Yes that's it- love that speaker. Easy to pack up too and travel with- I took it to a beach house last year for outside poolside and couldn't be happier.I'm pretty particular with sound- I have a B&W 7.1 system at home. But at work this works perfect and I use my old iPhone 4S 64gb as an iPod now to play my library. And you're right- I have mine set way down low to and can hear it beautifully.
  • Reply 50 of 73
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Carthusia View Post



    To your last point, I anticipated that argument. I'm not against all corporate branding. Apple does not have an ? or "Apple" on the front of my MacBook, AppleTV, iPhone, or iPad. Apple, unlike other corporations, "thinks different". They chose to put one on the back or top so that "the user" does not have it in their face.

     

    My iMac has the black Apple logo in front, directly in front of my face. 

    Every time I start up my iPad, iPhone or iMac, there's that crazy Apple logo again! 

    Sweaters are different, because you're WEARING THEM.

     

    I recommend you paint over top of the four offensive letters, or try some meditation. 

  • Reply 51 of 73
    satchmosatchmo Posts: 2,699member

    Frankly, I found the Sony SRSX5 sounded fuller and generally more balanced...and less expensive too.

  • Reply 52 of 73
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by joseph_went_south View Post

     

     

    My iMac has the black Apple logo in front, directly in front of my face. 

    Every time I start up my iPad, iPhone or iMac, there's that crazy Apple logo again! 

    Sweaters are different, because you're WEARING THEM.

     

    I recommend you paint over top of the four offensive letters, or try some meditation. 




    Good point about the iMac...that might annoy me after a while, but not much. It doesn't serve the user so it should get out of the way. To your other points, it seems you may be moving the goalpost a little. My objections (if you've carefully read my comments) were about the functional value and scale of the Bose branding, not objections against any and all branding-that's silly. I never complain about a software UI element, which has some functions lvalue. The relatively diminutive ? logo at boot up has a purpose of indicating the operating system is loading. There is no functional value to an overly large Bose logo on the front of that grille-except to extend Bose's brand. 

  • Reply 53 of 73
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post





    Yes, it is an icon, but it's also a brand designation and trademark.



    Also, you did specifically write...

    This is a bit of goalpost moving. There is clear intent in my comments to make the case against hardware and/or permanent brand marks, like the permanent BOSE on the speaker grille and to call out the self-promoting motivations behind such design decisions. The Bose speakers have a brand mark with NO purpose other than to promote the Bose brand. Including icons that have functional value to the OS/UI in an effort to dismiss or obfuscate my point was an interesting decision. Any designer would be hard-pressed to find a more simple and understated, yet informative icon/brand/symbol/label to designate an OS system menu other than ?.

     

    One mark is small (?), the other is large (BOSE)

    One mark is functional (?), the other is non-functional (BOSE)

    One mark is software (?) the other is hardware (BOSE)

    One mark is transient (?) the other mark is permanent (BOSE)

     

    Watching the Superbowl and seeing the Bose coaches' headsets was telling. This company paid millions to be the "official" headset/headphone supplier of the NFL. That speaks volumes about the lengths to which they will go to hit consumers over the head with their brand. Same as Microsoft with their Surface. Its crap marketing and branding.

     

  • Reply 54 of 73
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    carthusia wrote: »
    This is a bit of goalpost moving. There is clear intent in my comments to make the case against hardware and/or permanent brand marks

    If your intent was merely about obnoxious branding then I certainly didn't get that intent.
    One mark is small (?), the other is large (BOSE)
    One mark is functional (?), the other is non-functional (BOSE)
    One mark is software (?) the other is hardware (BOSE)
    One mark is transient (?) the other mark is permanent (BOSE)

    Now that reads like goalpost moving to me, because only now you're qualifyng the differences of the front-facing branding.

    I would argue that the ? branding, despite being a graphical element, is permanent to the upper-right corner of the Menu Bar. Perhaps even more so than physical branding because you can remove permanently a physical branding, but even if you alter your build of Yosemite to remove that ? logo you still know it exists on your Mac with a new install of Mac OS X.

    Then you have the aforementioned Apple branding on other Apple HW, like the iMac, Apple TV, Mac mini, etc. I definitely agree it's not obnoxious, and even pleasant to look at, but it's still branding. I don't even think their Apple logo stickers that come with pretty much every physical product are obnoxious, but I do find them tacky. If Samsung or Google gave people stickers with their products I think these forums would be ripping those company to shreds over their inclusion.
  • Reply 55 of 73
    cpsro wrote: »
    UE Boom got shunned by the reviewer, but nevertheless it has excellent sound, a standard micro USB charging port, is waterproof, has a microphone for speakerphone use, a 10-hour battery (really), and can be paired with a second UE Boom to obtain full stereo separation and increased loudness. UE Boom also comes in a variety of colors and patterns to fit with any decor (or personality ;-)

    I agree. I've used a UE Boom for awhile and think it's great...especially for $90. Holds a charge for a long time too. Accidentally left it in my trunk one day during the summer and the heat didn't affect it at all. I pro ally used it at the pool and it's nice to have something rigged and that doesn't cost $200. If you were only going to use it inside the Bose might be better.

    Had to laugh at the review though...of course he HAD to listen to some Bob Dylan. It's funny how many people claim to listen to Bob Dylan yet I've never actually heard anyone listening to him... except maybe in a pretentious coffee shop.
  • Reply 56 of 73
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by oneaburns View Post



    Had to laugh at the review though...of course he HAD to listen to some Bob Dylan. It's funny how many people claim to listen to Bob Dylan yet I've never actually heard anyone listening to him... except maybe in a pretentious coffee shop.

     

    Dylan still tours quite a bit, so I guess more than a few people are listening to him :)

  • Reply 57 of 73
    Do any of you guys know of a good set that can play multiple speakers on the same bluetooth feed?

    I want these for my office .... it's a really unique streetside office that used to be a clothing store and now looks like a living room/home office. We've had a really fun cocktail party here and want to do at least 2 a year.

    My experience with these speakers is they are great for loud parties but not for low key parties. Either there isn't enough fullness in the sound when the volume is low, or if you do turn it loud enough, the sound is too high for the people standing right next to it, good for people 10-15 away, and too low for people further away.

    So what I want to do is have 4 or 6 speakers, with half on the left channel and half on the right. I will put them on little "floating shelves" around the room. Then I will set up a little recharging shelf for them in a closet. I sometimes have a friend over to watch baseball on our TV (MLB subscription via AppleTV) and have a beer. Good speakers are great for watching sports.

    During the day this TV is a screen saver of local real estate and agriculture, and some nice classical music at a low volume would be good. 4 or 6 small speakers all powered by the same bluetooth feed would be awesome. Does anything like that exist??
  • Reply 58 of 73
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,720member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by satchmo View Post

     

    Frankly, I found the Sony SRSX5 sounded fuller and generally more balanced...and less expensive too.


     

    My son loves his X5.  Much bigger battery than the X3.  The upside is better bass response, the downside is that it needs a separate AC charging transformer vs. the X3 which charges via USB.

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by joseph_went_south View Post



    Do any of you guys know of a good set that can play multiple speakers on the same bluetooth feed?



    I want these for my office .... it's a really unique streetside office that used to be a clothing store and now looks like a living room/home office. We've had a really fun cocktail party here and want to do at least 2 a year.



    My experience with these speakers is they are great for loud parties but not for low key parties. Either there isn't enough fullness in the sound when the volume is low, or if you do turn it loud enough, the sound is too high for the people standing right next to it, good for people 10-15 away, and too low for people further away.



    So what I want to do is have 4 or 6 speakers, with half on the left channel and half on the right. I will put them on little "floating shelves" around the room. Then I will set up a little recharging shelf for them in a closet. I sometimes have a friend over to watch baseball on our TV (MLB subscription via AppleTV) and have a beer. Good speakers are great for watching sports.



    During the day this TV is a screen saver of local real estate and agriculture, and some nice classical music at a low volume would be good. 4 or 6 small speakers all powered by the same bluetooth feed would be awesome. Does anything like that exist??

     

    Bluetooth pairing wasn't really designed for what it sounds like you're trying to do.

     

    You could go with a Sonos system at the high end.

     

    Or if you already had power speakers you could go with one or more Airport Express units and use Airplay from your Mac or virtually any iOS device.

  • Reply 59 of 73
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by John.B View Post

     

     

    My son loves his X5.  Much bigger battery than the X3.  The upside is better bass response, the downside is that it needs a separate AC charging transformer vs. the X3 which charges via USB.

     

     

    Bluetooth pairing wasn't really designed for what it sounds like you're trying to do.

     

    You could go with a Sonos system at the high end.

     

    Or if you already had power speakers you could go with one or more Airport Express units and use Airplay from your Mac or virtually any iOS device.




    Thank you. But... I don't think I can transmit to "more than one" Airport Express at a time? Please explain... 

  • Reply 60 of 73
    I've had one of these for a few months now and think it's amazing. It's surprising just how much bass comes out of a device this small, totally worth the price!
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