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on 18 July 2014
I have to say having had this speaker for several months now I am pleasantly surprised at just how good it is. I was, as I'm sure several others will be, quite hesitant at first about purchasing this despite the fairly reasonable price (by Bose standards!). I have purchased many Bose products over the years, as well as a few from other audio companies such as Sennheiser, Bowers and Wilkins, Bang & Olufsen, Audio Technica etc. I have therefore developed a fairly good sense of expectation whenever a new audio product is released regarding just how good it will be. When I ordered this from amazon, I had fairly muted expectations, with the small size and lower price bracket in particular putting me off as I thought to myself, if Bose are still making a good margin on this, then just how much have they invested into the sound quality, build and features?

In general, Bose's home audio systems of past is where I feel the company has been let down. While they have secured a good market for themselves with noise cancelling headphones, commercial speakers and home cinema systems - I feel the home audio systems such as iPod docks, Wave systems etc were vastly overhyped and overpriced. The Wave system in particular was a big disappointment for me, having purchased it a few years back for the steep price of over £500. Since then I have had little use for it beyond a clock radio, with the sound quality and technical features of many of my cheaper speakers outperforming the wave. The SoundLink Mini however is where Bose seem to have completely bucked the trend, and produced a rather exceptional speaker in all the categories I listed above. It seems as if for once, Bose have listened to the criticism of past and rather than releasing another overhyped, expensive system with unnecessarily complex 'technologies' (that they love describing in marketing pitches), they have focused solely on simplicity, quality and affordability. Those are three adjectives I never thought I'd associate with Bose!

When I received the delivery I have to say I was quite surprised at just how small the speaker was. As you open the box you are met with a well packed set of cables and leaflets, as is the Bose norm. Delving deeper, as I picked up the speaker it felt unnaturally small and light compared to my expectations from the preview shots I had seen online. What really surprised me however, was just how good the build quality was for Bose. Gone was the tacky and cheap plastic used on speakers in the past, instead the Soundlink Mini has a sleek aluminium casing with easy to access suppressed rubber dials. Despite being small and light, I felt confident that it was sturdy enough to last being kept on display, something I have been unsure of with previous products. In addition, the number of extras packed in was unusual for Bose and even more so noting this is one of their lower priced products. The speaker itself comes with a mains charging cable, but also a charging stand that you can simply place the system on to charge (which saves you plugging it in every time). Even for expensive wave systems Bose charges for almost everything extra except the product and mains lead, so this was a nice addition.

Onto the rather important issue of sound quality, I must say that the first time I turned the Soundlink Mini on and played some music I was extremely surprised at just how good the audio quality was for a speaker of this size. The entire range of my music could be heard, something I had usually come to expect from much larger and more expensive speakers. Unless you adjust the volume settings unusually high, the audio remains clear and crisp. The sound projection and volume is very good and can easily fill a common location you might use this in such as living rooms and bedrooms. Dare I say all these criteria were just as good if not better than the Bose wave system I had previously and the iPod dock - both of which were more than double the price of this. The small size has its advantages too, the set is incredibly portable and can be carried in a single hand, while the battery length is fantastic for once giving close to the promised 7 hours on full charge. So far I have even been able to enjoy this in the garden without worrying about setting it up or damaging the speakers.

Before ordering this one of the things I was particularly concerned about was just how efficient and easy the bluetooth connectivity would be, as in the past I have had quite a hassle setting up certain systems. I have to say within minutes of using the SoundLink all my worries went away, and so far it has always taken me just a few seconds to connect my device and start playing. The setup with PC's, phones and apple devices in particular is very easy and you can stream pretty much any audio onto the speaker, whether that be from a movie, game or just music. Despite not having any digital dials, the SoundLink has a handy bluetooth memory which automatically recognises past devices with a blinking white light and starts playing straight away. For ease of use alone I would give this 5 stars, I can't see anybody having problems setting it up.

So onto the final verdict, if you're reading this you're either wondering whether or not to make the leap and buy this or you're simply gloating about how good the speaker you've just purchased is by reading all the glowing reviews. For those in the former category, I would say don't let any prior perceptions of Bose hinder you on this one, branding aside this is one of, if not the best portable speaker you can buy for the money. From the build to the audio it just oozes quality and is extremely easy to use and set up. If you're wondering whether or not you will have any use for a small speaker like this , then believe me when I say there are a dozen not to mention the others you'll find when you discover just how good the quality is. In fact, bearing in mind it measures up to many larger speakers I have tested you may find you start using it in place of bigger systems and will start to appreciate it's practicality as a result. Of course, this isn't going to replace any complex audio system or home cinema setup you have so it's wise to be realistic regarding expectations. However, for the size, quality and ease of use this is a real five star product that will be a welcome addition in any home, whether it be for diehard music fans or those who just want better audio when watching movies on the iPad.

Besides, how many other speakers of this quality can you whisk outside at a moments notice on a sunny day to enjoy a summer cocktail while some old school Otis Redding plays in the background?
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on 31 January 2015
I simply can't rate this little speaker high enough. It's a doddle to set up, I run it from my phone and tablet, and get music from Spotify.
The battery seems to last forever, I had 7 hours of it last weekend, and there's enough charge still left that it's been going for 2 hours this morning with no charging in between.

Sound quality is lovely, if anything slightly bass heavy, it works best if placed on a solid surface. If you put it on a chest of drawers for example, it's powerful enough to drive bass through the frame. It really has the power to fill any room, and I've been blown away with it's performance outdoors.
For being only 7" long and 2" high, I really cannot express how impressive the sound is!
It's so good, I'm now sorely tempted for fork out £260 for the Bose noise cancelling headphones.

My only niggle, and it is tiny, is the volume buttons on the top (which are easy to find in low light due to careful design of the button shapes) only increment the volume a very small amount, so you have to press them a number of times to get an appreciable change in volume. This is offset by the fact you can just hold them down and the volume ramps at an easily controllable rate.

Everyone who has heard this speaker on holiday has commented on the quality and power, and asked to know the make and model.

Excellent device, well done Bose, you're now on my favourite technology supplier list!!
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on 22 September 2014
The Bose Soundlink Mini is fantastic.

Over the last few months I have used a number of portable speakers, starting with an X-Mini, followed by the KitSound Pocketboom XB, Anker MP141, Cowin Thunder, Logitech UE Boom and the Bose Soundlink Mini.

If you're considering purchasing a speaker in this price range you're probably also looking at the UE Boom. I was in exactly the same situation. I read countless reviews, some favouring the Bose, others the UE. In the end I decided to order both and compare them myself.

I'm the furtherest thing you get from an audiophile. All I wanted was a speaker I could pull out of my bag, pop down on the table in the outside garden at my local pub, and have everyone enjoy a bit of music.

On to the details...

The Good:
Sound quality is superb
- Good bass
- Good separation
Solid construction
Battery life (7 hours compared to smaller speakers with only 2-3 hours)
Convenient charging mat

The Bad:
Proprietary charger - no USB
Sometimes too much bass. (Is that possible?!)
Battery life (Only 7 hours compared to UE's 15 hours)
Cover and/or case, which are great, are not included, and they are another £60 together.

Compared to the UE Boom:
The UE Boom has all the bells and whistles one would expect from a modern device. In its favour it has: longer battery life, USB charger, 360 degree sound, a more rugged design, spill-proof cover, ability to be paired in stereo, an app to control EQ and alarm, NFC, works as a speaker-phone, comes in a range of colours, etc.

In the End:
All of the above are great features. At the end of the day, however, I opted for the Bose because of its superior sound quality. Playing the two speakers side by side, flicking back and forth allowed me to discover, for the first time in my life, how two speakers can sound completely different.

Audiophiles talk about things like 'a large sound-stage' and 'good separation' and 'warm sound'. I've never paid much attention to this sort of talk because I didn't 'get' it. Having heard and compared the Bose to the UE, I think I've had my first glimpse into understanding and appreciating what a good speaker ought to be able to do. I could clearly pick out individual instruments, whereas from the Boom they seemed to be squashed on top of one another.

A lot of reviews will tell you that the UE Boom has more mids and highs and goes louder. This is pretty accurate. What I will say, however, is that during my very scientific pub test I noticed that when I put the Bose on, people didn't have to raise their voices to speak over it - it was almost as though the sound was on a different frequency, bubbling up from below, and not clashing with people's chatting. It could still be heard, clearly, but it wasn't intrusive. That was at about 40% volume. People were tapping their feet and nodding heads with the Bose providing a lovely backdrop. The UE was different. People either stopped talking because it was overpowering, even at lower volumes, or they spoke louder, competing with the speaker.

All my smaller speakers, and the UE, clashed with chatter, causing people to talk more loudly. Consequently the sound gets drowned out so you turn up the volume, causing people to talk louder, again...

If you're looking for a portable speaker that sounds great, this is it.
If you want extra features you may find the Mini lacking when compared to the Boom, but you'll be compromising on sound quality if those features are more important to you.
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on 19 November 2013
OK... this is what I have been looking for for a LONG LONG time.
Something portable that packs a punch.
£140.. is a bargain for this kit.... yes I got it when Amazon knocked £30 from the price... lucky I guess.
But even at £170, this device is a belter.

I ummed and ahhhed about which to buy. Like many before I looked at Jambone, Samsung, Sony, Logitech etc.... and after reading many reviews and seeing the Amazon offer... took the plunge.

Just the feel of the Soundlink Mini gives you a smile. This is not the stupid poxy portable speakers you associate with mobile sound. This is a weighty product that oozes quality.
Pair it up.... takes all over 20 seconds or so... and you are off.

The sound is stunning. If you are used to tinny, sound distorted music playing from AA battery driven speakers..... this is like stepping into the future. Base booms, treble is crisp and clean and I for one have not heard any distortion. You will be gob smacked.
The techy guys at Bose need one hell of a pat on the back for this kit.

I am not one for writing reviews BUT having deliberated about the Soundlink Mini for a few weeks I want to say.... do not hesitate, do not think about it... buy it.... you will not be disappointed. I was so impressed... I decided to write my first Amazon review.
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on 2 February 2015
This tiny device defies physical laws!
Originally I wasn't too keen on the shape of this box (and eventually bought a sleeve to protect the edges from being bumped) but after listening and comparing it to some similar products (JBL Charge two for example, I really liked the looks of it) there was no comparison. This box plays in a leage of its own. Seriously. (I have no afiliation with Bose. Just a very happy customer). If you listen to classical music, this device shines. When you play this, everyone will look for the subwoofer under the table. Except, there isn't any. I have no idea how they pull this off, but it pumps out a bass like a big massive woofer. And the sound never gets distorted, no matter how loud or quiet you play it. Best placed on a solid surface, keep it some ten inches away from a wall if there is one and you'll wonder how this can work.
Easily transportable, you can take it anywhere. It connects via bluetooth without glitch to my iPhone, iPad and most recently to my MacBook Pro (OSX 10.9.5) and if it really comes to a crunch and there is no bluetooth around, you can always use a plain standard audio cable (stereo please ;)
Battery life is more than adequate, mine lasts the whole day.
It is expensive, but you get your money's worth. No regrets.
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on 15 January 2015
I don't often write product reviews on Amazon but I really had to here... this is by far the best Bluetooth speaker I have used. I am a pro music producer and music technology journalist so as you can imagine I get loads of kit through the door to review.

Since I got the Soundlink Mini I haven't shut up about it ;) I'm not going to go into huge detail here but suffice to say it's really nice to get something that works so well and represents good value for money ... put simply if you are in the market for a portable / compact speaker look no further. I have tried literally everything else on the market and this wins hands down.
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on 25 February 2014
Bose has serious competition in the portable audio market now. Companies such as bowers and wilkins for example make some stellar portable audio products that for their type are as good as it gets and expose manufacturers , such as bose, who have traded purely on perceived value and quite frankly built some horribly built and very overpriced products, for what they are. I decided to give bose a try with the soundlink mini, since I needed an audio solution that was ultra portable and wanted to give the product a try. The soundlink mini has lots of positives. The external build quality is great. The custom speaker drivers show real engineering brilliance and give the mini a frequency response that belies it's size. This is no easy achievement, and for listening at low to medium volume levels the drivers are nearly hi fi class. So now for my complaint. Why bose, with such solid underpinnings, have you again resorted to penny pinching and only implemented the SBC Bluetooth codec? Truly, this Bluetooth codec is awful. If you listen to pop then you probably won't notice but jazz and classical is mutilated by it. It is responsible for making the music sound thin and tiring. There are literally some trac so cannot listen to on the bose. Apple have mandatory support of AAC-LC which would have made a noticeable improvement.
So whilst commending the solid underpinnings of this speaker, for me the end result is ruined by penny pinching over the Bluetooth peripherals. Not worried about battery life, or hands free functions, but only about getting the audio performance bose claims and so nearly delivered. If I had designed that wonderful driver arrangement I would have been angry my work had been ruined by someone deciding to slap the cheapest Bluetooth receiver they could find on top of it.
Bowers and wilkins please never be tempted to do this penny pinching. Your fantastic products such as mm1 still show the way to go in small speaker design.
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on 19 September 2014
First things first - this isn't a direct review of the Soundlink Mini itself - as there are over 600 positive reviews as I type this I probably wouldn't be able to add anything else that hasn't been said already.
No, this is a review of Bose themselves...
I bought a Soundlink Mini about 11 months ago. Recently, whilst packing to go in holiday I made the awful mistake of shoving my Soundlink Mini in a badly packed bag and slung it in the back of the car next to the kids bikes. Bang goes the boot, and when I arrive, I find my beautiful speaker has two fat dents in the front grill. Noooooo!
I was almost prepared to buy a new one, but who has enough money these days to have two luxury devices such as this, especially as it was still in full working order. So I rang Bose, to enquire about how much it would cost to replace the front grill. They said to take it to my local Bose shop who would sort me out. The lovely staff said that as it was still under warranty, that they should be able to replace the grill free of charge. Sure enough, I have just picked up the speaker, fully repaired and good as the day I bought it, for absolutely no cost - nada!
So even though my own stupidity resulted in the damage, (and I admitted as such to the staff in the shop), they waved the repair fee and I am a happy fellow once again. Heck, I even purchased one of those overpriced travel cases as a reminder to myself not to do it again.
Bose are are rather special company indeed!
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on 2 August 2014
Fantastic sounding speaker for the size, I've bought 5 of these so far for family members as presents and they love them and I've set them up for parents and Grandparents.

However I recently bought another and straight away noticed the cheaper feel of it and lack of quality control, I checked it with Bose as to whether it was a knockoff and it wasn't, it was genuine and this newer stock is now "Made In Malaysia" as labelled on the rubber stand underneath, no longer "Made in Mexico" :(

The feel of the anodised aluminium has changed, where before there was a slight sheen on the matte aluminium and it felt and looked great quality now it's just cheap bog standard aluminium, no sheen, cheap and nothing like the Mexican versions.

The box this comes in now has poor printing as if Bose USA emailed their Malaysian fulfilment centre a low res PDF to use to print the packaging.
The buttons now have a more smoother feel and feel less rubber, they don't attract dust as bad though I should add. but they just do feel n't as nice as the original more expensive to make mexican version and the rubber around the grill isn't perfectly cut as before, the Mexican stock quality control was impeccable, the bass signature is not as prominent in the Malaysian version either! I've A/B'd back and forwards 6 units.

You'd almost think this was a knockoff but it's not, I checked with Bose, they have a hit product on their hands this is their most successful product ti date and if they can make the same thing for half of what it used to cost them before when it was made in Mexico instead making it in Malaysia with parts sourced in Malaysia like the horrible aluminium now used then they're going to do it, obviously they're not going to pass these savings on to the customers will still pay the same RRP for a lesser quality experience, but rather than be loyal soundlink mini fans and continuing to recommend these I can't, I want you to get the best version of this out there and that's the "Mexican" made stock, so:

If it helps the outside of the box still doesn't state where it's made but it does have a sticker on it that reads "Material Numer 359037-2300 (maybe this means Made In Malaysia).
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on 15 September 2014
I was looking for a wireless sound dock that wasn't too big but when I saw the measurements of this I thought 'Oh no, that small will sound tinny. No bass whatsoever'. However there was nothing else that I fancied so was persuaded by the almost unanimously positive reviews to go for this SoundLink Mini. Even so, when I got it out of the smallish box I thought 'No way!! This is minuscule!'. But I plugged it in, charged it and connected with Bluetooth and I was truly staggered by the quality. The frequency range of this tiny speaker system is hard to believe. I've played it to other people and they scan the room looking for the sub bass speaker. Congratulations Bose. You've certainly pulled it off this time!
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