Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker II – Bluetooth Speaker Review

Bose is at the top of the pecking order of things primarily because of the quality of its speakers, and not its price. Some of its products are way too expensive for me, but over the years, it has also introduced a slew of relatively affordable models; the SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker II is one of them.

Certainly, one noteworthy reason why Bose has built a large, loyal customer base is because it never compromises on the quality and performance of its speakers. Sure, the SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker II is slightly shorter and a tad heavier than the previous model, but in terms of features and performance, it’s a big leap forward.

How well does Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker II live up the hype created around it? Let’s find out, and while doing so, we shall also explore the design, features, and the pros and cons of the speaker.

Bose Soundlink Colour II Bluetooth Speaker Review
The Great
Soft rubber exterior gives premium look
Waterproof, can withstand drops
Solid bass, clear mid-range, and crisp treble; immersive experience
Auxiliary connector, speakerphone feature

 

The Not-So Great
Soft rubber exterior is a dust magnet!
Short battery life (8 hours), no WiDi or Wi-Fi
 No AC adaptor, no stereo pairing
Key Highlights
  • The soft-touch exterior gives the speaker a premium look. It’s available in five different color shades.
  • The speaker is waterproof; a few minutes in the rain won’t damage it.
  • The audio radiating from the speaker gives a surround sound effect.
  • Bluetooth and NFC can be used to pair the devices. The speaker can store up to 8 devices in its memory. What’s more handheld devices can be connected to the speaker using the auxiliary cable.
  • Charging the speaker for 3 hours can yield up to 8 hours of audio time.
  • The speaker has a solid bass, clear mid-range, and crisp treble.
  • Bose SoundLink Color II comes with a speakerphone feature to attend phone calls.
  • An app to connect, manage and update the speaker.

 

Ratings

Design Features Sound Warranty Overall

 

Specifications

Price Range  $
Weight 1.2 lbs
Dimensions (H x W x D) 5.25 x 5 x 2.25 inch
Battery Life 8 hours
Wireless Range 30-feet
Power Battery, USB Port
Wireless Remote Control Yes

 

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Lets Break It Down

 

Design

I’ve nothing against black color; in fact, a large majority of gadgets I own are black. But, now and then, to add variety to my possessions I look for other color options. Fortunately, the SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker II comes in 5 different shades. This is a welcome change from Bose which is often accused of not being creative in the use of colors. The SoundLink Color II Speakers are available in polar white, coral red, mint, aquatic blue and soft black.

When I first laid my eyes on the SoundLink Color II speaker it took me a few seconds to realize that Bose has tweaked the design, albeit slightly. Bose has removed a few but maintained some of the best design features of its previous model. The previous version had a hard plastic exterior with just a minor addition of a rubbery layer on the top and sides of the speaker. On the other hand, the SoundLink Color II is entirely covered with soft rubber. The new soft-touch exterior somewhat increases its ability to survive drops.

Sometimes we pay a heavy price for being absent-minded. I inattentively left the SoundLink Color Speaker II in the rain for a few minutes and feared the worst. But, surprisingly, it worked fine. I later came to know that the speaker is IPX-4 certified, which makes it waterproof.

SoundLink Color Speaker II weighs 1.2lbs, making it a good outdoor companion. The soft-touch exterior is both a boon and bane; it gives the speaker a premium look, but it’s also a dust magnet; hard to keep the dust away and tough to clean.

The speaker has two grilles, at the front and the back. The one at the back gives the bass a bit more oomph. All the controls are on the top, neatly lined in a single row. The controls begin with the power/start button, which is then followed by the Bluetooth, input mode button, NFC option, the decrease volume button, the multi-function button, and finally the increase volume button.

 

Functionality

Connecting Bose SoundLink Color II to a device using Bluetooth is seamless. The speaker is ready for pairing as soon as it’s powered up. To initiate the pairing process, switch on the device Bluetooth function. On the Bluetooth Setting page, the SoundLink Color II speaker would appear as one of the options. Select the speaker from the device list to pair both the gadgets. When the pairing is complete the Bluetooth indicator light will turn solid white, and the speaker will voice alert the message “Connected to (handheld device name)”.

The speaker can also be paired using the NFC (Near Field Communication) technique. The process is very simple. Switch on the NFC and Bluetooth function in the handheld device. Touch the handheld device to the top or NFC option area between the volume and input mode buttons on the speaker. The pairing process would begin and an alert would be sounded after the pairing is complete. Up to 8 pairing details can be stored in the speaker memory. Adding a ninth device will erase the pairing info of the first device.

To pair, switch between devices, update speaker software, control the volume, and perform various other tasks from a distance Bose has launched an app. The app is available for both Android and Apple devices. The real star of the speaker is the multi-function button which can be used to pause, playback, skip tracks forward and backward, access Google Now or Siri, and perform speakerphone controls.

The Bose SoundLink Color II speaker comes with a price tag of  around $130, which is a bit high for a speaker of this size. Speakers that have a similar size and features cost a bit less than the SoundLink Color II.

 

Performance

Bose speakers are known widely for the sound quality and performance, irrespective of the size of the device. The overall sound quality and performance of the speaker is only slightly better than its predecessor. But, Bose has made some fine enhancements to low (bass) frequencies. You’ll be, as I was, surprised by the solid, hard-hitting, bass produced by this tiny speaker.

There is something magical about the Bose speakers. Listening to SoundLink Color Speaker II it felt like I was surrounded by speakers on all sides. The credit for creating the immersive experience must go to the two passive radiators at the back of the speaker and a creatively positioned driver. The speaker doesn’t push the audio in one direction; instead, it spread out the audio to surround the listener.

I might rave about the powerful bass, but that in no way diminishes the contribution of other tones of the speaker. In fact, even with a solid bass, I was able to hear and enjoy the clear performance of the mid-range and the treble was light and crisp.

There are many different drivers inside the tiny SoundLink Color II and they synchronize with each other to create the perfect audio experience. The drivers are tuned to keep the vibration and distortion to a minimum. I was well aware of the limitations, which helped me bring out the best performance. The speaker is designed for small rooms; I wasn’t impressed with its performance in a large room full of people.

The Bose SoundLink Color II speaker does not come with an AC adapter; it’s charged using the USB cable that’s included in the box. The speaker has a micro-USB port to juice up the battery. A fully charged battery will yield 8 hours of play time.

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Our Verdict

There are many good reasons to buy the Bose SoundLink Color Speaker II. The price, though slightly high, is very affordable. The color and design are impressive and attention-grabbing. The audio performance is powerful and enjoyable. On the whole, I liked the Bose SoundLink Color II speaker. Bose SoundLink Color II took all the best features of its predecessor and improved it.

Bose Soundlink Colour II Bluetooth Speaker Review