(Pocket-lint) - When we first looked at the SoundLiink Micro's diminutive proportions, we thought "nah, this dinky speaker can't sound good, can it?". How wrong we were, for Bose's smallest speaker kicks out considerable volume and with more bass than you might imagine.
It's also fully waterproof, features Amazon Alexa compatibility, Google Assistant and Apple Siri voice control, and stacks a six-hour battery into its small frame.
If you're looking for an ultra-portable speaker, is the Bose SoundLink Micro without compare?
- Fully waterproof design (IPX7 rated) and drop-resistant
- Six hour battery life, Micro-USB recharging, voice prompt battery percentage remaining
- Multi-function button for Google Assistant & Siri voice control; Amazon Alexa compatible
- Tear-free silicone strap for hanging product
- Finishes: Black, Midnight Blue, Bright Orange
- 98mm x 98mm x 35mm; 290g
The SoundLink Micro is far smaller than many so-called portable Bluetooth speakers, with a footprint less than 10cm square, meaning it genuinely can fit into the palm of your hand.
That's refreshing, especially if you're packing for a festival or travelling jaunt but don't have a great deal of space. While many of, say, Ultimate Ears' speakers are brilliant, they're also far larger - so Bose really hits the small scale nail on the head.
The whole product is coated in a silicone-like finish, which doesn't look nor feel like the highest-end material in the world - but then it is practical. After all, the SoundLink is fully waterproof - to the point you could throw it into a swimming pool and need not worry. Handy if you've kids or, who knows, maybe you're just a lil clumsy.
To the rear is a tear-free silicone strap which can be used to hang the product from various objects. It unclips at one end simply, but the length of this silicone flap is somewhat short and not as practical as we'd hoped. The idea is there, it could just be executed slightly better.
Otherwise the SoundLink Micro's design dedicates a portion of the front of the plus and minus buttons, which sit surrounding the centre voice-control button. Whether you use Google Assistant (Android), Apple Siri (iOS) or Amazon Alexa you're covered on all fronts - there's no hierarchy of voice assistant to be found here, which is great.
Even if you're not into using a voice assistant to control your music's playback - and more, as news, sports, weather, information and more is all supported - the Bose will speak to you in its female robotised voice when you power it up, telling you the remaining battery power in spoken word - which is really useful to know, especially if you can't recharge and want to consider conserving some juice instead. It'll tell you which device it's connected to via Bluetooth, too, which is handy. Voice is a big deal for Bose.
- Silicone dual passive radiators
- Bluetooth connectivity, 10m range maximum
- No 3.5mm AUX, no Wi-Fi, no WiDi
You may have noticed the general lack of buttons or ports on the Bose SoundLink Micro. It keeps things simple, with just the one Micro-USB port for recharging, alongside a power on/off button and a Bluetooth connectivity button for pairing.
Yep, there's no 3.5 auxiliary to be found here, nor do you get Wi-Fi or WiDi connectivity. It's Bluetooth and Bluetooth only. Which is perfectly fine, as there's no mucking about to connect in any other way.
It's a shame that port is Micro-USB and not USB Type-C, though, as that would deliver faster charging times than current ability. And with single-figure playback time - with the six hours seeming accurate in our experience - you'll likely need to charge the Micro more than you'd like. And have to wait around while it catches up.
Inside there are dual passive radiators which is why this dinky device can kick out so much more bass than you might expect. We're not talking ultra-low sub bass, but nonetheless kick drums still kick, while even some lower-end baselines are still easily discernible - which isn't something we'd expected at all. Kudos, Bose, the Micro is more "Mega".
The overall sound quality is good, too, albeit not the very cleanest we've ever heard. The speaker's front-facing opening is very much forward only, so if the speaker is adjacent to your listening angle it loses a lot of the top-end and sounds muffled. Position it correctly, however, and there's plenty of verve to its output.
There's a good thwack of volume, too, with "normal" listening levels sounding the best. Crank it right up and the balance displays that not-quite-crystal-clear quality, but you can't say it's not loud! Even lower volumes achieve enough balance to sound decent without aggravating the neighbours. This is thanks to a proprietary DSP (digital signal processor) that's used to maintain volume at differing levels, to try and normalise the way the product sounds.
As small-scale Bluetooth speakers go, the Bose SoundLink Micro brings mega sound and volume from a diminutive package that has to be heard to be believed.
At this £100 price point you can't expect the absolute lowest-of-the-low bass or the most pristine of quality at every turn, but it doesn't half whack out the tunes with gusto. Ideal for a genuinely palm-sized portable Bluetooth speaker. And it's even waterproof.
We do wish the battery lasted a little longer and that a faster charging USB-C port was implemented, but given the small dimensions of this lil banger, Bose has done a good job squeezing six hours of battery life out per charge - even when blasting out the sound.
Alternatives to consider
The grenade-shaped 'Boom also kicks out the sound with gusto. Plus it offers 360-degree sound, looks great and is a tenner cheaper than the Bose.
Read the full article: Ultimate Ears Wonderboom review