What do you like about Bose

Bose SoundLink Mini II review

The Bose SoundLink Mini II Bluetooth speaker tested in 2021

Similar to the Anker SoundCore, the Bose SoundLink Mini II Bluetooth speaker also has a somewhat unfair advantage in the Bluetooth speaker test 2021: It has been our main output device for music and the like for a year (the Anker is only there for the study).

So I'm not quite as objective during the test, after all, I love the Bose box for more than one reason. However, you have the advantage that I can give you hot tips from everyday life and also have more than one long-term observation ready.

Anker and Bose have been sharing the two top positions in the Amazon bestseller list of Bluetooth speakers for some time and the SoundLink is probably only in second place because it is currently four times as expensive as the Anker competitor at 189.95 euros.

The fact that this price (which fluctuates again and again) is justified is one of my core beliefs in this review. Because as already stated in the headphones test 2021, the typical Bose sound is in a class of its own.

But that shouldn't completely hide the fact that the SoundLink Mini II definitely has its limits, which also open up when you place the Anker SoundCore right next to it, for example. This comparison is not entirely fair either and in the test there would be an opponent from a similar category with the JBL Charge 3.

But a look at Anker and Bose shows pretty well why a Bluetooth speaker A does not necessarily suit target group B - and vice versa.

The Bose SoundLink Mini II at a glance

When it comes to optics, Bose is actually always a winner. If you're looking for “grown-up”, high-quality design that plays with retro elements and doesn't look like a pool party (which is often the case with JBL products), you will certainly not be disappointed here.

The “carbon” color option in particular makes the SoundLink Mini II really something.
Even a first haptic impression reveals that the Bose loudspeaker relies on high quality:

  • A weight of around 680 grams is not a sticky stick, but thanks to its clever shape it is extremely comfortable to hold. And the weight suggests high-quality components.
  • It couldn't be more compact, the Bose is a little longer than the anchor, but also a little lower.
  • All buttons are easily accessible on top. We'll come back to that in a moment

When it comes to accessories, Bose is quite generous: In addition to the box, you get a charger, a charging docking station and various country adapters. When charging, you have several options: connect to the socket, connect to the station, connect to any active USB hub.

We cleared away the docking station right at the beginning. It's great if it's ready somewhere and you don't have to do anything else to charge the device. But in every household there is always a micro-USB cable somewhere that we always have at the socket anyway (despite all the well-intentioned energy-saving advice).

And a docking station like this just needs its own slot, stands in the way in many cases and is simply not necessary.

The operation is completely foolproof. In addition to the usual buttons (on / off, volume up / down, Bluetooth and “multifunction”), the Bose is extremely talkative. A well-tempered computer woman's voice will be happy to explain how much battery level there is, which device is currently being disconnected or paired, etc.

As is always the case in this device category, the micro-USB and AUX sockets are on the side and do not interfere.

Just the look and the first impression make it clear that you should only take your Bose with you to the park when the weather is nice and protect it at the pool party.

The SoundLink Mini II is a downright home device, although some may argue that this somehow runs counter to the Bluetooth speaker category. We'll see later why this is nonsense.

The pairing range and battery life are a bit disappointing. At 9 meters or 10 hours, this Bose candidate is not exactly a power player. And that's another indication of his couch potato mentality.

Our usage profile for this box looks like this:

  • Daily usage time about 1 hour via Bluetooth
  • Moderate volume
  • We don't use them to make phone calls, although we can

So it nudges much less than the Anker SoundCore in one piece, but in the end this also means that it has to be loaded about once a week. If the usage profile were the other way around, I would have to supply them with juice at least every two days.

At a price of 189.95 euros on Amazon, this is a bit disappointing, but it is a gentle indication that the box could produce a lot of sound at this weight.

So let's take another look at the advantages and disadvantages at a glance:

  • Very high quality workmanship
  • Very elegant design
  • Controls and connections self-explanatory and sufficient
  • Language support
  • Lots of charging options with lots of charging accessories
  • Telephone function
  • Best sound requirements
  • No audio cable
  • Not waterproof
  • Relatively low battery power and Bluetooth range

The additional AUX cable is certainly not a must-have when we talk about BLUETOOTH, but it would probably be appropriate given the measly performance data. But if we assume the status of being at home, one could easily gloss over the negative arguments.

Establish the Bluetooth connection

There is absolutely nothing to complain about when it comes to pairing at Bose. The computer aunt's babbling when she pronounces the respective device name is actually very entertaining.

However, the good woman is sometimes confused and claims to be connected to devices that are miles out of her 9-meter range. These 9 meters are stable in themselves, but you notice the spatial limitation really quickly or clearly.

In the apartment it can exist through all walls and doors without interruptions, but as soon as a front door and various floors come in between, the connection is broken very soon. In a normal family home, you shouldn't move the Bose too far from the source.

The Mini II Soundcheck

We have attached an audio sample for you to every Bluetooth speaker test so that you can get an idea of ​​the sound. Of course, it should be noted here that the quality depends very much on where you are playing the example. We took the recording outside, so you can hear some ambient noise.

So far, the Bose has not covered itself with fame, but is at least a very good average in all respects and certainly a benchmark in terms of high-quality impression. But now we come to the sound and you should buckle up.

First important point: Even if you have a box in front of you, the thing with the all-round sound propagation - and the flexibility of your sweet spot - is almost perfect. Because the SoundLink has a loudspeaker outlet at the front AND rear and the cover on the sides is almost negligible.

So you can stand or sit next to the Bose, the intelligibility and sound quality suffer only minimally.

The first thing that struck me about this sound quality when I first listened to it a few years ago was the absurdly great brilliance. Especially if you stay way below the possible 118 decibels volume, you still understand everything, the respective audio track hardly loses its presence. And if it has to be ridiculously loud, you don't have to worry about distortions and the like either.

The second was the bass, which rolled out of the mini-box as thick, round and shiny as one could wish. As we noted in the headphone test for the Bose QC 20 in-ear headphones, the delicious bass is one of the most typical features of the Bose sound - even in the smallest dimensions.

Of course, this emphasis on a certain sound component also has a few pitfalls:

  • Now and then (and with many songs or films) you want a little less impact and a little more filigree.
  • However, you can only do that to a limited extent with typical equalizer presets. The bass is always extremely present, while the other areas, for example with the treble booster, are simply pushed forward.
  • The spatiality of the sound is nevertheless enormous, you quickly forget that there is a mini-box in a corner.

This test has something new for me. I have never tested the Bose with the “Eargasm Explosion” equalizer setting for iTunes from Tumblr user thesecretsauce, because the space on my computer is actually reserved for the Anker SoundCore for various reasons.

That's why, like Bolle, I was looking forward to checking my three test tracks with it. You can find out in detail why I do this in our Bluetooth speaker guide:

James Blake - "Limit To Your Love"

(Electro; characteristic: Krasser, dominant bass line)

  • Without an equalizer: Oh Kinners, what a wonderful thing. But here you can see what the bass line can really do.
  • With equalizer: the whole thing “flickers” a little, becomes a little too much of a good thing.

Vivaldi - "The Spring"

(Classic; characteristic: consists only of mids and extreme highs)

  • Without equalizer: Funnily enough, the bass is pushed more forward here than with the equalizer. The differentiation is okay, especially aspects of individual instruments that are otherwise not really audible are pleasantly emphasized.
  • With equalizer: A very well-rounded sound experience, even if there is a lack of differentiation.

The Bates - "Billie Jean"

("Pop" -Punk; characteristic: bad mastering, rattling instruments)

  • Without equalizer: Sounds great without killing the punk character of the recording.
  • With equalizer: Much fuller, almost pop mastering. You have to like it in this case, but it sounds good.

What do we learn from it? The Bose box is very good at adding things to a recording, which in many cases also makes sense or improves the listening experience. With relatively bad recordings, you also win if you make the effort to reduce the bass a little and to level the mids and highs better.

On the other hand, this also means that you have to tame the Bose box a little, otherwise the force will quickly get on your nerves. Paaaartyyyyy is always possible with it!

So again briefly:

  • Bass definitely means BASS here.
  • There's a bit of mud, you can't expect the best possible differentiation with this force.
  • Bose ensures that even deaf ears always understand everything perfectly.
  • You hardly need to worry about directed sound and you can sit or stand wherever you want.
  • The greatest strength lies in the low minimum volume for very good listening pleasure.

Conclusion on the Bose SoundLink Mini II

Perhaps after all this testing you can understand why the Bose SoundLink Mini II Bluetooth speaker is the main speaker in my household:

  • Ingenious sound in mini packaging that easily approaches large boxes for a relatively small floor plan.
  • Due to the limited battery power and range, it was designed for the home anyway.
  • A little too sensitive for travel or vacation use.

ADVANTAGES

  • Very high quality workmanship
  • Very elegant design
  • Controls and connections self-explanatory and sufficient
  • Language support
  • Lots of charging options with lots of charging accessories
  • Telephone function
  • Best sound requirements

DISADVANTAGE

  • No audio cable
  • Not waterproof
  • Relatively low battery power and Bluetooth range

Here it simply depends on the aspects under which you want to buy Bluetooth speakers: This Bose is the wrong address for on the go. With the Bose SoundTouch 10 a lot more.

But you could hardly find a better offer for your home, as long as compact dimensions and flexibility are just as important to you as they are to me - not to mention the sound.

With that we would also have narrowed down the "problem" of this box, which can ultimately be the result of this test:

The current price of 189.95 euros is only justified if sound is mega-important to you, but you don't feel like having huge systems and at the same time don't want to compromise on design.

Because killer sounds can also generate many other, much more mobile test candidates. But they are ugly and often not that compact.

Any questions or additions in your luggage? Then leave us a comment!