Bose don’t rush products out to the market, so everything they release serves a specific purpose. The Bose Soundlink Micro Bluetooth Speaker satisfies people’s desire for a portable, waterproof speaker. Usually small speakers sacrifice audio quality, but the Soundlink Micro is a different story. With a big feature set comes a big price tag as well though. The speaker costs $99 ($149 AUD, £99.95) and provides six hours of battery life. If you want something cheaper, check out the Poweradd Music Fly review.
Light, portable sports speaker
Bose have presented a seriously portable speaker here. The Soundlink Micro measures in at 9.8cm (H) x 9.8cm (W) x 3.5cm (D). The speaker weights 290gm and has a strap to attach it to bags or clothing. To put that in real world terms, I had no trouble carrying it around comfortably in the front pocket of a pair of shorts. The six-hour battery life is pretty good considering the speaker’s size. That said, larger Bluetooth speakers will often net you twice the battery life or more. So the Micro is worth it if you need something portable, but for home use, you might want a larger, longer-lasting speaker.
Big audio, little Bluetooth speaker
The Bose Soundlink Micro punches well above its weight when it comes to audio. I haven’t heard a Bluetooth speaker of this size that can compete with the Micro for audio quality. Smaller speakers do have physical limits to how much power and punch they can present, but if you wanted something to shake your floorboards, you wouldn’t be looking at a model called the Micro right?
Volume for small get togethers
In terms of volume, the Micro would have no problems providing the music for a small gathering. It can also fill a larger room like a combined kitchen and loungeroom. However if you had the space filled with people, you’d have to pump the speaker right to its limits, which results in some distortion. Even at maximum volume the distortion remains subtle though, so it’s still listenable.
Pushed bass and treble
The Soundlink Micro seriously pushes the bass forward and also emphasises the treble. You can hear the bass lines, drums and vocals very prominently. There’s not a lot of mids in the mix, so the rhythm guitar layers tends to get pushed back. As a result, like a lot of modern speakers, the Micro is ideally suited to pop, hip hop and EDM. It wouldn’t be my first choice for guitar-based music however.
The speaker offers directional sound from its front-firing main speaker and rear-firing bass port. It’s not 360 degree sound, unlike the competing UE Wonderboom. The Wonderboom, while still portable, isn’t small enough to fit in your pocket however.
Features and accessories
As far as extras go, the Soundlink Micro is quite light-on. You get an integrated silicon strap on the back of the speaker and a 52cm charging cable. The cable is pretty sturdy and runs Micro-B USB on the speaker side to a USB 2.0. There’s no wall powerpack for the USB cable.
Beyond IPX7 waterproofing
Bose states that the Soundlink Micro exceeds the IPX7 waterproof rating. IPX7-rated devices can survive half an hour of immersion in water to a depth of 1m. We did a little testing and found that the speaker can indeed be dropped in water repeatedly while playing and suffer no ill effects. It’s worth noting the speaker doesn’t float, as you can see in our video below.
You can link two Soundlink speakers together in Party Mode for extra volume and stereo sound. I didn’t have two Micros to connect together, but I did have a Soundlink Revolve Plus to add to the equation. Before linking the speakers, I had to update the Revolve Plus firmware, which took the app about an hour to send to the speaker via Bluetooth. The update and speaker link is managed through the free Bose Connect app.
Once linked, the Revolve Plus and Micro worked quite well together. The overall volume was increased as well as the usable amount of volume before distortion occurred. Having two speakers linked also presented a more powerful, fuller sound in a large room. I was able to adjust the individual volumes on the controls of each speaker to mix them together for best effect. If you bought two Soundlink speakers, say one for you and one for your partner, then it would be a good solution for parties. It worked well enough that I wouldn’t feel the need to buy a separate, louder system for events at home.
The verdict on the Soundlink Micro
The Bose Soundlink Micro packs a lot of Bluetooth speaker into a very small package. It’s provides powerful, bass driven sound tuned to play modern music such as hip hop, pop and EDM. The speaker is also very light and can survive an extended dip in the pool. It’s certainly not cheap however, the battery life isn’t too impressive. It can’t provide 360 degree sound, but if that’s what you would prefer then check out the Bose Soundlink Revolve Plus review. Otherwise I would say, overall it’s an excellent release which ticks a lot of boxes as a highly portable sports speaker.
Dimensions/weight: Speaker: 9.83 cm H x 9.83 cm W x 3.48 cm D (290.3 g)
Inputs and outputs: Micro-B USB port
Wireless range: Up to 9 m (30 ft)
Battery life: Up to 6 hours
Bose Soundlink Micro Bluetooth Speaker
The Soundlink Micro, while not perfect, is an excellent release which ticks a lot of boxes as a highly portable sports speaker.