Note: This article has been updated with the release of the latest SoundLink Color II from Bose.
Bose SoundLink Color Review – The Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker
The Bose SoundLink Color II is one of the best Bluetooth speakers built for versatility and portable rugged use, and features many improvements and enhancements over its predecessor, the Bose SoundLink Color. The SoundLink Color II is capable of pumping out extremely clear, rich and detailed sound from such a small and compact package. It also features up to 8 hours of music from rechargeable lithium-ion battery, fast wireless connection and voice prompts which make pairing your devices easier than ever. Because of its portability and powerful sound, this little unit has all the positives of the “boom boxes” with the added benefit of smaller dimensions and longer battery life. In addition, the speaker itself is IPX4-rated water resistant and can resist sprays of water in all directions.
Pros & Cons
The Pros. The Bose SoundLink Color II is a vast improvement over its predecessor, and is capable of rich, dynamic and clear sound with deeper bass response. The design of the Color II is sleek and modern, and has a more refined overall aesthetic appeal. Furthermore, the Color II is IPX-4 rated water resistant and is small and compact enough to carry around easily. It’s one of the best Bluetooth speakers you can find that delivers a rare combination of exceptional sound performance, design and portability.
The Cons. The price – the Bose SoundLink Color II is probably on the more expensive range, and is therefore only worth buying if you want to invest seriously into a Bluetooth speaker that you can take outdoors. The micro USB charging port also feels flimsy – be careful not to use too much force when inserting the micro USB or you might risk damaging the charging port.
The SoundLink Color II excels in terms of audio performance. It puts out a rich, clean, clear sound. The bass is present without being overwhelming and the higher notes do not get tiny. It has a deep, warm bass that is quite characteristic of Bose products – the bass response was much better than we expected and really brought out the beats in the music, which added to a very enjoyable listening experience. It’s one of the best Bluetooth speakers that actually sound awesome when playing electronic or rock music through it – you can hear every single beat of the music with clear vocals. The unit also handled guitar and cappella very well without muddying the purity of the unaccompanied human voice. It also stood up on the subtle complexities of guitar, and had nice spatial differential between the notes. Overall, the SoundLink Color has a great combination of highs, mids and lows while not being over-laden with studio trickery and post-production enhancements. Compared to its predecessor, the sound quality definitely feels richer and is able to go much louder than before.
We really liked how this unit is small enough to tuck into a day pack or oversize purse, which is simply outstanding for portability. The manufacturer specs note that the internal battery holds a charge up to 8 hours’ of playing time, which means you do not bring the provided power adaptor. The adaptor itself comes in two compact parts – a USB cable and a wall adaptor with fold-flat prongs. This outdoor bluetooth speaker will simultaneously recharge and perform as a speaker in about 60 – 70 minutes, which is pretty fast considering how long the battery lasts. The cool thing about this speaker is that you can also charge it using the micro USB cable.
In terms of appearance and durability, the SoundLink color features a smooth case with rounded corners which protect the entire speaker. The one-piece top panel and two narrow vertical panels on the sides of the case are rubberized, with some flexibility. The control functions are printed on the surface of the top panel, and are pressure-sensitive, so there are no moving parts exposed. The narrow strips on the sides of the case give you a surer grip when lifting or moving the unit. The SoundLink and power supply are both well-machined. Overall, the unit seems sturdy and capable of withstanding daily use, including outdoor sports activities where exposure to the elements is the norm. Compared to its predecessor, the SoundLink Color II definitely feels sleeker and more refined in its external appearance.
Setting up the Bose SoundLink Color II took a matter of seconds. It features voice prompts which facilitate easy pairing – simply follow the instructions and you will be pairing the speaker to your wireless music source in no time. You just have to switch on the Bluetooth of your mobile device and pair it with the SoundLink Color II. Once this recognition process is complete, whenever the speaker is on, it will verbally identify any synched device that comes within range. Surprisingly, the SoundLink is able to identify each wireless music source by the name which you have assigned to it, which is a pretty cool feature.
The Bose SoundLink Color II is one of the best Bluetooth speakers that really redefine what you can expect from a small and compact speaker. It is an elegant piece of audio equipment that is capable of delivering rich, smooth sound with deep bass response. It also feels heavy and extremely durable, making it the perfect outdoor companion for rugged adventures. In our view, the SoundLink Color II has an excellent combination of sound, portability and usability that you can ever find in a Bluetooth speaker. If you are looking for one of the best Bluetooth speakers with water resistance and to take outdoors with you, the SoundLink Color II is definitely an excellent choice.