Bose updates Soundlink Bluetooth Mobile II with better sound, adds AirPlay speaker

Bose has released a sonically improved version of its wireless SoundLink Mobile speaker and has also added the SoundLink Air, its first Apple AirPlay-enabled speaker.

Same speaker, better sound: The SoundLink Mobile II in an incremental improvement over the original. Bose

On a busy day for Apple products, Bose decided to quietly announce the next generation of its portable wireless speakers, the SoundLink Bluetooth Mobile Speaker II, and the SoundLink Air system, its first-ever Apple Airplay-enabled product.

The original SoundLink Wireless Mobile came out last year and received an Editors' Choice Award from CNET. Bose says the new Mobile Speaker II, which looks virtually identical to the original model, sounds better. "Bose engineers integrated new neodymium transducers and an updated digital signal processing algorithm into the acoustics package," the press release said. "Combined with the company's patented dual-opposing passive radiators, the SoundLink Mobile speaker II reproduces deeper low notes, and more definition and clarity across mid- and high-frequencies." The sound is apparently "more lifelike and accurate."

Some other small improvements have been made. There's a new integrated bifold protective cover (it comes in leather or nylon), which also serves as the speaker's stand. And the system will remember the last six devices you paired with the speaker, so re-pairing becomes automatic. However, Bose made no mention of improved battery life (the speaker has a built in rechargeable battery).

The Mobile II costs the same as the original: the standard, black trim package with a dark-gray nylon bifold cover goes for $299.95, while the premium, chrome trim package with a dark-brown leather bifold will set you back $349.95.

The SoundLink Air system, which uses Wi-Fi instead of Bluetooth, also costs $349.95 and comes in high-gloss black with a metal grille.

All the new models will be available for purchase on September 13. I'll let you know how the Mobile II sounds in comparison with the original as soon as I get my hands on one. I'll also compare its sound with that of Jawbone's Big Jambox, one of Bose's primary competitors in this category.

The Bose SoundLink Air hits stores September 13 for $349.95 (click to enlarge). Bose
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