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Bose SoundLink Micro review:

Bose's tiny SoundLink Micro Bluetooth is a pocket powerhouse

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The Good The Bose SoundLink Micro is a pocket-sized Bluetooth speaker that is able to play louder and produce richer and louder sound than competing micro wireless speakers. It's fully waterproof, has a built-in microphone for speakerphone calls, plus an integrated strap for clipping the speaker onto a bag or other objects.

The Bad A little pricey and battery life is only average.

The Bottom Line While it may not be a bargain at its price point, the travel-friendly Bose SoundLink Micro is well-built and arguably the best sounding speaker in its size class.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

CNET Editors' Rating

8.3 Overall
  • Design 9.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Sound 8.0
  • Value 7.0

Review Sections

A tiny Bluetooth speaker you can literally carry in your pocket sounds like a great concept, but going small -- and I mean really small -- usually means sacrificing sound quality, or more specifically bass performance. Bose's SoundLink Micro, the company's smallest and least expensive Bluetooth model yet, at $110, £100 or $AU170, aims to defy those small speaker conventions. It mostly pulls it off.

Available in three color options -- black, midnight blue and bright orange -- the speaker is IPX7 certified, which means it's totally waterproof and can be completely submerged. (We dunked it in a vase full of water and it continued to output sound.)  While it may be small it does have a bit of heft to it, weighing in at 10 ounces (290 grams). It has a built-in speakerphone for making calls.

Overall I was impressed by its build quality and liked its integrated "tear-resistant" flexible rubber strap, which you can use to clip the speaker onto a bag or just about anything else you want to clip it onto, including your bike's handlebars. That said, the speaker has a bass port on its underside and is designed to sit on a flat surface to maximize bass performance. (I clipped the speaker to the front strap on a backpack and could feel the bass on my chest.)

There's a battery-life indicator near the Micro-USB charging port and volume controls on the speaker, plus a multifunction button for controlling playback. Battery life is rated at 6 hours, which is pretty standard for this type of speaker.

In my tests the speaker maintained a rock-solid Bluetooth connection and you can wirelessly link it with other Bose SoundLink speakers using the Bose Connect app.

The bass port on the bottom of the speaker along with the flexible rubber strap.

Sarah Tew/CNET

As far as the sound goes, I was most impressed by how much bass this little guy was able to output for its size. It doesn't offer the sound quality of Bose's larger, more expensive Bluetooth speakers, including the SoundLink Mini 2. But in terms of low-end performance it delivers significantly more bass and volume than JBL's Clip 2 and other essentially pocketable speakers.

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