CNET First Look
Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker III: Revamped design, better sound and battery lifeThis third-generation portable wireless speaker costs the same ($299.95), but offers noticeable improvements.
Hi. I'm David Carnoy and I'm here with the Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker III. This is the successor to the popular Bose SoundLink II and it is a very similar looking speaker but it does have some key differences. It's slightly wider and it also doesn't have the cover that the previous model had. This is a straight naked speaker. You can get covers for it, those are optional accessories that retail for $34.95 and they come in a variety of colors but it is a better sounding speaker. It does deliver bigger sound, a little bit more bass, a little bit more clarity, so this is a very good sounding compact Bluetooth speaker. Bose really did a great job with the previous version and this model is that much better. This is a $300 speaker, so it's not cheap and Bose also has the SoundLink Mini. This does deliver more sound than the Bose SoundLink Mini but that is a very small Bluetooth speaker. This also-- one of the key differences here is that it offers much better battery life in the previous version. It's up to 14 hours, the previous version only got more like six hours. One thing to say about this is it really not a feature rich Bluetooth speaker. A lot of other speakers have extras like a speakerphone. Bose has continued to leave off that speakerphone functionality, there's nothing like X support for devices that offer that, that's supposed to make Bluetooth sound a little bit better. It doesn't make a big difference in speakers this small and there's no NFC pairing that's the tap-to-pair feature with devices to support it. Another small feature that some people like is a pause/play button on the device itself. This does not have it. It does have volume controls, mute button and there is an auxiliary input as well as a micro USB port that is for firmware upgrades only, that's not for charging. You do have a separate charger here. It does require a separate charger. After my listening test, I was impressed. Bose has definitely up the sound quality here, made not have added any new features but this is definitely a better sounding speaker for the same amount of money and it does have better battery life. I'm David Carnoy and it's the Bose SoundLink Bluetooth III. Thanks for watching.