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CNET First Look
Bose SoundLink Wireless Mobile speakerIf you're willing to pay a premium, the Bose SoundLink Wireless Mobile speaker is the best portable Bluetooth speaker on the market.
-Hi, I'm David Carnoy from CNET. I'm going to give you a quick video tour of Bose's new portable Bluetooth speaker, the SoundLink Wireless. What's so special about it? Let's start with just how small it is and with just how much sound comes out of it and decent sound with that. Bose also seems to be taking a few cues from Apple along with the compact form factor and clean elegant design. The SoundLink Wireless is equipped with the magnetic protective cover that doubles as a stand and automatically turns the speaker off when closed. The model you see here retails for $300 and comes with a nylon cover, but there's also a step up model called the LX that goes for $50 more and has a leather cover, an automative grade chrome trim. Not surprisingly, Bose is selling a [unk] nylon and leather covers for $29.95 and 49.95 respectively, so you got some options down the road if you wanna change things up. The first thing you'll notice about the speaker when you pick it up is that while it may be small, it's got some heft to it and it weighs in a respectable 2.78 pounds. However, probably the most impressive thing about its design is how thin it is measuring less than 2 inches thick. While the speaker look sleek and seems on the surface to be more suited to indoor listening, Bose has made it a point to promote how durable and rugged the unit is and the built in rechargeable battery allows you to use it wherever you want. The battery gives about 3 to 4 hours of listening at higher volumes and have to double that if you tone things down. As we said, this is a Bluetooth speaker and has a wireless range of about 30 feet and works with just about any current Bluetooth enabled device and many legacy ones. It doesn't come with a remote because your smartphone or iPad touch is the remote that can be used to adjust volume levels. Features-wise, there really isn't much else to talk about. The others and audio input around back for connecting audio devices that don't have Bluetooth plus a micro USB port for future software upgrades to the speaker. There is no built in microphone that would turn this into a speaker phone, but that's really the only feature omission worth highlighting. As I said, the real killer feature here is how loud the speaker plays for its size and it sounds descent especially for a Bluetooth speaker. This thing can actually fill a medium size room with sound as a big upgrade from something smaller and less expensive like Jawbone's JAMBOX both in terms of volume and sound quality. What's also impressive is that the sound doesn't distort at higher volumes. At $300 or even 350 dollar is a lot to spend for a portable speaker. If you are looking for a truly compact Bluetooth speaker that is at the top of its class in terms of both design and performance that price will see a little bit more palatable. I'm David Carnoy and that's the Bose SoundLink Wireless mobile speaker.