So far, the most portable Bose Bluetooth speaker was the SoundLink Mini, which size and weight made it a perfect, small bookshelf speaker in a living room.
Now Bose extended its product portfolio and stepped into the ultra-portable category with its new pocket-sized Bluetooth speaker the Bose SoundLink Micro.
The Bose Bluetooth speakers are known for their good sound quality and big price tag.
Although, the Micro is the least expensive Bose speaker, with its $110 price tag (17.01.2018) it is still quite pricey in the ultra-portable category.
Let’s see in this Bose SoundLink Micro review if we get the good sound quality with the high price tag, especially because the small speakers tend to sacrifice some audio performance due to their size.
Bose SoundLink Micro Review Video
The speaker comes in a box with a micro USB cable included and is available in three colors: black, blue and orange.
As far as the design goes, it is not super interesting or stylish; it has a classic boxy design with smooth, rounded edges.
Although the speaker is not too eye catchy, the size and the form are well designed and very practical.
It is convenient to hold in hand and fits well into your pocket, so this time Bose made something really portable.
Unlike the other Bose speakers, which were made from hard materials the SoundLink Micro got a full rubberized coating to make the speaker durable and scratch resistant.
The Micro feels well-made and solid, it’s ideal for outdoor activities and sports.
Especially, because it got an IPX7 water protection, which means it is not just splash-proof but completely waterproof, it can be submerged into 1-meter-deep water for 30 minutes.
So you can use it for canoeing, SUP or even on your jet ski.
However, you have to be careful because the Micro does not float on the water, it will sink if you accidentally drop it.
Bose SoundLink Micro Water Test Video
How to Setup
The setup is very easy, with the Bose Connect mobile app you can pair and connect the speaker with only one click.
The app contains some handy features as well like you can rename the speaker, check the connected devices, disable the voice prompts and select its language.
In addition, if you have two party mode-enabled Bose speakers you can connect them together for a stereo sound.
The app contains a nice product tour and an exceptionally detailed user manual, so it is really easy to learn the usage of the speaker.
When I connected the Micro to the app, it automatically updated the speaker, so even if you do not use the app, it is worth to download it and start occasionally for checking updates.
If you have a problem with the speaker you can reset it by pressing the Power button for 10 seconds until the Bluetooth indicator glows Blue.
On the front side of the speaker, you can find the volume control buttons and a ‘Multi-function’ button which can be used to activate Siri or Google Assistant on your phone.
I wish the buttons were clickier when they are pressed, they do not provide enough feedback especially when the speaker is vibrating while playing music.
The microphone holes are also situated on the front.
It is nice that Bose did not omit the microphone, so you can use it as a speakerphone while your phone remains safely in a waterproof bag.
The SoundLink Micro has an unusually powerful call handling; you can not just answer or decline a phone call but you can even mute it, put it on hold or switch between the active phone calls.
It provides a full music control capability, so you can pause/play a song, jump to the next track and jump back to the previous one.
The ‘Power’ and the ‘Bluetooth’ buttons are situated on the top of the speaker just like the Bluetooth and the battery indicator LEDs.
In my test, when I played various types of songs on the speaker at 70% volume, I measured 6 hours playtime.
When I repeated the same test on maximum volume, I got 3 hours 40 minutes.
This battery life is quite low compared to the competitors, for example on 70% volume you can get 11 hours 30 minutes by the UE Roll 2, 13 hours 20 minutes by the JBL Clip 2 and 15 hours by the Sony SRS-XB10.
According to the manufacturer, it takes up to 4 hours to fully charge the battery.
It’s nice that unlike the most speakers in this category the SoundLink Micro has a precise battery level indication.
It got a battery LED which shows the battery level in five steps when you press and hold the ‘Power’ button and in addition, a voice prompt tells you the exact remaining battery percentage.
To save battery life the speaker automatically turns off after 20 minutes idle time, however, this behavior can be turned off in the Bose Connect app or by pressing the ‘Volume Up’ and the ‘Multi-function’ buttons simultaneously.
Connectivity, Bluetooth Range
Although, the speaker is water protected the charging port is not covered, the water protection was solved inside of the port.
It is more convenient than the solution of the most competitors where the ports are covered by a waterproof flap and you have to ensure that the flap is sealed correctly.
However, on the other hand, the speaker does not feature an audio jack input port so it is not possible to connect it via a wire.
Regarding the Bluetooth range, in my outdoor test, I measured around 50 feet Bluetooth range, which is quite good, it is above the average in this category.
The SoundLink Micro has a built-in elastic strap on the back, which really improves its portability.
With this, you can attach the speaker to almost anything like to your bag or to the handlebars of your bike.
It holds tight and easy to use.
It is said to be tear-resistant, but I still prefer those solutions which can be replaced if they get damaged like the carabiner of the JBL Clip 2.
How does it sound?
Under the hood, the Micro features a single mono transducer and a passive radiator.
Despite its size, it can produce a surprisingly decent sound.
Its maximum volume level is higher than the average in this size category.
The mids and the highs are nice and clear, the sound is balanced and rich.
Unlike the most ultra-portable speakers, it has a strong bass output, the other speakers in this size sound flat compared to the SoundLink Micro.
It can almost compete with bigger speakers like the JBL Flip 4, however, the volume level is lower, the deeper lows are missing and it tends to distort in the lower frequencies.
Overall, the Bose SoundLink Micro is a great outdoor speaker.
It is small, portable looks like something which can withstand elements and survive some accidental drops as well.
Its built-in strap is really useful when you do sports or when you just carry it around.
It has an exceptionally feature-rich music control and phone handling capability.
However, what really sets it apart, its outstanding sound quality.
You can get speakers with better sound for this price, however not in this size.
Currently, without a doubt, this is the best sounding pocket-sized Bluetooth speaker.
On the other hand, it has a short battery life and a high price tag.
At the date of this review, it cost $110 while you could get the most speakers for around $60 in this category.
The Bose SoundLink Micro is a good choice if you are after the best sounding pocket-sized speaker and you can live with the short battery life.
The Best Sounding Pocket-Sized Speaker
Waterproof, rugged design
Portable, useful strap
Powerful music control, call handling
Exceptional sound quality
Weak battery life
However, they do not have so good sound quality as the Soundlink Micro.
Another alternative is the UE Wonderboom which has a similar sound and battery life, but it is not so small as the Micro.
If the portability is not an important factor for you then the JBL Flip 4 provides better sound quality for a similar price.
3.87" H 3.87" W 1.37" D (10.24 oz)