The SoundLink Color Bluetooth speaker II was engineered to deliver bold sound wherever life takes you. From the pool to the park to the patio, its rugged, water-resistant design lets you enjoy the music you love in more places. Voice prompts make Bluetooth pairing easy. And up to 8 hours of listening per battery charge lets you keep your playlists playing.
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Small Speaker Big Sound
Posted by: masc360 from: on
Over the years I have tried a lot of bluetooth speakers and considering the size of the speaker I was expecting lower quality sound that what I actually heard.
First I want to start of with the construction, the speaker feels good to hold it feels like a well made and sturdy product.
It was also very easy to pair to my phone, it has voice prompts that clearly tell you what device the speaker is paired too and also the battery level.
Now for the most important part the sound. the speaker sounds fantastic at low to medium level volumes. It can get quite loud if you push the volume up to the max but you lose all of your low end and start to hear some distortion. A little over medium was where i found the sweet spot for sound to be, if you have the volume too low the low end sounds seem to overpower and mids or highs. it does not sound bad at lower volumes but I could tell the difference in sound.
Overall I would recommend this product to someone if they would ask me for a good solid sounding bluetooth speaker.
29 out of 30 found this review helpful.
Great sound in a little package
Posted by: beefrob from: on
I recently had the opportunity to review the Bose Soundlink II bluetooth speaker as part of the Best Buy Tech Insider Network.
The speaker is packaged nicely, with instructions included in many languages. Pairing with my Samsung s7 was extremely fast and easy using bluetooth. The Bose soundlink II will allow you to connect up to 2 devices at once and switch between them. It has a built in speaker so you can make calls or contact google or siri right through the speaker.
As with most Bose speaker products, the sound was very full with a natural tone. The quality of the sound was very good and the volume was surprisingly loud.
Bose also has a free app you can download to your phone or device to control the speaker and switch between devices connected to the bose soundlink II. There is also a 3.5mm jack to plug in devices that might not have bluetooth capability. This Bose speaker is water resistant so a quick shower while your on the beach shouldn't cause any harm and it is rechargeable using almost any usb charging device. If you are someone who like to move around a lot or be outside and you like to listen to music or news while your doing it, this speaker will really make you happy.
18 out of 19 found this review helpful.
significantly redesigned SLCII, 3.5*s
Posted by: WhiskeyTangoActual from: on
Here's a quick rundown on what's new and improved over the first gen SLC (in no particular order):
IPX4-rated water-splash resistant (*not* immersible/submersible)
NFC enabled Bluetooth pairing (just enable NFC & BT, then tap to pair)
Speaker phone functionality over Bluetooth, with call controls located on the SLCII
Other notable facts:
The built-in Lithium-ion battery is still not user replaceable.
The SLCII's radio for music/speakerphone is still strictly Bluetooth (no WiFi).
Two SLCIIs cannot be Bluetooth paired for wide-field stereo (although this could be accomplished with a *custom* made line-in stereo-stereoR-stereoL splitter cable - where all three plugs have to be three-element stereo).
According to BOSE Tech Support, the SLCII is a true stereo speaker. with two, closely spaced, 40mm active drivers, one each for left and right channels. They are so close together, though, that you'd have to be very, very close (~6") to the SLCII to notice the stereo effect.
My intention is to primarily use the SLCII as the main external speaker for a powerful, yet tiny, portable AM/FM/WX/AIR/SW radio receiver that is replacing a much larger, luggable, 30 year old, rugged, workhorse multi-band radio that finally gave up the ghost. The tiny portable isn't Bluetooth capable and only has a built-in 1.5" speaker and 3.5mm line-out. That 1.5" speaker performs amazingly well, for its size, but has all of the acoustic limitations that one must expect from a speaker that size. (The radio sounds unbelievably good using quality earbuds.) Using a 3.5mm, male-male, standard stereo cable between them, the SLCII is a perfect match for both voice and music programs, creating a room filling table radio sound.
That said, the equalization of the SLCII is *not* aimed at high fidelity sound reproduction. The default EQ seriously over-emphasizes the bass, sloppily booming way too much ~150Hz, with complete roll-off somewhere above 60Hz. This is true whether using Bluetooth or 3.5mm cables, no matter how the unit is physically placed (for bass reflectivity). There are some EQ differences in the upper/mid ranges; Bluetooth sounds brighter than hardwired, using the same source devices, playing the same content examples in Bluetooth vs line-in testing.
One thing that BOSE should seriously consider is a firmware update to the SLCII that programs the amp to produce a flatter frequency response curve from the SLCII when using the line-in connection. There is no reason to treat line-in on the SLCII the same as Bluetooth, specifically because of the ongoing limitations with Bluetooth audio codecs. For line-in, a flatter frequency response in the SLCII is to be highly preferred.
Fortunately, I have very good music players on my various Android devices that enable me to adequately compensate for the SLCII's weird EQ, so that, for indoor listening, a high degree of acoustic fidelity can be teased out of the SLCII, period, not just good sound "for its size."
The EQ shipping on the SLCII is most likely optimized for outdoor use; but, outdoors, the SLCII is going to face many limitations based entirely on its size.
- Battery and Charging issues
I knew that the unit would ship with only a partial charge (30% as required by law), but I was surprised at how erratically my first SLCII announced that it had reached a full charge.
If I had to guess, based on BOSE's stated cycle life of 300 deep discharges before battery failure and the prohibition in the full PDF user manual (p 21) against long term storage of the SLCII with a fresh full charge (indicating, to me, heightened thermal instability at full charge), I'd infer that BOSE put a Lithium Manganese Oxide (LiMN2O4) battery inside the SLCII. If I had a say in the matter, I would prefer a Lithium Titanate (LiTi5012) battery, because it can survive >3000 deep discharges and is highly thermally stable at all states of charge.
The first thing I did after examining the SLCII for any possible shipping damage was to plug it into to a 2.0A USB charger. I was very surprised to suddenly hear the SLCII announce that it had reached a full charge (with a steady green LED light) after only 20 minutes of charging. I suspected that something might be very wrong.
It turned out that my hunch was right. The first SLCII charged erratically, pre-maturely reporting full charge. Eventually, it failed to power on or charge, at all, and even resisted an undocumented BOSE "hard reset." Fortunately, BOSE dispatched a replacement.
Wildly varying recovery charge times simply should not be observed immediately after a supposed full charge of any properly working battery, Lithium ion or not.
The useful calendar lifespan of consumer electronics Lithium-ion batteries really benefits from keeping the battery's charge above 50% of the originally rated total mAH capacity. If one can't reliably know that a battery is, indeed, "fully charged," then there is no way to even begin to guess about where 50% of a full charge might be.
Routinely deeply discharging, or discharging below 50% of a factory-rated full charge, will dramatically shorten the calendar life of a consumer electronics Lithium-ion battery. This is where the 300 charge cycle calendar life controversy with the original SLC comes from. Keep the Lithium-ion topped up as much as possible. On the other hand, a Lithium Titanate battery would be good for at least 1000 full charge cycles. It seems cynical, to me, for BOSE to knowingly use a 300 cycle battery on a one year warranty product.
It would be also very nice if the SLCII would give visual/audible notice that it has discharged to 50% of original capacity, so that people will know when to plug back into external power, should they care about maximizing their battery calendar life. It's potentially the difference between 300 full cycles and 500 or more top-off charges.
Non-user-replaceable batteries and battery calendar life were problems with the original SLC.
The replacement SLCII sent to me took just under two hours of out-of-the-box charging to report its first full charge. After 10 minutes off charger, doing nothing, the SLCII then took 9 minutes back on charger to report a full charge. Another 10 minutes off charger, then 5 minutes back on charger to report a full charge. Finally, another 10 minutes off charger, then only 1 minute back on charger to report a full charge. This pattern satisfies me that the battery and charging circuitry are AOK in the replacement SLCII. Once again, the replacement SLCII never got warmer than ambient room temperature during any of these charging tests (as measured with an IR temp gun). If your SLCII gets hot during charging, that is likely another sign of battery problems to come.
- Bluetooth pairing
I had no need to use the BOSE Connect app for Bluetooth pairing.
Standard Bluetooth pairing worked with all of my Android devices and the SLCII.
Deleting all previous SLCII pairings, NFC Bluetooth pairing also worked with all my NFC-capable Android devices, but sometimes it took more than one tap and/or twist to find the NFC sweet spot on each Android device. Nevertheless, NFC Bluetooth pairing always worked for me.
- Speaker phone capability
I don't plan on using this feature much, if at all, but a lot of people asked for it. I prefer to use wired headsets for privacy and confidentiality. Should I get around to testing speaker phone capability, I will add a comment to this main review.
I assume that the SLCII behaves exactly like a Bluetooth headset when it comes to making and receiving speaker phone calls. Via the multifunction button on the SLCII, there is call control on the device, too.
BOSE Tech Support could not tell me whether or not the speaker phone capability of the SLCII is full-duplex or half-duplex. This matters a lot in situations where there is a lot of ambient background noise on either end of a call, especially outdoors.
- Bottom Line on the BOSE SoundLink Color II
For what I am going to mostly use it for, the SLCII sounds dramatically better than the much larger integrated, luggable device that it is replacing, given what I've written above, at far less than half the size and less than a quarter of the total weight.
The SLCII does not seem to be intended to be a high-fidelity music/sound reproduction device, but I personally also find that to be the case for the entire BOSE SoundLink product line. I've auditioned them all, indoors, with my sound source devices and content, and I hear differently distorting EQ with ALL of them. The SoundLink III and SoundLink Mini do have more stereo separation. The SLCII (and the entire SoundLink line) is engineered to deliver sound with DYNAMIC PRESENCE, not high fidelity. As such, the SLCII is more like an instrument unto itself, rather than purely a sound reproduction device. If you insist on high-fidelity sound reproduction, you'll have to look somewhere other than the BOSE SoundLink for the time being.
As an external speaker for Android devices, given my ability to tweak player equalization on the Android side, the SLCII is a remarkably good sounding portable powered speaker. The IPX4 splash rating is welcomed. NFC Bluetooth pairing just works according to the simple instructions.
If BOSE makes firmware updates available for the SLCII, and if the BOSE Connect app can apply said firmware update to the SLCII, then I may have a use for the app. But I have seen no firmware updates for the SLCII, to date.
Despite the fixable issues with charging and battery management, I still recommend the SLCII to others looking for a highly portable, multi-function, external speaker for music and/or voice reproduction.
100 out of 140 found this review helpful.
Great portable speaker!
Posted by: Closingracer from: on
I didn't expect much from the speaker because I was never a huge fan of Bose products to begin with my limited experience with their earphones but i am pleasantly surprised with this speaker. The speaker is water resistant which is new for the Color 2 over the original color speaker Bose made. They also connect with the Bose connect app just like the Bose QC35 does which is nice since it can do firmware updates, increase and lower volume and connect with just the app. Connect with an aux cable or Bluetooth and I assume using Bluetooth 4.0 but doesn't state anywhere in the material's or online on their website. As far as sound goes I didn't expect this to sound really great but it does. The bass is deep enough and vocals are clear. I have a similarly priced speaker made by another company but I find these to be better and around the same price range as this speaker. I would buy this speaker over other speakers because of the small form factor and that it is water resistant.
10 out of 10 found this review helpful.
big sound, small package
Posted by: bd43274 from: on
1. sound - for something this small, it puts out a surprisingly warm sound, with quite a bit of volume relative to its size. a bit of clarity can be lost at high volumes, but for its size, it is quite impressive.
2. size/form factor - i personally am a fan of the form factor, if not the design. i like the small footprint, as opposed to some of the horizontal designs.
3. battery/charging - micro usb charging, supposedly up to 8 hours charge time (depending on volume of course). i've used it in the back yard for a few pool parties and it's lasted several hours at moderate volume with no issues.
4. connectivity - bluetooth or 3.5mm aux input.
5. water resistant - i haven't tested this, but is a nice touch for outdoor use.
6. internal mic for speakerphone calls. not the best quality, but also probably not what you're using this for.
1. dated design - while i do like the form factor, the design appears a bit lackluster to me, though certainly not a bad design by any means.
overall, i quite like this little speaker. no real issues with it in my opinion.
6 out of 6 found this review helpful.
Decent sound from a tiny blue box
Posted by: Jacobs from: on
I own many Bose audio products. I like the new Bose SoundLink Color II. As expected from Bose, this little blue box produce rich sound for it's size.
I have been using it regularly for the last 3 days. It connects quickly to my iPhone. I have not experienced any connectivity issues. I got pretty good quality sound up to 25ft distance. After you may get distorted sound.
Highly recommended for all those looking for an affordable portable sound box from Bose!
7 out of 8 found this review helpful.
Better than the first gen
Posted by: Lucas from: on
Bought the first gen of this product a couple of years ago which is a beasty little thing in its own right but Bose has amped up their game with this one. Sound is fuller, richer, more base and with added music controls right on the speaker, this is a no brainer in this category.
9 out of 11 found this review helpful.
Not entirely happy with the purchase.
Posted by: Elderberryturtle from: on
The speakers shut off after 2 cd's playing. We were told it had way more hours of playing time with the charge. Will most likely return the item for a different brand. Sorry.
8 out of 10 found this review helpful.
Pretty good sound
Posted by: KriswithaK from: on
Not sure if it's the size or the wireless factor. I did think it would have more sound. I mean like my other Bose that has a docking station. That one is so amazing. But it really does the job well enough.
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.
Sounded great...but only when it worked
Posted by: Nolagirl30044 from: on
Returned it due to battery & connection issues. :(