Bose® - Soundlink® Color Bluetooth Speaker II - Polar White

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.

See Products that work with Amazon Alexa
$129.99

Protect your product

Learn about Replacement Plans
Protection Plan Options

Item Added.View List

Add to List

    No lists found. Create one today.
    Add Item
    Color:
    Polar White
    Cardmember Offers
    Frequently bought together
    Subtotal:

    Overview

    What's Included


    • Bose® Soundlink® Color Bluetooth® speaker II
    • USB charging cable

    Ratings & Reviews


    Overall Customer Rating:
    97% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (4069 out of 4204)

    Features


    Connect wirelessly from up to 30' away

    Pair this speaker with virtually any Bluetooth-enabled device, including phones, tablets and laptops.

    NFC pairing

    For easy connection.

    Built-in rechargeable lithium-Ion battery

    Play your favorite tunes for up to 8 hours on a full charge.

    Two 40mm full range drivers

    For clean and powerfull sound.

    Water resistant

    Rugged and soft-touch design with IPX4 rating.

    3.5mm auxillary port

    Allows simple wired connectivity. Universal Micro-B USB port.

    Bose Connect App

    Helps manage paired devices and gives you a personalized experience.

    Also available in Red, Black or Blue.


    Customer rating

    4.8
    97%
    would recommend to a friend

    Expert rating

    4.4

    Pros

    Cons

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      significantly redesigned SLCII, 3.5*s

      Posted
      WhiskeyTangoActual
      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

      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.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Great little speaker!!

      Posted
      graceed1963

      The speaker ships with only a partial charge so I had to charge it when I opened it. It includes a USB jack so it can be charged by plugging it into your computer. However, it does not include a block for the USB and it does not include a plug in adapter. Fortunately, I have several chargers so I was able to use my Kindle charger to charge the speaker. It also has NFC pairing - NFC is a technology that enables Bluetooth devices to establish wireless communication with each other by simply touching the devices together. I tried that with my t.v. and it worked perfectly. The setup was so simple and easy that it took almost no time at all. The box doesn't include a very good instruction guide, and the safety guide was impossible for me to read because the font is very small. So, I looked for a guide online and was fortunate enough to find easy instructions to pair the speaker with my phone and computer. I also found a video that demonstrated how to pair it with my Firestick. Pretty embarrassing to say the least. The 7-year old boy in the video gave very clear and easy instructions. I should have been able to do it without help. When I saw the video I realized that all I needed to do was turn on the t.v. - Go to settings, Controllers & Bluetooth Devices, Other Bluetooth devices and choose Pair, unpair and manage other Bluetooth devices. The speaker has voice prompts to assist with pairing. The prompts clearly tell you what device the speaker is paired to (LG phone etc) and also what the battery level is. But if you don't want the voice prompt it can be disabled. 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. I chose not to use the app because I have no space on my phone for more apps. There is also a USB jack to plug in devices that might not have Bluetooth capability. It's listed as being able to keep track of 8 devices. Also, the speaker remembers multiple audio sources, so you can switch back and forth between a phone, a computer, etc You can also use the SoundLink as a speakerphone to make and receive calls. When you receive a call the voice prompts announces it and you can easily answer your phone with no loss of connection. There's a built-in microphone so you can answer calls without having to pick your phone up. When you end the call the speaker will automatically begin playing music again. The speaker is available in multiple colors - Soft Black, Polar White, Coral Red and Aquatic Blue. I got the the black speaker, but if I decided to purchase another one I would get the blue. Reviews say that it's actually turquoise which I would love. The covering is a durable soft-touch silicone exterior. It feels good to hold it and it seems like a well made and sturdy product. It is very lightweight and portable ( 5.16" H x 5" W x 2.19" Deep and 1.2 lbs) so you can easily bring it just about anywhere. If you like to move around a lot or listen to music or news outside, this speaker is great for that. The product features state that it can connect wirelessly from up to 30' away. I found that to be true. I put the speaker in my bedroom doorway while I was painting my kitchen two rooms away and the sound was great- loud and very clear. The Bose speaker is water resistant, meaning it won't affect it if you get a few drops of water on it. From the manufacturer- "IPX4-rated water resistance, and durability tested against water sprayed in all directions for 5 minutes straight." However, it is not waterproof or immersible/submersible so it can't be used in water and it can't be totally submerged in water. All the buttons - Power, Bluetooth indicator, volume, language selector and Multi-function- are on the top for easy access and the charging port/headphone jack are on the sides. The only issue I had was that the buttons are very hard to see. They're either white or a very light gray and they blend in so much with the black background that they're almost not visible. Battery life is suppose to be about 8 hours. I used it for seven with no problem. The speaker costs about $129.95 and it comes with a 1 year manufacturer's warranty but you can also purchase additional coverage. It does not include a carrying case but you can purchase one for $24.99. Most importantly, the speaker sounds fantastic, much better than I expected from such a small speaker. The quality of the sound is very good. The sound is full, rich and clear and the volume is surprisingly loud.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Tiny but Powerful

      Posted
      MarkusKong
      • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember
      • Top 500 ContributorTop 500 Contributor

      What's on the box? Bold, portable sound. Water-resistant (IPX4-Rated) for real-life use. Durable soft-touch silicone exterior. Enhance with the Bose Connect app. Voice prompts for easy pairing. Make and answer calls with speakerphone. 8 hours per charge. What is inside the box? - 1x Soundlink Color Bluetooth Speaker II Aquatic Blue 5V - 1x USB to Micro USB Cable - 1x Instruction Manual - 1x Important Safety Information Manual - 1x Bose Support Contact Number(s) sheet Testing/Setup/Impressions: So the packaging itself is nothing to gloat about. Its pretty standard when it comes to the way it was packaged. So for some of you (like me) that enjoys the way certain things are packaged, you won't be "WOW'D" by the packaging. But... As I mentioned, its for some of you. People that don't care about packaging; who cares? The unit comes in a solid built box and there's a plastic cover that protects the unit itself. When opening the plastic cover, you'll notice the build quality of this little guy. Its quite heavy for its size but I'm sure its heavy because of the way the build quality is. The material is as advertised, a silicone type of rubbery feel. Personally I like the material because you don't get any finger prints! But... You may end up getting a lot of dust, lint, or random stuff on it; pretty easily I must say. As far as cleaning it goes, I'm sure if you run a paper towel or napkin over it; it may end up leaving some paper remnants. If you use a towel it may leave some lint. I haven't tried it but based off of the material as I have other things in my household with this material, you get left overs when you're trying to clean it with. You get a standard USB to Micro USB cable which is nice but there's no AC adapter. I understand the whole concept of "on the go" but it would be nice to include an AC adapter. That is my personal opinion on the charging method for this unit. I typically don't like plugging stuff into my computer directly to charge it. You get your standard manuals and other information included within the box. So setting it up, it was SIMPLE. Setup was a breeze and I was able to download the app off the store (depending on if you're using an Apple or Android device). You can still use the device if you don't download the app, its not mandatory which is nice for some people. But, I'd recommend downloading the app as its nice to have the standard features managed through an app. The unit itself performs exceptionally well. The voice is clear when listening to music, the base has a great "oomph", and the unit can go quite high in volume to bother your downstairs neighbor. The device is small, but it's raw power as I've posted on the title of my review. I didn't get a chance to test this thing with the IPX4-Rated water-resistant feature. I mean... Why would I? Its a electronic device so its not like I am going to splash water on it purposely. But, IPX4-Rated is supposed to mean that you can basically do things like take it into the shower (bathroom) and the steam and water splash here and there won't damage it. You can have it near the pool and if water splashes on it here and there it won't damage it. You of course can't submerge it or run it under water, its not waterproof; it's water resistant. Being said though, why would you do that to you electronic device...? So for normal day to day usage, you don't have to worry so much about splashing liquids on it (listen to music in the rain). So my wife has the Bose SoundLink Mini II Bluetooth Speaker at work, well her co-worker does. The sound quality on that unit vs this one, its comparable and almost similar. The battery on the Bose SoundLink Mini II Bluetooth Speaker supposedly lasts Monday-Friday with 3-4 hours of listening per day. The Soundlink Color II I haven't tested how "long" the battery lasts, but I'm sure it'll be somewhat comparable to Bose SoundLink Mini II Bluetooth Speaker. Overall, I enjoy this little beast. Its great to carry around to family picnics, pool parties, hang outs, etc. Its a great day to day unit. I would definitely recommend it as the price isn't too damaging on your wallet and it performs excellently. The only "gripes" I have about this unit is that there was no AC adapter and there are NO information at all on the technical specifications of the unit itself. Personally for me when buying ANY electronic device, I love to know what the technical specifications are. The other thing "which is an opinion as well" is the packaging and the material of the unit. The packaging was very basic. For me, I like being "WOW'D" when opening up a new electronic device. The material is really nice as I HATE FINGERPRINTS but it does attract dust and lint which I also don't like. But with these minor "issues", I would still recommend this device. Conclusion: Buy it. If you're looking for a unit that can perform, is portable, and can endure the normal day to day usage of carrying around a speaker; its a no brainier. The cons I provided above is nothing drastic of a REAL con which is why I still gave the unit 5 stars in my opinion. I like the unit, I would use the unit daily, and it has that "BOSE" quality even though its tiny. Spend the money and get it, you won't be disappointed.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      Overall a great speaker i

      Posted
      Silvertruth

      This Bose speaker should satisfy anyone who is familiar with Bose products and their high quality in sound and material. Convienent to take with you everywhere you need your sound to be and appears to be able to take a beating due to its rugged feel. There are some things I didn't like about this product which I will discuss in a moment but my complaints are not a deal breaker and I would definetly buy this product again. My wife and I are fans of the Bose brand and own many Bose branded products from a soundbar to headphones. We chose to get this speaker because during the summer months we spend a lot of time outdoors grilling and watching our outdoor entertainment system. We thought this product would compliment our outdoor activities. Unboxing this speaker was straightforward. The box contained the speaker, a USB cord, and directions on how to set up and use. What is annoying is that as you read through the instructions you find out that you need a wall charger (which is not included) if you want to power or recharge this speaker. If you don't have an wall outlet that has the USB port, a wall charger that has a USB port in it, or a power strip with USB ports (I happen to have all three), then you will disappointed as you will to go out and buy one. For the price that you pay for this product, $129.99, you would expect that they would include everything that is needed right out of the box to be operational. While this is not a deal breaker for me, is was annoying. The look and feel of this speaker is great. This little speaker has a nice shape and size and the material on the outside feels military grade. I didn't take a hammer to it but it definitely feels like you could take one to it without damaging it. I was impressed. You can toss this powerful little speaker across the room and not worry if it hits the floor or ground that the speaker will get damaged with confidence. Bose really got that right with this product. My only complaint is that the material they used to make it rugged (a rubber type material) makes it a magnet for dust, dirt, cat hair, and all other forms of detritus. I can only guess that the reason it collects and holds on to dirt, hair, etc. is the rubber is probably generating a small static electric charge every time you pick it up. Cleaning the debri off of this speaker is annoying because it doesn't want to easily come off, but it does come off. The instructions for the care of this speaker lets you know that you need to use a damp cloth to clean it but to be careful not to get any liquid in any of the speaker holes. That was a little surprising to read because the pictures that Bose has on its website showcasing this product shows that it has all kinds of water on it making you believe this speaker must be waterproof. It's not. As read you find out it's Water Resistent. With this speaker loving to attract my cats hair and the the fact it wasn't waterproof, still not a deal breaker, but, again, just annoying considering other comparable wireless speakers on the market in the same price range are waterproof. Playing your music or listening to videos, movies, YouTube, etc. through the speaker is easy. You are instructed to download the Bose Connect app from the App Store and to go from there. I used my iPhone 7 to connect without issue. Once you download the app, it easily finds your speaker and updates it. After that, open up any app you use to play music or watch videos and you will be in for a treat and blown away by how rich and full the sound is coming from this little speaker. This speaker has great bass range and the highs are very pleasant. You aren't able to control any sound output like treble and bass through the app but you could do that through another app I'm sure but it doesn't seem necessary. Bose knows their product and they do sound extremely well. They never seem to disappoint in this area. So, overall, should you buy this speaker? Absolutely. I liked it so much I ended up buying their higher priced speaker the Revolve + and was blown away even more with that one but that's a different review. If you are asking yourself of this speaker is worth the money, it is. You won't be disappointed. If you can afford their more expensive wireless speakers, skip this one and get the other. Whatever your budget, you won't be disappointed.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Bose knocks it out of the park again with sound.

      Posted
      CrysisComplex
      • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member
      • Top 100 ContributorTop 100 Contributor

      The Bose Soundlink Color II (Blue) is a real mighty bluetooth speaker that is great to use. My most recent experience with Bose was the QC35 and those are VERY good headphones within itself. So when I got the chance to try the Soundlink II I decided to give it a shot. Immediately I was impressed with the whole package Bose threw together. The presentation goes in line with Bose line up this year, White box showcasing the baby sky blue speaker inside as most of their 2016 boxes has been this giving a clear indication of what the product is. On the back they give you all of the product information, the problem with the information on the back is that it only showcase it has Bluetooth. This is false...The Bose Soundlink II Color ACTUALLY have BLUETOOTH AND NFC. Why Bose didn't indicate NFC this on the back of the box is anyone guess. Bose Soundlink Color II feels really nice and soft in the hand. I mean it really feels good to hold due to the material. Grippy with the soft touch is great thumbs up there. Design isn't all that great in my opinion neither but the blue color adds a nice touch to the boring look. The color I will admit gives the device a nice calming vibe. Right side of the Soundlink II has two ports, Micro USB to charger the device and AUX port and that's it. the back of the device have speaker grills. The buttons at the top of the device are soft, easy, and clickable buttons that bounce back without any struggles. Overall its well built. There is something major the Soundlink II Color doesn't really advertise on the packaging much is that this thing is also IPX4 rated waterproof. Big win there as I already used this device in the shower without any issues. IPX4 does indeed work flawless but again I'm baffled by the way Bose writes off this "feature" even if it has been done many times before. No you can't dunk this device in water but a few drops of rain or shower water drops will not effect the device. Battery life I manage to get about 6-7 hours out of it, it doesn't last long but its good enough for my needs. The setup is so simple and easy that it takes almost no time doing so. With the Bose Connect App everything is perfectly laid out to get you to play your music as fast as possible. It's an simple app I always praised since the wireless QC35 came out, Its an App seem to keep all of your Bose products organized to switch BT devices on the fly but also keep all of your Bose products up to date with updates. Bose Connect App is for Apple App store and Google Play but you can also just connect the speaker with going to your bluetooth settings without the app. The Bose Soundlink Color II sounds down right phenomenal. The clear sound is incredible with very strong bass which is surprising for a small enough device. By all means this speaker isn't lacking in volume at all, the sound can cover can cover an whole living room. The max volume can have a party jumping in no time and Apple music never sound so great. Call quality is good when its good...but when its bad it can be really bad. This isn't the fault of Bose, this is just due to if someone else on the other line doesn't have a good phone service, The sound can be really muddy. I tried a few phone calls on Facetime and was clear, loud, and I can hear everything in the background. Regardless sound for this bluetooth speaker gets 9/10 from me. Which comes to my final thoughts of the Bose Soundlink Color II. It's fun to use wherever you are, its easy to use with the connect app, It sounds fantastic, and It's IPX4 rated...The thing is it does ALL of these things well. A direction I'm glad Bose is going in personally. I don't need to say anymore I absolutely love it, not only I love it this is something I would get someone who is new and unfamiliar to smaller Bluetooth speakers. I would easily recommend this product.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Amazing Sound If Your Expectations Are Right

      Posted
      VADarkstar
      • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

      Most “portable” bluetooth speakers are either (1) very small novelty speakers that have poor sound and unimpressive battery life, or (2) are very large and have great sound and mediocre battery life (or are AC-dependent). Portability always comes with sacrifices. The best bluetooth speakers are not sensibly portable - they are bulky and typically require AC power. The weight and size usually contribute to the quality of the bass in the music and AC power is usually needed to push-out an impressive volume. This Bose Soundlink Color II portable speaker is designed around smart compromises: it focuses on clarity of sound over powerful volume and packs that sound into a portable size with an impressive battery life. I found that if you use the speaker according to the directions, you can get clear reproduction of your music even at maximum volume. The front of the speaker is full range and the bass is pumped-out from the back of the speaker (like a tiny subwoofer) - you get the best sound if the speaker is slightly elevated with the back of the speaker near a wall (or something solid that will reflect the bass). Again, what is impressive is the clarity, not the volume of the music and I’m very OK with that. The bluetooth reception is great - the guidelines recommend keeping your bluetooth music source within 30-ish feet of the speaker and in a clear line of sight but I was able to stream without dropouts from two rooms away (at 30+ feet with two walls separating my iPod and the speaker). The speaker also takes input from an aux cord. When the speaker is paired with a smartphone, it can be used as a speakerphone (the speakerphone feature works really well!) and you can do simple navigation of your music tracks using the buttons on top of the speaker. The speaker allows you to connect to two mobile devices at once - so, for example, you can connect with your smartphone and stream music from someone else’s bluetooth device (that’s one of those features that sounds excessive until you use it the first time). The exterior is a soft silicone that is water resistant - the buttons have a soft feel to them and work very well. The specifications for the speaker advertise an 8 hour battery life per charge - I have never been in a situation where I have tested it for that long but I’ve gone 5 hours at full volume with no sign of it quitting on me. So there’s that. There are only two issues I have had with the unit so far and neither one is a deal breaker. The first issue is that it took the speaker longer to charge than I expected - but I think my expectations might have been off base with that (not everything can charge fully in an hour). The second issue is a strange one - on the top of the speaker is a button that is not identified in the literature that comes with the device - it is an input selector button that changes the input from bluetooth to the aux input - I had to go to the full user’s manual online to figure out what that button was for (the quick setup guide included with the speaker neither identifies nor describes what the button is for). But back to expectations. I’m not aware of any speaker that can push-out volume and rich bass in a battery-driven device with a small footprint. This speaker is truly portable and solid (the Bose web page describes the weight as being “just a little more than a football”) - the sound is very clear and you can fill a room with sound but don’t expect to rock-out your whole house - the speaker adds a clean layer of bass to supplement the music (it fills-out the music but it won’t rattle the furniture). Bose has focused on clarity of sound, portability of size, and the utility of having a dependably long battery life. This Soundlink Color II is magnificent for what it is - but you have to be realistic with your expectations - if you want more power or more bass you’re going to need a much bigger unit (probably an AC unit). Oh…and the aquatic blue is definitely the best color!

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      significantly redesigned SLCII, 3.5*s

      Posted
      WhiskeyTango
      • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

      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.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Impressive -- Speakerphone, NFC, Bose Connect app

      Posted
      StephenS
      • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

      For general listening indoors, on the driveway while shooting hoops with friends, or even in your car if your in-dash system doesn't have native Bluetooth, the SLCII easily met and exceeded my overall expectations for everyday use. One of the most obvious improvements in this updated edition is that it includes the much-requested speakerphone option! I used it in my car for several days and people could hear and understand me, and I could understand them as well. The only issue is that it wasn't possible to get quite as loud as I would have liked or expected. And though the other end could hear me, they frequently reported they could hear road noise. That probably isn't the SLCII's target speakerphone environment anyway -- but I had to try -- and in a quieter environment neither was an issue. For music, volume and balance were good but for most music I had to stay just a notch or two down from full volume to avoid distortion and/or to keep the balance. At low volumes I found the bass to be satisfyingly present if even just slightly overbearing, and some people will like that. At mid to upper volumes the overall balance was excellent. Finally, at full volume, it was my impression that the bass would finally get a bit lost as the SLCII stretched for max volume. To facilitate rapid and easy pairing, say for a group of friends who want to take turns being the DJ, it supports NFC. If your phone supports NFC just hold it next to the speaker and you will be automatically prompted to pair with the SLCII without having to fish around for your Bluetooth pairing menu -- something which isn't complicated but which you (or your friends who want to use the SLCII) may or not do very often, so the convenience of NFC is a nice touch that speaks of forethought and attention to detail. One of the nicest aspects of the SLCII is the "Bose Connect" app. Since the SLCII can connect to multiple simultaneous Bluetooth devices -- but only stream audio from one at a time -- the Bose Connect app gives you a handy view into exactly which devices it knows about, currently sees in range, and gives you the option to temporarily or permanent disconnect any of those devices, The Bose Connect app also gives you exact % on the battery, the ability to rename the device, and a visual interface to change the voice prompt language or even disable the voice prompts altogether. Finally, don't forget that it also supports direct-connect via a 3.5mm standard stereo audio patch cable to round it out for use with audio devices that either don't have Bluetooth or with which you just would rather not pair.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    What experts are saying

    Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars with 4 reviews

    Click to visit alaTest website
    The analysis of all aggregated expert reviews shows that the reviewers are positive about design, size, usability and price. Using an algorithm based on product age, reviewers ratings history, popularity, product category expertise and other factors, this product gets an alaTest Expert Rating of 92/100 = Excellent quality.
    • which.co.ukJune 11, 2017
      Bose SoundLink Color II review
      The second generation of a hugely popular Bose wireless speaker, the SoundLink Color II arrives amid huge expectations. The American audio stalwarts are renowned for top-quality audio, but its speakers haven't always performed impeccably in ourFull Review
    • PCMagRating, 4 out of 5Tim Gideon on June 5, 2017
      Bose SoundLink Color II
      The Bose SoundLink Color II speaker delivers a strong Bluetooth audio experience in a compact, outdoor-friendly design.Full Review
    • techgearlab.comRating, 5 out of 5Max Mutter on April 5, 2017
      Bose SoundLink Color II Review
      An almost perfect blend of sound quality, portability, and reasonable priceFull Review
    • cnet.co.ukRating, 4.1 out of 5David Carnoy on December 11, 2016
      Bose SoundLink Color II review: Small in stature, big on sound
      Modestly redesigned, the next-generation SoundLink Color is an excellent compact Bluetooth that's water-resistant, has speakerphone capabilities, and improved sound.Full Review


    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.