Bose Soundlink Review – Quality Speaker From Legit Brand or Waste of Money?

As technology has evolved, the stationary music experience has become a thing of the past. Wireless technology has made speakers and headphones adaptable and conducive to the modern, on-the-go listener. It is no longer a strange sight to see music out in the world, resonating at the park or standing free at a backyard barbecue. Increasingly, we are taking our music with us.

Whether you’re grilling out in the back, on a hike with some friends in the sequoias or just wandering room to room in your own home, there are now speakers and headphones for every possible scenario. Today, we’ll be looking at one the most economical choices you have in portable sound, the Bose Soundlink Color.

The Bose Soundlink Color II

The SoundLink Color uses premiere Bluetooth technology to connect to your phone, computer, iPod or even record player to transmit quality audio. It is no mystery why it is called the “Color” as the speakers are available in an array of different palette preferences, black, white, aqua, red and blue. It is a playful design, but they are not playing around with the audio output.

Once you turn on the speaker, you can pair it with other devices reasonably well by using the Bluetooth button/icon, which will blink blue as it searches for a pairing device. Using the settings on your phone or computer, or whatever device you’re looking to pair the speaker with, it will attach itself reasonably swiftly and will announce that it has done so.

When it comes to features, simplicity is the way Bose has gone. You will find a pause/play button on the top of the speaker along with a set of volume controls. It will remember up to eight devices, along with an artificial voice that will announce the names of the devices and will alert you once it has successfully connected. It can pair with two devices at once. However, it will only play one at a time.

The speaker has two drivers along with a bass radiator, so you will not find any stereo separation here, which is what you should expect from this type of speaker. It has an impressive mixture of exclusive technologies, such as passive radiators that allow it to pump out a head-turning amount of sound while keeping the excessive vibrations to a minimum.

Over time, Bose has prided themselves in avoiding blaring distortion and keeping the sound clarity crystal-clear as the volume increases.

The speaker is compact, measuring in at 5.3 inches high and 5 inches wide. So it fits snugly into any backpack or handbag. This makes the speaker easy to carry from place to place. The relatively small size also allows it to rest discretely anywhere in the house without being an eye-sore.

Place it on a countertop while you do dishes, a small bookshelf as a makeshift bookend or as a simple paperweight on your office desk, and you’ll find that the SoundLink Color serves as being both a convenient and economical device moderate in size and strong in output.

The weight is a little less than a football, and with a soft-touch surface, the speaker is easy to pack around, by hand if you wish, for anything like a day trip, an afternoon at the beach or as you mingle throughout your annual block party. The sound quality is premium, booming power, which is surprising considering its size and should be serviceable for small get-togethers.

You will not be disappointed with battery life in the SoundLink Color as it boasts a lithium-ion battery that can deliver up to eight full hours of battery life. There is a battery life indicator that will flash green when it is full, yellow when it is middling and red when it has ten minutes of charge left.

You can easily charge the SoundLink Color with a simple micro-USB, and it comes with a plug-in that can run the speaker from a household socket.

As a bonus, Bose has created a SoundLink Color app that will allow you easier access to all the SoundLink Color has to offer. It will give you tips, unlock product features and allows you to personalize the settings. This helps in limiting your time spent troubleshooting, so you’ll spend more time listening to music and not orchestrating it.

The app also allows for easy management of the Bluetooth connections. That way you don’t have to stand over the speaker and continuously cycle through your options. With one swipe you can have access to the speaker and play DJ.

There is also a Party Mode that lets you play two wireless speakers simultaneously, so you can improvise a makeshift stereo system if your friend brings their speaker. There is a Stereo Mode capability for dedicated left and right playback, which will give you a much more dynamic surround sound experience.

Pricing

For what you’re getting, the Bose SoundLink Color is moderately priced and will exceed expectations. Most online stores have the SoundLink available for a variety of prices, while Amazon typically has better revolving deals. At this price point, the SoundLink Color is a very competitive option as a higher-end speaker that is also portable.

Bose offers different variations and premium upgrades to the SoundLink Color, like the SoundLink Revolve and the recent SoundLink Color II.

The Revolve is a premium option with a high volume output and larger battery life, but it is priced quite highly. It excels in almost every category, having a higher sound quality, more booming bass and being substantially more waterproof.

The SoundLink Color II has virtually the same components with slight updates and is available on Amazon for slightly more than its predecessor. The differences between the SoundLink Color I and II are minuscule. They’re both quality speakers and choosing between them is splitting hairs.

Where to Buy the SoundLink Color II & Specs

Product Specifications

  • 5.3" height x 5" wide.
  • Micro-USB charger
  • 8-hours of battery life
  • Portable with rubber edges that protect from damage
  • Water-Resistant
  • Remembers up to eight pairing devices

Pros & Cons

The Bose SoundLink Color has an array of pros and cons to consider. While it is a good speaker, you need to consider whether it’s the right speaker for you and it meets your needs.

Pros

  • Compact
  • Portable
  • Trusted company
  • check-circle
    Great for rock

What you’ll find here is a speaker that can go anywhere you want and won’t mind being jostled around or even occasionally dropped along the way. It puts out a remarkable amount of sound for its size and can handle most music you flow through it with astounding aplomb. It can fill a small room and power a small gathering, but it will not help elevate a frat party.

As wine and food, it is appropriate to consider what music you’ll be pairing with it. Bose has always prided itself on its ability to handle rock music, and you’ll find that most rock genres will do well through this speaker. It has proper tonal balance and can handle the tinny scrape of punk, the bluesy pluck of The Rolling Stones or soft rock indie darlings.

It also does well with jazz, classical and acoustic. String sections will feel full and rich while brass ensembles will blare with confidence and size.

Cons

  • Lacking in bass
  • Battery life
  • Not the most water-resistant

Again, not a lot to complain about here. While the speaker is more than suitable for rock-and-roll, it won’t blow you away in its handling of hip-hop. Tracks with more production, your Kanye’s and Jay-Z’s, might have a challenge squeezing through this little guy as there are so many instruments playing at once.

Sometimes the speaker will pull back on various frequencies to compensate for the swelling distortion. In helping with this, it is recommended that you place the speaker near a wall which will help in its bass performance and give you a higher volume that won’t distort.

Not that the speaker is incapable of handling hip-hop. Using the wall as a bass-assist, you'll find that it can fill out the tracks with its ability to handle sound at high volumes. You may miss an instrument or two.

Also, when handling several devices, the speaker can struggle to alternate between them. If you purchase this speaker, we highly recommend that you get the app.
There are speakers on the market with far better battery life, some climbing into the double-digits. You’ll also find some with much better water-resistance. However, as stated above, the more fortitude that the speaker has in place, the more they’ve chosen to compensate for sound.

While it might make more sense to have these speakers available for a slightly lower price, this feels like nitpicking. It is a speaker with few drawbacks that offers quality, full sound at a competitive price.

Competition

The Bose SoundLink Color faces little competition at its price point, but similar brands that might hold a candle are the FUGOO Style XL-Portable speaker, the JBL Flip 4 and the Marshall Kilburn Bluetooth speaker. These are terrific alternatives and have various strengths and weaknesses.

FUGOO Style XL-Portable Speaker


Rating

Ease of Use        ****

Assembly Time   ****

Build Quality      *****

Warranty              ***

Price Point

The FUGOO Style XL-Portable speaker offers similar features to the SoundLink Color. It holds 35 hours of battery life and touts a better record of being waterproof.

However, the FUGOO is most likely a speaker best fit if you hike or seek audio entertainment on a canoe trip. The sound quality isn’t as full as Bose as FUGOO hasn’t been at it as long. So there is an element lost in its fortification. But it’s still a great option if you’re an adventurous person looking for a speaker that can keep up.

JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth Speaker


Rating

Ease of Use              ****

Assembly Time        ***

Build Quality             ***

Warranty                   ***

Price Point

Those who are speaker shopping on a budget often go the route of the JBL Flip, which is priced around $80. It’s a commonly used speaker, but you’ll find it lacking in​ full sound as it can get “fuzzy” and distorted the louder it gets. It also doesn’t maintain its charge as long as other similar products on the market.

While a fine choice for a portable speaker, it will leave you wanting as the volume and clarity won’t stand up against its competition. But if you’re looking for a decently priced Bluetooth speaker, JBL is very serviceable.

Marshall Kilburn Portable Bluetooth Speaker


Rating

Ease of Use              *****

Assembly Time        *****

Build Quality             *****

Warranty                   ****

Price Point

Marshall has been at it for a long time and has nearly perfected the art of creating a quality sound. Marshall amplifiers are preferred by many a guitar hero, and this little guy is no exception. You’ll get solid bass, 20 hours of battery life and a full, razor-sharp sound.

However, while the speaker is portable, it is not durable. It may be best kept at home rather than brought with you camping.

Bose SoundLink Color II (Again)


Rating

Ease of Use              ****

Assembly Time        ****

Build Quality             ****

Warranty                   *****

Price Point

When it comes down to it, if you’re looking for a portable speaker that will give you the best bang for your buck, the Bose SoundLink Color is your best option. It’s durable with a solid sound and battery life and will meet if not exceed every expectation. It’s hard to go wrong here.

Conclusion

The Bose SoundLink Color is a solid speaker that will fit most of your needs and most likely exceed some of your expectations. It is durable and effective, a great choice for anyone looking for a speaker that can blare with solid portable capabilities.

While perhaps not the most premiere, top-of-the-line choice in portable Bluetooth speakers, the SoundLink Color will provide you with ample sound, a quality warranty and an exceptional ability to handle a broad scope of music. For the price point, it is very hard to beat, and it comes highly recommended.

Quality

Usability

Support

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