For performance testing of the Bose SoundLink Mini II, my testing was split up between three things. Ease of setup, audio performance, and overall usability. The first part of that testing, ease of setup, was simple to cover. Connecting to the SoundLink Mini II was as simple as making sure Bluetooth was turned on then holding the Bluetooth button on top of the speaker. I was connected and up and running within seconds.
For audio testing, I spent time listening to music on Pandora, flipping through all of my preferred genres. Then from there I connected my Creative Labs X7 to the phone as well and compared the performance of the phones speaker, the SoundLink Mini II, and the X7 with good speakers and a recently added powered subwoofer. It’s funny how having something to compare to helps in situations like this. The LG V10 has a halfway decent speaker of its own but the second I connected to the SoundLink Mini II I was blown away at the difference. I know that Bose has a reputation for being overpriced and not exactly amazing, but the SoundLink Mini II had great bass and really filled up the room to be sure though I flipped over to my office speaker setup over Bluetooth as well and once again had the same feeling. The way the SoundLink made me feel about the V10’s speaker, my office setup made the SoundLink Mini II sound completely inadequate.
Now let me be clear, comparing a small portable speaker to a $800+ setup isn’t fair at all. I just wanted to get a better idea of where the SoundLink Mini II fell. What I learned was that this small speaker than fits in my hand had amazing bass, good mids, and impressive highs. It filled up my office and should be more than powerful enough to take outside or on the go. But it’s not a replacement for a home setup. I would say that’s a fair tradeoff and frankly, I have a feeling a lot of people would still be happy with the SoundLink Mini II in their bedroom or office just as long as they never try to compare it to something more expensive like I did.
What about the overall experience? Well for one I love the decision to include a charging base. My Creative Labs portable speaker is great but I am really bad about forgetting to plug it and just about everything else in until the last second. Having the option to keep it on a dock so it is fully charged when you are ready better fits the idea of a portable speaker. The SoundLink Mini II is portable but not really small enough to fit in your pocket so make sure you leave room in your bag. It is, however, much smaller than the Creative Labs option and with that, it does leave more room for other things in your bag. The battery life was on point as well. Between having good battery life and the charging dock I never actually killed the battery. That is what portable is all about right? You can great it and go and never worry about if it’s going to work for what you need or if you need to charge it.