When I got a chance to take a listen to Bose’s Soundlink Mini Bluetooth Speaker in New York City this past June, it was under controlled conditions. Bose gathered a handful of tech nerds, herded us into a specially build sound proof room in the middle of Grand Central Terminal, and let the music fly. All I could think about was that some engineer had likely spent no small amount of time doing math to figure out the optimum room size, best place to place the speaker and what music should be pumped through it in order to wow us. So, I took some notes that day, asked the project engineers for the hardware a few questions and decided that I’d leave passing judgement on the thing until I was able to spend some time with one in environments where nothing’s controlled, playing music that I know well and love.
It’s a great piece of gear, which I’m sad to say, easily beats down the best speakers I have in my home. This kind of irritates me for a few reasons. First, I’ve been trying to downsize the number of possessions in my life (ask my family and the wait staff at my favorite restaurant: both have been given a lot of hardware over the past few months,) so anything that I’m tempted to buy (which I then go ahead and pull the trigger on,) makes me feel like a weak consumerist failure. Second, for a portable speaker, at $220 Canadian, it’s plenty expensive, and there’s plenty of other things I could be spending my money on, or saving it for, instead of forking over for another conduit to blast my music through.
With this being the case, you’ve gotta wonder why’d I bother to buy one instead of just shipping it back once the review was over? A lot of reasons, most of which I cover in my review of the hardware for The Globe & Mail.