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Bose Soundlink Micro review – I tried this compact speaker: is it worth the hype?

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Erin L

Erin L

Bose’s audio products almost never fail to disappoint and you don’t have to look any further than the company’s most recent products launched over the past couple of years. All the products under the QuietComfort umbrella are mighty competitive while their speaker products impress in both looks and performance. However, if you take a look at their current product portfolio (at least at the time of writing), you’ll notice at least one product that’s been around for more than 5 years. I’m talking about the Bose SoundLink Micro which serves as the company’s smallest and most affordable Bluetooth speaker. While I’m wondering why hasn’t Bose launched a successor, I suspect the answer could be this little speaker is such a popular seller and people are so happy with it, Bose doesn’t need to re-invent the wheel. We’ll see about that… In this review I’ll test it out to see how it sounds and what it’s like to set up and use, as well as any special features it has. I’ll also take a quick comparison to see how does it hold up against the sub-$120 / $150 CAD category of increasingly impressive Bluetooth speakers like the JBL Go 3 and House of Marley Get together Mini.

Bose SoundLink Micro
4

Summary

Bose definitely knows how to make small things sound loud and good.  This speaker may seem pretty dated, but it still rocks.

Pros

  • Super small
  • Sounds great
  • Light weight
  • Waterproof
  • Seems durable
  • Affordable price

 

Cons

  • Strap is largely useless
  • Dated look
  • Micro-USB charging

What do you get with Bose SoundLink Micro

Unboxing the Bose soundlink bose Micro feels like opening a time capsule as the speaker has this sort of vintage rugged look with the same classic Bose logo you’ve seen for the past few decades. The design isn’t flashy, but if you check out the SoundLink Flex I reviewed last year, you’ll see Bose keeps it high and tight when it comes to the style and colourways. Think of Bose as more Jamie Lee Curtis, less Doja Cat.

Watch & Listen in my hands-on video review

What also makes the package really feel like a time capsule is the USB-A to micro-B charging cable that comes with the speaker. Not entirely Bose’s fault as Bose launched this speaker back in late 2017 but it’s 2023 and we are in an age where charging adapters and even some powerbanks only have a USB-C port. Take this into strong consideration especially considering that you’ll likely use this for traveling.

Onboard controls

The Bose SoundLink Micro keeps things simple with a small, clicky 3-button array positioned on the speaker’s upper face just above the grill. The “+” and “-“ predictably adjust the volume while the center button commands the usual play/pause function and doubles as an answering button if the paired phone is receiving a call. Quickly pressing this button twice or thrice triggers a next or previous music track if the connected device is playing a playlist.

Set up Process

Bose Soundlink micro review Setting up the Bose SoundLink Micro is as easy as pressing the physical power button on the top of the speaker and waiting for a voice prompt indicating that the speaker is “ready to connect.” If you’ll pair it to a smartphone, Bose recommends you download the free Bose Connect app as it will guide you through the steps in pairing the speaker. There is a physical Bluetooth button as well in case you want a little less fuss. I was connected via Bluetooth in about 3 seconds.

Connections/Ports

The only port you’ll find on the Bose SoundLink Micro is the aforementioned microUSB port. Although the port lacks a cover, the entire speaker unit is still IP67-rated making it waterproof and dustproof while withstanding extreme temperatures.

Can you use Bose SoundLink Micro in the shower?

Naturally I like to test this out, so I chucked it in the pool to see what would happen… you can see in my video review it sinks right to the bottom so it’s not ideal for deep water use, but once you fish it out it keeps right on playing and sounds just fine. So if you’re wondering if it can be used in the shower, the answer is a big yes.
The silicone exterior does give it a confident rugged feel and could make up for the dated Bluetooth 4.2 specification if you don’t mind the maximizing Bluetooth range peaking at roughly 30 feet or 9 meters.
What makes the Bose SoundLink Micro really stand out is its clever tear-resistant strap on the back and you might not notice it at first since it looks like a flat and extra design accent. Just lift the bottom tab of the strap on the back to unclip it so you can attach it to a bike or something.
Bose Soundlink micro review There’s no Aux port in case you still like to roll analogue.

Sound Quality: Bose SoundLink Micro

The Soundlink micro doesn’t disappoint on the audio front. With surprising power, loudness and bass for a speaker barely the size of a tenderloin, it kicks out great sound. The low end has a good amount of rumble, and vocals cut through cleanly. Even more delicate tracks with higher leans sound more crisp and less tinny. At about 30% of its volume it was loud enough for same-room listening. Cranking it up to 70% lets you hear it all over the backyard.

Battery Life/Charging: How long does the Bose SoundLink micro battery last?

A nice little detail of the Bose SoundLink Micro is the five, small battery light indicators. Because Bose rates the battery capacity at around 6 hours, you can consider each light as an hour, giving you a surprisingly helpful hint on how much juice the speaker truly has left before you need to recharge.
Charging a fully drained speaker takes about 4 hours and you chop down an hour of charging time if you use a 1.5-amp or higher charging adapter. Four hours is a bit long, considering the total battery life isn’t much more than that, but fortunately, you can continue using the speaker while it is charging.
Bose Soundlink micro review

Overall review: Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth Speaker

Maybe Bose might be seeing things differently but the ultraportable Bluetooth marketplace isn’t sitting still. The JBL Go 3 exists and Bose definitely knows how to make small things sound loud and good. All this speaker needs is perhaps a new coats of paint or silicone skin, a USB-C port, an improved Bluetooth chipset and maybe some upgraded drivers and it could be an even better contender for best portable mini speaker of 2023!
As it is, the speaker’s pros are that it is super portable, it seems rugged, it’s waterproof, and it sounds great, particularly for its size. What are the downsides? Aside from dated connections and a design that’s getting a bit tired, it’s hard to crack on this speaker for much at all. Which may explain why is still sells by the tens of thousands each year.
I can confidently recommend the Bose Soundlink Micro to you. You can learn more about it here from Bose’s website.

**A note about Affiliate Links: TechGadgetsCanada & TechGadgetsInternational is supported by our readers. Occasionally I will include affiliate links in my reviews. I do this partly for convenience of the reader (since I’ll almost always include a link to the company website or similar anyway) in case you want to read more or purchase, but I also may get a small commission from the click, which helps me keep the blog running. If you choose to use this link I thank you greatly for supporting the blog. There’s no obligation or cost to you for using these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Erin L

Erin L

I'm a journalist, tech blogger, writer, TV producer, silversmith& jewelry designer, foodie and world traveler. I blog, write for publications, and supply freelance writing services to Calgary, and the world.

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