Small, solid and quality feel. The silicone exterior feels rugged like it would survive a hiking trip, beach expedition, bike ride or a teenage pool party. It fits right at home with the likes of the ruggedness of the GoPro exterior, Lacie Rugged HD and some iPhone protective cases. The sort of thing, with its small size, that you can chuck in a backpack (or attach externally) to hike up the side of the mountain. That is, if you’d rather an adventure soundtrack instead of the peace and serenity of the great outdoors.
Alternatively, it would serve as a great device to follow you around the back garden, in the garage (man cave) whilst cleaning up or next to the BBQ whilst you drink a well earned refreshing beverage. It’s certainly easier than mounting and wiring an external set of speakers around the outside of the house, and you have the flexibility taking it with you on the next family vacation.
We decided to put the Soundlink Micro to the test and here was what we found:
Part of the setup process is to give the device a nickname, you can enter something or the app has a ‘surprise me’ button, that allows you to rotate through some humorous and some seriously suggestive names). I rotated through a few suggestions, “Rain Drops” didn’t feel quite right and I finally settled on….“Boom Shakalaka”.
The unit I had to review had one dot (25%) battery left when I plugged it in early in the morning and it was fully charged by lunch time, which is in line with the 3-4 hours claimed.
Once my iPhone was connected, any music playing on the iPhone is sent to the Micro it worked with Spotify, iTunes, SoundCloud, Instagram - all sounds, including notifications on the phone would also play (which in some ways is quite annoying) midway through a song - but in reality no different than when listening via headphones - and something that can be changed on your iPhone.
The micro is also useful as a hands-free speaker and microphone, so I was keen to see if this works well for web conference using the likes of Google Hangouts. Particular seeing as I was working from home.
The connection to two Bluetooth devices was easy and switching between the laptop and iPhone was seamless. I could play music from my phone and then when I connected to the voice call on my laptop, the music was paused, and then when I hung up, the music from my phone continued. This is particularly useful as I don’t have my personal music collection on my work laptop.
Answering a voice call was equally easy, one press to answer and the same one to hang up. The clarity and sound was very clear, clearer than the standard iPhone earphones. It also meant that my hands were free to write notes and grab a drink without getting tangled in the cables from a wired set of earphones.
I wasn't game to test this out fully but my take is that you can feel safe knowing that if you accidentally drop into a pool, and if you dive in and get it fairly quickly it will be ok. A splash from toddler in a soapy bathtub is covered. Getting getting caught in a rainstorm in the great outdoors - you’ll be drenched - but not out of pocket.
However, If you taking on a dive boat and it ends up overboard, greater than 1 metre or you take longer than 30 mins to retrieve it from the murky depths, then all bets are off.
The sound quality is excellent, which is expected from a brand like Bose. Even with its diminutive size, it easily filled a large room (or garage) and when I cranked up the volume only at the top of the range was there a small amount of distortion.
The strap locking mechanism didn’t feel secure as it pops off a little too easy in my opinion. I’d be nervous strapping it to a mountain bike, or something where there is likely to be some high impact, or where it could get a small nudge in the wrong spot, and there goes $170 bucks rolling down the mountain or under a bus.
After using it for a few weeks, it struck me as one of those things that I never knew I needed it until it was there. Certainly, landscaping the front garden and cleaning the garage out was a tad more pleasurable listening to some tunes. With its small size, It’s most definitely something that I’d pack and take on family vacations to chill after a full day of adventure and it would be equally as easy to squeeze into a picnic esky, to have some chilled tunes whilst watching the sun go down.
I guess I’d better keep off the naughty list….
- Small, compact & rugged
- Sound quality is excellent
- Easy to use speaker (and software) - well thought out interfaces
- The locking mechanism didn’t feel particularly secure.
- Highly likely to be ‘borrowed’ by my daughter