Bose SoundLink line of portable wireless speakers retains improving in sound quality with every iteration. The line does, however, Bluetooth speaker market that has grown more and more crowded with models boasting extras, such as mobile device charging and speakerphones. The Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker III is aimed toward travelers who’ve fairly deep pockets and are extra concerned with their musical experience than with bells and whistles.
Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker III: Design
The Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker III retains the identical basic, rectangular shape as its predecessors had, minus the built-in cover. The metallic grille, thick plastic bumpers and rubber-covered controls alongside the top give the impression of good craftsmanship and sturdiness while rubberized toes on the bottom keep the speaker stable.
The chassis retains the earlier model’s slim dimensions, at 1.9-inches thick, 5.2-inches high and only a bit wider than the Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker II, at 10.1 inches across. The slimmer shape makes the Bose a bit simpler to slide into flatter types of bags than competitors just like the Massive Jambox (10 x 3.6 x 2.1 inches). Coming in at 3 pounds, however, the Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker III outweighs the Big Jambox (2.7 pounds).
The Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker III is not almost as travel friendly as Bose’s SoundLink Mini (7.1 x 2.3 x 2 inches, 1.5 pounds), but you may simply move the Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker III from room to room. It is actually designed more for infrequent travel than the Mini.
Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker III: Features
The Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker III provides a fairly sparse design, with a line-in minijack, microUSB port and power jack on the back. Unlike competing speakers, the Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker III would not charge through USB or present the ability to charge different units, as the models from Braven do.
Controls along the top include power, aux, Bluetooth discovery mode, mute and volume up/down. Conspicuously lacking are play/pause and track-skip buttons, and although you’ll be able to management these features from your mobile device or PC. A row of LED indicators for Bluetooth, aux input, mute and battery power sits on front slightly below the top.
Competitors like Jawbone’s Big Jambox and Braven’s 850 HD offer much more in the way of extras, such as speakerphone, customizability and extra device charging, all for the same price.
The Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker III package does not include any extras besides the AC power wall plug; a zippered case for the speaker costs an additional $35, though its light design seems more for decoration than protection.
Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker III: Performance
General, the Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker III dual passive radiators do an excellent job squeezing out ample upper bass. The volume was significantly louder than in previous models, but we did not notice any distortion, even at top volume.
The lively sound works nicely for acoustic music and mellower rock and pop, but hip-hop and kickdrum-centric metallic sounded a bit thin. In a speaker this size, however, we are somewhat forgiving about the bass, as it merely takes a bigger speaker to reproduce deep lows.
Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker III: Verdict
The Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker III is a significant investment for many who wish to fill a small room or patio with clear sound, but it is not any pricier than competing models from Jawbone and Braven. Bose manages to pack loads of battery life and sonic punch into a slim package, improving significantly on the earlier model. Furthermore, the Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker III provides higher clarity and volume than competitors like Jawbone’s Big Jambox and Braven’s 850 HD. The lack of extras like onboard playback and speakerphone controls comes as a shock at this worth. But if you can live without these amenities, the Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker III is among the best portable wireless speakers you may get.
- Ample, deep bass
- Strong vocal performance
- Weighty sound
- Goes loud comfortably
- Excellent build
- Needs more subtlety and clarity
- Booming bass overpowers everything else