I’m : a programmer, writer, podcaster, geek, and coffee enthusiast.

Bose SoundLink Bluetooth speaker review

I use a Jambox in my bathroom during the same two situations that necessitate a fan timer. When showering, I like to put the Jambox on a shelf just outside of the shower and listen to podcasts, but it’s hard to get enough volume out of the Jambox for speech to be clearly audible over the shower and fan noise.

The about-to-be-released Big Jambox caught my attention to solve this problem, but reviews convinced me to order the Bose SoundLink Wireless Mobile Speaker instead.

The SoundLink looks decent and has great-feeling build quality, as you’d expect from Bose.

It produces a very impressive amount of volume relative to its very small size, as you’d expect from Bose.

But it also produces a very strange tonal balance: the mid-highs are weak, and surprisingly for something this size and battery-powered, the bass is ridiculously strong and boomy. It’s completely imbalanced.

As you’d expect from Bose.

I played a few different kinds of songs, and in all of them, the boomy bass was distractingly strong. It’s all I could hear.

And that was just in my office, a normal room. When I tried listening in the bathroom, a much smaller room, the bass completely took over like a horrible aftermarket car stereo. It was unlistenable.

The original Jambox, not known for particularly great sound quality but very good for volume in a small package, is much more listenable.

Maybe it’s just my preferred tonal balance: neutral. I leave EQs off and I listen with close-to-reference headphones and bookshelf speakers. I don’t like standalone subwoofers and don’t own any. But this is an unusual preference: most buyers like big, boomy bass, and Bose is clearly designing for them. That’s good for business, but not good for me.

I’m returning the SoundLink to Amazon, and I just ordered a Big Jambox. Hopefully that will be better.