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Bose SoundLink Micro Review

Great sound for a small speaker, but the short battery life feels limiting in something so portable
Top Pick Award
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Price:   $110 List | $99 at Amazon
Pros:  Good sound quality, completely waterproof, lightweight and portable
Cons:  Short battery life
Manufacturer:   Bose
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Oct 8, 2017
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68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#15 of 21
  • Sound Quality - 40% 7
  • Portability - 25% 10
  • Volume - 20% 6
  • Battery Life - 15% 2

Our Verdict

The Bose SoundLink Micro is just about the most portable speaker on the market right now. It weighs only 10.2 ounces, has a slim profile and is totally waterproof. The sound is also quite impressive for a such a small device, with powerful bass and crisp treble that creates a full bodied sound that is better than many larger speakers. The one big drawback, however, is its battery life. In our testing it lasted only 5 hours, which feels somewhat limiting for a speaker that is clearly designed for adventures further afield. However, even though the Micro won't last through a long camping trip, it is still a great companion in hotel rooms or at the beach, just be sure to charge it whenever you have a chance.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award   
Price $110 List
$99.00 at Amazon
$300 List
$299.00 at Amazon
$200 List
$199.00 at Amazon
$150 List
$119.99 at Amazon
$100 List
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Pros Good sound quality, completely waterproof, lightweight and portableExcellent sound quality, very loud, long battery lifeExcellent sound quality, water resistant, great battery lifeGood overall sound, great volume, great battery life, waterproofGood sound quality, waterproof, long battery life
Cons Short battery lifeExpensive, relatively large and heavyExpensive, relatively heavyNot the strongest bass, a bit priceyNot the best sounding nor most portable
Bottom Line Great sound for a small speaker, but the short battery life feels limiting in something so portableTop notch sound quality and volume in a somewhat heavy packageThe best portable speaker for audiophilesA good mix of sound qaultiy/volume and durabilityA great balance of sound quality, portability, and price
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Rating Categories Bose SoundLink Micro Bose Soundlink... Bose SoundLink... UE Boom 3 JBL Flip 5
Sound Quality (40%)
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
7
10
0
7
Portability (25%)
10
0
10
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
7
Volume (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
Battery Life (15%)
10
0
2
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
Specs Bose SoundLink Micro Bose Soundlink... Bose SoundLink... UE Boom 3 JBL Flip 5
Dimensions (in x in x in) 1.4" x 3.9" x 3.9" 4.1" x 4.1" x 7.3" 5.97" x 3.24" x 3.24" 2.9" x 2.9" x 7.25" 3.64" x 3.6" x 8.5"
Inputs 3.5 mm auxiliary input, Micro USB port Charging port, Micro-USB, 3.5mm auxillary input 3.5 mm auxiliary input, Micro USB port Micro USB port none
Reported Weight 10.2 oz 34 oz 24 oz 24 oz 19.04 oz
Measured Weight 10.2 oz 34 oz 24 oz 22 oz 19 oz
Wireless Range (feet) 30 feet 30 feet 30 feet 150 feet Not Listed
Reported Battery Life (hours) 6 16 12 15 12
Measured Battery Life (hours) 5 24 18 24 27
Warranty 1 year limited 1 year limited 1 year limited 2 year limited 1 year limited
Receive Phone Calls Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Bose SoundLink Micro is the best sounding of the smaller, sub 1 pound speakers that we tested. However, it only lasted 5 hours in our battery life testing, which limits its usefulness to trips where you'll frequently have access to an outlet.


Performance Comparison


The Bose SoundLink Microwas a fairly good all-around performer in our testing, with the exception of battery life, and thus earned a reasonably high overall score. Below we describe the SoundLink Micro's performance in all of the different tests we use to find the best Bluetooth speakers.

Sound Quality


The Bose SoundLink Micro sounds incredible for a speaker that is so small. In our sound quality testing. It produced enough bass power to make heavier music sound pleasantly thumpy, and was crisp enough that even complex melodies sounded clear and well defined. Only much larger speakers were able to produce a better, more well-rounded sound in our testing.

The SoundLink Micro sound incredibly for such a small speaker.
The SoundLink Micro sound incredibly for such a small speaker.

Portability


The Bose SoundLink Micro earned a perfect score of 10 out of 10 in this metric. It weighs only 10.2 ounces and is IPX7 waterproof, so it can handle full submersion. It also has a rubber strap on the back that allows you to connect it to backpack straps or bike handlebars. This strap isn't too flexible, so don't expect to be able to stretch it around anything much large than an inch in diameter, but it does add a level of convenience.

The built-in strap lets you take the SoundLink Micro anywhere.
The built-in strap lets you take the SoundLink Micro anywhere.

Volume


The Bose SoundLink Micro earned an average score of 6 out of 10 in our volume testing. It is able to get fairly loud, plenty to fill a large bedroom, but it's not loud enough to power a dance party in a large apartment. When outside the Bose SoundLink Micro is plenty loud enough for personal listening and for a group of friends hanging out on the beach, but if there's a lot of ambient noise it can get drowned out.

We wish the SoundLink Micro had a longer battery life for outdoor  pine cone filled adventures.
We wish the SoundLink Micro had a longer battery life for outdoor, pine cone filled adventures.

Battery Life


This is the big caveat in an otherwise excellent speaker. The Bose SoundLink Micro lasted just 5 hours in our battery life testing, putting it towards the bottom of the scoreboard and earning it only a 2 out of 10. 5 hours can slip by quickly if you're taking advantage of this speakers portability and bringing it along on long trips and adventures.

Value


This speaker lists for $110, but often sells for a bit less. If you want the best possible sound you can get from a speaker that weighs less than a pound, we think it is well worth that price premium.

Conclusion


The Bose SoundLink Micro is a great little speaker, but some may find its short battery life of 5 hours somewhat limiting. If you have reliable access to an outlet, however, it can make hotel rooms and relaxed beach days sound infinitely better.


Max Mutter and Steven Tata