Bose SoundLink Wireless II Review
Pros: Great sound, comfortable
Cons: Noise isolation not on par with other high-end models
Compare to Similar Products
Bose SoundLink Wireless II
$159.00 at Amazon
$173.99 at Amazon
$59.99 at Amazon
$114.95 at Amazon
|Pros||Great sound, comfortable||Great sound quality, great noise cancellation, comfortable, user friendly features||Inexpensive, powerful bass, effective active noise cancellation, comfortable||Good sound quality, good active noise cancellation, less expensive than competitors||In inexpensive, reasonably good sound quality, portable|
|Cons||Noise isolation not on par with other high-end models||Expensive, both sound quality and noise cancellation fall just short of being the best in the field||Lacks some brightness in mid and vocal ranges, headband may be to large for smaller heads||Not comfortable for those with larger ears/heads||Poor noise isolation, not comfortable for large ears/heads|
|Bottom Line||A great choice if you don't care for active noise cancellation||Premium cans that offer unique features on top of great sound quality and noise cancellation||Impressively inexpensive given the sound quality, active noise-canceling performance, and comfort||An impressive combination of good quality at a reasonable price that makes for a good value||Offers a decent listening experience for a relatively low price, but certainly doesn't stand out in any aspect|
|Rating Categories||Bose SoundLink Wire...||Jabra Elite 85h||Soundcore Life Q20||JBL Live 650BTNC||Tribit XFree Tune|
|Sound Quality (30%)|
|Noise Isolation (25%)|
|User Friendliness (10%)|
|Specs||Bose SoundLink Wire...||Jabra Elite 85h||Soundcore Life Q20||JBL Live 650BTNC||Tribit XFree Tune|
|Manufacturer reported battery life (hours)||15||36||40||30||40|
|Measured weight (ounces)||7||10.5||9.3||9.1||10.3|
|Included case||Semi-hard case||Semi-hard case||Lined drawstring pouch||Lined drawstring pouch||Semi-hard case|
|Earcup padding cover material||Micro suede Alcantara||Leatherette||Leatherette||PU Leather||Leatherette|
|Charging cable length (inches)||47"||12"||40"||47"||N/A|
|Microphone for voice?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Onboard buttons||Volume, play/pause, forward/back||Volume, play/pause, forward/back, noise cancelling, voice assistant, power/bluetooth, answer/decline/mute calls, toggle between sound modes||Volume, multifunction, power, NC||Volume, play/pause, forward/back, noise cancelling, voice assistant, power/bluetooth, answer/decline/mute calls||Volume, play/pause, forward/back, noise cancelling|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The SoundLink Wireless II offers a near-perfect balance of price and performance that provides close to field-leading quality at a less than premium price. If you don't mind having slightly less powerful bass than the best headphones you can buy, these headphones are a great deal.
The SoundLink Wireless II was just behind the top-scoring models in our sound quality testing. It has exceptional clarity that is on par with the top-scoring Bose and Sonymodels. Where the SoundLink Wireless II falls short of these models is in the bass department. The bass is still plenty powerful to give rock ballads and hip hop tracks solid backing but is still slightly lacking when compared to the upper tier models. Both the SoundLink Wireless II's clarity and bass are clear steps up from a budget model.
This is the one area where the SoundLink Wireless II does pale in comparison to the top-tier models. This is solely due to their lack of active noise cancellation. Bose does use fairly deep ear cups which block out a fair amount of noise on their own, turning loud conversations into a muffled din. However, that just can't compare to the active noise cancellation models, which adjust to those conversations and almost totally eliminate them.
Bose has a corner on comfortable design, and the SoundLink Wireless II is no exception. Bose uses plush, synthetic leather padding and deep earcups on all of their headphones, which makes for a cozy, hot-spot-free fit no matter your ear size.
The SoundLink Wireless II has simple volume controls and a multifunction button that acts as a play/pause button when pressed once, while multiple presses can skip tracks forward and back. Bose also includes an app that lets you adjust EQ settings for the headphones.
The SoundLink Wireless II is lightweight, weighing only 7 ounces, making them noticeably less heavy when worn throughout the day. A nice, semi-hard travel case is included, too. However, they don't fold down quite as small as other models, thus they missed a top score in this metric.
The SoundLink Wireless II's value largely depends on whether you like active noise cancellation. The price is fair considering the sound quality these headphones are capable of. However, if you want active noise cancellation, you're going to get a better overall value by spending more on the flagship model from Bose.
If you don't need active noise cancellation and just want great sound quality, the Bose SoundLink Wireless II is a great pair of headphones. However, if you're willing to spend this much on headphones, many users may want to spend a bit more to get active noise cancellation to pair with that exceptional sound.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata