Bose SoundLink Bluetooth speakers are among the most popular — if not, the most popular — portable wireless speakers in teretooth Speaker III ($299.95).
The III is similar in size to the previous two generations of the speaker but changes its design, and improves its battery life, and according to Bose it also plays louder and sounds better.
The SoundLink III is slightly wider than the previous versions, measuring about 5 inches high, 10 inches wide, and 2 inches deep, and weighing in at 3 pounds. The original SoundLink Mobile Speaker, which came out in 2011, and theboth offered around 8 hours of battery life. The new model ups that number to 14 hours.
Earlier models had a built-in cover that converted into a stand. However, the SoundLink III does away with the integrated cover and as with the SoundLink Mini, you can purchase an optional accessory cover for $34.95 in various colors. In other words, if you want some added protection, it’ll cost you.
Design and Features
I liked the design of the early SoundLink Bluetooth speakers and liked how the cover converted into a stand. Bose hasn’t fundamentally changed the look of the speaker, but it has straightened out its lines, and the new model has a flat base (previous versions had a slight angle to the base and you had to use the cover/stand to prop up a speaker).
Once again, you’re left with a speaker that has a clean, elegant design and seems sturdy and well-built. While it’s a bit pricey at $300, at least it looks and feels like a premium product.
Pairing with my Bluetooth test devices proved to be a smooth process and the speaker will remember your device after the initial pairing (it will automatically pair when you turn it on so long as you have Bluetooth enabled on your device).
For better or worse, you don’t get much in the way of bells and whistles. The speaker has some on-board buttons for controlling volume, muting the sound, switching to the auxiliary input (no cable included but you can connect non-Bluetooth devices to the speaker this way). However, there’s no pause/play button or transport controls (skip forward/back) on the speaker itself and it doesn’t come with any sort of remote so you’ll have to use your Bluetooth device to control everything. For the majority of people that won’t be a problem, but some people like to have at least a pause/play button on the speaker.