"The best portable speaker although not perfect!"4.5 starson by oluv
Pros: - compact
- nice retro design
- very solid and full-bodied sound
- hardly any artefacts when streaming through bluetooth, no hiss...
- loud (although with dynamic compression at highest volume)
- powerful battery
Cons: - sound could get away with some finetuning
- hardly any stereo separation
- treble muffled
- bass too boomy
- still too big if compared to mini speakers like Jambox etc.
- no Apt-X bluetooth codec.
Summary: It is definitely one of the best sounding portable speakers with that size. Battery life is impressive and it sounds as good from batteries as from wall-power unlike most of the competition where sound quality falls apart when run from batteries. (Logitech, Harman Kardon, JBL etc...)
The Sound is powerful and "heavy", but the Soundlink is a bit treble shy, it doesn't sound perfectly clear. Compared to many other speakers it sounds a bit dull, even when compared to Bose's own Sounddocks or MusiMonitors. The MusicMonitors are even smaller than the Soundlink but have a better controlled bass and clearer treble. They are more natural sounding. You also have to listen to the Soundlink at ear-height facing towards for best results, otherwise the slightly recessed treble becomes even more recessed. The sound-emission is very directional and for a portable speaker where you usually would put it in the middle of a party, only a small part of the audience will have good sound, the rest will only hear bass.
I would have preferred a bit more clarity in the upper frequencies and a more controlled bass. The Bass from the MusicMonitors is tuned lower, and doesn't appear that powerful, but is much more pleasant to listen to. The Soundlink bass is a bit boomy, although this is an advantage when used outside, as it really sounds full and powerful even in the open field, where most other speakers sound rather tinny. But in small rooms, kitchen, bathroom etc, bass quickly becomes overwhelming. I already thought to tune the radiators differently by adding some mass, maybe i will manage to "tame" the bass a little bit better.
All this is niggling at high level, but it prevents the Soundlink to be the absolutely best portable speaker. It is still best, but not by far...
My wish: Make an even smaller battery-driven version, mabe the size of the MusicMonitors. Make 2 of them that can wireleslly connect together for real stereo or use one single one for mono sound. Make them stick together through magnets for charging and carrying.