Review: Bose Soundlink III portable Bluetooth speaker — is bigger best?

Bose-SoundlinkIII

I was a huge gushing fan of the Bose Soundlink Mini when I reviewed it this summer, calling it the “Best Sounding portable Bluetooth speaker ever”. For $199 you’d get bookshelf type of power and clarity with 6 hour battery in a portable package that you could throw in a coat pocket, bag, or purse.

This week, Bose started shipping a bigger version, the $299 Soundlink 3 which is officially the successor to the Soundlink 2 but it grabs a lot more technology, features and appearance from the very successful Mini.  The big bro ‘III’ boasts an impressive 14-hour battery, 6 Bluetooth device memory, and doubles the Mini with four drivers and two passive radiators. In the process it doubles in size to a 3-pound package that isn’t nearly as portable as the Mini at 5 inches high, 10 inches wide, and 2 inches deep.

But does that $100 and double size give you appreciably better sound?

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Jawbone releases $299 Big Jambox, more power and features

The main gripe we had in our original Jambox review was that sound is not as big as other (bigger) portable Bluetooth speakers.

While both of these products sound great at low volumes, the Logitech has much bigger speakers and simply blows past the Jambox at higher volumes. At its loudest, the Jambox hits about four to 10 levels of the Logitech—it is really no comparison.

The Jambox produces the kind of sound that can be the background music at a dinner party, run a conference call or office presentation in a small conference room, or just listen to your music in a hotel room. I would even recommend it for sitting on a porch or terrace and reading a book. However, you will want more on windy day at the beach or when using it in the kitchen while the dishwasher is running. At 30 feet away, the Bluetooth can tether and you will definitely feel lacking.

Jambox, as if it were listening, introduced the new “Big Jambox” today, which has a bigger sound, longer battery life, and more buttons. As you can see below, you can now control the play/pause and moving forward/backward tracks right from the Jambox. On the downside, it appears that charging the Big Jambox requires a dedicated power cable. The previous version charged via micro-USB, which still exists to set up the MyTalk smart apps.

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We are in line to get our hands on one of these when it launches May 15 for $299.  We will hopefully have a review shortly.  The gallery follows: Read more