The Perfect Casual Listening Companion
If you’re still blasting music from your smartphone speakers, it’s high time to upgrade. With so many options for the best wireless speakers out there, it can be overwhelming and expensive.
But if you dig deep enough, there are quite a few excellent, affordable options. They will not only offer you a better listening experience but liven up house and block parties in no time.
One such speaker is Bose’s Soundlink Color II. The word “color” is used wisely since the beautiful color palette used by Bose here not only gives them a summer aesthetic but will make them the talk of the party. So, let’s find out more in our in-depth Bose SoundLink Color II Review…
As we just mentioned, the soft, pastel colors are a great choice for a small portable speaker. Not only does the sound liven up the room, but the color scheme will quickly have everybody commenting on it.
The speaker is wrapped in soft, grippy silicone. It not only protects it from accidental drops but also makes it waterproof with an IPX4 rating. If you are in the market for one of the best water resistant portable speakers, this is a fine option.
Its square shape with rounded edges is a nice form factor that makes it not only look great on a tabletop but easy to store as well. On top, you will find six buttons that control various system functions like volume, skipping, pause, play, and the voice assistants.
Big sound in a small speaker…
There are speaker grills on the front and back to let the sound of the dual passive radiators out. This helps the bass sound better than it should for a speaker this size. The speaker is so small it easily fits into one hand.
It’s not pocket size, but it’s one of the best compact wireless speakers you can buy. It will easily slip into a backpack without taking up too much space.
For a speaker this size, Bose did a great job making it sound much bigger than it is. However, there are a few problems with it, mostly due to the size and form factor. Small speakers like this usually have trouble reproducing decent bass.
But with the Soundlink Color II, there is a fair amount of bass until we get to the sub-bass, which is almost non-existent. A speaker this size just can not produce the earth-shattering feel that comes with sub-bass frequencies.
The other issue we encountered comes from the dual passive radiators. They sound great and add a lot of depth in the low-end. Unfortunately, when we push them to higher volumes, they start to sound muddy and distorted.
The sound quality itself is stunning…
Crystal clear audio for most of the frequency range. Outside is a different story, though. A speaker this small will have to compete with all the environmental noises that come from being outside.
This can be animals, people, cars, and wind. So, a lot of the mid-range frequencies get swept up by the overbearing cacophony of noise. It is still totally functional, especially if you turn the volume up. But then you have to deal with a muddier-sounding mix.
Connectivity and Features
The best feature you’ll find is Bose’s “Party Mode.” This lets you connect two speakers at the same time, doubling the volume or allowing you to have speakers playing the same music in multiple areas of your house or yard.
The speaker comes packed with Bluetooth Version 4.2, which does a decent, but not a great job, at staying connected. We had the connection drop a few times outdoors but didn’t seem to have any problems indoors. So, if you plan on partying outside, it might be better to connect your device with the audio jack instead of wireless.
Another welcome feature is the AAC codec support. This means that you can listen to or stream higher quality files over the Bluetooth connection with supported devices. All iOS devices support AAC as well as higher-end Android devices. Therefore, this is one of the best speakers for Apple devices on the market.
We would love to see aptX make its way on here too. But with such a small speaker, listening to Hi-Res audio might not even be noticeable.
With a small size comes a small battery. However, we found ourselves pleasantly surprised by the battery duration on the Soundlink Color II.
At half the volume level, the battery lasted just over seven hours, which is more than enough for a party or day at home. Charging up with the included micro-USB charger took us just over three hours to get the battery to maximum.
Who is the Bose Soundlink Color II for?
This speaker is well-suited for most situations, from office use, lounging around the house, or small to medium-sized parties. It has a pleasant sound that won’t offend anyone. With a decent amount of bass for livelier parties and well-tuned mid and high frequencies for more personal affairs, there is no occasion the Soundlink Color II won’t shine.
Its durable build, rugged silicone exterior, and IPX4 rating make it one of the best speakers for camping. As well as hiking, boating, and a myriad of outdoor activities. Just don’t expect volume levels that compare to Lollapalooza.
Bose Soundlink Color II Review – Pros and Cons
- Durable with an IPX4 rating.
- Great sound with decent low-end.
- Multi-point connections.
- Decent battery life.
- Starts getting muddy at high volumes.
- Lacks sub-bass.
Looking for Something Else?
We have speakers and loads of other audio equipment for all your needs. Check out our in-depth Loudest Portable Bluetooth Speakers Review, our Marshall Stanmore II Wireless Bluetooth Review, our Marshall Stockwell 2 Review, our UE Megaboom3 Review, and our Oontz Angle 3 Ultra Review for more awesome speaker options you can buy in 2023.
Also, take a look at our comprehensive reviews of the Best In-Ceiling Speakers, the Best Wireless TV Speakers, the Best Karaoke Microphones, the Best Computer Speakers Under $100, and the Best Waterproof Headphones for Swimming currently on the market.
Bose SoundLink Color II Review – Final Thoughts
If you are looking to liven up your parties, the Bose Soundlink Color II comes dressed, ready to impress. With great audio, decent battery life, and a sturdy build, you won’t find much better.
If you are willing to settle for something a little smaller and similarly priced, UE’s Wonderboom is a floating, wireless speaker that performs in a very similar way to the Soundlink Color II.
Until next time, happy listening.