by Leo Jakobson | September 19, 2011
Bose yesterday announced a new portable wireless speaker that delivers audio playback from smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers.

The SoundLink Wireless Mobile speaker, available now in the special markets, uses the common Bluetooth wireless standard to stream music from up to six wireless devices, including iPhones, iPads, and Android smartphones.

At a demonstration in New York City last week, the SoundLink Wireless Mobile showed off full-range sound across the low, middle, and high frequencies. The volume, depth, and clarity of the sound were impressive for a speaker that is roughly the size of a hardcover book (though not as wide) and weighs under three pounds. 

The Soundlink Wireless Mobile runs on a custom-designed lithium ion battery that is good for three to four hours at full volume (which is more suited to a party than private listening) and more than eight hours at “typical” volumes, the company claims. 

As usual with Bose products, the speaker is a sleek and attractive product with some nice design features, but the sound comes first. Too small for the Waveguide technology that powers the speakers in Bose’s popular Wave audio systems, the SoundLink Wireless Mobile instead uses four low-profile neodymium transducers for clear highs and midrange and patented dual radiators for rich, impressive bass—the hardest end of the audio spectrum to reproduce for a small portable speaker. 

These radiators are positioned back-to-back and oppose each other to cancel out vibrations—improving sound quality and preventing the SoundLink Wireless Mobile from vibrating off the table during a bass solo, notes Clark Woolstenhulme, the Bose representative who demonstrated the speaker.

Designed to fit easily in a backpack or computer briefcase, the SoundLink Wireless Mobile was also made to be tough, says Woolstenhulme, who showed a video of it being dropped repeatedly and tested in climates like saltwater fog. Its fully sealed housing prevents sand and moisture from getting in, and the speaker’s end caps are made of automotive-grade chrome for toughness. 

Another interesting design feature is the removable cover, available in either Cordura nylon or leather. The cover, held in place by two hex screws, works much like an iPad cover in turning the device off to protect battery life when it’s shut.

The standard SoundLink Wireless Mobile speaker comes with a gray nylon cover for $299.95, while the LX model with upgraded trim and a dark brown leather cover sells for $349.95. Additional covers in both nylon (bright red or royal purple) and leather (tan and burgundy) are available for $49.95. 

For more information visit www.incentiveconcepts.com