September 14, 2012
| by Rachel Cericola
With so many people carrying smartphones and tablets these days, it’s no wonder that there has been a lot of buzz about wireless speakers. No one wants to give up a second of that portable time, even in the name of audio.
Bose wants to throw itself on the pile, announcing two new SoundLink wireless speakers into its mix of products. Yes, two. Instead of putting AirPlay and Bluetooth goodness into one unit, you’re going to have to choose between the SoundLink Air and the SoundLink Bluetooth Mobile speaker II.
SoundLink Air is the company’s first Apple AirPlay-enabled product. It can tap into all of the stored music on an iPad, iPhone, iPod touch or a computer’s iTunes library, as well as stream music from any services you have on that portable—including Pandora and Spotify. No docking is required, so you can text, play games and make calls, all while rocking out the tabletop speaker. Other features include Bose acoustic waveguide speaker technology, neodymium transducers, and Bose digital signal processing. Users can also control the unit via the included remote or Bose’s iOS app.
The SoundLink Bluetooth Mobile speaker II, on the other hand, is an update to the original SoundLink Mobile. This one can work with iOS devices and anything else with Bluetooth support, promising new neodymium transducers, an updated digital signal processing algorithm, and patented dual-opposing passive radiators.
“We’ve always believed that the convenience of streaming music has to be matched with great audio performance,” said John Roselli, director of Bose Product Marketing. “And the SoundLink Air system and SoundLink Mobile speaker II deliver better audio reproduction whether you use AirPlay or Bluetooth technology.”
Both new SoundLink speaker options are now shipping. Available in a high-gloss black, the SoundLink Air has an MSRP of $349.95, with an optional rechargeable lithium-ion battery available for $89.95. The SoundLink Mobile speaker II features a standard, black trim package with a dark gray nylon bi-fold cover for $299.95, with a premium, chrome trim package with a dark brown leather bi-fold cover available for $349.95. That Bluetooth model also has the option for covers in nylon (red or blue) and leather (black or tan) for $39.95 and $59.95, respectively.
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.