My husband used to work as a sound engineer, so there's no getting past his expertly tuned ears when it comes to a quality speaker. Bose is renowned for being a very high quality brand in speaker technology, and it appealed to my husband to be able to 'try before you buy' in a Bose shop (specifically, Manchester) rather than just ordering online and hoping for the best.
**The Bose SoundLink Air Digital Music System - Why Buy?**
The Bose SoundLink Air Digital Music System is a wireless speaker, pegged for portability, but we bought it to 'live' in the lounge and be our go-to speaker for wireless streaming.
**Price and Availability**
As you'd expect, a quality wireless speaker isn't going to be cheap, and the Bose SoundLink Air Digital Music System will set you back £299.99. It's available in Bose shops on the high street, selected department stores with a Bose concession, and online via the Bose website (a postage and packaging fee may apply).
**What's in the Box**
You get -
Bose SoundLink Air Digital Music System Main Unit
A mains adaptor
The speaker is very nice to look at, due to it's simplicity. It's a flat fronted grille styled in piano black plastic with the Bose logo in silver to the middle lower of the unit.
The mains adaptor is black also, as is the remote control which is small and black with smooth keys.
It has a distinctive look of quality about it, and is very well made. It certainly looks worth the money in style.
Setup is very easy, you simply download a setup app from the Bose website and link wirelessly to the speaker to set it up, it takes about 15 minutes in total and only needs to be done once (unless you change your router or the setup in some way).
We set the Bose SoundLink Air Digital Music System on a shelf in the lounge and keep it plugged in. The wire does detract from the overall look of it, I have to say, but it's sensible to keep it plugged in rather than opt to purchase the additional rechargable battery as if it ran out of battery it might lose it's configuration which would be annoying. Still, it would have been nice for the proce for it to come with the speaker so we had the option of using it in the garden on good days.
The speaker is very easy to use in terms of streaming music, we've used it with an Apple Macbook, a Lenovo laptop, an iPad, eePad, iPhone and Samsung SIII and each one of these has streamed mp3s, internet radio and audio books no problem. It works well with Spotify content and overall the quality of the sound for the volume we use it at is brilliant. For a big house or a loud party it might not have the power you'd be looking for but our lounge is small and we have a toddler so we're limited in how loud or booming we can have our music anyway - it goes more than loud enough with excellent quality for most music fans to be very happy with.
The remote control is very easy to use and very responsive, though being so small it isn't half easy to lose - we tend to put it on the shelf with the unit and control the volume via our streaming device!
Overall, I'm very happy with the Bose SoundLink Air Digital Music System and so is my husband, it is very user friendly and looks good and it is certainly built to last so it's a long term investment type purchase, making that cost to us justifiable. I think the only downside for me is that for the £300 it cost I would have like to have seen the rechargeable battery bundled with the unit, as it is sold as a portable unit and it does limit it's potential for being used say outside or in the kitchen when it's limited to being disconnected and plugged back in again when you wish to move it around.
Overall we are very pleased with our purchase and it is a great speaker but the price might not be justifiable for all and the lack of a rechargable battery means I'll be giving it a four stars out of five rating rather than top marks.
My advice; always try before you buy, this speaker suits us great, but I'm not 100% convinced you can't get comparable quality and with a rechargable battery for half the price. It's certainly not an impulse buy!
We paid £220 for this Bose soundlink air speaker system, we paid what is effectively £80 below the normal retail price because our model is one that was returned by a previous buyer with the normal 28 day return policy that Bose offer and then they are reconditioned to make them as good as new and you get the discounted price. We bought ours at the Bicester Village Outlet Park where Bose have a store and Bose is a brand that I trust as we have owned a docking station for a couple of years as well.
Set up is relatively easy, you just attach the speaker to a PC and run the set up programme using the app that you download from the Bose website and then it is ready to go as a standard wireless speaker system. Design wise it looks functional rather than amazing, it is an understated curved rectangle which is black in colour. It plugs into the mains however you can buy a separate rechargeable battery if you want something that is portable. We did not realise this when we bought it which was not a major issue but if you want one then you are looking at an additional cost. It does not take up a lot of space as it is 30cm wide and about 10cm deep with a heights of about 17cm. It comes with a small credit card sized remote to control the volume and there are also volume buttons on the device itself.
Sound quality is very clear and precise, Bose is known for its sound quality and this speaker delivers a decent amount of volume when required, the bass sounds are solid and rich and the vocals are wonderfully clear and deep. You get a lot of quality for your money and while there are better systems out there you will certainly have to pay big money to get the top level quality and while I have a pretty good musical ear it is not that highly refined. The bass is probably the best quality on this device, it has a nice deep resonance.
There is a limit to the amount of power this speaker can deliver but that is not an issue for use and the sound carries well into connecting rooms and as long as there is a plug socket then the speaker can be moved around if we need to have it upstairs.
Overall I'm pleased with this purchase, it takes up little space and the sound is great.