Bose is fairly new to water-resistant portables and the SoundLink Colour II can be seen as their first dip into the pool. But its better late than never and today we’re going to take a good look at it. Read on!
Build Quality and Design
The SoundLink Colour II is shaped like a chocolate tin but wrapped entirely in a soft, durable silicon skin. This is a sharp departure from the previous model, which was almost entirely plastic. Despite its heft, the speaker is actually pretty light at around half a kilo. The speaker grill occupies the entire front face while at the back, there’s an outlet for the bass radiators. The SoundLink Colour II is rated IPX4 water-resistant, able to withstand splashes of water and light rain. However it does not mean that you can wash it. (The MicroUSB charging port and audio input jack are exposed and may suffer water-damage.)
On top, you have a panel of buttons that are separated by thin ridges. Three of these (Power/Bluetooth/Source buttons) have LED indicators while the volume and and multi-function buttons don’t. Overall it was fairly simple to navigate the controls, even in the dark.
I also like the fact that it takes up very little space on my table. Its footprint is smaller than the size of my phone
Performance and Features
The SoundLink Colour II connects to your devices by Bluetooth up to a standard distance of 10m. It also has a Multi-function button that serves as your pause/play, and which can activate Siri or Google Now. A speakerphone is also featured here for phone calls. Overall, it packs a very basic range of features for its price point.
With the clean and zippy Bose Connect App, you can change the name of your speaker, manage your list of paired devices and perform software updates. It also shows your connection status and battery life. The App felt essential enough, though there aren’t as many features as the UE BOOM 2’s App.
The SoundLink Colour II is not a stereo speaker by any measure. What it can do is deliver big sound for its size. I’m not just talking about volume, but also its phasing abilities. The speaker is able to spread out its sound stage, giving an impression of power and space – a hallmark of Bose psycho-acoustics technology.
The speaker is louder and more effortless in the mid-range, and more gentle in the upper registers. Lower bass frequencies do feel rather restrained, no doubt to prevent the speaker from distorting. Being a small speaker has its limitations, and this is the apparently the best balance that Bose can achieve here.
The SoundLink Colour II also packs a decent level of clarity and detailing. Track separation is pretty average but that is to be expected from a speaker of this class.
This speaker will sound great for Blues, Jazz, Pop, Instrumental and Bossa Nova. Higher intensity music will test this speaker’s limits but will not distort heavily either – if played at a moderate volume.
This speaker’s battery life is very good. On paper it’s got only 8 hours of power but it carried on working overtime – it ran out of power after 14.5 hours! (Playing looping album at 50% volume)
The SoundLink Colour II maintained a pretty reliable Bluetooth connection to my phone, but it barely met its 10m connection range before I experienced some stuttering. On the other hand, there were no AV Sync issues when watching videos on phone or on laptop.
The Bose SoundLik Colour II is a attractive splash-proof speaker with decent sound and an app. But even at S$219, the Bose SoundLink Colour II is in for some competition. The very established JBL Charge 2+ (S$199) is a speaker that is also splash proof, but has superior battery life, more powerful bass and louder sound output. You can even use it as a power bank.
Still, the SoundLink Colour II deserves to be on your list if you need a simple yet powerful portable with a small footprint. Available in Aquatic Blue, Coral Red, Soft black and Polar White.
So here’s the final tally:
Build Quality and Design (Bluetooth Speaker)
- Pros: Compact form wrapped in a soft silicon skin. Pretty lightweight but feels substantial. Rated IPX4 water resistant. Top panel buttons are intuitive to operate even in the dark. Takes up very little space.
- Cons: Not as water-resistant as the latest models from other brands.
Score: 5/6 (27.8%)
Performance and Features
- Pros: Big, clear sound that defies its small size. Mid to high frequency audio is detailed and effortless. Fairly reliable Bluetooth connection, with no AV Sync issues. Voice assistant support. Speakerphone for phone calls. Works with the Bose Connect App. Very good battery life that exceeds the stated 8 hours.
- Cons: Not able to deliver as much bass as competing speakers. Features are pretty basic for its price.
Score: 7/9 (25.9%)
Score: 2/5 (13.3%)