The Bose SoundLink Mini II SE is a refresh of previously released SoundLink Mini and Mini II. The original Mini released in 2013, the Mini II in 2015 and the current Mini II SE we are reviewing was released in 2019.
In the box, the Bose SoundLink Mini II SE comes with a quick start guide, manual and a USB A to USB C charging cable. It has two speakers built-in, rated for 50W and is advertised to last for 12 hours, two hours longer than the outgoing non-SE version. Dimensions are 7.1″ x 2″ x 2.3″ or 18 cm x 5.1 cm x 5.8 cm and weights 1.5 lbs or 680 g. The USB charge port is upgraded from microUSB found in the SoundLink Mini and Mini II to USB C. Audio can be either played through bluetooth connection or through the 3.5mm aux input. There is a metal grille on the front and back of the speaker, with the front grill emblazoned with the Bose logo. Up top, you find five rubberized control buttons. It comes in two colours, Luxe Silver and Triple Black.
As with build quality, it is what you come to expect with pretty much any Bose product. It is solidly built with high quality materials and has no creaking. Besides the rubberized base and control buttons, the speaker is made out of metal. For it’s size, it feels hefty and well built. There is a small port on the bottom of the speakers for a charging dock that is not included in the box.
With the audio, it does well for small to medium sized rooms, producing a clean and natural sound, leaning towards a warmer profile. It provides good bass that is not overly boosted, clear mids and decent highs. Volume-wise, it’s more than sufficient. There is a built-in microphone, so it can take calls. Calls come in clearly and people on the other end can hear me quite well. You do not have the option to customize the EQ on it, so that is a bit of a downside, but not the biggest dealbreaker.
The speakers do not have NFC connectivity for quick pairing or the ability to charge your phone in a pinch, like many of it’s modern counterparts. It does not have any waterproof or splashproof rating, so you will want to keep it out of the elements or a high humidity setting like by the pool, beach or in the shower to keep it working well in the long term. With bluetooth connectivity, it will connect to Android and Apple iOS phones, and both Windows and MacOS computers with bluetooth connectivity. It connects automatically to two connected devices and additional six are stored in it’s pairing list. Once it’s turned on, it pairs quickly with no fuss and next to no latency with the audio. For the size, the speakers is portable, but is on the heavier side if you don’t want to carry around a literal brick. For that reason, it’s more suited for home use and the occasional outing that doesn’t require carrying it around too much.
Overall, the SoundLink Mini II SE is a solid bluetooth speaker. Though it lacks a few of the newer features like NFC, waterproof rating and powerbank functions that it’s modern counterparts have, it is a powerhouse and would recommend it, though it is a bit on the pricier side.