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An excellent bluetooth speakerphone – the Bose Mini Soundlink 2

April 24, 2017 Leave a comment

So a few weeks ago, I was on the train into London heading to a critical workshop with a big customer. We had hired a hotel meeting room, we had the SVP in the room with his team, and other stakeholders from around the world dialling in to the webex. I’d spent the week preparing, when I got a text:

“Have you got a speakerphone? The meeting room doesn’t have one.”

Ouch.

So – turn to Dr Google. A few checks of “the best bluetooth speakerphone”, and by the time it was my stop, I had a shortlist. I walked to the meeting via a department store, where I picked up a Bose Mini Soundlink 2.

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So – we road-tested it in the critical meeting, in front of the customer, and it did fantastically! We’ve since used it for an internal zoom call in our own office, and again, it’s brilliant. The sound quality and presence is excellent, as you’d expect, but more importantly, the microphone appears excellent. It had no problem picking up a heavily accented analyst from 8m/24ft away in that hotel boardroom and everyone on the call heard them without an issue, where even most dedicated speakerphones would have struggled to pick up the voice.

Of course – if you were looking for a mobile bluetooth speakerphone, you’d probably look for something from Plantronics, Logitech, Belkin, or similar – either a business electronics manufacturer, or maybe some cheaper PC or eBay vendor. But this is an un-obvious, yet logical choice; this device has a mic in it, this is one of its functions, and, as you’d expect from Bose, it’s excellent. So why not?

In summary:

  • It’s available on Amazon, in any department store or airport, and reasonably priced at GBP140 (discounted now that the model III has been released)
  • The sound quality and mic pickup “just work”, are of immaculate quality, and are hassle-free, even in a decent-size room
  • It’s small and portable, although weighty
  • It has an excellent battery life
  • Charges off standard microUSB (it sits on a light, thin charging dock you might take with you)
  • Worked fine over bluetooth with my Macbook Pro 15″ and Zoom
  • Turning up with a Bose product in a customer meeting isn’t going to hurt at all
  • Also pretty good for music in the hotel room (smile)

If you’re often hitting issues with crowding around a laptop on a concall, your iPhone on speaker, or even worse, a customer’s poor-quality speakerphone that mystifies anyone as to why it wasn’t thrown out long ago, then I would recommend adding one of these to your road warrior’s toolkit!

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