New York – Bose has expanded into
what it calls the mobile speaker market with a premium AC/DC single-chassis speaker
system that streams music from smartphones and tablets via stereo Bluetooth.
With the speaker, consumers can play
back music stored on their handheld mobile device as well as music streamed
from the device’s Internet radio apps.
The book-shaped amplified stereo speaker,
called SoundLink Wireless Mobile, is available today in Bose-owned stores and
authorized retailers at $299 for a model with dark-gray nylon front cover and
$349 for a model with dark-brown leather front and other cosmetic enhancements.
The cover protects the speaker grille, and it folds open for use as a table
stand. When the cover is closed, closed, the speaker automatically shuts off.
Optional covers in other colors
are also available.
Because of its size, shape and ruggedized
design, the speaker is designed mainly for on-the-go use when away from home while
traveling for work, vacationing at the beach, or going to a park or the office,
although it can also be used at inside the house and outdoors around the house,
said product marketing director John Roselli. The speaker’s rechargeable
lithium-ion battery delivers three hours of playback time at high volume and eight
hours at what the company calls typical listening levels.
To make it easy to travel with,
the new SoundLink Wireless Mobile speaker is book-shaped and only about 5
inches by 9.6 inches by 2 inches, making it easy to put in a briefcase or
backpack, Roselli said.
It stores the Bluetooth pairing
IDs of the six most recently used Bluetooth devices to automatically pair with
a user’s smartphone or tablet.
The company launched the product
because of the rapid rise in the number of smartphones and tablets, including
iPhones and iPads, with integrated stereo Bluetooth during the past few years, Roselli
The Bluetooth-speaker market, he
said, is still “nascent,” but sales have picked up in the past year, he noted.
The device isn’t Bose’s only portable
AC/DC speaker system. The company also offers the $399 SoundDock Portable, but
it is designed primarily for around-the-house use. The SoundDock Portable,
which is an iPod/iPhone-docking speaker system with integrated handle and
without Bluetooth, is larger and features an upright, non-folding design that
is not as easy to pack when traveling, Roselli explained.
The new device also isn’t the
company’s first stereo Bluetooth product. At $599, the company offers an
AC-only tabletop SoundDock 10 whose 30-pin iPod/iPhone connector can be removed
and replaced with an optional $100 stereo Bluetooth module.
And in 2009, the company launched
its first portable AC/DC product with stereo Bluetooth. That model, called
SoundLink wireless, was a one-piece speaker that streamed PC-stored music up to
about 150 feet from a PC equipped with a companion USB Bluetooth dongle. That
product, since discontinued, was shaped like the SoundDock Portable and also targeted
mainly for use around the house.
Because the SoundLink Wireless
Mobile speaker is smaller than the company’s SoundDock Portable, Bose said it
turned to new driver configurations to deliver high output and full-range
response with significant bass output. The company uses four 1-inch
neodymium-magnet drivers for the mids and highs and turned to two ported flat-diaphragm
racetrack-shaped passive radiators, one behind the other. Each moves in opposing
directions to minimize vibrations. The passive radiators feature a waffle-like
surface said to deliver longer excursion in a linear fashion.
The driver design delivers bass output
equivalent to what a 27-inch wave guide would produce, the company said.
To ruggedize the speaker, Bose sealed
the electronics and designed it to withstand tests in which it was subjected to
hundreds of hours in 100 percent humidity and a salt-fog mist at temperatures
up to 140 degrees. In addition, end caps are made of automotive-grade chrome.
Two nylon-cover options — purple
and red — are available at $29, and two leather-cover color options — tan and
burgundy — are available at $49.