"BOLSE", yeah right, Bose but with an "L" contacted me recently, if I would like to test their newest speaker:
After some research and incidentally reading in a German HiFi-forum about a similar speaker which (according to the owner, who already ordered one from amazon.co.uk) should sound better than the Soundlink Mini while being cheaper, I noticed that the Audio Dynamix Pulse, and the mysterious Bose-speaker but with an L seem both to be exactly the same thing (expect the different branding of course):
There is no single negative review on amazon.co.uk about the Audio Dynamix Pulse and many compare it to the Soundlink Mini prasing it for comparable or even better sound. Even Audio Dynamix introduce the speaker on their site with the following phrase:
"The Pulse is our answer to the Bose Soundlink mini"
If the Bolse speaker is really the same it should be quite a bargain costing just 59$ thus making it probably the best all-around value among portable speakers, provided that the rumors about quality of sound are true at all. The British Audio Dynamix version costs quite a bit more and is listed with 90£, which would make it more than twice as expensive. Maybe Audio Dynamix tuned their version better, or included some more advanced DSP, or better drivers, I cannot say for certain without having heard both in person.
I already replied to Bolse that I would willingly love to prepare a review of their speaker and do some audio comparisons as well, but I am not sure if they are really about to ship this speaker to Europe. I will keep you updated.
Meanwhile I also conacted Audio Dynamix, if they would like to provide me a review sample as shipping from Britain should be possible more easily.
Another speaker worth mentioning, although in a higher price-range is the Fugoo Bluetooth speaker. I was already following Fugoo since the beginning as their speaker seemed to include nearly all points of my original wishlist for a perfect portable speaker and I think this is one of the most interesting outdoor speakers on the market right now, have a look at this video, what the guy does to the poor little speaker. My Bose Soundlink Mini already got scratched without even having touched it!
The Fugoo is small, rugged, waterproof, has exchangeable "jackets", an incredible battery life of 40 hours, and thanks to its 6 drivers spread to all sides including 2 passive radiators it should provide a full-bodied omnidirectional 360° sound, something completely missing from most portable speakers, which are extremely directional most of the time.
Initially there seem to have been some problems with maximum volume, but with the latest firmware this should be sorted out according to Fugoo as the speaker has an additional new "loud"-mode now.
Currently Fugoo speakers are only available in the US, but the CEO of Fugoo recently mentioned their speakers should come to the European market within the next 3 months. As I didn't want to wait for that long, I felt free to contact him asking cheekily for a review sample. He actually already responded to think about it first...
As you can probably see from this photo quite well, I think the Fugoo is also one of the most esthetic speakers I have seen so far :