Using the Bose Soundlink Color Bluetooth Speaker

We have several generations of Bose speakers. Unfortunately, they are not portable and Lori wanted to bring her music with her throughout the house or yard. The Bose Soundlink Color Bluetooth Speaker seems to fit the bill.

Bose speakers, in general, boast great audio in small packages. For us, all of our speakers / radios / HDTV sound systems (even those 20 years + old) are still working and still sound great. They: Are reliable, sound great, and are good looking….but, they are not portable. Time to get a new version.

We saw the Bose Soundlink Color bluetooth speaker on display at the Tracy, CA Best Buy just before Christmas 2014 and decided to give it a try.

Before I get into the details of using our Bose, some technical background is needed (this is a technical blog after all….haha).

What is Bluetooth?

You have all heard of bluetooth and many of you use it regularly to connect to any number of devices with your computer or smartphone.  But what is bluetooth?  Here is a quick lesson.

25 pin rs232 cable

Back in the old days, electronic equipment that needed to connect together used standardized cabling, or more specifically, a RS-232 cable or if higher bit rates were needed (or longer distances), an RS-449 /RS-422 or, later, RS-485 cable (or wiring) which used balanced electronic transmission methods to minimize noise. How do I know all this you ask?  Well…It just so happens that much of my early life as an engineer was spent at Grumman Aerospace (Bethpage, NY), AT&T Bell Labs (Holmdel NJ), and Lawrence Livermore National Lab (Livermore, CA) designing interface solutions using these cable connect technologies.

As electronic devices proliferated, it became a bit unwieldy to connect them via large RS-232 cables.  According to WikiPedia, engineers at telecom giant, Ericsson, in 1994, probably got tired of dragging their RS-232 cables around so they developed “bluetooth” as a short-range wireless RS-232 cable. This wireless capability quickly became a standard that is now under the auspices of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group which boasts over 20,000 members worldwide.  Sweet.

Technical Stuff

(Rather than re-typing some technical details, I copied the blurb below from this WikiPedia article (I hope they do not mind))

“Bluetooth operates in the range of 2400–2483.5 MHz (including guard bands). This is in the globally unlicensed (but not unregulated) Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) 2.4 GHz short-range radio frequency band. Bluetooth uses a radio technology called frequency-hopping spread spectrum. Bluetooth divides transmitted data into packets, and transmits each packet on one of 79 designated Bluetooth channels. Each channel has a bandwidth of 1 MHz. Bluetooth 4.0 uses 2 MHz spacing, which accommodates 40 channels. The first channel starts at 2402 MHz and continues up to 2480 MHz in 1 MHz steps. It usually performs 1600 hops per second, with Adaptive Frequency-Hopping (AFH) enabled.”

/Technical Stuff

Got that?  🙂

Anyway….Bluetooth has evolved to be easy-to-use by virtually anyone, and the frequency hopping data transfer happens fast enough that you don’t even notice it while listening to your favorite music.

Gotta love it how very difficult engineering can be made so easy to use that most people have no idea of the amount of time and effort put into the design.

Connecting My Galaxy Note 4 to the Bose

Confession:  I have never used Bluetooth until now. Yup, it’s true, I was a bluetooth virgin.  So much technology, so little time.

bose front

But, that aside, here is how I connected my smartphone to the Bose speaker.

I went into my Note 4’s Settings


I clicked on Bluetooth

bluetooth off

I turned on Bluetooth and saw the Bose and my daughter’s Honda

available devices

I selected the Bose to pair with it

pair with bose

Easy as 3.14.  I could now listen to music.  🙂

Using Our Bose Soundlink Color

After pairing, I could play music from any number of sources on the Bluetooth:  iHeartRadio, Pandora, iTunes, Google Play Music, or (very old-fashioned) music that has actually been loaded from CD’s that we own onto our devices or computer.

Lori uses this more than I do and connects using her very old (in technology age) iPod, her newer iPad, and her even newer iPhone 6.  She carries the Bose and, mostly, iPod around with her (the Bose is battery operated and lasts a long time) and plays music where ever she happens to be.

Very cool!


Bose continues to evolve with new technology while maintaining that great sound they are famous for.  We fully expect to be using this speaker for many years to come.


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