Apple Begins Selling Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth Speaker Online and In Stores

Apple recently added a new Bluetooth speaker to its retail and online stores, called the "SoundLink Micro" and created by Bose. Spotted by Japanese blog Mac Otakara [Google Translate], the $109.95 speaker seems to have appeared on Apple's website around October 11, and has subsequently launched in some retail stores as well.

The SoundLink Micro is designed for durability and comes with an IPX7 waterproof rating, equivalent to the Apple Watch's rating and ability to withstand submersion up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes. The speaker's durability can resist dents, cracks, and scratches, and the package also includes a tear-resistant strap to attach to a backpack or cooler.


In terms of music playback, the speaker can last up to six hours, and if you have two of them they can be paired together for stereo or "Party Mode" playback. When synced to an iPhone, the SoundLink Micro supports access to Siri and lets you take calls right from the speaker. Bose's speaker measures at 3.87 inches tall by 3.87 inches wide, and includes a Micro USB charging cable.

Two-day shipping is available as of writing for the SoundLink Micro, and it appears that the device has already arrived at most Apple retail stores. For the locations that don't have stock today, many list availability dates later this week, around October 18. Visit Apple.com to check out more information on the speaker, which also comes in Orange, Black, and Blue color options.

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Bose Announces $250 ‘SoundSport Free’ Wireless Headphones Launching in October

Bose today announced its first-ever pair of wireless in-ear headphones called "SoundSport Free," which will go on sale in October for $250. Similar to Apple's AirPods and other wireless headphones, the SoundSport Free are small buds that you place in your ears without any connecting wires, and which charge through an included case while you're on-the-go (via CNET).


Bose's wireless headphones are more sport- and activity-focused, with silicone StayHear+ sport tips to ensure a comfortable fit during intense activities, as well as an IPX4 water resistance rating (Apple's AirPods are not rated for water resistance, although many users have noted their resilience through activities that coat them in sweat or water). The Bose Connect iOS app will also include a new "Find My Buds" feature, displaying the last known location and time of use in order to help you rediscover the lost headphones.

In terms of battery life, Bose said that the SoundSport Free will last for up to five hours on one charge, and the charging/carrying case can fuel up the headphones with an additional ten hours of battery. The five-hour battery life aligns with the AirPods in terms of battery on the buds themselves, but when comparing the charging cases Apple's case provides an additional 24 hours of life to the AirPods.


Controls are located on the top of the buds, giving you access to play, pause, skip track, take and end phone call controls, and even activate Siri or Google Assistant. Bose also explained that the SoundSport Free headphones include a Bluetooth antenna that is designed to provide a strong and reliable connection to your iPhone, which connects to the smartphone up to 30 feet away as long as there are no physical obstructions between the two devices.
When it came to the tech inside these earbuds, we focused on every little detail—from tuning the circuits for improved sound to tweaking the antenna position for maximum Bluetooth® signal strength. The result? Headphones that play consistently and clearly whether your phone is in your hand, in your pocket, strapped to your arm or sitting on top of the treadmill … and there’s never a wire in sight.
The SoundSport Free headphones are available to pre-order for $249.95 today on Bose's website with early orders expected for an October delivery date, and a "Midnight Blue" color option is said to be coming later this year. The company today also announced a new version of its QC35 over-ear headphones - called QC35 II -- incorporating Google Assistant directly into the device.

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Bose Wireless Headphones Spy on Listeners, Lawsuit Alleges

Bose has been hit by a lawsuit that accuses the company of spying on its wireless headphone customers through its Bose Connect mobile app and violating consumer privacy rights (via Reuters).

The complaint was filed on Tuesday in a Chicago federal court by Kyle Zak, who is seeking an injunction to stop Bose's "wholesale disregard" for the privacy of customers who download the app to their smartphones.


The lawsuit alleges that Bose tracks the listening habits of users when they are wearing headsets like the company's QuietComfort 35 headphones, gleaning information through the app such as music tracks played, podcasts, and other audio listened to.

According to Zak, who bought a pair of $350 QC35 cans, Bose sends all available information to third parties such as Segment.io, a data capture outfit whose website promises to "collect all of your customer data and send it anywhere".
"People should be uncomfortable with it," Christopher Dore, a lawyer representing Zak, said in an interview. "People put headphones on their head because they think it's private, but they can be giving out information they don't want to share."

Audio choices offer "an incredible amount of insight" into customers' personalities, behavior, politics and religious views, the complaint said, citing as an example that a person who listens to Muslim prayers might "very likely" be a Muslim.
Zak is seeking millions of dollars of damages for customers who bought Bose headphones and speakers, including QuietComfort 35, QuietControl 30, SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II, SoundLink Color II, SoundSport Wireless and SoundSport Pulse Wireless.

Zak also wants a halt to the data collection, which he said violates the federal Wiretap Act and Illinois laws against eavesdropping and consumer fraud. Bose has yet to respond to requests for comment on the proposed class action case.

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