It’s pretty hard for a Bluetooth speaker to stand out from the crowd these days. They are available in every shape and size imaginable. But at the end of the day, audio quality still reigns supreme for helping to distinguish the real standouts.

Enter the Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth Speaker. A small, rugged, and waterproof Bluetooth speaker that sounds significantly larger than its diminutive size would suggest.

Bose has a long history of speaker innovation, particularly when it comes to getting big sound out of small speakers. I own at least 6 Bose products myself, from noise-canceling headphones to my home theater system, and have yet to be disappointed by the investment. The sound quality is consistent, crisp, balanced and deep at any volume level.

Pressed for time? Check out my video review below.

Available in three color options — Black, Midnight Blue, and Bright Orange — the SoundLink Micro is IPX7 certified, which means it’s completely waterproof and can be submerged under water. I have yet to try this; however, I have used the Micro in the shower for months, and am not concerned in the slightest when it gets wet.

It has a built-in speakerphone for making/taking calls, which I appreciate over using my cellphone’s tinny speakerphone, especially when family calls to hear the new baby or when my hands are otherwise full (besides, I hate holding my phone during long conversations).

Also, the Bose Soundlink Micro has Google Assistant and Siri integration built-in, allowing you to change music tracks, check the weather, or make/answer a phone call with the touch of a button. I don’t use this feature too often but can see how it would be handy on a hike or bike ride, in which your mobile device is stuffed in a backpack or your pocket.

Bose Soundlink Micro Bluetooth Speaker in Midnight Blue.

I’ve been continually impressed by its solid build quality and “tear-resistant” rubber strap, which you can use to clip the speaker onto the strap of a bag, a shelf in the shower, the handlebar of your bike or a stroller, and just about anything else. The outer rubber casing is also very durable – yet pleasantly soft-to-the-touch.

The speaker has a bass port on its underside and is designed to sit on a flat surface for maximum bass performance – something to consider when you’re placing it – but I found that the bass reflex was still quite pronounced regardless, even in outdoor settings when some smaller speakers can perform at their worst.

Battery life is rated at 6 hours, which I found to be the case during continuous play, but will last far longer if you’re like me and break up usage by playing 30 minutes of a podcast while getting ready in the morning, another hour listening to music in the kitchen, etc.

Beyond that, the controls are pretty simple – volume up/down and interaction button – along with a power button, battery life indicator, and a Bluetooth button for pairing devices.

I also recommend downloading the Bose Connect app, which allows for OTA firmware updates, and is available on the Google Play and App Store.

The Bose Soundlink Micro Speaker in Midnight Blue, strapped to the handle of a bike.

As far as the sound quality, I would recommend watching my video review with headphones on, to truly get a sense of how remarkable the Bose Micro sounds.

Previously I used my original SoundLink a lot – and still do when I need a larger speaker – but the Bose Soundlink Micro has replaced it as my go-to portable speaker for everything from working in the garage, to travel. The portability is perfect, and its supreme durability makes me feel less precious about where I put it or how roughly it’s handled.

However, although the sound quality will undoubtedly exceed your expectations for a speaker of this size, I don’t want you to assume that the Soundlink Micro is the perfect solution for when you need room-filling sound or bass. It’s still a portable speaker. It’s meant to be used in the kitchen, by the pool, or on a hike or bike ride.

As good as it sounds, the caveat will always be, “for its size.” Though the Bose SoundLink Micro sounds far better than lesser competitors of similar sizes, it doesn’t sound as good when comparing directly to larger Bose products. So, it’s important to understand what you want a Bluetooth speaker to do for you.

For me, it’s perfect for when I’m getting ready in the morning, taking my daughter for a walk in the stroller, enjoying a beautiful hike, or tossing it in my bag for my next work trip, since I do have larger speakers for situations that call for them.

That said, I overwhelming recommend the Soundlink Micro for anyone with an active lifestyle that is looking for a small and rugged Bluetooth speaker to take with them on the go.

“For its size,” you would be hard-pressed to find anything that sounds better.