We review a lot of Bluetooth speakers here at Android Headlines, and given the thriving state of the Bluetooth speaker industry it's likely there's going to be plenty to review going forward as well. Most of the time it's from a brand you've never heard of or haven't heard much of, but every now and then a bigger player drops a Bluetooth speaker that makes some waves in the industry. This time around we're taking a look at the Samsung Level Box Mini Bluetooth speaker, which is a part of Samsung's premium audio line called Level. These started launching last summer and since then have had a few product lines to compete with the likes of Beats and other premium priced audio equipment. For $100 the Level Box Mini is a little pricier than many Bluetooth speakers out there, but it's certainly not anywhere near the most expensive, so let's find out what the price tag gets you.
Build quality is definitely a step up from the usual Samsung plastic fare. The Level Box Mini feels like a premium product right out of the box with an all-metal build and a good solid weight. The entire bottom of the speaker is made of a soft-touch rubber and has 4 slightly raised feet to keep the whole thing from vibrating. The rubber also keeps the box in place, so much so that I tried to place it on my steering column while driving home from work and it never fell off no matter what turn I took. The back of the speaker has a Bluetooth pairing button, a 3.5mm headset jack in case you'd rather not or can't use Bluetooth as an audio connection, and a microUSB port for charging.
Up top you'll find four buttons: Play/Pause, Volume Down, Volume Up and Power. There's also an NFC logo on the top left side of the speaker that acts as an easy pairing solution, so all you need to do is touch the back of your NFC-ready tablet or phone to it and you'll be paired with the speaker. Samsung has included a number of little sounds that bring a little bit of joy to the experience when turning the box on and off. The traditional Samsung theme song, or whatever you'd prefer to call it, plays upon turning the speaker off, and a brief shutdown tone plays when shutting it off. It's these little things that makes the experience feel more premium; something Microsoft learned with the Xbox a few years ago.
Sound quality from the device is top notch, and it helps that there are speakers on both the front and back of the box. This creates a loud, full sound no matter what you're playing or at what volume, and helps keep the box free from audio distortion. The audio balance coming out of the speakers from the get go is very good, with an actual audible baseline in every song I tried, as well as phenomenal highs and mids for this size of a device. Being a smaller Bluetooth speaker you would expect almost no bass out of this, and while that's true to an extent it's more bass than I've ever heard out of a small Bluetooth speaker. Many times you would hear a very faint bass line or even miss it entirely depending on the speaker in question, but you can hear and feel it on the Level Box Mini. It's obviously not going to replace your sub-woofer, but then again who would ever expect it to?
I found that adjusting my equalizer for small speakers and a small room reverb helped peak the audio in just the right places, bringing up the highs a little more than the standard setting would and helping to dim the bass just a bit to keep the speakers free of distortion at the loudest volume. Speaking of loud volume the Level Box Mini really has this part down. In the truck test I performed I kept the speaker on my steering column and turned the volume all the way up with the windows down. The entire drive home I was able to hear the music with no problems, which is impressive for any small speaker like this. Overall for $100 you probably won't be finding much better Bluetooth speakers out there, although if you're not willing to spend that much there are going to be plenty that will offer a similar experience for a bit less cash. Still don't expect quite the room-filling sound that you get with the Level Box Mini from other speakers that don't feature speakers on both sides of the device, a trick that is wholly necessary when providing rich, loud sound in a small package.