FeaturesThe SoundLink III offers a fairly sparse design, with a line-in (aux-in) minijack, power jack and microUSB port on the back. Unlike competing speakers, the SoundLink III doesn't charge via USB (the port is strictly for firmware upgrades) or provide the ability to charge other devices, as the models from Braven do. But we do like the 14-hour battery life, which is up from the SoundLink II's eight hours.
Controls along the top include power, Bluetooth discovery mode, aux (to listen to a device plugged into the aux port), mute and volume up/down. Conspicuously missing are play/pause and track-skip buttons, and although you can control those functions from your mobile device or computer, there's plenty of free space on top for that purpose. A row of LED indicators for Bluetooth, aux input, mute and battery power sits on front just below the top.
Competitors like Jawbone's Big Jambox and Braven's 850 HD offer far more in the way of extras, such as speakerphone, customizability (Jawbone) and additional device charging (Braven), all for the same price.
The SoundLink III package doesn't include any extras besides the AC power wall plug; a zippered case for the speaker costs an extra $35, though its light design appears more for decoration than protection.