OK, normal-looking Bluetooth speaker, right? Pretty standard, right?
Well no. Not at all my digital friend.
Dangle the Edifier MP280 off your back-pack, stick it in the middle of your camp site, put it in the bathroom while you take a shower and .. woah.. there’s a fine slice of meaty bass from this.
Now, I know I’m skipping through all the important bits like the setup and the pairing process, but this has a properly good sound output. Although not overly loud, the bass response and audio quality certainly impresses. The cylindrical design isn’t just for looks either, this has a full 360 sound which means that everyone around the speaker gets to hear the sound in exactly the same way.
Weighing in at half a kilo, this has a few tricks too. First up, it has a very decent battery (although I can’t find out the mAh rating) which will keep your tunes playing for up to 10 hours depending on the volume. Secondly, it also has a USB slot on the bottom so, if you need it, you can charge your phone or something else from the speaker. Under that flap at the bottom you’ll also find a microSD card slot and an AUX port if you want to listen to music without Bluetooth. Just pop a card in or plug in your 3.5mm cable (supplied) and hit the select button on the top of the device to switch inputs.
An LED light on the bottom (under that flap) keeps you informed, and will blink while charging. Once it remains solid, you’re good to go. If you turn it on but then forget to turn it off, don’t worry, it’ll power itself off after 10 minutes if there’s no input.
After you’ve charged the device (via that microUSB port, and the cable is supplied by the way) you close the flap and user either the carabiner hook to attach it to a bag or backpack. You can also perhaps hook it onto your coat or door handle. It’s also quite at home on a desktop or table.
Around the cylinder you can, through the grille, get a hint of the two 4W speakers at the heart of this.
The top has two buttons. In the very centre is the power button – hold to turn it on and hold again to turn it off. Next to that is another button for selecting the audio source, which is either the Bluetooth, microSD or AUX input. You can also see how much power remains in the speaker by pressing and holding this too.
On the side here, a few more buttons. On the right side of this shot you
As you can probably see, the buttons are rubberised but easy to hit and locate. The + and – will obviously adjust your volume and, if you hold, will switch tracks – forward and back. The round button below is a play / pause button and also shows the power level again. That power level, by the way, is represented on these three LED’s, each representing a third…
You may not be able to see too clearly in these shots, but there’s another LED between the EDIFIER logo and the NFC symbol. Ah yes – I should mention that. If your phone has NFC, just tap your device against this symbol and it’ll start the Bluetooth pairing process.
As for that LED, if it’s green then you’re using the AUX input. If it’s blue then it’s obviously Bluetooth. If it’s red then you’re getting your tunes from the microSD card. It’s a good way to let you know which source you’re selecting as you switch through.
Connecting your device to the speaker via Bluetooth is simple enough. Just turn the speaker on and it’ll start pairing. If you want to force a pairing session, press and hold that circular button to force the pairing process. You can also tap this button to answer a call, turning your speaker into a hands-free phone of sorts.
Down points? Well, I wanted to find out if it was truly waterproof or not. Although the build and that big rubber flap suggests that it is, I can’t be sure. It certainly seems to be hard wearing and, with the silicone / rubberised finish, it can definitely survive knocks and scrapes. I also wanted to know more about that battery capacity.. sure, it’s a geeky request but I would like to find out.
That said though, the sound quality was extremely good. It capture the depth and changes of my music and did indeed create an encompassing sound around the speaker in all directions. It was also well-made and had a definite strength and sturdiness about it.
I’ve had this dangling off my bike bag and have used it around the house. In both cases it’s performed really well and I intend on using this on an upcoming camping trip to really test it out. The sound quality is really up there though, although how many will pay £69.99 for it I’m not so sure.