Edifier MP230 Retro Bluetooth Portable Speaker Review

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Likely inspired by the beautiful Airpulse P100X, the MP230 is the latest speaker from Edifier and one of the few portable Bluetooth speakers they do.

It is attractively priced at £100, and the retro design makes this quite a unique product for the portable Bluetooth speaker market, with most speakers being ugly rubber-coated black plastic.

Preview Product Rating Price
Edifier MP230 Retro Bluetooth Portable Speaker with Classic... Edifier MP230 Retro Bluetooth Portable Speaker with Classic... No ratings yet £99.99

Specification

  • Total Output Power: 10W+10W(RMS)
  • Frequency Response: 70Hz-13kHz
  • SNR: ≥80dB(A)
  • Audio Input: Bluetooth /TF card / AUX / USB-C port
  • Battery Capacity: 2500mAh / 10 hours
  • Dimensions: 162×84.5×96.5mm
  • Weight: 0.85kg

Design / Features

The overall design of this speaker is the main selling point. If you want this to sit on a shelf in your home somewhere, it will look far more stylish than some black rubber and plastic cuboid.

The body is MDF with a cloth front covering the drivers. The plastic brass-coloured controls are press-down buttons and don't have the satisfying feedback that the knobs on the Airpulse P100X had.

This is not just a Bluetooth speaker. You also have an AUX in and microSD. Both can be handy, the microSD avoids the need for someone to connect to the speaker, and you could use the AUX with something like the Echo Dot to turn it into a smart speaker.

You can probably tell from the design that this is not IP rated, nor is it designed with durability in mind. You are not going to want to pack this in a bag and go camping or to the beach with it, which is of the main reasons why people want a portable Bluetooth speaker.

It wasn't an issue for me, I don't like camping anyway, and I have no intention of sitting out in the rain. I have used this for BBQs and on my mother's canal boat without issue.

This lacks a microphone, and there is no companion app or EQ.

Sound Quality

The sound quality is generally good. I am not personally a big fan of small Bluetooth speakers because the drivers are too small, and there is not enough mass to avoid distortion.

This is more or less true here. I found that the speaker sounds good until you hit about 50%. At this level, the bass sounds good, and there is no sharpness to the highs, with the overall sound being well balanced. For me, in close proximity, 50% is more than loud enough for personal use in a relatively quiet environment. It's adequate for a BBQ, providing decent background noise without annoying the neighbours, but not loud enough for a party.

Pushing further beyond this, the speaker goes surprisingly loud. On my desk, in front of me, I can handle about 75% volume before it starts to feel a bit too loud.

Bass remains good at this point, better than other small speakers I have used in the past, but you can hear to treble start to gain some sharpness. At around this point, or maybe a little higher, bassier tracks start to gain a bit of distortion, you can tell the drivers are starting to struggle a little, and the body can't contain the reverberations.

Battery Life

Edifier claims this has a 10-hour battery life. I didn't time it, but I would estimate this is roughly accurate at around 50% volume.

This is quite a bit lower than a lot of competing speakers, but I don't personally have too much of an issue with it. Thanks to the USB-C input, I could always charge it from a power bank if needed. I generally just put it on charge when I place it back on the shelf I keep it.

Price and Alternative Options

Preview Product Rating Price
Edifier MP230 Retro Bluetooth Portable Speaker with Classic... Edifier MP230 Retro Bluetooth Portable Speaker with Classic... No ratings yet £99.99

The Edifier MP230 is priced at £99.99 on Amazon.

There are literally hundreds of portable Bluetooth speakers on Amazon. Many of these are outstanding, and you have plenty of options above and below the Edifier MP230 in pricing.

However, there are not so many aesthetically pleasing options on Amazon, and this is the main selling point of the MP230.

I'd say Marshall is the best alternative, they have three competing options:

  • Marshall Emberton is the closest in price at around £110 and has two 10W woofers with a  pair of passive radiators. It weighs 0.7kg and has a 20 hour battery life. It has the advantage of being IPX7 rated, so you can safely take it outside regardless of the weather.
  • Marshall Emberton II is the upgraded model for £150 with 30 hours playtime, an IP67 rating, and upgraded Bluetooth 5.1. The actual driver specification appears to be the same.
  • Marshall Kilburn II is more than twice the price, has 36 Watts of power, weighs 2.5kg, and has an IPX2 rating, making it just about splashproof.

Laney is not quite as well known for Bluetooth speakers, but they are a British brand and have the retro-inspired Laney F67 at £192 with dual 20W stereo drivers, a 20-hour battery and weighs 2.8kg.

The Audio Pro T3 is priced at £198, has 25W of power, 30 hours of battery life and weighs 2.1kg.

Overall

The Edifier MP230 is an excellent and attractive small Bluetooth speaker.

Sound quality is good, and it can go surprisingly loud. However, due to its petite dimensions, I found that it was best to keep the volume at a maximum of 50% to avoid any distortion. This is perfectly adequate when listening to music by yourself in a quiet environment, but it is going to struggle in a more social setting.

If you specifically want a small retro-inspired or just attractive Bluetooth speaker, there is nothing else on the market that really competes with this. The Marshall Emberton is similar, but it is still a bit of a black box, costs more, and I doubt it will sound any better.

Last update on 2022-07-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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