The Edifier MP211 is a Bluetooth capable travel speaker that sounds good if a bit tinny. The end. You want more, OK.
Well, I have been really impressed with Edifier products of late. There is a sense they have created magic, taken parts and made something more of them. This is still true of the MP211 and in its class, I think it is probably the big fish. It’s quite a small pond though.
When I listen to music I want an accurate reproduction of what the artist did. What you get in this price bracket is not that. Often the units are too small for a genuine reproduction of the sound. With the Edifier MP211, I am afraid that this is exactly what you get. Speakers that are a little too small for an accurate reproduction of the bass and what you are left with, whilst better than anything else in this range, is a little tinny.
So, it’s terrible then? Certainly not. What you have in this tiny chassis is nothing short of miraculous given what the engineers’ specs must have been. In fact, listening to an acoustic version of Hey Ya by Obadiah Parker I was literally lost in the music and wasn’t thinking about the lack of bass.
The Edifier MP211 packs so much into its tiny “fit into your pocket” frame. There is NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 MicroSD card slot, hands-free calling, 3.5mm Aux Input, a 950 mA/h lithium ion battery that will give you 10 hours of continuous playback and 2 x 40mm speakers with DRC on. DRC is Dynamic Range Compression and it essentially makes sounds that would be too loud quieter and sounds that are too quiet louder. It should give good balance and stop distortion but also mean that live music sounds pretty good but again, that bass or lack of it is the real issue here.
One of the major reasons to go for this speaker is portability, the MP211 really will fit in your pocket and measures 150mm × 62mm × 31mm, couple this with a weight of only 0.215 Kg or 7.5 ounces there are phones that are taller, wider and heavier.
I feel like I am looking at something from the 60s, a retro radio shrank and was then minified but this isn’t a bad thing. It’s small but there are these comparatively large rubberised buttons on top to control, from left to right, phone call, skip back, play/pause, skip forward, volume down, volume up. The rear of the device holds the power input, on off. source switch, Aux port and a microSD card slot.
The unit I had to review was black and I am not usually one for bright colours but I quite like the look of it in Yellow. There is also a Baby Blue, Baby Pink and a stylish looking White version. All retain the black control bar and overall, I would say it is one of the better-looking units in this price range.
I touched on this earlier but I wanted to talk about that speaker. So, it’s not very “bassy”, what would you expect from such small speakers but that aside the sound is very bright, cheery and actually pretty good. There is a little too much treble for my tastes but I suspect this has more to do with the lack of bass. It has a little strap that implies it’s for carefree days out and about but I found that the total output of 2 x 2 watts just wasn’t loud enough although, even at full volume there was no distortion. This is not a speaker to take to a party then but rather, stick it to a bike, sit with it at a table while you have a coffee in the garden or anything where you just want some music for you. Just you, do not share. I used this speaker a lot when writing. It’s great for Radio streamed from my phone. It’s not advised but I also liked it for listening to the radio when I showered in the morning, my phone was never quite clear enough whilst the shower was on but this little speaker is just about perfect for jobs like this.
If you listen to a lot of music, then you will need this speaker in addition to your main speaker, maybe an MP280 or Bric Connect. This is the speaker you have outside when gardening or sitting out for a coffee with a book. This speaker is very good at what it does, but for me, it can only ever have a bit part. I need a complete sound. I want that bass and the roundness I have come to expect from Edifier. This is not a speaker for me. However, I use it every day! In the shower, while sitting in the garden or right now, while I am writing away from my desk and away from my larger, heavier, better speakers, that couldn’t be here.
If you can only buy one Bluetooth speaker, save your money until next month and get the MP280. The sound is better, it’s as practical and will give you a much richer sound. If this is the price range you are in, you will not find an allrounder that does everything the MP211 does with as much style.