Are you fed up with having space-age-looking devices in your home for streaming your music? I hear you! Depending on your aesthetic a digital assistant/speaker unit could seriously mess up one’s Feng Shui, right? Edifier is here for you, especially if you’re after something a little more nostalgic. Their Edifier MP230 is a wireless speaker that looks straight out of the 60’s, but packs a bit more punch!
- Balanced sound
- Punchy Bass
- Interesting retro-design
- Limited features
- 10-hour battery might bother some
I know Edifier well from their wireless headphone offerings over the years but I have never seen a desktop product from them. In fact, the MP230 is the only portable speaker available to purchase from their store. It’s in stark contrast to everything else available there also. With a retro aesthetic and clunky faux metallic buttons, the MP230 is straight out of the ’50s or ’60s.
Edifier package the MP230 similarly, with a deep green box, containing minimal waste packaging; something a little more aligned to 2022 conduct.
The unit itself is actually quite small at just 16cm wide and standing only 8.5cm tall. I expected it to be a little bigger based on the marketing material. That small chassis is entirely wood-effect except for the bronzed metallic grill front and centre of the device. Below that grill is the piano-key style function button row. This includes a power/mode button and dual-function keys for volume and track selection.
Along the bottom edge are some rubber feet to elevate the unit off the surface, as well as protect it. Around the rear, the metallic grill continues, beneath which the SDcard slot, AUX port and USB Type-C charging port reside.
- BT Version: V5.0
- Audio inputs: Bluetooth, AUX, micro SD (TF) card, USB audio streaming
- Full-range driver: 48mm*2 Working time: 10 hours
- Battery capacity: Dual 2500mA/7.2V
- Power output: 10W+10W
- Frequency Response: 70Hz-13kHz
- Product Size: 162*84.5*96.5mm
- Product Weight: 850g
In The Box
- Edifier MP230 speaker
- User manual
- 1 x Type-C cable
- 1 x AUX/audio cable
Audio & Use
Wow, it’s a noisy little bugger! The first thing I did after charging was to throw on some Prodigy to see how it deals with a complicated mix. It handled itself really well. Lows were deep and menacing, and there was sufficient separation in the mids and highs to be a pleasing listen. Interesting; test 1 complete, let’s go for some Hip-Hop. Some ’90s Hip-Hop later and I’m starting to really enjoy this experience. The Edifier MP230 is not only delivering a really pleasing, balanced sound, it seems to manage to emphasise the required aspects of a genre, without the need for a manual equaliser.
The twin 48mm drivers really give you some volume too. I cranked this up to 75% before I had to reduce it to save my ears. There was no distortion at the high end which was refreshing, however, some of the mids and highs did start to bleed into one another. Cranking up any further and I think the listening experience might be degraded a little for some.
The sound is matched by its aesthetic, with a big if statement attached. You’ll have to be into the retro theme to enjoy it. I’m not, but I got used to it, even amongst more modern decor. I did not like the very cheap feeling function keys though. They are all uneven, and whilst they have a satisfying sound when pressed, they just aren’t premium. I’d have liked to have seen some metallic keys here. The overall aesthetic works for me though, and I appreciate something a little different to the norm.
Battery life is something I found myself caring less about with the MP230, simply because I’m not going to throw it in a bag and head off on my travels. Of course, you can do that, it’s portable enough to do so, but the design just doesn’t lend itself to pool parties and picnics. Stick it on a shelf near a USB outlet. You’ll need to use that outlet a little under once every 10 hours of playback. I managed to clock 9.5-hours on average throughout a few listening torture tests. I know you can spend the same money and get double that, but given you can just plug it in and not worry about moving it, I’m not too fussed. Other users’ mileage might vary depending on the use case.
Jumping back to those function keys, whilst I mentioned the design, they are incredibly simple to use. There’s a power-on button which doubles as a mode selection button, along with a Bluetooth button and volume/track selection buttons. That’s it, and frankly, that’s all that is required here. With the unit sitting on a shelf or unit, users will no doubt be using their connected devices to control the playback in any case.
To my previous point, during my testing, I kept this on my windowsill and only reached for the controls once to turn the unit off. I need not have bothered however as the Edifier MP230 has an inactivity timer built-in. 15-minutes after activity the unit will shut down.
Do you have a love of nostalgia? Do you have shelves or units in your living area? Do you like music? If you answered yes to all of the questions, then give the Edifier MP230 a go. The combination of a niche design and great audio will have those users smiling from ear to ear.
If you’re looking for a device that is a little more portable, and can go travelling around the world with you, I’d opt for something else. There’s no carry case here, no carabiner to attach it to anything, and a lack of water and dust proofing. Just find something for half the price and move on.
I can honestly say this is the first reasonably priced speaker that I am actually considering using long term.