Mpow portable wireless Bluetooth speaker review

The Mpow Portable Wireless Dual 10W Drivers Bluetooth Speaker is sleek in design and boasts a 33-foot range. The 7.4V/2600 mAh Li-on battery gives up to 8 hours of playback time. It is ultra-portable and can easily be hidden away in a corner.

Hardware specs:

  • Bluetooth Version: V4.1
  • Bluetooth Profile: A2DP/AVRCP/HFP/HSP
  • Bluetooth Range: 33 feet
  • Input Voltage: DC/5V
  • Battery Capacity: 7.4V/2600mAh
  • Charge Time: 4 Hours
  • Play Time: up to 8 hours

Setup

Pairing and setting up the Mpow to any device is simple; turn it on and navigate to Bluetooth settings in the phone. I did not have to select any random button combination on the speaker to put it in pairing mode as it was already seeking. On the speaker, there are buttons for Power, Play/Pause, and controls for volume, but everything can be handled through the device, so we can set it and forget it.

Whenever I test out a new Bluetooth speaker, I have my own set of parameters: First, can I hear it over the water in the shower? Since this speaker is not water-resistant, I set it on my bathroom counter, which is only a few feet from the shower. It worked as expected, and I could easily hear the spoken words of a podcast.

Next, I put it to the outdoor test: Can I place the speaker on my back patio and hear the music in the background while entertaining company?

Ideally, the music should be loud enough that guests can hear it, and when a song they like comes on, they can easily turn it up. But, it should also be at a point where the neighbors aren’t going to call the police for a noise complaint. This, too, was successful, but I noticed that the music wasn’t as clear as I would have hoped.

When listening to the podcast, everything seems fine, but music sounds a little choppy. The Mpow website states that a phone could be at least 33 feet away and still connect, which I did find to be the case. I could come and go, inside and outside and the music still played. The farther away I got from the device, of course, the worse the sound quality would get.

My last test with Bluetooth speakers is what happens when I get a phone call. Since it was paired to my phone and set as my primary audio source, when I received a phone call, the music stopped. Additionally, I could hear my ringtone through the speakers, and then I took my call with the Mpow’s built-in microphone.

Although I use Bluetooth in my car for my phone calls, and I while can appreciate this function, I typically want to take phone calls privately. It, of course, easy to change the audio output to my phone rather than through the Bluetooth unit, but it would be nice to have a transfer audio button on the device like my car.

It did pass my functionality tests, so with that, I’m happy with the quality of this $60.00 speaker. It was not all rainbows and kittens, though.

The Mpow speaker takes four full hours to charge, and even though that gives about eight solid hours of playback, four hours is a long time to charge a device for that amount of function.

I wouldn’t mind seeing a two-hour charge for eight hours–that is what I expect out of my phone, so I think of speakers in a similar same way, especially at this size. I do like that it will give me eight hours of use, and I could always try to put it near an outlet to alleviate the need to charge, but that ultimately takes away from the portability aspect.

Although the volume can be controlled from either the phone or the speaker, which is handy, there is an audible tone that is emitted when increasing or decreasing the volume. This make the listener lose a second of content, which may not be a big deal. The tone completely overtakes the audio, so in podcasts, I would completely miss the punchline of a great joke simply by adjusting volume.

At the end of the day, I can deal with the downsides. It is an economy speaker with decent quality, just as long as you are in-range. It is not a high-end speaker, but this is apparent when handling it and factoring price. If you keep your phone in your pocket to manage the playlist, don’t stray too far, especially if you are having company over, otherwise it’s not a bad device to pick up.

At the time of this post, the speakers are on sale for $46.99. With the extra $13.00 off, I’d be more convinced to pick one up. And, thanks to a 45-day money back guarantee and 18-month warranty, there really is not reason not to do so.

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