I don’t know about you, but music is constantly on around me. Whether it’s coming from my home entertainment system, my phone’s speakers, a Bluetooth speaker, or headphones, I constantly have something going. I’m by no means an audiophile, but I do enjoy quality sound reproduction for some of the more demanding tracks that I listen to.
When Monoprice offered me the chance to check out the Melody Bluetooth Speaker, I was intrigued because I’ve been familiar with Monoprice for years. Before I wrote for AndroidGuys I was just a normal consumer and bought its HDMI cables exclusively. Since I’ve gotten into writing, I was lucky enough to team up with Monoprice to review its fun and colorful USB type-C cables. Monoprice has always impressed me with the line it walks between truly outstanding prices and products with excellent quality. I was hoping that wonderful combination would show up in the Melody Bluetooth Speaker too.
The Monoprice Melody Bluetooth Speaker is made of a hard plastic body and an equally plastic front grill. I would’ve like to see a metal grill in the front for a bit more premium build, but the plastic is just fine. There’s a bit of flex when you press on it, but nothing that should cause any problems unless something is coming at it at high speeds.
The top is a smooth surface with a rather barren hard plastic construction. You’ll find only three buttons on top- a previous track/volume down button, a next track/volume up button and a play/pause button that also accepts incoming calls. They’re flush with the surface with small cutouts inside them so you may not know exactly which button you’re touching if you’re going on feel alone. But, they do feel nice and clicky with an audible thump when pressed, so high marks there.
The rear of the device houses an on/off switch, USB port for charging your phone, an aux jack, a headphone jack and a DC power input port. The power button is a switch on this device so you can definitely tell when your speaker has been switched off. No holding down a button waiting for a beep. The USB port allows you to charge another device off the 6500mAh battery but is capped at 5V/1A so it won’t be a quick charge by any means. The audio in jack allow you to plug your phone directing into the device bypassing the Bluetooth functionality, and the headphone jack allows you to pull audio out device into your headphones.
Overall the build quality is pretty decent. I’ve not had any issue throwing it in my bag or throwing it in my back seat. It’s going to be a bit big for some bags like purses since it comes in at 10.2″ x 4.3″ x 3.8″, but if you have a bigger messenger bag, gym bag, or duffel bag, you should be set. While this doesn’t have the highest build quality in the world, there are way worse out there. Through extended use, mine still looks like the day I got it so I would have to say Monoprice has done well here.
What’s the point if it doesn’t sound good, right?
The Monoprice Melody Bluetooth Speaker gets loud as hell. There’s isn’t another way to state it. If you’re looking to fill an entire room, the Melody will do right by you. There are louder speakers out there like the ridiculous Braven BRV-XXL or the UE Megaboom, but they cost much, much more than the Melody.
One of the little quirks of the Melody is that a single tap on the next track/volume up button will skip to the next track and you have to hold the button down to raise the volume. This can make it hard to get the exact volume that you want and can lead to some pretty loud accidents. I’d like to see them switch the functionality of the buttons in future speakers to avoid this.
Where the Melody shines is overall clarity of audio. Some speakers can suffer from muddy audio quality where everything just sounds like it has a cloth over the speaker. That’s not the case here. Instruments can be picked out and voices are very clear. Again, this isn’t an audiophile grade speaker or pair of headphones with a massive soundstage, but for a $50 Bluetooth speaker, I am impressed at the quality of the mids and highs.
Where the Melody can suffer just a tad is in the lows. Yes, there is some bass that comes through, but not enough in my opinion. When I sit the speaker next to my keyboard while typing and play some electronic music, I can feel a bit of a thump so I know the effort is there. But, the execution leaves a little to be desired. Low booming bass is something that makes music come alive in my opinion, and really the only flaw that I can point out with the audio quality of this speaker is that sometimes music feels a little flat because of the lack of bass. I’ve certainly heard less bass in speakers, but you may want to pass on this one if you’re a basshead.
Popular YouTuber Unbox Therapy has a series of videos named “Does it suck?”. This is always the first question I have when unboxing a new product. Is this going to suck? The Monoprice Melody Speaker gets a big fat NO. It doesn’t suck.
Are there other speakers on the market that provide better sound? Yep, but be prepared to pay. Are there other speakers on the market that are cheaper? Yep, but be prepared to be disappointed with the audio.
Monoprice has struck a happy medium between build quality, audio quality, and price. Sure, there are a few quirks like the mixed up volume controls and the USB port only charging at slow speeds, but I don’t think any of those should disqualify it. A Bluetooth speaker’s first job is to sound good and the Melody Bluetooth Speaker delivers there.
If you’re looking to pick up a Bluetooth speaker for your kid who just went away to college, an outdoor weekend warrior, or someone looking to fill up the basketball court with some quality audio, check out the Monoprice Melody Bluetooth Speaker.