We've been reviewing Edifier speakers for three years now, and in that time we've seen the Chinese company really develop. From traditional plug-in desktop computer speakers, to high-powered TV sound bars, Edifier have done it all, and always leave us feeling vastly impressed. So imagine our surprise when we suddenly realise that the best speaker they've ever made (in our humble opinion) is a small tube-shaped portable Bluetooth effort. But it is. We think, anyway. Let's take a look at the Edifier MP280.
In a nutshell, this is a grab-handy wireless speaker with an onboard battery designed to be taken places. Bluetooth 4.0 is used to good effect, and a single pairing button on the end of the tube makes connecting to your device easy as pie. Next to that you have big and chunky volume controls on the side, and on the other end you'll find a rubber cover hiding the Micro USB in, to charge it, an Micro SD card port to insert some tunes directly, and also a full-sized USB. Because this baby can also act like a portable power pack to charge the device to which it is connected. Nice. And you'll have plenty of juice, too, as the the battery is good for ten hours of continuous playback.
The really impressive thing about the Edifier MP280 is the output. There are two 4W speakers contained within that soft silky body, and thanks to the 360 degree grill, the sound pumped out truly is 360 degrees. Pop this in the middle of a room and no matter where you stand you'll hear the tunes clearly. Take it outside and your party, camping trip, or barbecue will be well catered for as it is loud enough and clear enough to betray it's diminished proportions.
The Edifier MP280 handled bass incredibly well, and sitting it on our desk produced a satisfying resonating thrum. Even at higher volume levels the music was clear and crisp, with very little distortion creeping in there.
A carabiner clip on the top helps to keep it where you want it to be, something essential for outside parties and camping; despite the looks there is no mention from Edifier that the MP280 is waterproof. Still, it seems very toughly made, and certainly able to withstand a few outdoors adventures in, and clipped onto, your bag.
But apart from that it just works, every time, and very well. There is a great sense of no-frills about this speaker; as if Edifier have just decided to pack as much of their sound expertise into one small tube. The result is a real go-to speaker, one that we've been happy to use both inside and out. Check it out.