When we first started to review Edifier speakers and sound systems, we grew accustomed to clearing a fairly large space on a desk. More often than not Edifierspeakers were big, boxy, and typically made of wood, and although most sounded excellent as a result, they tended not to be the prettiest of things. However, as we discovered last year when we checked out the Edifier MP280, the brand can also pack a punch in the small, attractive, and portable departments. We see if they're still any good at it by reviewing the Edifier MP233 Bluetooth Speaker.
Unlike the MP280, the MP233 isn't something you're going to be happy about dropping into a puddle. Whereas the prior was all about taking your music everywhere and anywhere you go, the latter is more of a homebody, coming in a sleek – but definitely not waterproof – casing. You get a choice of red, blue, yellow, black and – the one we were sent – white, so off to a decent start already.
The Edifier MP233 is slim, being just a couple of inches deep, and features speaker grills on the front and back. There are chunky control buttons on top, and inputs and a power switch on the side. It has a rechargeable battery on the inside that Edifier claim will last a whole 12 hours of continuous playback (we've yet to confirm that that fully – we're at about hour eight of testing but all fine so far), and boasts Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC pairing to boot. We connected a few different phones to it, and each time it took only a few seconds for the devices to recognise each other a establish a link.
As well as Bluetooth-enabled music players, the Edifier MP233 can also play nice with 3.5mm audio devices thanks to the port, and also music that has been stored on a MicroSD card. You can slide in a card and cycle (albeit blindly) through the tracks using the top-side controls. Always nice to have that option, but to be honest we've never done that 'in the wild'.
Behind those grills are two 4.5W speakers, which actually surprised us, considering the device's compact size. We weren't expecting much over 5W total, so the omni-direction set-up can deliver quite a bit of oomph when it wants to. The twin 48mm neodymium drivers seems to resonate a strength and clarity far beyond what we expected, and slapping on a bass-heavy track while holding the Edifier MP233 in our hands resulted in arm-tingling vibrations.
And you might notice from the phone icon on the top that the Edifier MP233 can also be used as a speaker phone. The mic seems to be plenty good, and when we've used it to take calls, those on the other end heard us fine. Actually, thanks to the sleek looks of the speaker (especially the white and black versions) we could see many business types getting this to use a speaker phone alone, and only ever occasionally use it for music.
Here at the very un-businesslike Test Pit Towers, however, we're happy to cart it around it our bags and whip it out when the musical mood takes. If you're looking for small and light Bluetooth speaker for summer days out and barbecues in the back yard, but also want something you'll actually be able to hear, this could be for you.