Edifier MP230: Best Vintage Bluetooth Stereo Speaker With Impressive Sound

Edifier MP230: Best Vintage Bluetooth Stereo Speaker With Impressive Sound

Edifier MP230 is the Best Vintage Bluetooth Stereo Speaker with impressive sound. Edifier designed a retro-looking speaker that can either blend in with your decor or stand out and add some flair.

The Edifier MP230 is one of the best-looking vintage speakers that doesn’t sacrifice sound quality for its unique looks. This gives you fast and easy wireless, wired, or even SD card connectivity, to such an extent that it can be a great multipurpose little speaker.

While its light brown wood veneer and bronze plastic finish fit the 50s/60s theme well, I think opting for metal for its piano keys might have made it feel more authentic. The feet falling off might not be a common issue or at least can easily be fixed, however, the true sacrifice with this retro design is that it’s a wireless speaker that you probably will only at any point hope to use indoors.

So you ought to seriously consider your use case before buying, as there are similarly evaluated non-portable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi speakers which offer more features, better sound quality, and overall value. Assuming you’re going for that authentic retro feel though, the Edifier MP230 delivers a unique package for $150.

Edifier MP230 Best Vintage Bluetooth Stereo Speaker With Impressive Sound
Edifier MP230

KEY FEATURES

  • Retro/Classic Design
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Up to 10 hours of battery
  • Stereo
  • Two 48mm full-frequency drivers

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Brand: Edifier
  • Maximum output power: 10W+10W(RMS)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0/TF card / AUX / USB-C port
  • Weight: 0.85kg
  • Dimensions: 164×84.3×108.8mm
  • Battery: 2500mAh
  • Frequency: 70Hz-13kHz

Pros

  • Very powerful sound
  • Strong bass
  • Long battery life
  • Excellent connectivity options
  • Unique 50/60s design

Cons

  • Some materials feel less premium
  • No EQ settings
  • Bottom feet have weak adhesive

The Edifier MP230 is a sub-$150 compact Bluetooth 5.0 speaker that combines the retro looks of old-time radios from the 50s/60s and some modern cues from the popular Marshall Action II. I was a little doubtful at first and assumed that sound quality would be an afterthought, but for its smaller size and rather unique design, you’ll be pleasantly shocked by how strong and clear the MP230 sounds.

While this isn’t necessarily the best portable speaker for taking on the go, assuming you want something that’s easy to move from space to room, looks unique, and can fill small/medium-sized indoor spaces well, then the MP230 is an excellent choice.

Edifier MP230 Features

Edifier MP230
Edifier MP230

The MP230 has not had many ruffles, but in everything it does, it manages to do very well. For connectivity, you have Bluetooth 5.0, AUX, USB-C (which also charges the speaker), and even a miniature SD card slot for your downloaded media.

In my tests I wasn’t able to observe any sound quality distinction between these 4 options, however, your experience using USB-C can vary. I observed that the speaker was susceptible to electrical interference with many of my USB-C cables when connecting to my gaming PC. This didn’t appear to be an issue when using my MacBook Expert, so I’m not entirely certain assuming this is more related to the connected device or the speaker itself.

The inclusion of a MicroSD card slot is an interesting choice in 2022 when streaming content will always be a more convenient option.

While better quality codecs like AAC and aptX Low Latency are absent, Bluetooth 5 is impressive on its own and I never ended up noticing bad-quality streams or out-of-sync audio.

With a 2,500 mAh Lithium-ion battery which is claimed to “sustain Bluetooth playback for as long as 10 hours for each charge”, with shorter listening sessions, you can easily go for days and even a long time between needing to charge. At louder volumes, you can expect the total playback to drop by an hour or thus, but that’s still very impressive for a speaker this size. As I almost solely used this indoors while connected to either my PC or phone, a USB outlet was always nearby, and I pretty much always had this connection when I was testing battery life.

Having a built-in battery allows me to unplug this and use the speaker completely wirelessly which I usually do when I’m doing chores, working in the garage, or hanging out on my rooftop deck. Aside from using the MP230 around the house, I can’t see myself taking this somewhere else. You absolutely could, but with its more retro design and wood finish, not only would it watch out of place, I’d be concerned about its durability as it lacks any kind of waterproof or dust-confirmation ratings. As they clearly state on their site, this is a “Tabletop Bluetooth Speaker”, so indoor use is what it’s intended for.

A very minor eccentricity I immediately found is actually with its sound effects when powering on, off, and changing inputs. Fortunately, we don’t have the very annoying “the Bluetooth device is currently connected effectively” in broken English that you can often find with cheaper or off-brand speakers. However, I couldn’t help but notice that the power of sound is very similar to the Windows log-off sound, and changing inputs sounds like a Discord notification.

Clearly, this is a very minor point to bring up, but as someone who easily notices and for some reason puts a lot of weight into it, I personally feel that it slightly takes away from an otherwise very premium experience. It just comes off as somewhat messy.

Edifier MP230 Design

Edifier MP230 1

Because Edifier wasn’t trying to make this a do-it-all wireless outdoor-rated active speaker, they had the option to design a speaker that actually looks really nice and can either blend in with your decor or stand out and add some flair depending on what you want. The MP230 measures 164 × 84.3 × 108.8mm and weighs 762g.

It has a light brown and bronze color scheme that gives off a very premium and boutique appearance. Edifier states that the “MDF wooden nook is thinner than plastic and warmer to the touch than metal, allowing sound to streaming tenderly into a beautiful world”. In addition to helping with sound quality, the choice of materials and colors complement work areas and mid-century living room shelves really well.

One of its more unique design elements is its bronze piano key buttons which they claim are a “perfect vintage replica”. Despite looking like metal, the keys appear to be made of plastic. Though they feel good to press and give a nice click when pressed, I think metal or maybe even wood would have been a great way for them to really sell the retro design.

The MDF wood feels very smooth and certainly feels more premium than plastic, with a “warmer” and more welcoming touch than metal. But, similar to the plastic keys, is another area whereupon closer inspection reveals that this is more retro in appearance than construct. The veneer looks good but is the primary reason I’d advise against taking this outdoors or throwing it in a bag. I’d imagine this could scrape very easily and is without a doubt a bad idea to use near any water.

That said the MP230 still feels all-around built and good in the hand. No rattles, shakes, or free parts that I’ve experienced in my long stretches of testing. I accidentally dropped this once on a carpeted floor from about 4 feet up and didn’t notice any damage.

Tying everything together, the MP230 has a black and light brown vintage speaker barbecue cloth which is tracked down on both the front and rear of the speaker. The front top left corner features Edifier’s logo in the same bronze color as its piano keys. There are not many other speakers that share this kind of styling, especially at this size and price tag.

Somewhat disappointing are the MP230’s rubber feet, which are perhaps the biggest letdown with this speaker. This assists with elevating the speaker and prevent it from vibrating on surfaces. Shortly after unboxing and using the speaker for a couple of hours, I went to get it to try it out in another room and noticed that one of its feet had fallen off to reveal the veneer wood underneath. It appears to have been cheaply attached with a very weak adhesive. I pushed the foot back on, but it continues to fall off with the lightest touch or movement. While I could easily re-attach this using a gorilla stick, it makes the feet feel like a speedy afterthought.

Edifier MP230 Sound Quality

Edifier MP230 Best Vintage Bluetooth Stereo Speaker.
Best Vintage Bluetooth Stereo Speaker

The MP230 gives two 48 mm full-recurrence driver units, combined with an integrated large-size dual passive radiator. Each speaker is 10w and fueled by a Class D amplifier which just means it’s a small and power-efficient circuit board. It supports 70Hz-13kHz frequencies. I was concerned that this speaker would be more of a trick that was counting on you buying and paying a premium cost for those retro looks. Fortunately, that’s not the case as this doesn’t disappoint in the sound department.

I used this speaker for a blend of gaming, listening to music, podcasts, and some video editing. For small and medium-sized rooms, the MP230 can get plenty loud. I never felt like I wanted (or wanted) to go past half volume, though if necessary, it has very little distortion even at 100 percent.

Anything past 70-80% is very loud, to the point that I’m certain even my neighbors could hear it, but it still sounds like it’s coming from a smaller speaker, as most would consider normal. It ought to be able to add some great energy to a space and even be a great portable choice for a smaller party.

For a permanent solution or in the event that you’re willing to forego being battery-fueled, you can save a bit by choosing an Amazon Echo 4th Gen (our review). It can regularly be bought for under $100 and when on sale for $60 is an easy way to create a very impressive smart wireless stereo setup on the cheap. The Reverberation 4th Gen sounds considerably more refined and obviously, gives you more built-in smart features. It lacks the looks and portability of the MP230, but when you consider that you’ll probably only be using Edifier indoors, that might not be a bad trade-off.

The MP230 overall sounds warm with plenty of basses. In fact, I was very amazed by how much low-end this was able to convey. When you turn up the volume you can easily feel it shake your work area and even the floor assuming you stand five or so feet back. I’d venture to say that the bass can at times feel overpowering as the mids and highs get lost at higher volumes. Unfortunately, the MP230 lacks any kind of EQ, so you’ll have to depend on software or a separate amplifier to make any adjustments.

Its stereo speakers are both front-facing, however, the sound emanates from the rear grille too. Placing the MP230 in the center of space assists it with delivering more of that 360-degree sound, though it isn’t quite there as its left and right sides are noticeably quieter still.

Vintage Speaker, Modern Sound

The Edifier MP230 is one of the best-looking vintage speakers that doesn’t sacrifice sound quality for its unique looks. This furnishes you with speedy and easy wireless, wired, or even SD card connectivity, to such an extent that it can be a great multipurpose little speaker.

While its light brown wood veneer and bronze plastic finish fit the 50s/60s theme well, I think opting for metal for its piano keys might have made it feel more authentic. The feet falling off might not be a common issue or at least can easily be fixed, however, the true sacrifice with this retro design is that it’s a wireless speaker that you probably will only at any point hope to use indoors.

So you ought to seriously consider your use case before buying, as there are similarly estimated non-portable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi speakers which offer more features, better sound quality, and overall value. Assuming you’re going for that authentic retro feel though, the Edifier MP230 delivers a unique package for $150.