One of the downsides though to our portability habits is that everything is reduced in size to allow for this ‘carry around’ necessity. One such reduction is of course the size of the speakers, which can be downsized to nothing more than a couple of small slits within the portable computer casing. This may alert you of notifications and offer other important cues, yet for listening to music or involving yourself with any kind of multimedia content can significantly reduce the level of appeal.
The Edifier Sound to Go MP250 Multimedia Speaker attempts to increase our audio fidelity and indeed enjoyment by giving you the option to plug in via USB a soundbar -like speaker that can raise the volume and detail within the sound.
- 1x Soundbar USB speaker
- 1x Soft carry pouch
- 1x USB adapter cable
- 1x Audio cable
- 1x User manual
At the same width as my Netbook (around 26cm), the Edifier MP250 sits snugly in front of my portable computer. For larger notebooks (laptops), you may even be able to place it behind your keyboard keys just in front of the screen. Either way, the Edifier MP250 doesn’t overly intrude on your limited space. Underneath the unit are soft feet that will allow it to sit on delicate surfaces and not slide off.
Contained within the soundbar is a set of magnetically shielded two channel stereo speakers with two 1.25inch drivers on either side with a bass reflection port. To the left hand side the unit features a mini-USB port and 3.5mm Auxiliary input port. The other side includes a volume button that illuminates when the device receives power.
The Edifier MP250 is light, housed within an aluminium tube and is certainly a nice size to carry especially with the included soft carry pouch that is included in the box, both protecting your soundbar and other contents you may have in your bag.
My main gripe is the lack of any option for batteries. Relying totally on a USB powered connection, the Edifier MP250 severely limits its options if you wish to use it with non-USB powered devices. For example – if I wanted to play music using my Apple iPod through the soundbar, I would still require a device with USB powered output for it to work. Fine for your notebook or netbook, but problematic for a whole myriad of other portable devices.
- Power Output: RMS 2W x 2(THD+N=10%)
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio : >=75dBA
- Input Sensitive: USB: 800mV+/-50mV ; AUX 500mV+/- 50mV
- Dimensions:11.5×5.8×2.4inch (282x145x59mm) (WxHxD)
- Gross Weight: approximately 1.1Lbs(0.5kg)
Operation and Sound Quality
After placing the Edifier MP250 soundbar in a location that is suitable, it is just a matter of plugging in the provided USB cable to both the unit and your Notebook or Netbook. My version of Windows 7 had absolutely no problems detecting and installing the device – after a quick reboot we were ready to go.
Via just this USB cable, both power and an audio signal is delivered to the Edifier MP250 – so only one cable required to utilise this product. If however you wish to plug in another type of device possibly an MP3 player, you can use the additional AUX input and included cable to plug into the headphone port. As mentioned earlier, the Edifier MP250 will still need to derive power from something like a notebook or netbook to work – so as long as you don’t mind being connected in this way, you can certainly manage.
Volume can be adjusted by one of two ways, either by altering the level from your Windows computer or by the soundbar itself. The volume button when clicked raises the volume and when held down lowers.
To push the soundbar hard, I decided to play a series of Lady Gaga recent hits that include very noticeable sets of sounds emanating from each channel. I managed to enjoy the music at a very reasonable volume without risk of distortion. The stereo sound was clear and even with its limited width didn’t suffer too much. The bass level although more noticeable than the inbuilt netbook speakers, didn’t blow me away at all with only slight representations noticeable at any point.
Priced at around £40, the sound is clearer than the internal speakers that are equipped on your portable computer, adding extra clarity and a slightly improved sense of bass resonance, however the requirement to have power via USB limits your options when connecting to non-USB devices.
For raising volume levels and placing the speakers in a more suitable location for your ears, the Edifier MP250 provides an interesting option for those who wish to experience audio in a far more entertaining manner when portability is crucial.
Features I loved:
- Build quality
- Impressive volume level
Features that lacked:
- Lack of other power options
- Bass difficult to detect