Surprisingly effective stereo separation in a small speaker
Satisfying clicky control buttons
Not designed for heavy-duty use
Controls hard to see in anything other than direct light
If you’re looking for a small speaker to use on a desk or nightstand, the Edifier MP230 offers excellent audio quality to match its stunning design.
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Edifier has a long history of manufacturing excellent sound quality speakers and headphones that give product design equal weight with audio quality. The MP230 is a small Bluetooth speaker that may sound even better than it looks, and the speaker sounds incredibly good for its size and price.
What does the Edifier MP230 look like?
The look of the speaker will appeal to anyone who loves mid-century modern design. The electronics are enclosed in an MDF wooden sheath with a walnut veneer. This creates a great look, but it also makes a major contribution to audio quality, as we’ll see below. The fabric grille is a brown and brass weave reminiscent of the most popular loudspeakers of the time.
If you could go back to 1968 and place the Edifier MP230 on top of a high-end console stereo system of the era, the modern Bluetooth speaker wouldn’t set off any alarms and would likely be mistaken for a tabletop radio.
What are the specifications of the Edifier MP230?
The MP230 uses Bluetooth 5.0 to connect to a source. Its Texas Instruments TAS5822M amplifier chipset supports 10W output power for each of two 48mm drivers with a frequency response of 70Hz to 13kHz.
The unit has a high-capacity 2600mAh lithium-polymer battery, which should provide up to 10 hours of Bluetooth playback per charge.
How build quality is the Edifier MP230?
The MP230 measures 6.38 x 3.8 x 3.3 inches (WxDxH) and weighs just 1.87 pounds.
Because its cabinet is wood rather than plastic, don’t expect much in terms of durability or weather resistance. This pretty veneer will chip if you throw the speaker in your bag and use it as a true portable speaker. You will definitely want to keep it away from swimming pools or the ocean.
How are the controls on the Edifier MP230?
The speaker has a single row of satisfying click piano-style buttons that enhance the old-school design effect and provide a better UX experience than touch controls.
There are buttons for power, Bluetooth pairing, play/pause, and volume up/down, and the device makes distinct, pleasing sounds every time it establishes a Bluetooth connection or turns on or off. ‘off. The bronze-colored buttons are actually plastic, but they still feel surprisingly solid for a speaker at this price.
On the back of the device, there’s an AUX input for plugging in another audio source, a TF slot if you’re loading music onto a microSD card for playback, and a USB-C input for charging.
How does the Edifier MP230 sound?
To celebrate the speaker’s classic jet-age design, I tested it with Stanley Black’s 1961 album Exotic Percussion streamed from Apple Music. Released at the height of the hi-fi stereo craze, this Phase 4 stereo recording from London Records emphasizes left/right separation of instruments so listeners can show off their system’s capabilities.
This approach makes easy-listening albums from the era excellent for testing modern Bluetooth speakers that claim to offer stereo. With a speaker as small as the Edifier MP320, I had my doubts as to whether a listener could get that true stereo action.
Black’s ‘exotic’ sounds feature plenty of drumming that goes back and forth between the left and right channels, and the MP230 more than delivers on tracks like ‘Jungle Drums’ and ‘Misirlou’.
Listening to a more contemporary track like “Bones” from Soccer Mommy’s new album Sometimes forever the speaker shines in the mids and highs with shimmering guitars and Sophie Allen’s wispy lead vocals. The bass and drums fit easily into the track without any of the artificial boosts that many speakers of this size use to try to boost the sound.
If your taste is more for deep bass tracks like Lupe Fiasco’s “Drill Music in Zion” from the 2022 album of the same name, you might expect the MP230 to fall short. Admittedly, such a small speaker isn’t going to rock the party with jaw-dropping bass, but the reproduction is surprisingly faithful. I wouldn’t hesitate to use this speaker for casual listening when playing music of almost any genre.
Is the Edifier MP230 worth it?
There’s no doubt that the wooden enclosure is a major reason why the MP230 outperforms other speakers of this size and price range. This wooden cabinet represents a compromise, however, as it makes the MP230 much more susceptible to damage than plastic speakers.
So, consider the Edifier MP230 an outstanding small tabletop speaker. It’s also a very handsome object with a design that echoes some of the greatest radios and hi-fi systems of the early stereo era. The controls are simple, the Bluetooth connectivity is rock solid, and the stereo sound is both consistent and enjoyable. If the look enchants, the sound will too.