Edifier Sound To Go USB Speakers - Closer Look and Testing

Article Index
Edifier Sound To Go USB Speakers
Features and Specifications
Closer Look and Testing

Closer Look:

The Edifier Sound To Go speakers are pretty basic and simple to use.  There is no power button, volume knob or bass controls.  They just work.  Inputs on the speaker are limited to an 1/8" stereo input jack and a mini-USB port for power and plugging directly into your computer.  The USB can be used as the audio output on your PC, but even if you are using the 1/8" jack input, you'll need to keep it connected to a USB source for power.  There are no batteries in the device - it's all USB powered.

Button
Button
Line-In & USB
Line-In & USB

 

Even though there is no volume or power button, you can control volume when playing over the USB by your computers sound settings.  When plugged in to the 1/8" stereo jack, you can control volume by clicking the button on the end to turn it up.  If you press and hold the button the volume will gradually decrease.  It's not the most intuitive method of volume control, but it works and keeps the design and layout nice and clean.

 

General Usage & Testing:

As this speaker is USB-powered and requires a constant connection, the application for plugging into a phone or other media player is a little weak.  It requires both cables for this situation and either a connection to a PC (where you probably have the media stored) as well as connection to your device.  While I understand that Edifier doesn't want to market this as a truly independent portable speaker, it would be nice to have battery power available for the times you want to just use it as a multimedia speaker.  Instead, think of it as a Home Theatre Sound Bar - for your laptop.

Profile

 

The MP250 states that it has a total power output of 1.5W x 2 (3W) and while that may not seem like much, we tested this at BCCHQ South and used our trusty Sound Pressure Level meter and discovered that this little speaker can "pump" out music at over 90dbi.  While this won't make you deaf, or disturb your neighbors too much, it is very acceptable and is more than adequate for gaming, music and movie playback.

The audio quality is not too bad - but it's not great either.  Although the Sound To Go has a 3" x 1.25" oval "subwoofer", the output from this is a little weak and the other four 1.25" drivers overpower what bass emits from the woofer and makes the music notably high and thin with the treble being a little strong.  Vocal tracks play very well, and your favorite power ballads from the 80's and 90's are still going to bring a tear to your eye.

Spoken word sounds very good from the MP250.  I used it to listen to hours of audio books when I was testing other hardware and the overall performance of vocals is very good.

When it comes to pop music or some bass-heavy tracks, the audio feels weak.  When compared to built-in audio of your laptop however, it blows it away.  Edifier markets this speaker system in this regard - and it's in this regard that we have to keep things in context.


The beauty of the Sound To Go is that it is small enough to easily fit in your laptop bag and that it uses a standard mini-USB cable to connect to your PC.  This makes it universally compatible and convenient.  

 

Conclusion:

The Edifier MP250 Sound To Go isn't going to blow your mind in terms of bass-thumping adrenaline rock music, but it's not going to blow your budget either.  At $40 online, it's a great choice that helps you get more out of your laptop or desktop system without other speakers.  It's small enough to fit in a laptop bag as well as fit below your monitor on your desk and at $40 it offers a lot of value and good quality.

The build quality of the MP250 is excellent.  It doesn't feel cheap it's simple design also lends itself to durability.  The audio quality is not stellar, but it is significantly better and louder than any laptop speakers I've ever seen (yes, even Harmon Kardon) in some gaming laptops.

The audio performance is decent - not great, but adequate.  Bass is sorely lacking, despite the 3" x 1.25" of subwoofer inside.  Still, they do sound clean and are able to keep distortion under control at all but the loudest volume levels.

The MP250 comes with everything you need to carry them with you and keep them from getting damaged too much in your laptop bag.  I wish that the little sack for the sound bar had enough space - or a separate pocket for the cables though.  That way everything could be kept all in one place.

The value of these speakers is where they really shine.  What they lack in bass they make up for in value.  I've seen these under $40 online and for that price, they really add value to your laptop.  They are small enough that you can take them anywhere and they are worth it if you are spending much time on the road or in a hotel.

I started out quite skeptical when I saw how small these speakers were.  Initially, I was further disappointed when I discovered they had no battery and the volume control was a matter of push repeatedly to increase and hold to decrease.  After using these for more than a month, I understand what Edifier was going for: simplicity, durability and quality.  I think they achieved a decent mix of all three.

I still would like to see a battery-enabled set, but I know that would push the price up to where they would lose some value.  At $40, these are a steal - if you want portable speakers and your Sound To Go.

Pros:

  • Good sound
  • Portable (much smaller than I thought)
  • Great value

 

Cons:

  • Have to remain plugged in to USB at all times 

 

In the end, there isn't much to complain about.  Are they the best portable speakers available?  Probably not.  Do they offer great value and good sound?  Absolutely.

BCCRating

Silver 

I'd like to thank Edifier for sending these our way for a review.  Please post your thoughts, comments and questions in the forum at the "Comments" link below.