Edifier Sound To Go USB Speakers

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Product: Edifier Sound To Go USB Micro Speaker System
Provided By: Edifier
Price:
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Introduction:

It's been a long time since we reviewed anything from Edifier.  In fact, the last product we reviewed from them dates back to 2008 and was the M1550 5.1 Speakers.  Today we are taking a look at a product that is a little more portable - and offers pretty good looks and decent sound.

The Sound to Go all-in-one USB micro speaker system is built to travel and offers both USB and auxiliary input s.  It is housed in a nice aluminum case and looks pretty awesome.  Because of the metal used in the construction of the MP250 it feels very hefty for it's size.

Box Front
Box Front
Box Back
Box Back

 

The Sound To Go is part of the Edifier "Image" line that offers some pretty interesting designs while still offering good performance.  It will be interesting to see how this unit holds up with all five drivers built into such a small unit.  Keep on reading and we'll find out how good this little speaker bar actually is.

 

About Edifier:

You can find out more about Edifier over here.  For those of you that just want the low-down, take a look below.

The mission for Edifier originates from the unrelenting pursuit of high quality sound. It is the goal of Edifier to provide the highest level of quality, not just limited to sound, but to be present in every aspect and level of doing business. Edifier aims to become an internationally recognized leader, in providing premium audio solutions to suite any environment. Edifier will remain true the foundations that have evolved the company, fostered its growth and molded its colleagues, by continuing to ensure that all involved with Edifier have the ability to express and exhibit creativity, demonstrate and pursue growth personally and professionally, continue to shape and share the Edifier passion, and remain consistently and heavily involved with the successful future of the Edifier brand.

The philosophy of Edifier International revolves around an unrelenting pursuit of high quality audio, no matter the application. From a dream to an artist's sketch, to the form of a product complete with soul, substance with uncompromised design elegance. Edifier International has a passion for audio excellence that is without question focused on just one ideal, to provide the end user with the very best audio experience possible, with unquestionable design and elegance.

 

First Impressions:

We're not unfamiliar with Edifier, and in fact, they had some of the most unique speakers we saw at CES 2012 again this year.  One thing we noticed with these guys is their commitment to quality - both in build and performance.  While Edifier products may not be the loudest, or the most expensive - they are great quality and have good value - usually.  The bundle they include with the MP250 is pretty inclusive.  They include a soft bag to carry the speaker in as well as a 3' audio cable, a USB cable for power and USB audio from supported devices.  Also included in the bundle is a bit of a user manual.

Bundle
Bundle

 

As always, Edifier is proud of their products.  They display their logo prominently on their products and are not ashamed of what they make.  I've reviewed some products in the past that don't contain a logo at all.  It's like they are ashamed.  Edifier is not.

Edifier

 

On the next page we'll cover some of the features of the Sound To Go and take a look at the specifications of this unit.

 

Features:

As always, please make sure to check out the manufacturers site for all the details regarding the product.  We've posted a few of the features and specifications below.  For complete information and up to date details, please check the product page here.

Front View
Front

 

  • USB audio streaming capabilities
  • Volume controlled via the "Sound To Go"
  • Auxiliary input connects to audio enabled devices
  • Magnetically shielded, 3 inch subwoofer with built in amplifier
  • Four, 1¼ inch magnetically shielded tweeters
  • Soft protective carry pouch for transportation
  • USB cable included

Bottom
Bottom

 

Specifications:

Edifier isn't into boosting their specifications to ridiculous levels to look cool.  In fact, if you take a look at the specifications below, you may feel a little let down.  They don't look all that impressive.  The truth is in the audio experience though, and we'll try and take you into that on the next page.  In the meantime, the technical specifications are below. 

 

Specs

 

On the next page we'll take a bit of a closer look at the MP250 speaker and test this out with a few devices.


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.