This is a review of Anker portable bluetooth speaker MP230. Amazon.com: AnkerŪ Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker with Built in Microphone 10 Hours Rechargeable Battery: Computers & Accessories
(due to this being a new product, ianker.com page hasn't been updated with a listing yet).
Portable bluetooth speakers are part of the most saturated market in today smartphone accessories. Everybody makes one, brand name or no brand name, and the prices range from anywhere under $50 and going up to over $200. After reviewing a lot of wireless speakers in different price categories, I can tell you with certainty that price range doesn't necessary translates into sound/built quality and you can actually find a decent portable speaker for a portable use at a great price. So let's take a closer took at what Anker MP230 model has to offer.
Starting with a packaging, you no longer mistake Anker product from a distance with their distinct recyclable brown box and white sleeve with a picture of the product, not even a drop of plastic in there. Along with a speaker, you will find a very comprehensive manual, usb charging cable (full usb to micro-usb), and 3.5mm male-to-male audio cable. Speaker itself is very compact and sleek. At about 9.6oz and dimensions of 4.7" x 2.9" x 2.3" it can actually fit in the palm of your hand and very portable to take with you when traveling. The shape of the speaker is actually different from most of the other ones I have tested in this price/size category where they typically look like a round can, while this one is more elegant to fit on your desk with it's glossy piano finish top. Bottom of the speaker has rubber feet-strips creating a nice friction with a surface. The main volume up/down and call controls are on the left side, and the back of the speaker has on/off button to turn it on and to pair up with a smartphone/tablet, auxiliary 3.5mm input to connect to any source which doesn't support bluetooth, and micro-usb charging port.
Pair up was seamless and blue led behind the grill works great as an indicator. When you charing the speaker, led is red. Charging should take less then 2hr from full empty and it should last 8-10hr on a single battery charge depending on your listening volume. In addition to blue/red color to indicate operation vs charging, the same led blinking also indicates when you are in a pairing mode (rapid flashing of blue led) or when battery low (red led flashing). Once paired/connected, I was actually able to walk away 50 ft from my phone through an open space before I lost a connection. In addition as a speaker, it also works as a speaker phone with an acceptable voice quality.
Now, about the sound quality. This speaker has front firing drivers behind the grill for your high frequencies and top firing sub with a bass port in the back. According to the spec, it supposed to be 2x 3W. For this price range it sounded just ok, where bass was a bit overpowering and distorted at higher volumes. I mean, its not fair to do audiophile analysis of $29 speaker, so you need to have more realistic expectations these will not be crystal clear or can be used to fill up a big room with a dynamic sound at your next party. They definitely will not sound thin thanks to the bass port in the back, and as I mentioned before you can use it wireless and wired connected through 3.3mm aux cable.
Overall its a very elegant looking speaker with a speakerphone functionality. Don't expect a stellar sound quality, but with an added bonus of extra bass, extended wireless range, great battery life, and backed by Anker's 18-month warranty, it's a great value for under $30.
Here are the pictures.