Portable speakers have never sounded so good – and at such an affordable price!
Great price & design; solid, punchy & tightly focused sound quality; a snap to use
Short speaker cables; requires a power outlet
Laptop speakers are convenient, but they suck – at least where music playback in concerned. Music aficionados looking to breathe life into their portable computers should check out Edifier’s outstanding MP300 Plus (£48.50) speaker system. This 2.1 portable system (1.4kg) looks fantastic with its brushed aluminium sub-woofer and sounds even better! It also comes with a protective and compact carry case, making it great for audio in the office and at home. Forget what you know about portable laptop speakers – the MP300 Plus is anything but cheap sounding.
For listeners who are always on the go, the MP300 Plus means you do not have to accept average sound quality. The system comes feature packed with a 60mm-diameter by 280mm aluminium tube subwoofer for detailed bass, and two 55mm-diameter spherical magnetically-shielded satellites with metal weave speaker grill and mounted volume controls. Power output is rated as 3.5W for each of the satellites and 15W for the sub-woofer, while the whole system runs off 12V power (AC adapter supplied). The MP300 Plus is not exclusively designed for laptops either – thanks to its standard 3.5mm audio input jack you can connect it to your desktop PC, MP3 player (iPod included), and virtually all digital and telephony systems. Suits that need a high quality mobile audio system for presentations should also be well served.
Edifier is a company to watch. Although relatively new to the market, it’s already a winner of a CES 2008 award for Design & Engineering Showcase Honours. This is thanks largely to a dedicated R&D; team led by Peter Duminy, a chap who previously worked with the BBC Loudspeaker Research Dept and at B&W.; Edifier holds a design philosophy to offer elegant solutions for the home and office with superb sound quality at an affordable price. To achieve this, it worked closely with Phil Jones, founder of American Acoustic Development (AAD) to integrate high-end audiophile technology into its products. AAD produce some of the most technically advanced and highest performing loudspeakers on the market today.
Edifier’s MP300 Plus is a truly exceptional portable speaker system. The system, due to its size and design, proves to be incredibly discrete compared to other systems, with the sub-woofer designed to sit behind your laptop and the two smaller speakers to sit either side. There is only a small red LED to tell whether the unit is on, and there are two discrete chrome buttons for volume control and power. The only slight drawback is the lack of a remote control, but since the unit is designed for use with laptops, this is no deal breaker. The whole system sounds fantastic given its price, and the fact that it comes with a soft carrying case makes it ready to go.
In our music playback tests there was no distortion at all, presumably due to the Electric Intelligent Distortion Control (E.I.D.C.) system that detects and adjusts the M300 Plus to avoid input overload. The mid-range was ever so slightly lacking however, though it was so slight to be almost unnoticeable. Film and game sound tracks and effects were very well reproduced and provided a marked improvement over many headsets. The downside is that the system isn’t loud enough to really get it on, and the fact that you need to hook the subwoofer up to a power outlet means it’s not truly portable – kiss goodbye to beach parties! There are no manual or bass controls either, so you’ll have to rely on your media player software for fine tuning. Nonetheless, Edifier’s MP300 Plus is guaranteed to impress. While still nowhere near as good as a quality pair of desktop speakers – and the fact that the rather short wires can look a tad messy – the MP330 Plus can’t be beaten for money.