Creative Muvo 2c
For size and price, this palm-sized water-resistant Bluetooth travel mate punches way above its weight. In fact we’d go so far as to say it’s the best value travel speaker we’ve ever heard, and for several reasons. Firstly it sounds surprisingly excellent: treble and mid-range frequencies are spot on and as for the bass… Blimey, this thing kicks out some oomph. Audiophiles will say its huge bass response isn’t natural but truth is you want some decent bottom end in a tiny speaker and this thing is awesome in that respect.
However, that’s just the half of it because, despite its excellent soundstage, diminutive size, robust construction, resistance to water and smart looks, the Muvo 2c also comes with some unique, indeed ingenious, extras. What’s the single biggest hassle with Bluetooth speakers? You need a phone or iPod to hear anything, and one with plenty of hard disc space to accommodate your tunes. Not with this little beauty you don’t because it has, cue drum roll, a built-in audio player that accepts FLAC, WAV, WMA and MP3 formats. Simply load your favourite songs onto a MicroSD card, clip the card into the Muvo’s sealed side port, tap the required rubber button until the LED lamp glows yellow and, voila, all your top songs are played with no need for any other device. It even offers a track-skip function. No Bluetooth connecting, no having to have the phone within range, no extra hard drive space needed and no phone battery depletion. Why aren’t all portable speakers built this way?
There’s more. You can also link two of these speakers together for a wider soundstage, plug it into your laptop via USB and make personal adjustments to its EQ using the Sound Blaster Control Panel, and take calls while you’re lounging in the pool. Expect around six hours of playback on a single charge. Frankly, we’re gobsmacked by this speaker’s sound quality and plethora of features, and all for a shade under £40. Now that’s what we call exceptional value.