Portable Bluetooth speakers come in various shapes and sizes, with most of them either focusing on connectivity (usually via Bluetooth), or portability. With the MUVO 2 and MUVO 2c, Creative is going for the ‘everything including the kitchen sink’ approach, packing in compact form factor, incredibly good sound and a wide range of connectivity options. After a week of continuous use, I am thoroughly impressed by what they have to offer and equally surprised that Creative has managed to price it competitively against other high-end portable Bluetooth speakers in the market.
As you can see, The MUVO 2 and 2c aren’t stylistically inclined and pale in comparison to some of the funky designs of other portable systems out there. However, what they have is a simple structure that should blend in with your other entertainment systems, or stay out of the limelight during outdoor sessions (the MUVO 2c does come in different color options which adds a little panache to the overall design).
The body is made from thick plastic with a rubberized coating, and an aluminum speaker grill donning the brand name in the front. While the build quality of the devices feel pretty robust, the rubber coating will easily attract greasy finger prints, cuts and dirt, and due to the nature of the material, they will be a pain in the back to get rid of them. If you heavily plan to use them outdoors, this is something to keep in mind. Both the MUVO 2 and 2c are water and dust resistant though, so you are at least covered on that front.
Both the devices share the same button placement on the top. You have a power button, a Bluetooth pairing button, a Mode switch to toggle between the different connectivity options, two volume rockers and a play/pause button (the latter is not included in the 2c). Just above the buttons are two LED lights – one indicates the battery level, while the other indicates the current mode that’s selected. Each mode has a different color associated with them – Bluetooth (blue), aux-in (green), MP3 player (yellow), and USB audio (purple). They also have built-in microphones allowing you to make calls. The call quality and microphone performance were on-par and comes in quite handy when you are listening to music from your smartphone.
A thick rubber strap on the back of the MUVO 2 (and on the right of MUVO 2c) hides the I/O ports, namely a USB port (which is used to charge and connect the device to the PC), a microSD slot, and a 3.5mm aux-in jack to connect it to your smartphone. Both the devices have a built-in music player that supports a wide range of audio formats, including FLAC, that can run off the microSD card. Just make sure that the memory card is correctly formatted in NTFS file system, as it cannot read the FAT32 file system.
This is the MUVO 2 and 2c’s strongest suit. The moment I started playing music from the two devices, I was surprised by how much power they are able to throw around, especially the 2c which is as small as the palm of my hand.
Let’s take a look at them individually:
- MUVO 2: Using an oversized passive radiator (which is like a subwoofer) and two compact drivers, Creative has somehow managed to deliver incredible amounts of bass through the MUVO 2. What’s more impressive is how balanced everything sound – there has been no apparent tampering in the sound to enhance any one aspect of the music to make it louder or better. The mids are delivered crisp and clear, while the treble is surprisingly smooth so the highs hit the correct notes without getting too screechy.
And these can get loud, so much so that I am surprised that my neighbors haven’t come knocking down my door while I was blasting PSY’s ‘I LUV IT’ at max volume. It should be pretty sufficient to fill a medium-sized room or a small backyard, but anything larger in size and it might fall short to deliver sound all the way across.
- MUVO 2c: this one doesn’t sound as good as the MUVO 2 but that’s to be expected since it’s half its size and has only one speaker. As a result, the bass feels a little airy and not powerful enough to get those ‘thuds’ rolling. But regardless, the sound quality still remains top notch with great mid and high support. Like the MUVO 2, the 2c can also be connected to the PC to use them as your desktop/laptop speakers. There is also an app for the 2c where you can configure the equalizer or use the built-in presets to customize the sound to how you like.
While both the speakers produce great sound, I wouldn’t recommend them for watching movies or playing games as they don’t have enough of a surrounding effect to truly deliver a great experience. This could potentially change with the Wireless Link which allows two of the same device to pair up and act as a 2.0 stereo speakers, but since we didn’t have additional units in hand, we could not verify that.
The only complaint I do have about them is the complex way around navigating through songs from the memory card. Shifting through songs and folders requires pressing a combination of buttons which can get confusing at the start and will have you constantly looking at the manual. This would have been so much simple with a tiny, monochrome screen or an app, but I guess that’s where the costing cutting kicks in.
In terms of battery life, the MUVO 2 packs a 2,200mAh battery which should give around 7-8 hours of single charge use, while the MUVO 2c sports a much smaller 650mAh battery and gave around 4-5 hours of use, which are around the numbers claimed by Creative.
The most important aspect of both the MUVO 2 and the MUVO 2c is their versatility: they can be either used as a normal portable Bluetooth speaker, or a desktop/laptop speaker thanks to its USB port, or as a boombox due to its microSD support. It covers all of its bases, and then delivers on superb sound to top it off. The Creative MUVO 2 is available in Dubai, UAE for AED 269, whereas the MUVO 2c is available for AED 189, and both are exceptional value for the money.