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Creative MUVO mini water-resistant wireless speakerphone

Feb 26, 2016

By Greg Gazin - Apple Gazin' - G4 Canada

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Creative MUVO mini water-resistant wireless speakerphoneIt’s nice to have a small portable wireless speaker that you can just throw in your backpack or purse. It’s even better, when you can get such a gadget that’s designed to withstand the elements without easily getting destroyed. The MUVO mini from Creative Labs certainly fits that bill.

Water-Resistant Compact Footprint

Muvo mini has a small footprint 7.4 x 1.4 x 2.3 inches housed in an attractive brick-shaped polished aluminum case.  It’s rated to IP66 standards, so it’s not waterproof, but it is water-resistant. And it’s light, weighing a mere 10 oz. It has a cool funky speaker grille pattern that could look like different things depending on how you visualize it. It might be a series of cubes stacked onto each other or a plethora of peace signs within a hexagonal shape.  The hexagonal motif also extends to its four speaker control buttons located atop the unit.

Also at the top are a connection status indicator and battery level indicator as well as a built-in microphone. So, in addition to streaming your tunes MUVO mini can also double as a speakerphone.  Plus, it's easy to use. If you need to take a call simply hit the Bluetooth button. When done, a simple tap returns you back to your tunes.

At the rear is a 3.5mm aux-in, which can be used for a wired connection if you’re not connecting via Bluetooth 4.0 or NFC as well as a USB charging port. Both are hidden behind a rubber gasket which helps keep the moisture out.

MUVO mini has a built-in 3.6V 2200mAH lithium-ion battery, which offers a decent battery life. It’s rated at 10 hours of play, although on a couple of occasions I was able to get almost 12.

Creative MUVO mini water-resistant wireless speakerphoneBattery Saver Mode

Also cool is its automatic battery saving mode. It kicks in and powers down the unit to conserve battery power if it senses no Bluetooth connection or audio input for more than 15 minutes.

Behind the grill are two front-facing 1.3” full-range micro drivers as well as an oversized radiator, which helps to improve the bass. I wouldn’t call the sound reproduction audiophile quality, but it offers decent sound performance for what it is – designed for compactness and fun.

It excels in the mid range and lower mids. The bass is respectable for the speaker’s size, thanks to the super-sized radiator. However, because of its light weight and slightly under-powered design it can struggle to loudly reproduce some of the heavy boom-boom or ultra-crisp highs that you get out of something like its big cousin, the Sound Blaster Roar 2. But then to be fair the MUVO mini comes in at less than a third of the price.

Creative MUVO mini water-resistant wireless speakerphoneVoice Notifications

MUVO mini offers added value with its power-on, pairing and battery life Siri-like voice notification. I got a kick out of tapping the Bluetooth button twice and hearing, "Battery is about 50%."

Two little items that kept me from giving it a higher rating: The microphone is placed in a finger’s way right between the volume control and Bluetooth buttons and there’s no track control – you need to use your smartphone for that.

Overall it’s still a decent little speaker. It’s fun and wireless and has a solid construction. And while it won’t be able to stand-alone at a pool party as a portable personal wireless speaker or for a small intimate group, it’s certainly ideal.

The Creative MUVO Mini comes in four colours; Black, Blue, Red & White and includes a micro USB cable, a one-year warranty and retails for US $59.99. It’s a decent price point for a weatherproof speaker that’s wireless and supports both Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC, although with our tanking Loonie it can push the retail price north of $100 CDN.

At the time of writing Amazon.ca had it for under $85 and Creative.com is offering directly a mini-deluxe twin pack that includes a pair of MUVO minis and a bonus pair of EP-630 earbuds for US$99.99 ($150 value)

Pros
Cool Compact Design
Wireless (Bluetooth/NFC)
Weatherproof
Battery Saver

Cons
Could be louder 
Mic too close to volume button
No track control

Rating: 3.9 / 5

Greg Gazin can be reached at  gadgetguy "at" telus "dot" net , GadgetGreg.com , or on Twitter @GadgetGreg

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