The moment you cut the chord on speakers and make them wireless, you’re asking for them to be used indoors and out. This makes it important that the product's design stands up, and means the water and dust resistant Creative MUVO mini could be the robust speaker you’ve been looking for.
This minimal rectangular design comes in white, blue, red and black. The latter colour of which our MUVO mini sports. We really like the flatness of the design; no buttons protrude and so it’s pleasingly straightforward in appearance. It’s one of the best looking portable speakers of this rectangular nature we’ve seen; simplicity being key. The Creative MUVO mini’s exterior has a rubber finish, which is not uncommon with portable wireless speakers of this nature, but this material is unusual in its feel, having the reassuring element of grip that rubber boasts, whilst also being silky soft without the anticipated greasy feeling.
Waterproof & Durability
Creative publicise that the MUVO mini is rated at IP66 standards. This basically means that it’s water and dust resistant and to prove this we put it to the test. We splashed the speaker with a water jet outdoors and the speaker survived to play again; impressively it didn’t allow any water to get past the speaker grill. We did also throw the speaker into a bucket of water for just a brief 5 seconds and it performed perfectly fine after this, too. So if you like to listen to music in the kitchen, bathroom, by the poolside, or more generally just outdoors, this is a pleasing reassurance. Our black variant hid dirt well, but when we did visibly get it dirty the rubber surface made it easy to wipe clean. The fact is this speaker may be lightweight but it’s built like a brick; it’s a solid design that feels as if it could withstand a beating. Definitely bag friendly.
Controls & Features
Creative have aligned the MUVO mini to be a speaker suitable for taking phone calls, potentially giving it abilities for conference calls. The microphone quality has body and manages to capture audio from over 1 metre clearly. In a row on top of the MUVO mini are four control buttons, consisting of the power, Bluetooth and up/down volume controls.
Found underneath a flap on the back of the speaker is a micro-USB cable for charging the internal battery, and left of this is an auxiliary connection for non-wireless devices.
Bluetooth & Battery Life
In our usage, with volume cranked around 75%, the battery managed to last 8 hours; so 2 hours less than the claimed 10 hour time. This makes it evenly matched with the similarly designed Jabra Solemate speaker we reviewed last year. The latest Bluetooth 4.0 is used, but is backwards compatible with devices that use older versions. It makes quick work of connecting to our devices, establishing pairing in under 4 seconds when in the ten metre range. And the original setup of paring is a doddle too; all that’s required is to hold down the bluetooth button for a few seconds to make the speaker accommodate connection to new devices. NFC functionality is also inbuilt and devices that support it simply sit on top of the speaker to play audio.
After weeks of listening to a variety of genres we were really surprised by how much volume is heard from this compact and lightweight speaker. It easily fills our studio with sound which refuses to distort or lose focus. It’s an enormous upgrade from inbuilt smartphone speakers.
The MUVO mini has an oversized front bass radiator, along with two 1.3” speaker drivers. The sound emitted isn’t a neutral style but leans on the bass quite intentionally, which we think is necessary, producing bass with real depth that resonates through a room and builds a solid foundation for genres like dubstep. In a song like ‘Sexy’ by the ‘Black Eyed Peas’ the sound preserves the exciting hard undertone beats along with the rising fluidity of the rest of the track's elements. This is the kind of standard we expect to hear from headphones that can promote frequencies straight into the ear.
Most of the time the mid range is well balanced against its surrounding ranges, but can occasionally go a little off with tracks that have opposing frequencies competing. The highs are beatifically prominent and have a level of clarity often lost on portable speakers, emphasising acoustic styles well. A good example of this is ‘Butterfly’ performed live by ‘Jason Mraz’, which captures the raw depth and brilliant vocal projection of the performance. We found that vocal attributes were always well separated and that instruments and other elements were always distinguishable. This has a lot to do with the stereo separation attempting to create a soundstage which is assisted by the length of the speaker; this aspect greatly aids the audio in its clear sound.
How It Stacks Up
Creative have fixed a price tag of £49.99 onto the MUVO mini and in this bracket it competes against the very good value Arctic S113BT speaker which is priced at £45. Both are similar in sound but we feel the MUVO mini has the edge due to its clarity. It also knocks the heels off the Jabra Solemate, which is over twice its price. So the MUVO mini shines as a marvel of value in this fiercely competitive market, bound together with an appealing water & dust resistant design, ease of use and a hearty battery life.