Rugged, portable Bluetooth speakers might often follow a similar template, but Creative’s new range offers a couple of key improvements that might just edge out the competition in a very crowded marketplace.
The Muvo 2 (also available in a compact version, the Muvo 2c) is in many ways a very standard Bluetooth speaker. It offers wireless connectivity as well as an aux input, and you charge it using, surprise surprise, a micro USB cable.
But where it gets interesting is if you have a couple of Muvo 2s, since if you have both you can pair them up and use them as a pair of stereo Bluetooth speakers.
Pairing is handled by pressing a dedicated button on the two speakers, and once paired one acts as a ‘master’ speaker, while the other acts as a ‘slave’.
Then you can simply connect to the master via Bluetooth as usual, the only difference being that once connected you can then play your music out of both.
There are a some interesting things you can do with this functionality.
You could for example place the speakers across two different rooms and use them to play the same song simultaneously. Imagine a barbecue situation where you have people in both the kitchen and back garden for example.
There are a couple of caveats if you want to use the speakers in this way. The speakers will always act in stereo; there’s no option to have both speakers play exactly the same song. This means that if you’re listening to a very stereo-heavy track such as ‘Money’ by Pink Floyd then one room is only going to get half the song.
In addition the range between the two speakers doesn’t appear to be massive in our demonstration. Granted this was a demonstration done on the floor of IFA 2016 which probably has the most crowded airwaves in Europe right now, but it could nevertheless be cause for concern.
Alternatively you could combine the speaker’s IP66 water-resistant rating to use them in the shower as a full on set of stereo speakers (although you’ll have to supply your own strap as Creative doesn’t include one in the box). Just because you’re washing yourself, you don’t need to settle for a sub-par sonic experience.
In terms of sound quality the speakers offer a pretty standard portable Bluetooth (though not aptX) experience. The sound is chunky and bassy, and they’re not going to be replacing you mains-powered music streamer anytime soon.
An interesting feature is the including of an SD card slot which allows you to bypass the low-quality non-aptX Bluetooth while still being wireless, and play FLAC files natively from the speaker itself.
We can’t imagine many people making use of this functionality, but it’s an interesting inclusion if you want to get the best out of the speaker’s sound.
Hands on verdict
Neither the Muvo 2, nor the Muvo 2c are aiming compete with the premium audio experiences offered by dedicated stationery setups. After all, they’re battery-powered bluetooth speakers with an emphasis on being rugged and durable.
But the stereo pairing functionality means that they’re a small but significant step above the competition, and in a marketplace as crowded as the Bluetooth speaker market, that might be all they need to get a jump on the competition.