Bluetooth-speakers are very popular today, so many manufacturers are eager to present their models. In the market you can find many offers of different prices, quality and functionality. Our testing laboratory received speakers Creative MUVO 2 and MUVO 2c from Creative, which are focused on quality and functionality. And at a price they are higher than many competitors. Will the formula work?
Creative does not deny the rich experience in the audio market. The company has been producing various products for more than 35 years, but the Sound Blaster sound cards brought the glory of Creative. However, in the segment of the speakers Creative can not be called a newcomer, the company has long been producing portable models with a Bluetooth interface.
Creative MUVO 2 and MUVO 2c together with the iRoar Go speaker, which we will introduce a bit later, are among the most recent models of the manufacturer. They are aimed at those users who need compact speakers with additional functions. Similar names are not accidental, since Creative MUVO 2c is a compact version of MUVO 2. However, there are significant differences between the speakers, as our tests will show.
The appearance of both speakers can be called successful. Creative MUVO 2 and MUVO 2c are available in different colors, which significantly affect the perception. In the “younger” speaker, the green and blue colors look more “fresh” than the red and black ones. In a large speaker, on the contrary, the blue and red colors are distinguished more strongly by gray and black. In any case, the appearance is a matter of taste.
Regardless of the model and color, the basic design of the case is almost identical. Creative used a trapezoid-shaped base, with a large front panel with a speaker and a smaller back panel, as well as bevelled sides. Dimensions of Creative MUVO 2 are 190 x 67 x 38 mm, for Creative MUVO 2c – 93 x 67 x 38 mm. Weight – 340 and 165 g.
In both cases, the front panel is covered with a metal mesh decorated with a printed manufacturer logo. The rest of the case is plastic, the material looks nice and good, and it feels good to the touch. Nowhere bends and does not crack, the speaker leaves an impression of high strength. In principle, the body consists of two parts: a metal mesh and a solid plastic frame.
This approach improves the protection against external influences. For Creative MUVO 2 and MUVO 2c, protection against dust and moisture penetration is claimed, IP66 certification is available. The speaker will withstand rain and spray, that is, it can be used outdoors in any weather or placed near the pool. Even under the shower it can be redeemed, if you focus on certification. Also, the body has an eyelet for securing the strap, although the strap itself is not included in the package.
The first differences between the two models became clear after the inclusion. Both buttons have buttons and indicators on the top panel, but Creative MUVO 2 has six, and MUVO 2c has only five.
For reasons of space saving, Creative did not add a play / pause button to the Muvo 2c. For both functions, the pairing button answers, which you can learn only by reading the user’s manual. The same goes for the transition function between tracks, which works if you press the “M” button paired with “-” or “+” on both models. The “M” button is responsible for switching between sources. The built-in microphone can be turned on or off via an inconvenient combination of the mating buttons, “M” and “-“.
With status indicators, it’s easier to figure out. The left signal only indicates that the battery is empty and lights up while charging. The right indicates the selected source or the current mode (single speaker, paired with the second speaker). In addition, if necessary, the remaining battery charge can be displayed in 25% increments in different shades.
Finally, you can use the Sound Blaster Control Panel, which is available for Windows and MacOS. The utility allows you to control playback parameters and speaker settings. However, here you can not do without the user’s guide, because you need to select the Micro-USB port as an audio source. Otherwise, the software can not be installed.
But it’s very easy to connect the speaker, although NFC support would make the connection even easier. After switching on Creative MUVO 2 and MUVO 2c automatically finds the paired device and connects to it, we did not encounter any connection problems with either the test iPhone or with Android smartphones.
Even setting up the operating mode of the two speakers is not a problem. First, you need to set the left speaker with the “M” button, then you need to turn on the right speaker and click on the pairing button. Unfortunately, it is not possible to use speakers of different series together (for example, Creative MUVO 2 and MUVO 2c). And one more limitation: pair work is possible only when playing through Bluetooth.
Unfortunately, Creative is not very willing to share information about the technical specifications of the two speakers. The company does not provide data on the frequency range or power characteristics, so it is problematic to make a theoretical comparison with other models. At least Creative pointed out the dimensions and weight.
The speaker Creative MUVO 2 uses two broadband loudspeakers directed forward, between which a passive radiator is located. This design can be used for stereo configuration, but because of the short distance between the two speakers, the stereo effect is very weak. If you need stereo sound, we recommend buying the second speaker of Creative MUVO 2.
Taking into account the price and the size of the case, the quality of the sound pleased us pleasantly. The maximum volume level is sufficient to fill even a large room with a sound, the speaker can be used, for example, for background music on a picnic or barbecue. At first, you even wonder how such a compact speaker gives such a strong bass, but, unfortunately, they muffle high and medium frequencies.
We used the test track “Under Pressure” performed by Queen and David Bowie. Keyboards and drums on equal dilute the first 15 seconds, but in the sound picture Creative MUVO 2 is still dominated by low frequencies. Further in the composition, the balance does not change, the basses continue to remain in the foreground. Of course, for a given song, low frequencies are very important, but still the vocals are pushed to the background. The same is true for “Empire State of Mind” performed by Alicia Keys. When the basses are added to the vocal (from 1:05 onwards), they are accented more strongly than we expected. On the one hand, they nicely contrast with the vocals that are in the foreground, but also shade the rest of the music into the background. The same goes for the final from the third minute. Here, the shock, amplifying the drama of the scene, pushes everything else into the background.
Also, if you decide to swing the volume to the maximum, you will have to accept the distortions – they appear about 75% of the volume from the maximum. However, the distortions are not so significant, the speaker Creative MUVO 2 does not rattle.
Of course, the sound quality depends on the quality of the music material itself and the chosen transmission path. The Bluetooth option can quickly become the worst, because the aptX profile is not supported. But MUVO 2 in its native mode can play MP3 and WMA files with a stream of up to 320 kbit / s, and FLAC is supported. Therefore, you will get the least loss of quality if you play music from a microSD card or through a line input for a mini-jack. However, even at best, Creative MUVO 2 will not replace full-size mid-range speakers.
As for the “younger” version of the Creative MUVO 2c, you will have to accept a smaller number of speakers due to the more compact case. The components are also different. The only broadband speaker is forward, and the passive radiator is already back. In addition to its function, it also brings a certain charm to the visual component: you can not only hear powerful basses, but also see by the vibrations of the radiator.
Of course, the maximum volume here is noticeably lower than MUVO 2, but for premises it remains quite reasonable. And for street events, too – if you do not expect miracles from a compact speaker. The biggest difference between the two models lies in the low frequencies. If in MUVO 2 they were well felt and were accented, then Creative MUVO 2c basses are not enough. As a result, the bottom does not drown out everything else, like the “older” model, but you can not call balanced sound.
We used the same test compositions. In “Empire State of Mind” percussion instruments reached the expected depth in rare times. Namely, at the moment of the introduction of the drums at 1:05 and in the finals. At other times, the vocals came to the fore, low frequencies contrasted badly with him, on the whole they felt too weak. As for the composition “Under Pressure”, here you notice flaws only if you start listening. A guitar that starts at 15 seconds sounds too sluggish, because the passive radiator is already busy playing bass. The same can be said about the first culmination at 55 seconds, as well as the composition from 1:15 onwards. Creative MUVO 2c simply does not give enough strong low frequencies to create a contrast with Mercury’s voice. As a result, vocals always come out victorious. In the finale, which starts at about 2:30, David and Freddie’s voices dominate the background of the music, rare drums and basses from the musical accompaniment burst through the vocals.
Distortions are observed only at very high levels of loudness. But, again, given the size of the speaker, the volume level can be called quite sufficient.
But, like the case of Creative MUVO 2, an important role is played by the quality of the audio source and the method of transmission. Speaker Creative MUVO 2c can also play MP3 and WMA files with a large bitrate, as well as FLAC from microSD cards. A linear input is also available.
Selecting an audio source affects not only the sound quality, but also the battery life. In principle, the differences between the playback of music via Bluetooth and the local microSD card are relatively small, but in our tests we were able to measure them.
To begin with, the speakers Creative MUVO 2 (10 hours) and MUVO 2c (six hours) worked longer than Creative said. We got about 50% longer battery life, namely 12 hours via Bluetooth and 13.5 hours when playing music from a microSD card on a larger MUVO 2 speaker. The “younger” model lasted just over seven hours and almost eight hours, respectively .
You can charge both speakers via the built-in micro-USB socket, there are batteries with a capacity of 2.200 and 650 mAh (Creative MUVO 2 / MUVO 2c) inside, there is no possibility of replacement.
But compact speakers are capable of more than playing music.
We liked the hands-free function of both speakers. Microphones are installed on the top edge of the speakers, and for optimal voice capture, you should stay close to the speaker. The quality of the speakerphone is quite sufficient for short conversations. It’s a pity that the available technologies do not allow running Siri or Google voice assistants.
As for daily work, there are disadvantages. As we noted above, it is difficult to guess the operation of many functions without instructions. In addition, you will have to face the limitations of Bluetooth depending on the used smartphone. In the case of the iPhone on the speakers, it was possible to adjust only the volume, the transition function between the tracks did not work – in contrast to the same Huawei nova .
When two speakers work in a pair, only the left one can be used for control – the buttons on the right speaker will be ignored.
There are a lot of Bluetooth speakers on the market, but if you need some additional functions, then the list of candidates is quickly punctured. For example, if you need a rugged, reliable and dustproof and damp housing, as well as an integrated media player, then there are only a couple of dozen such speakers on the market. If the possibility of working in pairs or light weight is important, then there will be already a few units, among which two MUVO models occupy a very worthy position.
Surprisingly, in addition to the shape and color, mobile speaker manufacturers rarely try to stand out, for example, with additional functions. Creative has taken a lot of right steps in this direction, we get many benefits from the functions of Creative MUVO 2 and MUVO 2c.
Although there are drawbacks, of course. If you are interested in all the available functions, then without reading the user’s guide you can not do. Find them by intuition is unlikely to work. Also, a connected smartphone can limit the functionality of the speakers. It is a pity that the work of two speakers in a pair is possible only when listening to music via Bluetooth. However, more importantly, both speakers are able to fill a room with music or a picnic in nature.
Creative MUVO 2 speaker was impressed by the low-frequency percussion, which should still be slightly reduced through the Sound Blaster Control Panel to make the sound more harmonious. The volume level turned out to be much higher than you would expect from such a compact speaker, although it is unlikely to twist it to its maximum due to distortion. Not with all types of music the speaker copes equally well. Problems arise with compositions where bass or drums are in the foreground, and also when the composition is built on the opposition of high and low frequencies.
Creative MUVO 2c can not compete with the “older” model because of its smaller dimensions, but it is still impressive given the size. The volume level here is predictably lower, but for daily use it is more than enough. Bass in direct comparison with Creative MUVO 2 is much weaker, subjectively the difference between high and low frequencies is less pronounced here. With compositions where there are a lot of low frequencies, a compact speaker does a worse job. But for its size, it still leaves a positive impression.
Taking into account the advantages and additional functions, the higher price of Creative solutions is quite understandable. In Europe, for Creative MUVO 2c will have to pay from 35 euros. As for Creative MUVO 2, the speaker can be purchased from 65 euros.
Which of the two models is better – difficult to assess. For the sound quality “older” model we liked more, and the battery life is more than MUVO 2c. But the dimensions are bigger, the weight is bigger, the price is higher.