For a while now I’ve wanted to buy a decent portable Bluetooth speaker, mainly because my brother stole my old speaker system and I mean what isn’t made better by Bluetooth right? I’ll most likely be using the speaker because I’m lazy and want to be able to stream music from my smartphone or tablet on a decent speaker without having to move from my bed; however having the option of a speaker being portable brings the added benefit of being able to take it on a trip to the beach, a picnic in the park or in the back garden when having a BBQ. Unfortunately Students and Graduates alike often struggle to buy all the luxuries life has to offer with students having the age old necessity of ale to buy and graduates with massive student loans to repay. This is why I took it upon myself to try and find some decent tech which proved to be great value for money.
Now I’ve been on the lookout for a new speaker for a while, setting up notification alerts on several deal sites such as Hot UK Deals to alert me when an offer too good to pass up comes along. I’ve got myself some right bargains in the past doing this, for instance I got over £100 of M&S gift sets for FREE, yes FREE at Christmas. Safe to say every female I knew got one of those, not sure my sister was happy though as she also got one for her birthday which was only eight days later. Anyway last week an alert came up for the Anker MP141 portable Bluetooth speaker with a £10 discount code to celebrate the product launch. Now full price this goes for £29.99 and I’ll be honest I had never heard of Anker beforehand, so I was unsure whether this was a good deal or not. Looking at some of the comments people had wrote about this speaker though were promising, describing Anker as a company that built great quality products at even greater prices.
I started to look into the speaker a bit more and one thing that surprised me was what it was being compared to. There was the odd comment relating it to its competitors that were in the same price bracket and below as you’d expect but the majority of in-depth comparisons were being made with the Bose Soundlink Wireless Speaker, a system that costs £140 more. If that wasn’t a bit of a shock to me already, the MP141 was actually coming out on top in many of these comparisons due to the multitude of positives that were associated with it compared to the Bose speaker. On that basis I decided for £19.99 with my £10 discount it was worth taking a punt on, and I’m so glad I did because it’s frickin’ awesome, definitely one of the best little gambles I’ve taken and I once won £3615.29 from a £2 bet on the footy. Anyhow that bet is a different story so on to the review…
Now for the price you pay you obviously aren’t going to receive the most elegantly designed bit of kit available on the market, but what you do get is a nice and simple yet stylish cube shaped design that comes in black or white and would go well with any décor (if that stuff bothers you). Some people may be bothered by the fact that it’s made out of plastic but in all honestly it looks better than the majority of other rival speakers and measuring in at only 3.1in x 3.1in x 2.7in, it proves that good things do come in small packages. Its tiny size also means you can slide it into the free and very stylish carry bag that comes with it and then pop it in your handbag/manbag without it taking up much room at all, knowing at any moment you can whip it out and get a party started.
The front has a small blue LED that stays constantly lit when you’re paired with your chosen device and it’ll let you know if nothings picked it up as it’ll begin flashing. Joining the LED on the front are three buttons, two for volume control and the other to pause/play music. There is also a small mic located on it to allow for a handsfree speaker system when connected to your smartphone. On the right hand side is a small on/off switch, and an auxiliary input for those who don’t have the luxury of having a Bluetooth device to connect. There is also a micro USB input slot which is how you’ll need to charge it up; a small red light next to it will indicate if the speaker is charged. Unfortunately there is no USB plug adapter that comes with it so unless you already have one you’ll either have to plug it into your computer or TV to charge it.
The quality of the sound is another impressive thing when you put it next to competitors like the BRICK by F&W and the Lavolta SM-201; and it becomes even more extraordinary when you think about the small price tag the MP141 has compared to the Bose Soundlink when its sound quality isn’t that much worse thanks to the 4W / 2in driver and bass port which allows for you to enjoy your music in high definition and surprising fullness. However as good as the sound quality is with everything you play coming through crystal clear, even at full volume; it does lack some power in the bass department, more noticeable when you have the volume turned to the max. Though what do you expect from a speaker which is no bigger than the size of my clenched fist.
If it wasn’t impressive enough already, then prepare to be blown away because the MP141 packs an impressive built-in rechargeable 2100mAh Li-ion battery that allows for unrivalled 15-20 hour playtime. That’s right up to 20 hours of continuous use before you have to recharge, making it ideal to take away with you to festivals to continue the party back at your tent when the bands stop playing on the stages. If that doesn’t get you excited though, then how about having a truly outstanding connection range of up to 33 feet? Yep I tested this out myself by placing my speaker at one end of my garden and then taking my mobile and iPad with me to the other, I admit as I got to the further end of the range the sound did start to break up occasionally but it did remain connected.
Other features that this little beauty packs include the ability to automatically connect with the last device that was paired with it, meaning if you’re your device dies and the music stops, once you plug your charger in and switch the device back on then the party picks up where it left off. In addition there is also the impressive microphone as mentioned in the design section which picks up sound within a 2ft range and can be heard perfectly clear on the other end, allowing you to essentially use the MP141 as a speaker phone, something that a lot of other portable Bluetooth speakers don’t offer. All this with an impressive 18 month warranty (you only get 1 year with Bose) mean that you have possibly got yourself the best portable Bluetooth Speaker on the market, and once that warranty runs out you’ll still be able to use the free lifetime technical support available to all customers.
This is the ideal portable Bluetooth speaker for any student or graduate looking to get themselves a decent speaker within a reasonable budget. The design is stylish; the sound quality closely rivals the Bose being able to go louder but with less powerful bass, and the features such as the 15-20 hour battery charge blow rivals out of the water. The only thing that would make this better (beside more powerful bass) would be for a USB plug connector to come with the package, but they’re cheap enough to buy anyway so it’s no major issue. Definitely a must buy.
- Anker® MP141 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- Micro USB cable
- 3.5mm audio cable
- Travel pouch
- Instruction manual.
- 18-month warranty and free lifetime technical support.