The Victrola Music Edition 2 Bluetooth Speaker ($199.99) thankfully doesn’t suffer from the rumbling audio problems of its cheaper, smaller sibling, the Music Edition 1 ($99.99). That said, we’re still not fans of its mono driver setup or its sound signature that overemphasizes the highs and scoops the lows. We like the proprietary wireless charging pad it can supply, but the lack of a companion app (and thus EQ) makes it a bright acoustic performance to miss.The JBL Charge 5 ($179.95) has a more balanced audio output and slightly more portable Due to its sleek design, it is a better buy in this price range.
Waterproof, with external wireless charging
The handsome Victrola Music Edition 2 speaker in black or silver measures approximately 4.5 x 9.0 x 3.5 inches (HWD) and weighs 3.0 pounds. A patterned plastic grille incorporating the Victrola V logo covers the front, while a perforated aluminum grille protects the drivers below. A 3.5-inch midrange driver and his 1-inch tweeter deliver audio with the help of a passive His radiator to round out the bass response. The bottom panel has two pairs of rubber feet to prevent movement due to bass vibrations.
This speaker is Bluetooth 5.0 compatible and works with AAC and SBC codecs. You don’t get stereo imaging here, but you can group the two speakers into pairs to get a wider soundstage.
Along the top panel are rows of controls on each side and a Qi wireless charging pad in the middle. On the left are power, charger (short press shows battery charge status, long press toggles wireless charging pad). ), and a Bluetooth button. On the right is a volume control and a multi-function button that handles track navigation (double press to go to the next track, triple to go to the previous track). You can also switch the speaker to MP3 USB mode by pressing and holding the multifunction button for 5 seconds. In this mode, you can connect and play music directly from your USB-C flash drive.
The rear panel has a 3.5mm aux input and a USB-C port (for charging and the aforementioned MP3 mode). The speaker comes with a wall socket adapter and a USB-C-to-USB-C cable, but no audio cable.
A note about wireless charging surfaces: Passive radiators can produce vibrations strong enough to move your phone. Our iPhone didn’t fall out completely, but it spun around a bit when playing songs with a powerful bang.
(Credit: Tim Gideon)
An IP67 rating means the product is dust and water resistant. You don’t have to worry about using it outdoors, you can freely submerge it in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. Of course, Bluetooth signals don’t work well underwater, but the point is, neither rain, dirt, or mud will cause a problem. For reference, the JBL Charge 5 matches this IP rating.
The company says the speaker’s 4,400mAh battery should last around 20 hours, but results will vary with volume levels.
Some users may not like the fact that it doesn’t come with a companion app, but we agree that an app with customizable EQ would help in light of the sculpted sound signature. But this feature is becoming increasingly rare in portable speakers.
sound too bright
On tracks with heavy sub-bass content, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the speakers are palpable. The low-frequency response won’t fool you into thinking there’s a subwoofer in the room, but the speakers pack a good amount of bass depth and won’t distort at max volumes. It sounds too bright and sculpted at times, which is weird on bass-heavy tracks.
Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” a track with far less deep bass in the mix, gives us a better sense of the overall sound signature. The drums on this track can sound overly thunderous on some bass-forward systems, but here Callahan’s baritone and his vocals dominate the low-frequency presence. The drums don’t sound weak, but they have only moderate power. Again, the speakers sound unusually bright, especially the acoustic strums being overemphasized. It would be nice to be able to adjust this obvious sculpting, but without EQ it’s not possible.
(Credit: Tim Gideon)
You can’t recreate that sub-bass tone that hits around the 34th second of Kendrick Lamar’s “Loyalty.” It’s not surprising for a speaker this small, but you generally don’t get much bass depth.
Lower register instrumentation comes slightly to the fore in the mix of orchestral tracks, like the opening scene with John Adams. Other Mary GospelsThat said, the brightness of the upper register brass, strings and vocals still overshadows everything.
Sharp style, sculptural sound
Victrola Music Edition 2 looks great, has a nifty wireless charging area, and can withstand most outdoor adventures. Unfortunately, the lack of an app with a customizable EQ means we’re stuck with one of the brightest, crispest presentations we’ve heard: the default sound signature. setup and lack of low-end power are no problem either. At this price point, we’ve already mentioned the JBL Charge 5 as a more attractive alternative with a fuller sound. If you have one, we also recommend the Sony SRS-XG300 ($349.99). It packs more bass power and high-definition Bluetooth codec support into the same durable design.
The outdoor-friendly Victrola Music Edition 2 speaker has a built-in wireless charging pad, but its treble-focused audio performance isn’t very appealing.
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