Overall Rating: 88/100 (Grade A+ Speaker)
Ever wanted to blast some music on the go outdoors, or simply in the shower, without the fear of an accidental splash of water damaging your beloved speaker? Well, today I will be reviewing a Pair of Creative Muvo 2c’s, which are touted to be able to do all that! Let’s see how the Creative Muvo 2C performs and stacks up to the competition.
Category: Ultra portable Speaker
-Micro-SD card Support with ability to play popular music formats
-Waterproof and Dustproof (IP66 Certification)
-Unique Ability to connect 2 of the same speakers together WIRELESSLY, for stereo sound
-Powerful, loud sound for a small speaker
-Able to receive calls and act as a speakerphone for your smartphone and PC
-Built in equalizer Control to adjust sound to your liking (only When connected to PC/MAC devices)
-Would be even better if creative could squeeze a little more bass from this speaker’s size
-Finding for a specific title and music in Micro-sd card is quite tricky due to lack of proper controls
Design and Build Quality (8.7/10):
The Muvo 2c was designed to be a very portable speaker to be used on the go, in the great outdoors. As such, it’s design is pretty lightweight – yet solid. The plastic is pretty hefty, and together with a smooth matte finish and a metal grille which protects the speaker, the Creative Muvo 2C Should be able to withstand some rough handling. Even the oversized bass radiator is really well protected. It sits flush with the plastic speaker cabinet, with minimal rubber surrounds being exposed.
Furthermore, did I mention that this speaker is Water and dust resistant? This is great as a portable speaker that is used outdoors is very susceptible to getting an accidental splash of water – be it from the rain or beachside.
The only minus about this speaker’s design is the waterproof/dustproof flap covering the Aux-in, USB and micro-sd slot. This flap can sometimes get in the way when you’re trying to charge the speaker, especially if you’re using a very thick (aftermarket) micro-usb cable. Also, it can be a little laborious to press in every corner of the flap to ensure full water and dust resistance. Be sure that you have achieved a proper seal with the flap before bringing this speaker out for a water adventure!
Colour wise, This speaker comes in Electric Blue, Lime green and red. For people that prefer colours that aren’t too striking, The Muvo 2C also comes in black.
Battery life and charging (9/10): Powered by a 650mah Battery, the Creative Muvo 2C provided me more than 5 hours of music playback for me at normal listening volumes. Charging slightly under an hour with a 5V 1A USB Charger, and you can play music with the speaker while charging! Just expect a slightly longer charging time when you do this, of course.
5 hours of music playback is pretty good for a speaker of such a small size, but i do wish that the speaker had squeezed in a bigger battery, so It could have an even longer battery life. This would have made the speaker more useful for long outdoor trips.
Also, there is no way to find out how much battery charge is left in the speaker. It would have been even better, if there was a way to find out the amount of battery charge left in the creative Muvo 2C – by using a smartphone app, for example. Most ultraportable speakers do not possess this feature at this time though.
Connectivity (10/10): This speaker is literally filled with many connectivity options. For starters, other than the old school aux-in jack, the Muvo 2C is Bluetooth enabled. The Bluetooth reception is really strong and we didn’t encounter any drop outs even when moving around at a 7m radius.
Furthermore, the speaker can also connect to your computer directly via usb and play music. It also has a micro-sd card slot as well, so you can playback music without the need for your smartphone or computer! This speaker can also connect wirelessly to ANOTHER Creative Muvo 2C, thus allowing you to playback your music louder and in stereo.
All these nifty features together make this speaker a really cool speaker which is chock full of connectivity options.
We’ll cover a few of them in greater detail below.
Functionality and features (9.4/10):
Playback via bluetooth…in pairs!
Functionality wise, upon turning on the speaker, the bluetooth function is enabled as it’s first function. You can pair the speaker to your phone/tablet via Bluetooth, and then begin playing music via Bluetooth almost immediately. You can control the volume, pause/play and skip tracks using the menu and volume buttons on the Muvo 2C.
Have another muvo 2c? You can actually pair them together wirelessly. The wireless pairing of the second speaker was pretty fuss free and the speaker could connect the second speaker pretty quickly. The second speaker that is paired would act as your right speaker.
If you connect the speaker to your smartphone via Bluetooth, you can also answer calls using the mic that is built into the Creative Muvo 2C.
Or connect the speaker the old fashioned way…
To change the speaker modes, simply press the M (mode) button. The Second mode (in green) is the AUX/Line-in function, which allows you to connect any device via the old fashioned 3.5mm line in cable (but note, sadly, this cable isn’t included in the box).
Or maybe, just use your spare micro-sd card…
The 3rd mode will be the SD card playback. Indicated by a yellow colour LED, you can playback songs stored in your micro-sd card. To select which song is playing, you will need to fiddle with the Menu and volume buttons, which allow you to skip folders or skip to the previous (or next) song track. It could have been better though, if we could select a song stored in the micro-sd card using our smartphone. It would be a lot more convenient that way.
Or Tune your audio and get Higher quality playback via USB connection
The fourth mode, indicated by a purple coloured LED, is the USB audio mode which lets you connect the speaker to your computer via USB for higher quality music playback.
The creative Muvo 2C actually has a sound card built inside it to decode and amplify your digital songs into music you can hear. This allows for higher quality music playback, compared to using your computer’s built in sound card (The built in sound cards on your computer/laptop for music playback usually aren’t of very high quality). You can also use the Mic on the Muvo 2C when the speaker is connected via USB to your computer.
To make things better, you can install the “Soundblaster MUVO Control Panel” App to tweak the audio to your liking. As an Audiophile which likes to tweak the speaker’s sound signature to my liking, I really loved this function.
I wanted this speaker to have a more laid back tone indoors, with a warmer sound. I wanted to tone down the treble a little and squeeze a little more bass out of this small speaker. Their computer application allowed me to achieve most of that really easily, via the manual equalizer. I saved this as a preset, and called it “Aaron’s DynamicTune (Warm)”. You can probably tell from this preset name, that I was already getting a great kick out of this feature 😛
For the budding audiophiles that aren’t too familiar with equalizers, they can make use of the SBX Pro studio adjustment, which allows for easier tweaking of audio to your personal preference.
Do take note however, that sadly, in the USB mode, you can’t wireless pair 2 muvo 2C’s and play back the music in stereo using both speakers. The music playback only came thru the speaker that was connected directly to my computer, even though the speaker LED shows I still had the second speaker connected to the first one wirelessly.
Also, the audio tuning that you have created in the computer is only accessible when the speaker is connected to your computer. This setting is not saved into the speaker and carried over to the other modes. (i.e. If you use switch from the USB function to the Bluetooth function, the equalizer setting you created isn’t saved and used in the next mode. The speaker would simply default back to the original tuning.)
I really hope some improvements can be made to these areas somehow, via a firmware update. This would make the Muvo 2C an even more impressive speaker!
Music Quality: Loud, powerful sound for such a tiny speaker!
Today, we’ll be using the following songs to test the capabilities of the Creative Muvo 2C:
1) Closer, Remixed by r3Hab, originally written by The Chainsmokers: I used this trending EDM remix because it has deep bass synth notes, as well as male and female vocals to showcase the mids and treble aspect of the speaker.
2) Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars: This song has punchy drum notes and solid male vocals that will allow us to assess the bass, mids and highs of the speaker.
3) Roses – Fingerstyle Acoustic cover by Peter Gergely (Originally written by The Chainsmokers): This Guitar fingerstyle cover will allow us to really assess the mids and highs of the speaker.
The songs will be played at my normal listening volumes indoors. All songs were streamed via bluetooth, with music files from Spotify Premium, at extreme quality mode @ 320kbps. The speaker is placed on my desk, about 40 cm away from me, unless otherwise stated (e.g. when testing for volume). This placement should also give us a rough idea of sound performance for small gatherings (e.g. picnics) outdoors.
And as a benchmark, let’s see how the creative muvo 2c stacks up to the X-mini III. These 2 speakers are of pretty similar size and will offer us a great comparison of how the Creative Muvo 2C Stacks up to the competition!
Bass: (7.6/10) Pretty impressive bass for a tiny speaker.
Before I review the bass aspect of this speaker, I’d like to give the novices a little background knowledge about speakers. Usually, for bass, the bigger the speaker driver, the more air the speaker can displace, and thus, the more bass frequencies can be reproduced. Well, of course, there’s also the design of the speaker that has to be accounted for, including power handling, efficiency and type of speaker (there are speakers designed specially to reproduce low or high frequencies well). But let’s just keep it simple here. Bigger driver = more potential for bigger bass notes.
And what’s a bass radiator? Well, a bass radiator does not actually make sound by itself. You see, when the speaker driver moves back and forth, there is also sound coming from the back of the speaker driver. The bass radiator is tuned to ‘radiate’ the air movement from the back of the actual speaker into bass that you can hear (and sometimes even feel, depending on the performance of the speaker driver driving it)
Thus, While creative advertises the Muvo 2C speaker as having “Deep bass”, we must remember that the size of the speaker driver is a big factor when it comes to reproducing bass frequencies. For real room shaking bass, you’ll really need a bigger and more powerful speaker to experience that.
Well, back to our review of the Muvo 2C. The creative muvo 2C has a tiny, creative custom tuned, 1.3 inch speaker driver, which reproduces all the bass, mids and treble that you hear. It also comes with an oversized bass radiator, which works together with the speaker to make the Muvo 2C more efficient in pumping out those bass notes.
As a tiny speaker, the Creative Muvo 2C actually produced a very impressive amount of bass that you can hear (up to around 110hz). The amount of bass produced is pretty ‘deep’, considering the size of the speaker, but obviously, don’t expect this tiny speaker to shake the room.
When playing ‘Closer’ at near field listening levels, there was a really good amount of bass reproduced by this tiny speaker, enough to let you hear the bass synth notes in the mix. The bass is a little bit laid back compared to the mids and highs, as the speaker can’t reproduce those lower frequency, heart thumping bass notes, even if you try to push it to do so using an equalizer. For real bass, you’ll have to consider the bigger (and more expensive) speakers, such as the Elysium Zeon III, or try the Creative Roar series of speakers.
If you play songs such as ‘uptown funk’, which has strong drum notes, there is enough bass to enjoy the music at a close distance. However, You’ll notice that as you make the volume of the music louder, the bass content in the music is compressed away, and the mids and highs get louder. This is because the speaker driver can’t reproduce bass at loud volumes, so the speaker cleverly limits the bass reproduced so that you can blast your music louder (albeit with less bass).
When playing bassy music, you’ll see the oversized bass radiator faithfully moving in and out to produce the notes. To boost bass a little more, you can position the bass radiator close to a hard surface (such as a wall), or inside a container that’s facing you, for a slightly stronger bass effect.
Pro Tip: Thru my usage, i found that the packaging container that came with the Creative Muvo 2c, seem to be the perfect small container to amplify and direct the bass waves produced by the speaker to you outdoors. Not sure if this is intended as a feature or surprising coincidence, but a great find nonetheless! (To be fair, I conducted my review without using this advantage)
Compared to the competition: Compared to my X-Mini III, on a hard table, the Creative Muvo 2C produces at least twice the amount of bass, while being pretty similar in size to the X-mini. Furthermore, unlike the X-mini III, the Creative Muvo 2c doesn’t have the bad habit of jumping around on the table, trying to make more noise than bass. And yes, the X mini is tested when its “Bass Xpansion System” has been fully expanded. (The Xmini range of speakers all basically use an extendable plastic cone that resonates and helps to increase the speaker cabinet size, thus boosting bass and midrange). Thus, I must say that The creative Muvo 2c is a really solid offering from Creative.
However, I still wish that this small speaker could be made to produce even more deeper bass. It is the only thing that limits this speaker from being the perfect ultra-portable speaker with excellent sound quality.
Mids: (9.5/10) Really strong mids for a small speaker!
As a small speaker with only 1 small speaker driver, The creative Muvo 2c produces some really good mids, Especially If you’re seated near to the speaker. The male vocals in “Closer” and “Uptown Funk” sound very realistic, and the drum notes in ‘Uptown funk’ had a good amount of character to it. The Guitar fingerstyle acoustic covers also sounded really good, with the guitar sounding pretty full bodied.
Of course, if you turn up the volume and try getting a big party started with only a single Muvo 2C unit, the amount of mids reproduced will start to fade and the harshness of the treble will start to kick in, because the small speaker will start struggle reproducing the full range of sound frequencies at louder volumes. Thus, for parties, do consider using a bigger, more powerful speakers. Or, you could try using a pair of Muvo 2c Speakers to achieve the volume you’d like. Together, The sound quality of 2 Muvo 2C’s being played together is pretty impressive!
Compared to the competition: There is no comparison of mids between the Creative Muvo 2c and the X-mini III. With both speakers side by side, the X-mini III’s lack of mids became really clear and apparent, and within 30 seconds of listening to the X-Mini III, I quickly switched back to the Creative Muvo 2C because I suddenly couldn’t stand the sound quality of the X-Mini III anymore (Sorry X-Mini!). In front Creative Muvo 2C, the X Mini III sounded really terrible mids wise.
Treble: (8/10) Very Clear at listening levels, but a little harsh at loud volumes
The Creative Muvo 2C produces a really clear, distinct treble. At near field listening levels, when playing music such as uptown funk, it almost seemed like there was some sound separation between the vocals and instruments. This is good and makes for a very good near field listening experience.
Also, If you listen to acoustic music, such as the Fingerstyle cover of Roses (originally written by The Chainsmokers) by Peter Gergely, the Guitar sounded pretty real and full sounding, albeit with a bit of sparkle added at the very high end of the sound spectrum. This meant that I could listen out for the individual strings being played in the fingerstyle cover pretty easily.
However, do note that, as you turn the speaker volume up, the mids and bass produced by the Creative Muvo 2C will again start to fade off, and the treble becomes a lot harsher. While this gives the music a larger ‘reach’ in a big environment, if you’re seated near the Muvo 2c with the volume at full blast, the treble will be harsh enough to make you want to turn down the volume, or move away from the speaker. If only there was a way to control the treble of the speaker on the go…
Compared to the competition: At normal listening volumes, the creative muvo 2c produced much better treble than the X-Mini III. The difference was almost like watching a 4K resolution TV, Versus an old CRT Television. The X-mini III sounded very muffled and lifeless compared to the Creative Muvo 2C.
Overall sound quality (8.3/10): Overall the sound signature of this speaker is more mids and highs focused. I would say at lower volumes, it would sound like a creative roar 1 – without the subwoofer. This does not mean there is no bass – there is actually a very good amount of bass for the size of the Muvo 2C, except that it isn’t as deep and punchy as some may want their portable speaker to be. Thus, I find this speaker more suited for vocal, acoustic and maybe pop song pieces, rather than for bass heavy edm music.
Real bassheads may find the bass a little lacking, since the bass extension of this speaker isn’t a lot (The bass output starts to roll off after about 110hz, so you can hear the bass but not feel much of it). For bassheads, if they can carry a bigger speaker, I’d recommend taking a look at the Elysium Zeon III or Creative Roar speaker series, although these speakers are more expensive and are at least twice the size of the Creative Muvo 2C.
Also, While the treble can sometimes be a bit harsh on louder volumes, this is usually only a problem faced when using the speaker indoors, when the speaker directly faces you. The speaker can sound better if you place it a little off centre (E.g. you are not directly in front of the speaker, instead you position the speaker around 10cm away from the left or right of your face).
Also, when using this speaker outdoors, the usually bright treble seems to sound a little tamer, while allowing your music to be heard more easily by others that are nearby. I’ve tried this speaker outdoors, and I noticed that I did not have to play my music too loudly to hear my music. The speaker at Medium volume was good enough to allow me to hear my favourite music while I play a game of badminton indoors (without disturbing the others around too much).
Conclusion: Overall we must not forget that the Creative Muvo 2C is only about the size of your palm (or computer mouse). For such a small speaker, the Creative Muvo 2C Produces powerful sound that handily beats most of the other ultraportable speakers out of the competition. Furthermore, this small speaker also packs a ton of nifty features that most other speakers simply do not have.
For the sound quality and amount of features that this speaker possesses, The price of the Creative Muvo 2C is also pretty enticing, retailing for $69. People looking for an ultraportable speaker with lots of features on a budget, should really take a look at the Creative Muvo 2C.