Creative Muvo Mini review: beauty over brawn

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Creative’s Muvo Mini is a good-looking Bluetooth speaker, with a rugged water resistant design and a comprehensive list of features — long 10 hour battery life, NFC pairing and auxiliay inputs. Let’s put it to the test!


Pros

  • Colourful and friendly brick design
  • IP66 water and dust resistance
  • Easy connection via Bluetooth or 3.5mm
  • Good 10 hour battery life
Cons

  • Audio quality is somewhat lacking
  • Isn’t that competitive on price

Summary and score

score2-200Creative’s Muvo Mini is an attractive Bluetooth speaker, available in a range of eye-catching colours and rendered in soft touch plastic with a pleasant cuboid-texture design. The speaker is weather-resistant, so you can keep it near the pool or in the shower, and it’s fairly portable too. But while Creative come close to creating a brilliant speaker, mediocre audio performance makes it hard to fully recommend.

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Design & Features

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The Creative Muvo Mini is a now-standard ‘brick’ Bluetooth speaker, a rectangular prism with a directional speaker grille on its biggest side, buttons on top and ports on the back. Underneath the soft touch plastic exterior, you’ll find two full-range micro driveres and an oversized bass radiator, which combine to produce adequate (if not sensational) sound at room-filling volumes.

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The Mini comes with an IP66 rating for water and dust resistance, allowing it to survive splashes of water (if not outright immersion). This rating depends on the port cover from being in place, so make sure you ensure it’s covered after charging or using the 3.5mm auxiliary input. Charging is via a micro USB cable (provided).

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The buttons on the top of the unit are spongey and easy to press, with oversized symbols that make it clear what each button does. The top of the Mini also includes an NFC chip, which simplifies pairing with NFC-capable smartphones. Just tap your phone to the NFC icon, and you’ll be prompted to automatically pair over Bluetooth.

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The Muvo Mini also includes a microphone, allowing it to be used as a hands-free device. If you’re listening to music and a call comes in, you can answer, carry out a conversation and hang up all without touching your phone.

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The Mini is available in four colours: blue (our review unit), red, white and black. Each is adorned with a cool cube pattern, which allows sound to leave the unit and also ensure the Mini is easy to handle. The modest dimensions (190 x 37 x 59mm) and low weight (285g) make for a highly portable Blutooth speaker, albeit not one that fits in a jeans pocket.

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Audio

We weren’t too impressed with the Muvo Mini when it came to sound quality. In our testing, we found a fairly weak sound, with fairly aenemic bass and a slightly muddy sound. Turn up the volume to max, and you’ll get significant distortion, too. Make no mistake, the Muvo Mini sounds better than any smartphone or tablet’s built-in speakers, but they don’t outshine similarly sized competition.

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The Mini also had quite unidirectional sound, which requires careful setup to ensure reasonable reproduction. If you’re looking for a speaker that you can place in a central location in a room, then you’re better off looking at something like the UE Boom.


 

Wrap-up

While Creative did well to create a good-looking, rugged speaker with an exhaustive list of features, they skimped a little on audio quality. Whether by the exclusion of aptX streaming or underpowered drivers, the Muvo Mini just can’t compare to the best Bluetooth speakers on a market. These speakers aren’t a disaster, but they’re just not competitive at £40. Given how much Creative got right, it’s disappointing that they failed at the final hurdle.

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About William Judd

Editor-in-Chief for XSReviews. Find me @Expert_Will or on G+.

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