Edifier MP280 Bluetooth speaker review

The Edifier MP280 is a relatively cheap Bluetooth speaker with its sub-£100 price tag, but is it enough to compete with the likes of the Denon Envaya Mini, Lava Brightsounds 2 and Sumvision Psyc Monic? We’ve put the Edifier MP280 through its paces, and here’s what we thought.

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UK pricing and availability

So, how much does the Edifier MP280 Bluetooth speaker cost, and where is it available to buy? The MP280 will set potential consumers back £79.99 if bought via the Edifier site, although we’ve also found the MP280 on Amazon for £10 cheaper (£69.99) at the time of writing.

This puts the Edifier MP280 in line with other budget Bluetooth speakers including the Extreme Hangten and the Cowin Thunder.

Design and build

The Edifier MP280 boasts a cylindrical design reminding us of a lighter, thinner UE BOOM. It features a combination of metal and material with a detailed metal grille protected by a soft silicone body. It gives the MP280 a rough-and-ready outdoor look, with the silicone also providing protection against knocks and drops.

It’s worth noting that despite featuring a rugged, outdoor look, the MP280 doesn’t feature any kind of water or dust resistance, so make sure you keep it away from pools and rain!

The Edifier MP280 also features a minimalistic button design, who to us means that many of the buttons perform more than one task. Take the volume buttons, for example: in addition to adjusting the volume, they can also be used to skip to the next/previous track. It’s smart design and provides a simplistic look.

At 422g and 190 x 60 x 60mm, it’s a fairly lightweight Bluetooth speaker and when coupled with its slimline design, makes the MP280 an ideal speaker to carry around on your travels. It’s small enough to fit in a rucksack or bag without taking up much room, and even comes with a removable clip, allowing it to be fastened to the exterior of bags on long walks or hikes.

In terms of available colour options, the Edifier MP280 is available in three colours: black, red or blue.

Features and audio quality

With a built-in lithium-ion battery inside, the Edifier MP280 boasts around 10 hours of battery on a single charge. While we’re not sure of the specific capacity of the battery, it’s large enough to be able to double up as a powerbank for your smartphone – simply plug a USB into the USB port on the bottom of the speaker to top up the battery while playing your favourite tunes.

Of course, the downside to having a large battery is that it takes a while to charge – you have to leave the MP280 on charge for around two hours to charge it from empty to full. LED lights on the side of the speaker indicate battery life in increments of 25% - four lights mean it’s fully charged, while one light means that it’ll die soon.

In terms of connectivity, the MP280 features Bluetooth 4.0 technology and NFC for one-tap setup – but there’s more. There’s also the option to play music via a wired connection, allowing the speaker to be used with any music player that offers a 3.5mm headphone jack (unlucky, iPhone 7 users!).

And if that wasn’t enough, you can even load your favourite tracks onto a microSD card and plug that directly into the speaker for music playback without a connected smartphone.

Okay, it’s time to talk audio. The cylindrical design of the Edifier MP280 allows for 360-degree audio, and while it does provide room-filling audio, we did still find that there was a ‘sweet spot’ where the speaker sounded best.

The speaker is loud enough to be used at the park or beach, although we did expect something a little louder, especially with 2x4w speakers. The saving grace of this is that there is no sign of distortion, even when playing music at full volume.

Edifier claims that the MP280 features a “professional grade audio DSP chip” for high quality audio, although we found that the quality of the audio provided was a bit hit-and-miss. While it provides sufficient bass and mid-range tones, there’s practically no high-end and vocals were lacking the clarity of other similarly-priced Bluetooth speakers.

Don’t get us wrong: the audio quality isn’t bad, we’ve just heard better from similarly priced Bluetooth speakers like the Denon Envaya Mini, which can be picked up for around £70 on Amazon.

SHOULD I BUY EDIFIER MP280 BLUETOOTH SPEAKER?

Edifier's MP280 is a decent Bluetooth speaker, although it tries to do too much and doesn't quite succeed in every area. It boasts a rugged outdoor design without any kind of water resistance, and offers 360-degree audio that isn't quite 360-degrees. But for every area that it underdelivers, the MP280 offers something intuitive, from a built-in powerbank to the ability to play music via a microSD card slot. Audio quality is what you'd expect from a £80 Bluetooth speaker, with decent bass but a lack of clarity.