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Wednesday
Mar302016

KEF MUO Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review

 

 

By Stephanie Derderian

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After my last appearance on the HT Guys podcast, I received the chance to review a pair of KEF MUO portable bluetooth speakers (Buy Now $349.98). I, of course, said yes because when will an opportunity like that come again? My initial thought when I pulled the speakers out of their box was, “Wow, these are pretty.” Most of the speakers in my house are hidden away so that they don’t disrupt the flow of each room, and the cables are carefully placed so that they aren’t in the way. The KEF MUO speakers, however, look great, and I would gladly place them in a prominent spot in my room. As a bonus, they are wireless, so there are no cables to hide, and their placement does not depend on the availability of a power outlet. These speakers come in 6 finishes: Brilliant Rose, Neptune Blue, Light Silver, Sunset Orange, Storm Grey, and Horizon Gold. The speakers I reviewed were Horizon Gold, which matched the furniture in my room better then I expected.

These speakers sound great, and their portability is my favorite thing about them. I was working in the backyard, and lamenting the fact that we don’t have speakers out there, but then I remembered I could bring the KEF MUO speakers outside and the work became much easier. 

Two MUO speakers can be paired together to play synchronized music. When they are in party mode (lying horizontally) they can be placed at opposite ends of a room, allowing everyone to feel the full effect of the speakers. When the speakers are lifted to an upright (vertical) position, they automatically switch to stereo mode.

Features:

  •  Inputs include Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX codec, 3.5mm AUX, and Micro USB - for charging and firmware update
  •  Bluetooth range of 10m
  •  Frequency range - 60Hz - 20kHz
  •  Battery charging time - 3 hours to fully charge
  •  Battery life - 12 hours playback time

Setup

The setup for these speakers is simple. There is a button on the top of the speaker that you press and hold for two seconds. This makes the speaker discoverable and you can then connect your device to the speaker. I had a much harder time pairing the two speakers together, but that’s mostly because I am not a very visual learner and picture instructions are more like hieroglyphics to me. I ended up looking for a video on YouTube, and even then, I ignored the video and just read the captions at the bottom. The problem turned out to be that my phone was connected to both speakers at the same time, and it was choosing just one to play music out of. I needed to only be connected to the left speaker, and once I told my phone to forget the other device, everything worked perfectly. 

Performance

These speakers sounded great and were louder than I expected. After comparing the KEF MUO speakers to some of the other speakers in our house, I found that less bass could be heard through the MUO speakers. It wasn’t enough to really bother me, though, and it probably isn’t fair to compare the MUO to larger speakers.

I’m Yours - Alessia Cara

I’m obsessed with this song (and the whole album, really) at the moment, so this was one of the first songs I chose to listen to. I’ve listened to this song at least 50 times in the last three weeks and this was my favorite experience. Her voice was crystal clear, and the MUO brought out subtleties in her music that I hadn’t noticed before. 

Weekend Warriors -  A Change of Pace

This song reminds me of high school. I always loved listening to it with earphones while riding the bus to and from school. At certain points in the song, the music is only in the left channel, and when the music returns to the left channel, I always felt like I was being surrounded by the song. The MUO speakers gave me the same experience, but with a much better sound than my earphones ever had.


Wildest Dreams - Taylor Swift

I used this song because of the bass. Also, I know every part of this song, and I figured, if anything was missing, I’d be able to hear it. I found myself making this song a bit louder than the others so that I could hear more of the bass, but music is better loud, anyway. 

Wake Me Up - Ed Sheeran

I chose this song because I love Ed Sheeran, but also because this song is very quiet. It’s pretty much just his voice with little biota piano. I loved everything about listening to this song on these speakers. His voice and the piano sounded so clear that it made the silent parts feel more poignant. 

Conclusion

I really enjoyed listening to these speakers, and I wish I had them when I was in college. They would have been perfect for parties, or even just for watching movies with my friends because our laptop speakers never seemed to get loud enough. Their portability and wireless nature means you can take and use them anywhere. And the batteries last a long time, too. Over the course of three weeks, I listened to the speakers for roughly 12 hours on one charge. I listened I loved the KEF MUO Portable Bluetooth Speakers, and I would recommend them to anyone.

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