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Old 25-12-2018, 01:09 AM   #1
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Edifier MP100

Not a review. Because I have no other speaker to review it against.

I will probably write a long WoT if I spend anymore time typing, so let's get to the pictures.

Well since I don't have a calibrated mic, I can only measure the difference from another speaker. Better hope S-520 is accurate.

I'm going to include both variants of S-520 - without bass boost and with bass boost. Because most people's measurement of S-520 is without bass boost. While bass boost is what I feel is necessary for a good subjective in-room response. Although in the case of a portable speaker, it should be behaving more like a point source in free space, not caring about room reflections and stuff.

Aaaaaanyway, Edifier says it goes down to 160Hz, and this is somewhere between kind-of-accurate and pretty-optimistic. If we look at ±5dB, then ya. (A lot of brands use 6dB, even if some of their better speakers are using 3dB.) OTOH, if we consider how fast it rolls off from the nearby frequency, then we're talking maybe 200Hz at -6dB or 160Hz at -10dB. *Still has room for arguing*.

Again, these are assuming my S-520 is accurate. But just looking at the raw data we can guess to the same conclusion as above - Roughly 10dB down at 160Hz

Gotta give credit for the flat frequency response tho.

Distortion is pretty ok for 1kHz. But this is where the difference between portable vs bookshelves need to be emphasized: Despite being the same roughly -20dB measured by the close-mic, the bookshelves are subjectively much louder. Due to the small size of the portable speaker radiating sound differently compared to two bookshelves that are loud enough to suffer from room effects.

So, it is rather hard to compare apple-to-apple, at the same volume. But I'm jotting this down anyway because this can be compared with other small speakers.

So 1kHz is okay. But what about 4kHz? To begin with, please understand that I have measured multiple bookshelves' tweeters and none of them produced any visible distortion even at -30dB and higher.

However, since this speaker doesn't have a tweeter, it is relying on the woofer to generate the high frequencies. This usually results in pretty high distortions.

How high is high? No idea, nothing to compare against. (Who wants to see a Bose being measured?)

The low frequency is where I give up and acknowledge that speaker measuring is not simple. Again, the mic says a loud volume, but I hear a very small volume. (Unlike the bookshelves which is as loud as I expect.) I can increase the volume further to make it fair, but this results in unfairly higher distortion.

But well, without touching the volume control, 200Hz and 100Hz are around as good as the 1kHz. Meaning the distortion already partially covered by the noise floor.

Because the speaker is small, in the middle of the room and not very loud, it can be treated as a point source, free from room effects. So I can get a relatively accurate frequency response. Well, my mic itself is not fully accurate, but at least it is still within 3dB range.

Well, frequency response is relatively decent. Not counting the bass, it is a 10dB range. TBH I'm impressed enough if it could even produce all the frequency range. Edifier does say that it dies at around 14kHz. Cone breakup starts at around 2kHz, maybe earlier, giving us the "extra treble volume" which may or may not be needed - I prefer my <1kHz range to have more volume.

Subjective listening
Oh god there really is no bass lol. Considering the size of the woofer (or at least what I *think* is the size of the woofer), I expected maybe a little more bass than this. But at least there is no distortion in the midrange. Relatively-speaking, anyway. Still better than other products using tiny drivers.

While most other speakers at this price range just produce ear-splitting shrill sound, the MP100 doesn't. The lack of high frequencies probably played a part. Not using crap tiny drivers probably played a part too.

This does result in a lack of frequency extension and a subjectively subdued type of sound. I would take this any day over forcefully trying to reproduce the whole frequency spectrum. Especially from a cone woofer. (Sidenote: A5+ amp also produces less treble on purpose, likely to counter the natural sound of the 20mm tweeter.)

It is good for casual listening at both soft and louder volumes. Basically when you don't really care about the music. Or background music. Because, it at least has listenable sound, instead of making you want to just switch it off. I think that alone is worth a lot.

Feels like... Say you start with a smartphone or any crap speaker, you have stat points to put into various areas to upgrade your speaker. But you don't have a lot of points, so you put all into "making the speaker not-suck". It clears up the distortion, adds a bit of bass. That's it.

Edifier Malaysia store sells it at RM150, Amazon sells it at USD$30. AliExpress at USD$20. At this price have heard 2.1 speakers with more bass, I have heard 2.0 speakers with more bass. Well, with my experience with low-cost portable speakers limited, I can't give much of a rating. That's why this is not a review.
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Old 25-12-2018, 09:57 AM   #2
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Bose Companion 2 Series II

Disclaimer: Bass amount will change depending on how close I hold the mic

I thought I could have gotten some interesting result from Bose but alas, for 4kHz the Bose still shows no distortion until very high levels. The MP100 does seem to do better at 1kHz tho, tho not by a noteworthy amount.

Bose is pretty much dying in distortion at 100Hz, but at least it has 100Hz.

Frequency response, Bose definitely has the flatter woofer frequencies - a bit of humping at 130Hz and 260Hz is coming from room effects. And Bose definitely has much better extension, which we would have guessed.

Cone breakup happens at maybe 3kHz or higher, the extra energy giving us the Bose sparkle / Bose shrill / Bose hiss / Bose whatever-you-want-to-call-it which helps us identify that Bose sound.

Anyway, this is the sound I can just barely accept. Mostly due to the bass extension.

So, MP100's 160Hz bass just doesn't cut it. But it's a good thing that we know the rating is somewhat accurate. Means you can upgrade to something with 80Hz or 75Hz rating... or even 40Hz from the same company.

But for a low-cost entry, with the focus on getting as tolerable a FR as possible (the choice of size) and not making ears bleed, this is a pretty solid attempt.

I could go more about different types of portable speakers, but that would be another wot, so I shall end here.
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