HomeTechnologyNewsA stylish Bluetooth speaker with a few changes

A stylish Bluetooth speaker with a few changes

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Ratings:
8/10
?

  • 1 – Doesn’t work
  • 2 – Barely functional
  • 3 – Very poor in most areas
  • 4 – It works, but has numerous problems
  • 5 – Good but leaves a lot to be desired
  • 6 – Good enough to buy on sale
  • 7 – Great and worth buying
  • 8 – Fantastic, approaching the best of its class
  • 9 – Top of his class
  • 10 – Borderline perfection

Price: $199.99

Kris Wouk / Instruction Geek

Victrola may be best known for its turntables, but the company has been expanding of late, including two new Bluetooth speakers. The Victrola Music Edition 2 is the larger and more feature-rich of the two, even if both models share a very similar design.

While it may be bigger and heavier, Music Edition 2 is louder, but it also packs a few extra features. Many Bluetooth speakers offer a built-in power bank, for example, but Victrola opted for a built-in wireless charging pad.

Which of the Music Edition speakers is the winner? Does this larger model outperform its smaller, more portable brother?

This is what we like

  • Great sound, even if it’s mono
  • Aluminum construction and IP67 rating mean it’s tough
  • The wireless charging function is unique
  • USB-C MP3 playback is useful
  • Stereo pairing for two units

And what we don’t do

  • slightly heavy
  • You need two for stereo sound

How-To Geek’s expert reviewers get right down to business with every product we review. We put each piece of hardware through hours of real-world testing and benchmark it in our lab. We never accept payments to endorse or review a product and we never add other people’s reviews. Read more >>

build and design

Victrola Music Edition 2 in hand
Kris Wouk / Instruction Geek
  • Dimensions: 225 x 110 x 88mm (8.8 x 4.3 x 3.46 inches)
  • Weight: 1.35kg (2.97lbs)
  • IP ratings: IP67

The general look is similar between the Music Edition 1 and the Music Edition 2. This model is larger and heavier, overall, but it also sits more like a traditional Bluetooth speaker, rather than the vertically oriented nature of the other model.

While the speaker uses rubberized plastic on the top and bottom, the main body of the speaker that surrounds it is made of strong, strong aluminum. It’s in an alternating triangle weave that gives the Music Edition 2 its signature look, more like a piece of hi-fi gear than a traditional Bluetooth speaker.

Given the appearance, you might be surprised to learn that the Music Edition 2 is weatherproof with an IP67 rating, although the rubberized controls may have given that away. The USB-C charging port and aux jack don’t have waterproof covers, so it’s not quite as rugged as some other speakers, but you shouldn’t worry too much about the weather.

Like the Music Edition 1, which we tested this speaker with, the Music Edition 2 comes in two finish options. We’re looking at the speaker in black, though it’s also available in silver.

connectivity

Victrola Music Edition 2 auxiliary ports and USB-C
Kris Wouk / Instruction Geek
  • Bluetooth version: 5.0
  • Bluetooth profiles: A2DP V1.3, AVRCP V1.6
  • Other connectivity: USB-C MP3, 3.5mm auxiliary input

Like its sibling, the Music Edition 2 supports Bluetooth 5.0 with a maximum range of around 33 feet. The codecs seem to be limited to the standard SBC and AAC codecs, but in my testing, these codecs didn’t negatively impact sound the way they did with older Bluetooth speakers.

Victrola Music Edition 2 supports pairing of two speakers for stereo or dual mono sound. Unfortunately this seems to be limited to the same speaker model as I was unable to get the Music Edition 1 to pair successfully. This may be addressed in a later firmware update.

Like the Music Edition 1, this model features support for MP3 playback from a USB-C flash drive. Unlike that model, it also features a 3.5mm auxiliary input jack for wired playback.

control S

Victrola Music Edition 2 Controls
Kris Wouk / Instruction Geek

Music Edition 2’s top panel features six buttons, arranged in two rows of three each. On the left side, you’ll find the power, charge, and Bluetooth buttons. On the right side, you will find the volume and multifunction buttons.

Tapping the multi-function button will pause and resume playback, while double-tapping skips to the next song, and triple-tapping plays the previous song. By holding the button for five seconds, you enter USB-C MP3 playback mode.

To switch back to Bluetooth, simply tap the Bluetooth button. Tapping it one more time will put the speaker into Auxiliary Input mode. We’ll talk about the controls for wireless charging a bit later.

sound quality

Victrola Music Edition 2 with musical equipment
Kris Wouk / Instruction Geek
  • Drivers: 90mm drivers, 52mm tweeters
  • Frequent response: 55Hz-20KHz

In case you were wondering, the Victrola Music Edition 2 sounds better than the smaller Edition 1 in almost every way. That’s not to belittle the other speaker, but the Edition 2 packs in more volume and bass, and generally sounds fuller overall.

Victrola opted not to make the Edition 2 stereo. It sounds much bigger than the Edition 1, but is still mono. If you want stereo sound, you’ll need to pair a second speaker.

That said, Music Edition 2 has twice as many drivers as Edition 1. Instead of a single driver, Edition 2 has a 3.5-inch driver and a one-inch tweeter, as well as a passive bass radiator.

When testing Music Edition 2, I started by listening to “Fishcakes” by Sleaford Mods. The speaker transmits the smooth bass line and drum beat well. I was surprised by how much detail there was for a Bluetooth speaker, especially on the high end.

To make sure the speaker wasn’t especially flattering for just one song, I then turned to Wire’s “I Am the Fly,” which can be quite abrasive and can sound harsh on many speakers. It sounded good here, with just a slight hint of angry upper midrange, but this is very much the song, not the speaker.

Finally, I heard the album version of Cheap Trick’s “Surrender”. Again, the bass line and kick drum carried much more weight than on the smaller Music Edition 1. The song sounds wide, even though it’s not actually in stereo.

Like the Edition 1, the Music Edition 2 has a very directional sound, just pumping the sound to the front. While the grille looks the same on both sides, the music only comes out of the side with the Victrola logo.

Battery life and charge

Wireless charging on Victrola Music Edition 2
Kris Wouk / Instruction Geek
  • Battery capacity: 7.4V/4400mAh
  • Max playback time: 20 hours
  • Recharge time: 5 hours
  • Charging: USB-C DC 5V, 2A

Victrola Music Edition 2 has a relatively large battery that offers up to 20 hours of playback. As with any Bluetooth speaker, the maximum play time will vary depending on what you’re listening to and how loud you’re listening, but it’s still a solid time.

Thanks to that big battery, it takes a while to charge the Music Edition 2. Charging via the USB port can take up to five hours, assuming you’re charging it from completely empty to full. It would have been nice to see Quick Charge or some other type of fast charging support.

The built-in wireless charging pad works pretty smart. Every time the speaker is connected, the charging pad is automatically enabled. This is useful as even though the speaker takes a while to charge, you can use it to charge your phone (assuming it supports wireless charging) while you wait.

You can also use the wireless charging pad while using the battery, you just need to manually turn it on by pressing and holding the charge button for one second.

Should you buy the Victrola Music Edition 2?

If you’re buying just one speaker, the Victrola Music Edition 2 is a better buy than the Music Edition 1, even if it costs twice as much. It sounds noticeably better, and the improved battery life and added features like the wireless charging pad and auxiliary input.

When it comes to how it stacks up against other competitors, the Music Edition 2’s sound quality is comparable to other speakers in the same price range. It’s heavier than most thanks to the aluminum construction, but at the same time, it’s a much better-looking product than much of the competition, especially considering the IP67 rating.

The Music Edition 2 doesn’t have a single feature that sets it apart from other contenders, but it’s a unique-looking speaker with solid specs and some great features.

Ratings: 8/10

Price: $199.99

This is what we like

  • Great sound, even if it’s mono
  • Aluminum construction and IP67 rating mean it’s tough
  • The wireless charging function is unique
  • USB-C MP3 playback is useful
  • Stereo pairing for two units

And what we don’t do

  • slightly heavy
  • You need two for stereo sound

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