HomeTechnologyNewsA stylish ultra-portable Bluetooth speaker

A stylish ultra-portable Bluetooth speaker

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  • 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: $100

Kris Wouk / Instruction Geek

If you thought Victrola was a record player company, you’re not wrong. That being said, the company has branched out of late, including a new line of Bluetooth speakers. Victrola Music Edition 1 is the smaller and more portable version of these new speakers.

With so many Bluetooth speakers on the market, Victrola needs a way to differentiate its offerings. With the two Music Edition speakers, Victrola focuses on two things: toughness and design sensitivity. Most Bluetooth speakers treat design as an afterthought, but the Victrola Music Edition 1 (as well as the Music Edition 2) offers a more modern design than many speakers.

Is the combination of weather resistance and design enough to make the Victrola Music Edition 1 a better option than other Bluetooth speakers? Or should Victrola stick with turntables?

This is what we like

  • unique looks
  • Sounds great for the size.
  • The wrist strap is practical
  • 12 hours of battery life
  • USB-C MP3 playback is useful

And what we don’t do

  • Some bass may be missing, depending on the track.
  • Controls for pairing two can be tricky

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 >>

construction and portability

Victrola Music Edition 1 with wristband
Kris Wouk / Instruction Geek
  • Dimensions: 136 x 80 x 45mm (5.35 x 3.14 x 1.77 inches)
  • Weight: 500g (14.1oz)

While the Victrola Music Edition 1 has the size, portability, and controls of a Bluetooth speaker, the look is different. Available in black and silver, the speaker is designed with a mesh of triangles over a silver mesh fabric that makes the speaker look more like a serious piece of home audio equipment, just shrunken down.

This isn’t just a painted-on appearance on a plastic speaker, either. The Music Edition 1 is made of aluminum and feels quite sturdy. Dropping the speaker could end up denting the aluminum, but I doubt it’ll break like some similarly sized speakers would.

This toughness extends to weather resistance as well, with IP67 dust and water resistance. Speakers with this kind of protection rarely look as good as the Music Edition 1, the only hint being a sturdy speaker in the rubberized knobs for the controls.

One last nice detail of the Music Edition 1 is the included wrist strap. There’s a mount for this on the same side of the speaker as the controls, and it’s useful for keeping the speaker from falling off while you’re on the go. At the same time, it does not interfere when listening to music.


Victrola Music Edition 1 in hand
Kris Wouk / Instruction Geek
  • Bluetooth version: 5.0
  • Bluetooth profiles: A2DP V1.3, AVRCP V1.6

The Music Edition 1 is equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 and comes with all the connectivity you’d normally expect. The maximum range is around 33 feet, unlike other speakers that have been increasing the maximum range in recent years.

More and more Bluetooth speakers have added the option to pair multiple speakers for stereo sound, and Victrola has included this option here as well. You can pair two Music Edition 1 speakers together for stereo or dual mono sound, depending on what you’re looking for.

In a feature I’m surprised we don’t see more often on Bluetooth speakers, the Music Edition 1 also supports USB-C MP3 playback. Plug in a flash drive loaded with MP3s and you can take your music with you without ever reaching for your phone.

control S

Controls Victrola Music Edition 1
Kris Wouk / Instruction Geek

Looking at the controls, it’s a pretty standard affair. You get a power button, dedicated volume buttons, a Bluetooth button for pairing, and a multifunction button. This takes care of pausing and resuming playback, as well as double and triple taps and multi-button combinations that activate other features.

Double-tapping the multifunction button skips to the next track, while triple-tapping plays the previous track. Holding the button down for five seconds engaged USB-C MP3 playback mode.

To pair multiple speakers, press and hold the Bluetooth and multifunction buttons on both speakers for one second. Once paired, tapping this combo button toggles between stereo and dual mono modes.

sound quality

Victrola Music Edition 1 with other audio equipment
Kris Wouk / Instruction Geek
  • Drivers: 50mm (2 inches)
  • Frequency range: 80Hz-20KHz

Spec-wise, the Music Edition 1 doesn’t exactly look impressive. The speaker features a 2-inch driver and a passive bass radiator, and that’s about it.

Despite the small driver, the Music Edition 1 packs plenty of volume and even a good amount of bass. It’s not going to power a party, but it easily has enough volume for a single person and even enough to provide a background for a small group.

I first gave Music Edition 1 a challenge, listening to the song “Heat Melter” by Big Walnuts Yonder. This is very much a stereo headphone song, and I didn’t think it would suit a small Bluetooth speaker. That said, Music Edition does a good job of reducing everything to mono, and Mike Watt’s bass is audible well without distorting.

Next up was The Kinks’ “The Contenders,” and the acoustic opener worked well on the Music Edition 1. In a way, the speaker sounds like a big, scaled-down stereo, but with adequate bass, especially once the song begins. Some lower bass notes seemed to disappear from time to time.

Finally, I queued up “Descending” by The Casual Dots, a sparsely arranged song that could easily sound bad on a small mono speaker. Music Edition 1 delivered here, bringing out small details like reverb tails very well.

Looking at the grill design on the back of a speaker, you might imagine sound coming out of both sides of the speaker, but that’s not the case. Sound only comes out of the side of the speaker with the Victrola logo, and it’s very directional.

The sound changes slightly when you rotate the speaker between portrait and landscape orientation, but it’s not really noticeable.

Battery duration

Victrola Music Edition 1 with USB-C cable
Kris Wouk / Instruction Geek
  • Battery Type: rechargeable li ion
  • Battery capacity: 7.4V/2500mAh

Despite the small size, the Victrola Music Edition 1 offers decent battery life. A full charge will give you up to 12 hours of music playback. This will vary depending on how loud you’re playing music at, but you can expect to stay close to that 12-hour figure as long as you’re not playing the speaker too loud.

When it’s time to charge up, you can charge via the USB-C port on the back. Assuming your charger has enough power, the speaker can charge from empty to full in around two hours.

I mention its charger because while Victrola includes a USB-C cable with the Music Edition 1, it doesn’t include a charger.

Should you buy the Victrola Music Edition 1?

While the IP67 weather resistance is nice, it’s not unique to this speaker. Instead, the Victrola Music Edition 1’s main strengths are design and portability. There are many other factors here, but the striking look and wrist strap are among the most unique features.

The Music Edition 1 is smaller than you might expect, and for the size, it sounds bigger than you might expect. No, you don’t get the rumbling bass that you would with a bigger speaker, but that bigger speaker wouldn’t be as easy to transport as the Music Edition 1.

Considering the price, choosing two Music Edition 1 speakers and pairing them for stereo may be a better choice than a single, more expensive speaker. If Victrola started offering an included pair, that would be a great buy, but you can always start with one and expand later.

This is what we like

  • unique look
  • Sounds great for the size.
  • The wrist strap is practical
  • 12 hours of battery life
  • USB-C MP3 playback is useful

And what we don’t do

  • Some bass may be missing, depending on the track.
  • Controls for pairing two can be tricky
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