Hey gang, Valkor here. So you’re at home, or even doing something outdoorsy yet not too far from base, and you need a big sound to get you motivated; I’m not talking huge, turn on the Dolby 7.1 and bring the house down kind of sound. I’m talking a “big sound” that’s loud enough without all the hassle of heading for the big system. And while there are plenty of Bluetooth speaker options out on the market, why not consider Monoprice Bluetooth Melody speaker for just the right sound at just the right price.
The Melody speaker kicks off with a minimalist design, with a boxy pattern on the front and back sporting a simple black and grey motif; the pattern offers up a rigid feel, which makes for an excellent grip when carrying the device. At the top are your button controls to raise the volume, which is independent of the device. Alongside the volume buttons you have your skip forward/back buttons and the center button to pause. Finally in front of the buttons is your Bluetooth indicator light. To finish off the features, on the right side you have your on/off slider switch, microUSB for charging the speaker and an aux 3.5mm port for plugging in your portable device rather than going with the Bluetooth connection. With the Melody speaker, you can not only playback your device’s audio, but with a built-in microphone, you can make and receive calls. So you get a nice chunk of versatility in such a small package. As far as battery life is concerned, packed inside the Melody, you get an 1800mAh battery that’ll give you several hours (touted up to 15) of playback. Finally, the Melody speaker uses Bluetooth 4.0 with a 30 foot range. And I’d have to agree with that number; I believe, without pulling out a measuring tape, that I hit the 30 feet mark or somewhere close, with no obstructions, which is when the distortions kicked in. And pairing your smartphone or tablet with the speaker is as easy as turning it on and tapping your device’s Bluetooth icon to discover and connect almost instantly.
But the big question is: how does it sound? By now you’d think I’d have a handle on Monoprice’s products, and would never question its quality. But sometimes I get a little hesitant, because you never know. Depending on a product and where it came from, you go in with a certain level of expectation. With the Melody speaker, I kept my expectations in the med levels, hoping that the audio would be "passable" at best. And what I received in the end… well read on.
Impressive! For such a small box, Monoprice’s portable Melody Bluetooth speaker scores in a big way, as it offers up pretty big sound from just a little box. I used the speaker with my Nexus 6, which on its own has a low volume – even at its highest settings. So at the jump, with the Melody’s volume being independent of my device, I’m getting a higher level of audio than if I used the Nexus speaker on its own. Vocals come in nice and clear, and the bass hit just right, which is not too much that the audio loses clarity, but just enough that you get a thumping beat you can groove to; this works especially with hip-hop and jazz beats, but I didn’t have any issues with pop or classical orchestra tunes. However, stay away from the speaker’s highest volume setting because it will not be pretty. I’ve also used the device with a couple of games as well as movie apps (not of the Youtube/Netflix variety, so I won’t go into that); but I can say once more, sound quality is remarkable. Finally the compact size of the speaker is definitely travelworthy as I found no issue popping the speaker in my messenger and taking out on the road with me. The rectangular design may not be the slimmest; however it does sit well without obstructing my access to the contents of the bag. This is Monoprice’s fourth round in the Val-Cave and it scores another win with the Portable Melody Bluetooth speaker. And any level of doubt I might have for future products coming my way are all but tossed in the rubbish bin.
I thought Monoprice was good when it comes to including much needed cables for their products (they nailed it with the Wireless Gaming Headphones). However the Melody does not come with the 3.5mm plug, which is a bit of a disappointment. But just a bit.
The Monoprice Portable Melody Bluetooth Speaker is available now on the company’s website (just click that logo on the right to go directly to the product); plus you can also find it in a mini version as well. But with the larger Melody, you’re getting amazing sound quality in a decent compact design. And out of TOV 5 stars, I’m giving the Melody Speaker a 4. And it’s been Valkor tested, TOV Approved!