MP700 Rave ($230) is a new portable Bluetooth speaker from Edifier with a distinctive aluminum handle and grill. For a Bluetooth speaker, MP700 Rave is mid-range in both size and price. Edifier packed two 70mm drivers, two 19mm tweeters, and three passive radiators into MP700 Rave for a total power output of 36W. The speaker uses Bluetooth 4.0, aptX, and DSP electronic frequency control, and it’s also splashproof and dustproof. Edifier claims MP700 Rave can get up to 8 hours of use — unfortunately, there’s no battery level on the speaker itself, or any battery indicator on the iPhone during play. MP700 Rave ships with an audio cable, and an AC adapter for recharging the speaker.
MP700 Rave weighs nearly 3.5 pounds, and measures in at 11” x 4.3” x 2.6” not including the handle. It’s neither lightweight nor slim, which makes it less portable than many similarly priced competitors. The top of the speaker has controls for volume and power, and the volume buttons (which are separate from iOS volume controls) can also be used to skip songs. A large aluminum handle doesn’t just make Rave easier to carry — it can be fixed in two additional angles to act as a stand. Underneath a rubber cover on the speaker’s right side are audio and power ports, as well as a USB output port which can be used to charge an iOS device.
While MP700 Rave isn’t super portable, at least it’s easy to carry, due to the strong aluminum handle. We’re also fans of the distinctive grill, which some users may consider luxurious — despite the symmetrical appearance, though, MP700 Rave only plays sound from one side, with two passive radiators on the back. An obvious oversight is the complete lack of a battery level indicator.
Rave’s sound is well-balanced, and very good overall. We found it did well with a variety of songs from a number of genres, with no major issues to report. Compared to the Beats Pill+, which sells for the same price, we give the slight edge to Edifier’s offering. The sound also didn’t falter at high levels or in certain songs, like the Pill+ sometimes did.
When cranked all the way up — with the on-unit volume pumped up to its max along with the iOS device volume — Rave is pretty close in loudness to the smaller, cheaper UE Boom 2. It definitely gets loud enough for a medium-sized space. On some songs, the vocals on Rave don’t always sound as “to the front” as they do on the UE speaker at lower-to-medium levels, but some may prefer this more balanced profile.
Edifier’s MP700 Rave hits a lot of the right notes. There are a few things it doesn’t do — it doesn’t have a particularly robust feature set when put up against some competitors, and though it’s portable, it’s not easy to throw in a bag like some other speakers. But when it comes to sound and design, Rave doesn’t back down. We think Rave would probably be best used as a home Bluetooth speaker (especially considering its reliance on an AC adapter to recharge). It definitely looks nice enough to occupy a desktop, shelf, or sit on a coffee table during a gathering of friends, and its performance won’t disappoint.
Company and Price
Model: MP700 Rave
Compatible: Bluetooth 4.0-enabled iOS devices