August MS425 Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review

August MS425 Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review

The kind ladies and gentlemen at August have hooked me up with a portable bluetooth speaker (the MS425) for review - here's what I found.

As I unboxed the product my first impression was that this definitely isn't a premium product as the box definitely leaves a lot to be desired. To be fair this item is priced as a budget buy, it's RRP is just £25 and you'll pay less than £20 online. In fact if you use coupon code "EASTEREG" on Amazon UK you'll get 25% off.

Undeterred by the packaging, I delved inside and took heed of the warning to play it at low volume for the first 30 minutes to train the membrane. A bit unusual, but if it improves performance in the long run then I'm all for it.

Once the packaging was opened I was actually quite surprised by how well made the product felt and that it was solidly heavy but still at a portable weight. The product came partially charged so it was simply a case of switching on bluetooth on my phone and selecting the speaker, a few seconds later the music was playing.

One of the coolest features it has is the inbuilt microphone meaning you can take a call through the speaker itself without needing to find your phone - really neat! I'm also a big fan of the standard 3.5mm socket which means that if your device doesn't have bluetooth but has a standard headphone jack, you can simply plug it in and use it as a normal speaker. The unit also features play, pause, next track and previous track buttons for ease of use. Plus, the utility of a physical volume control should not be underestimated.

One of the most annoying things about the speaker is its battery life - a 5 hour battery life is decent, but the fact it takes 4.5 hours for a full charge wasn't hugely impressive - it also didn't come with a  wall charger which was annoying. I also couldn't get the 10m bluetooth distance range that was promise; I could only move my phone about 6 metres away from the speaker before the connection dropped out. To be fair, that is fine for most usages.

The MS425 speaker by August is however a great upgrade from your smartphone speaker. Even the iPhone 5S, which can produce some pretty loud sound, is easily defeated by the mighty MS425 both in terms of sound clarity and volume. Being realistic, it isn't going to beat speakers that cost £100 but for its size it is incredibly impressive and it is a little bit funny to see it hopping around the table when you listen to a bass-heavy track and turn the volume up.

If you're looking for a cheap and cheerful portable bluetooth speaker I can definitely recommend the August MS425.

Overall rating:4/5 stars


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