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Microlab MD212 Bluetooth Portable Speaker Review

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Testing & Results

Testing Methodology

When it comes to testing the performance of a Bluetooth audio device, the audio performance is only one aspect and the results are subjective. The audio performance of the Microlab MD212 was based on streaming different types of music through music apps, such as Pandora, and by watching streaming video through programs like Netflix. I also placed focus on its battery life and its recharging capability. A number of different devices were both paired to and connected via auxiliary port with the Microlab MD212 during the testing phase, which lasted about 10 days. The test devices included a Motorola Razr Maxx, a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, an Asus Memopad HD, and an Apple iPod Touch.

Results

The user manual recommends an initial charge of four hours before using the Microlab MD212. I ignored those instructions and put it to use immediately. I turned it off and started recharging it after about two and a half hours of streaming audio, yet, it could have played on. Even after no initial charge and using it for a pretty long music listening session, I experienced no degradation in audio quality, nor were there any other type of performance lapses.

The longest period of use for the Microlab MD212 was about five hours. During that timeframe, I streamed audio through both the apps Pandora and Tunein. Even after that amount of use without being recharged at all during that session, there was no indication that the battery was close to being drained. In addition, the BL-5C 1000 mAh lithium rechargeable battery is readily available at Amazon for around $10, so buying a backup or replacement battery is no problem.

As previously stated, the Microlab MD212 was both paired and used via the auxiliary connection with a Motorola Razr Maxx, a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, a Asus Memopad HD, and an Apple iPod Touch. In general, pairing was a simple task. After putting the switch on the Microlab MD212 in Bluetooth mode, it was immediately found by all of the devices and, with one exception, was paired and ready for use. The device that gave me a bit of a problem was the Motorola Razr Maxx. It recognized the MD212 immediately, but I received a message on my phone that indicated that pairing could not be completed. However, after holding the speakerphone button down for about five seconds, the Microlab MD212 made an audible beeping noise and pairing with the Razr Maxx was completed.

Using the Microlab MD212 as a speakerphone works very well. To receive an incoming call, all that needs to be done is to depress the speakerphone button. The quality of the calls that I experience were very clear, and the party on the other end confirmed that I came in loud and clear as well. Terminating the call is done by simply depressing the speakerphone button.

The Bluetooth range of the Microlab MD212 was quite good. There was no cutting out of the audio until I was beyond about 20 feet. Even when separated by a wall, the connection was maintained, but the range was a bit more limited.

Last but not least, the audio quality exceeded my expectations. Considering the size of the Microlab MD212, I did not expect it to deliver the level of quality that I experienced. Even though the bass may not rattle your pant legs, you can definitely hear it. If you’re looking for very good bass out of a smaller Bluetooth device, I would recommend the Microlab MD312, which is a bit larger than the MD212, but delivers the bass. Anyway, even at the highest volume, I did not notice any distortion out of the Microlab MD212. The bottom line in terms of audio quality from this device is that it delivers excellent clarity and sustains its quality at all levels of volume.


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