James Stanbury

See other accessory reviews written by James Stanbury

Check out our Edifier Bric Connect test to see if this Bluetooth speaker's sound will bring music to your ears on motorhome holidays this year

Overview

The days of taking audio cassette tapes and a player, or a Sony Walkman, stacks of CDS, or even an MP3-player on holiday are almost completely gone. Now most people rely on mobile phones, tablets or laptops to store all the music we are likely to need on our travels. The capacity is fantastic and we've all got used to having far more choice of music at our fingertips. The only drawback to this seems to be that as soon as we unplug the headphones and share the music with friends and family, the sound quality can be a bit thin and tinny.

Fortunately, there's a lightweight, easy and fairly inexpensive solution. Using a portable Bluetooth speaker makes a versatile way to enhance the sound of your music wherever you go. We think that the right one could be especially perfect for motorhome holidays. 

There's plenty of choice of portable Bluetooth speakers out there competing for your attention, so we've tested a good selection to find out the pros and cons of each one. We've tried the Creative Woof 3 speaker, costing £39.99, the Denyon Envaya Mini DSB-100 at £79.99, the Speedlink Portajoy at £64.99, the Creative MUVO Mini, costing £39.99, the Edifier MP211 at £39.99, the Edifier MP211 at £129.99 and the Edifier Bric Connect costing £79.99 as tested. You can read more of our Bluetooth speaker reviews here

The Edifier Bric Connect, at £79.99, is a good alternative to the Speedlink Portajoy, even if the units are complete opposites. While Portajoy is heavy and plush, the Edifier Bric Connect feels lightweight at 1.4kg and plasticky in comparison. It measures 300mm x 90mm x 133mm. The sound produced is very different, too. this doesn't have the warm, slight wooliness of the Speedlink, but it still provides the same fullness and clarity of sound. Sonically, the Bric Connect may not the best portable Bluetooth speaker we've tested, but it's not far behind.

In other ways, the Edifier is a curious mix. We like the fact that it comes with a mains power cable, but relying on six AA batteries, instead of a rechargable internal lithium pack, seems archaic.

It's also irritating that the unit ignores any volume adjustments that you might make to the music on your phone, tablet or laptop. Just as well, then, that it comes with a handy wireless remote control with volume, track, play and pause buttons. You can also use the remote to answer, end or decline phone calls from a distance, wirelessly. It's great for hands-free calling and conference calls through your smartphone. There's even a slot to store the remote within the speaker, so you won't lose it between trips.

As a bonus, there are two ways to connect the Edifier Bric Connect to the source of your music: wirelessly or via the 3.5mm-3.5mm audio connecting cable supplied with it. 

Technical specs

Size300mm x 90mm x 133mm
Weight1.4kg
Power supplyOutput 12V/20W AC
Batteries6 x AA batteries
Remote controlWireless
Bluetooth-enabledPlays music & phone calls
Wireless BluetoothPlays music from laptop, tablet, phone
Frequency response40Hz - 20kHz
SNR≥85dBA
Speaker unit2¾ inch (70mm), Magnetically shielded, 8Ω
Manual suppliedBric BT Connect
Audio lead supplied3.5mm-3.5mm audio connecting cable
Wireless remote controlVolume, track, play, pause controls
Wireless remoteUse it to answer, end or decline phone calls from a distance
Speaker phone pairs with your smartphoneFor hands-free calls and conference calls

Verdict

We would prefer the Edifier Bric Connect to have a built-in lithium battery pack, so that it could be recharged, and would like it to respond both to its own remote control and also to the volume, play and pause buttons on a connected laptop, tablet or smartphone. 

Having said that, the sound quality is pretty good and we've awarded the Edifier 'Bric Connect a three-star rating.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Has a mains power cable
  • Connects wirelessly or with its audio lead

Cons

  • Uses AA batteries
  • Ignores volume adjustments from phone, tablet or laptop
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