Review of Muzen Crimson Red Metal bluetooth speaker

I can’t decide whether the market for portable bluetooth speakers has been booming or is stagnant. On one hand, there are so many new speaker designs and launches being thrown at consumers, and each professing to be great at sound — the main reason why people buy these speakers in the first place. But with every new portable bluetooth speaker that I’ve heard — and at various price points — none have come close to the sound of the original UE Boom launched in 2013. That speaker sounded phenomenal for its size; it was balanced and had no distortion at higher volume settings. Unfortunately, it became my benchmark for what the sound of a portable bluetooth speaker should be like.

When Muzen Audio approached us for a review of their new metal speaker, I dismissed it as just another retro-looking gadget. All style, average sound. Then I took it out of its box and was surprised by how tiny it was — it could fit into the palm of my hand. What else was surprising was that it was heavy for its small size. And with gadgets, heavy usually gives off the perception of better quality.

Photos from muzen audio

I turned the dial to radio and tried to tune in to 987fm. It was full of static and couldn’t give me a clear feed to the station. (If you’re concerned about the radio quality, there’s an add-on antenna that should improve the reception.)

I decided to pair the speaker with my iPhone to see if the sound fared any better. Pairing the two devices was very easy — I turned the dial setting to the bluetooth icon, then detected and selected it on my phone. It connected instantly. I switched to YouTube on the phone and played that new 365 song by Katy Perry… and wow. The sound was full, it was big, and very impressive. It blew me away for the first half a minute of listening to robot Katy singing about her obsession, that I kept holding the speaker up and inspecting it to see how this tiny thing could push out a sound so well balanced.

Here’s a rundown of the specifications from the press release for the metal version:

The speaker is priced at $139 with 6 colours available (2 of them are wood finishes and slightly larger in size, and are priced lower at $129).

Photos from muzen audio

Functions include an in-built FM radio, bluetooth synching and an auxiliary port should you wish to connect by cable. It charges by an included USB cable and claims to have a 10-hour battery life.

Each speaker also comes with a faux leather case with a short hand carry strap, and a longer strap that allows you to sling this crossbody like a camera.

Photos from muzen audio

Unfortunately, for the case that I had, one of the knobs came out and I had trouble putting it back into its hole; and when I eventually did, it just kept coming out rendering my straps useless. Hopefully this was an abnormal defect in just my case.

Strap issues aside, at $139 and with the sound that this speaker is capable of, it’s a worthy buy. Not to mention, it’s super cute.


The Muzen audio otr fm radio & bluetooth speaker is priced at $139 (metal) and $129 (wood). available from TANGS, robinsons, popular bookstore, challenger and other authorised resellers.