Technology

Victrola Music Edition 2 Review: A Stylish Bluetooth Speaker With a Few Twists

Rating:
8/10
?

  • 1 – Does not work
  • 2 – Barely functional
  • 3 – Severely lacking in most areas
  • 4 – Functions, but has numerous issues
  • 5 – Fine yet leaves a lot to be desired
  • 6 – Good enough to buy on sale
  • 7 – Great and worth purchasing
  • 8 – Fantastic, approaching best-in-class
  • 9 – Best-in-class
  • 10 – Borderline perfection

Price: $199.99

Kris Wouk / How-To Geek

Victrola might be best known for its record players, but the company has been expanding lately, including two new Bluetooth speakers. The Victrola Music Edition 2 is the larger and more feature-packed of the two, even if both models share a very similar design.

While it may be larger and heavier, the Music Edition 2 is louder, but it’s also got some extra features. Plenty of Bluetooth speakers offer a built-in power bank, for example, but Victrola opted for a built-in wireless charging pad instead.

Which of the Music Edition speakers is the winner? Does this larger model outclass its smaller, more portable sibling?

Here’s What We Like

  • Great sound, even if it’s mono
  • Aluminum build and IP67 rating mean it’s tough
  • Wireless charging feature is unique
  • USB-C MP3 playback is handy
  • Stereo pairing for two units

And What We Don’t

  • Slightly heavy
  • You need two for stereo sound

How-To Geek’s expert reviewers go hands-on with each product we review. We put every piece of hardware through hours of testing in the real world and run them through benchmarks in our lab. We never accept payment to endorse or review a product and never aggregate other people’s reviews. Read more >>

Build and Design

Victrola Music Edition 2 in hand
Kris Wouk / How-To Geek
  • Dimensions: 225 x 110 x 88mm (8.8 x 4.3 x 3.46in)
  • Weight: 1.35kg (2.97lbs)
  • IP rating: IP67

The overall look is similar between the Music Edition 1 and the Music Edition 2. This model is larger and heavier, overall, but it also sits more like a traditional Bluetooth speaker, rather than the vertically oriented nature of the other model.

While the speaker uses rubberized plastic on the top and bottom, the main body of the speaker that wraps around is tough, sturdy aluminum. This is in an alternating triangle weave that gives the Music Edition 2 its signature look, more like a piece of hi-fi gear than a traditional Bluetooth speaker.

Given the look, you might be surprised to know that the Music Edition 2 is IP67-rated weather-resistant, though the rubberized controls may have given it away. The USB-C charging port and the auxiliary jack don’t have waterproof covers, so this isn’t as rugged as some other speakers, but you shouldn’t need to worry too much about weather.

Like the Music Edition 1, which we tested this speaker alongside, the Music Edition 2 comes in two finish options. We’re looking at the speaker in black, though it’s also available in silver.

Connectivity

Victrola Music Edition 2 auxiliary and USB-C ports
Kris Wouk / How-To Geek
  • Bluetooth version: 5.0
  • Bluetooth profiles: A2DP V1.3, AVRCP V1.6
  • Other connectivity: USB-C MP3, 3.5mm auxiliary input

Like its sibling, the Music Edition 2 supports Bluetooth 5.0 with a maximum range of around 33 feet. Codecs seem limited to the standard SBC and AAC codecs, but in my testing, these codecs didn’t have a negative impact on the sound the way they could with older Bluetooth speakers.

The Victrola Music Edition 2 supports pairing two speakers for either stereo or dual mono sound. Unfortunately, this seems limited to the same speaker model, as I couldn’t get the Music Edition 1 to pair with it successfully. It’s possible this may be addressed in a later firmware update.

Like the Music Edition 1, this model features support for MP3 playback from a USB-C flash drive. Unlike that model, it also features a 3.5mm auxiliary input jack for wired playback.

Controls

Victrola Music Edition 2 controls
Kris Wouk / How-To Geek

The top panel of the Music Edition 2 features six buttons, arranged into two rows of three each. On the left side, you’ll find the power, charging, and Bluetooth buttons. On the right side, you’ll find the volume and multifunction buttons.

Tapping the multifunction button will pause and resume playback, while double tapping skips to the next song and triple tapping plays the previous song. Pressing and holding the button for five seconds enters USB-C MP3 playback mode.

To switch back to Bluetooth, simply tap the Bluetooth button. Tapping it one more time will put the speaker into auxiliary input mode. We’ll talk about the controls for wireless charging a little later.

Sound Quality

Victrola Music Edition 2 with music gear
Kris Wouk / How-To Geek
  • Drivers: 90mm driver, 52mm tweeter
  • Frequency response: 55Hz-20KHz

In case you were wondering, the Victrola Music Edition 2 sounds better than the smaller Edition 1 in nearly every way. That’s not to put down the other speaker, but the Edition 2 packs more volume and bass, and it generally sounds fuller overall.

Victrola opted not to make the Edition 2 stereo. It sounds much bigger than the Edition 1, but it’s still mono. If you want stereo sound, you’ll need to pair a second speaker.

That said, the Music Edition 2 has twice the drivers of the Edition 1. Instead of a single driver, the Edition 2 has a 3.5-inch driver and a one-inch tweeter, as well as a passive bass radiator.

In testing the Music Edition 2, I started by listening to Sleaford Mods’ “Fishcakes.” The speaker carries the mellow bass line and driving drum beat well. I was surprised by how much detail there was for a Bluetooth speaker, especially in the high-end.

To make sure the speaker wasn’t especially flattering to just one song, I next turned to Wire’s “I Am the Fly,” which can be quite abrasive and can sound harsh on many speakers. Here it sounded good, with just a slight hint of angry upper midrange, but this is very much the song, not the speaker.

Finally, I listened to the album version of Cheap Trick’s “Surrender.” Again, the bass line and kick drum carried much more weight than they did on the smaller Music Edition 1. The song sounds wide, even though it’s not really in stereo.

Like the Edition 1, the Music Edition 2 is very directional sounding, only pumping sound out toward the front. While the grille looks the same on both sides, the music only comes out of the side with the Victrola logo.

Battery Life and Charging

Wireless charging on the Victrola Music Edition 2
Kris Wouk / How-To Geek
  • Battery capacity: 7.4V / 4400mAh
  • Maximum playback time: 20 hours
  • Recharge time: 5 hours
  • Charging: USB-C DC 5V, 2A

The Victrola Music Edition 2 has a relatively large battery, offering up to 20 hours of playback. As with any Bluetooth speaker, the maximum playback time will vary based on what you’re listening to and how loud you’re listening, but that’s still a solid time.

Thanks to that large battery, it takes a while to charge the Music Edition 2. Charging via the USB port can take up to five hours, assuming you’re charging it from completely empty to full. It would have been nice to see Quick Charge or some other sort of fast-charging support.

The built-in wireless charging pad works fairly smartly. Whenever the speaker is plugged in, the charging pad is automatically enabled. This is handy since, while the speaker takes a while to charge, you can use it to charge your phone (assuming it supports wireless charging) while you wait.

You can also use the wireless charging pad while on battery power, you just need to manually turn it on by pressing and holding the charging button for one second.

Should You Buy the Victrola Music Edition 2?

If you’re buying a single speaker, the Victrola Music Edition 2 is a better buy than the Music Edition 1, even if it is twice the price. It sounds markedly better, and the improved battery life and extra features like the wireless charging pad and the auxiliary input.

When it comes to how it stands up to other competitors, the sound quality of the Music Edition 2 is comparable to other speakers in the same price range. It’s heavier than most thanks to the aluminum build, but at the same time, it’s a much nicer-looking product than much of the competition, especially considering the IP67 rating.

The Music Edition 2 doesn’t have one single feature that sets it apart from other contenders, but it’s a unique-looking speaker with solid specs and some cool features.

Rating: 8/10

Price: $199.99

Here’s What We Like

  • Great sound, even if it’s mono
  • Aluminum build and IP67 rating mean it’s tough
  • Wireless charging feature is unique
  • USB-C MP3 playback is handy
  • Stereo pairing for two units

And What We Don’t

  • Slightly heavy
  • You need two for stereo sound



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