I’m going to call this one early. The KEF MUO is one of the best looking portable speakers out there. It is a thing of beauty to look at and to hold. In the overcrowded portable speaker market, good looks are only going to get you so far, especially when your price tag is just under the £300 mark. We’ve been living side by side with the KEF MUO Speaker for a few weeks now so let’s take a look and see if it could well be worth the investment.
Of course, the quality of the sound delivered by a speaker is quite crucial, but a portable speaker needs to be able to fit into whatever situation you put it in. Whether it is sitting in your living room or is being used to entertain friends in the garden, you’ll be wanting a speaker that is befitting to your lifestyle and environment. The KEF MUO is made from a single piece of aluminium with the two ends made from a softer, ABS type material. It is simply stunning. Whether you are admiring it from a distance or have it in your hand, it feels like it should be placed on display in a presentation box it is that good looking. An aesthetically pleasing product usually comes quite high on most of our lists when buying a new product.
Connecting to the MUO is as easy as you would expect from a product of this quality. Hook up your devices via Bluetooth or NFC and you’re away. We like the minimal amount of buttons on the speaker (2 volume buttons and a power button) as this helps to keep the sleek design throughout. The battery life is reported to be around 12 hours which is about average for this type of product. The MUO can be plugged into any USB port to charge and can continue to be played whilst charging. All of these features are of course neat, but completely expected. Perhaps something a little special could have wowed us.
The first-class design of the KEF MUO almost presents a bit of a problem for itself. A portable speaker needs to be exactly that, portable. It needs to be placed outside in the garden, taken to the beach, used for a workout and taken to a party. With something that good looking and metal, I’m just not sure you could relax knowing that it might not continue to look beautiful. Compare that with the UE Megaboom which you can treat like a pair of five-year-old converse, then you have to think how portable you really need your speaker to be. Dropping the MUO on the floor could result in tears. Dropping in the sea might result in suicide.
A such we do worry that the KEF MUO may be too precious to take out. Whilst a range of protective cases are available, maybe inside the home or the garden are as far as this beauty will ever go?
For a speaker of this size, the quality of the sound is mighty impressive. How have they done it? According to KEF themselves, they have used “Unique driver technology for pure KEF sound with CD-like quality wireless streaming”. The dual drivers within the speaker do contribute to some pretty impressive sound quality. It does go surprisingly loud and delivers a good range when listening in outdoor environments. Of course, it’s not perfect, with some tracks and genres of music, the MUO can’t quite deliver the deep bass you can get with other speakers in this segment of the market. However the overall sound quality across a wide range of music is pretty much as good as you will get when it comes to a portable bluetooth speaker and the MUO delivers excellent quality on all of your favourite Spotify playlists.
Should You Buy One?
Yes and no. The sound quality is excellent, it looks sublime, but a lack of protection (scratches or water) as well as price is a bit of a stumbling block for us. Launching itself into the premium end of the market is no problem as it can compete with pretty much most. The issue comes when you take a step back and decide what you are looking for. Do you want a truly portable speaker that you would be comfortable with taking to the beach and not worrying about? Or are you looking for a part-portable speaker that you will use around the house and garden? The ability to link multiple is of course a plus, but then again it is quite a standard feature in today’s market.
If you are looking for one of the crispest sounding speakers on the market with visual appeal to match, then the KEF MUO must be in your shortlist.
Head over to the KEF website for more info.