Minirig MRBT-2 review: The little speaker with huge sound and epic battery

Audio / Audio Hardware Reviews / Reviews / Top Picks
Minirig MRBT

The Minirig MRBT-2 Bluetooth speaker may be a small speaker, but don’t let that fool you.

TA-ratings-98The last time we reviewed the Minirig we were really impressed, this time is no different. The Minirig MRBT-2 Bluetooth speaker gives you great sound that loves to be turned way up and a battery life that will outlast even the most fervent of partygoers. It also offers a great design and a competitive price, all things that should pique your curiosity and keep you reading on for the full review and see why this little guy earns a Techaeris Top Pick Award for 2017.

Specifications

  • Custom 3” driver with neodymium motor system
  • 80 hour low volume battery life (45-hour average use, 15 hours @ max volume)
  • 6-8 hour charging time
  • IPX5 water resistance rating – Airtight enclosure with waterproof cone
  • Bluetooth 4.2 with support for APTX
  • Anodized aluminum and polycarbonate construction
  • Bluetooth range 32-160 feet
  • Device charging output
  • Remembers up to 8 devices, connect to 2 simultaneously
  • 2 – 3.5mm input/output sockets
  • Weight 480g

What’s In The Box

  • Minirig MRBT-2
  • Carrying case
  • Charging cable
  • USB cable
  • Minirig lanyard
  • Minirig sticker
  • Quick start guide
Minirig MRBT

All of the goods

Design

The Minirig MRBT-2 Bluetooth speaker has a rugged, industrial design to it. The body of the MRBT-2 is made of anodized aluminum with a speaker mesh that looks to be the same material. The top has a black polycarbonate ring around the speaker mesh, and the bottom is constructed of black polycarbonate as well. There are exposed hex bolts on the top, which continues the industrial look of the unit. The only button on the MRBT-2 is the power/gain/battery indicator button that sits on the top of the speaker. The Minirig name is embossed discreetly into the polycarbonate both top and bottom.

The Minirig MRBT-2 comes in a total of 8 different colors, meaning you can let your individuality show. Besides the solid colors, there is also a black version with an engraving of what looks to be a discriminating gentleman spinning records on a turn of the century phonograph. That’s a total of 9 different choices when buying the MRBT-2. The unit I tested was a brushed aluminum, though I must say I did fall in love with the blue version pictured on Minirigs website! Having lots of choices is always a good thing.

Ease of Use

When it comes to ease of use, the Minirig MRBT-2 Bluetooth speaker is pretty simple. Turn it on, connect your device, and start listening to music. There is a Minirig app you can download that allows you to change the name of the speaker as well as control the unit.

The single button on the top of the unit controls power, gain, and is also a battery level indicator. Turn the speaker on by pressing the button for 2 seconds, press again for 2 seconds to turn it off. While the speaker is on you can do a short press of the button to switch from low gain to high gain. The button also houses a colored light, which changes color to indicate current battery level. Green is 75-100%, cyan is 50-75%, blue is 25-50%, purple is 5-25% and red is 0%. You can check the battery level when the MRBT-2 is off by quickly pressing the button.

The Minirig MRBT-2 gives you the optional of charging your devices using the included USB cable. You can also pair other Minirig speakers and hook up a subwoofer to put on what I assume would sound like a one-person concert. Considering how loud this little speaker gets, I can only imagine how multiple MRBT-2’s would sound with a sub attached.

Sound

Minirig products are designed, tested, and manufactured in the UK. I myself spent three years living in Virginia Water, Surrey, UK. I remember England always being so quiet. While studying to get my license I learned that you should not sound the car horn except at times of danger. One time we took the train into London not realizing there was a rugby match that day in Twickenham. The train was packed, and though it was a bit noisy, it was not unbearably so. Yes, England always seemed very peaceful to me.

Well, it would seem the folks at Minirig have had enough of the peace and quiet because just one of these little speakers is enough to set a whole county shaking! The Minirig MRBT-2 Bluetooth speaker puts out sound like I’ve never heard from a speaker of this size, actually I’ve heard larger speakers that are not this loud. I had it placed on my desk at high gain, and I could feel the vibrations through the desk. And that was with the volume set at 50%. When I turned the volume all the way up things began to shake. For fun, I put a small piece of paper on top of the speaker and watched it dance about.

Minirig MRBT

This could wake the neighbors.

The MRBT-2 is not only about volume, the quality of the sound that comes out of this little speaker is also very good. The bass doesn’t dominate, but its presence is definitely felt. The highs and mids are also very well presented. All in all, the speaker does a great job of reproducing all the sounds in the music. When you consider there is only one speaker here doing all the work, it’s quite amazing. There was a bit of distortion once the volume was turned up all the way, but when you consider how loud 100% volume is, that’s understandable. Using a decibel meter app, I measured max decibel output at 99.1dB. According to IAC Acoustics, a jet taking off 300 meters away has a decibel output of 100dB. That is very loud indeed.

Reception

Minirig advertises the Bluetooth reception range of the Minirig MRBT-2 Bluetooth speaker as 32-160 feet. Most of the Bluetooth speakers I’ve tested are all around 50 feet or less, so I took the MRBT-2 outside for the ultimate distance test. At the start of this test, I was a bit skeptical of the results I would get. I put the speaker down on my deck and walked as far as I could across my lawn. The music played on. So I went onto the walking path behind our house and started to walk away from the speaker slowly. I was able to get 174 feet away from the MRBT-2 before it began to lose the signal. I turned the volume all the way up, and even at that distance, I could still hear the music playing. I’m sure my neighbors will be talking about this display for a while. The MRBT-2 does not take phone calls.

Battery Life

The Minirig MRBT-2 Bluetooth speaker has a claimed battery life of 80 hours on low volume and 45 hours of average use. My skepticism was showing again as I thought to myself that there is no way the battery will ever last near that long. I decided to test the speaker at high gain with the volume set at 50% and the source 5 feet away. The speaker kept going for 43 hours and 23 minutes until the battery died. Now I’m wondering if it’s a battery or Odin’s Tesseract that is powering this amazing little speaker!

Minirig MRBT

Nice rubber feet to keep from slipping.

Price/Value

The Minirig MRBT-2 Bluetooth speaker has a price of $167.81USD for the solid color units and $193.75 for the etched version. Prices are set in GBP, so prices in USD will fluctuate dependent on international exchange rates. I think the sound and battery life that you get for that price makes it worth the price, but it may be a bit too steep for some.

Wrap Up

The Minirig MRBT-2 Bluetooth speaker may be a small speaker, but don’t let that fool you. There is a lot packed into this little powerhouse. Great styling, amazing sound, an epic battery life, and enough volume to entertain all your neighbors.

*We were sent a sample of the Minirig MRBT-2 for the purposes of this review.

Minirig MRBT-2

$167.81+ USD
Minirig MRBT-2
9.8

Design

10/10

    Ease of Use

    10/10

      Sound

      10/10

        Reception/Call Quality

        10/10

          Battery Life

          10/10

            Price/Value

            10/10

              Nailed it

              • Great sound
              • Huge volume
              • Design and color choices
              • Battery life is epic
              • Reception

              Needs work

              • Distorts at highest volume
              • May wake up your neighbors
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