Victrola Music Edition review: Two new and interesting Bluetooth speakers

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The market has no shortage of Bluetooth speakers available for purchase. Nearly every major audio manufacturer has at least one, and the number of off-brand Bluetooth speakers is astronomical. So when the Victrola Music Edition 1 and 2 were pitched to me, I was intrigued.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

The first thing that caught my eye when looking at the Victrola Music Edition online was the design. So Victrola sent both speakers over for review, and these are indeed some very interesting new Bluetooth speakers. Read on for the full review.

Victrola ME Teaser Video

Specifications

The Victrola Music Edition speakers have the following features and specifications:

Victrola Music Edition 1 (Model# VPB-200)

Victrola Music Edition review: Two new and interesting Bluetooth speakers
Victrola Music Edition 1
  • General Specifications
    • Weight: 0.5kg
    • Driver: φ50mm
    • Frequency response: 80Hz-20KHz
    • Battery working time: 12 hours (varies by audio content and volume level)
    • Charging time: 2.5 hours
    • Charging port type: Type-C
    • Battery type: Rechargeable Li-ion
    • Battery:(7.4V / 2500mAh)
    • Battery Life: Up to 12 Hours
  • Bluetooth Specifications
    • Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth V5.0
    • Bluetooth Prole: A2DP V1.3, AVRCP V1.6
    • Bluetooth Frequency Range: 2402-2480MHz
    • Operating Distance: 10 meters (33 ft.)
    • BT Transmitting Power: 4.2dBm
    • BT Transmitting Modulator: GFSK, π/4DQPSK, 8DPSK

Victrola Music Edition 2 (Model# VPB-400)

Victrola Music Edition review: Two new and interesting Bluetooth speakers
Victrola Music Edition 2
  • General Specifications
    • Weight: 1.35kg
    • Drivers: φ90mm+φ52mm
    • Frequency response: 55Hz-20KHz
    • Battery working time: 20 hours (varies by audio content and volume level)
    • Charging time: 5 hours
    • Charging port type: USB-C
    • Battery type: Rechargeable Li-ion
    • Battery:(7.4V / 4400mAh)
    • Battery Life: Up to 20 Hours
  • Bluetooth Specifications
    • Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth V5.0
    • Bluetooth Prole: A2DP V1.3, AVRCP V1.6
    • Bluetooth Frequency Range: 2402-2480MHz
    • Bluetooth Transmitting Power: 3.95dBm
    • Bluetooth Transmitting Modulator: GFSK, π/4DQPSK, 8DPSK
    • Wireless Operation Frequency: 111.8kHz to 145.2kHz

What’s In The Box

  • Victrola Music Edition 1
    • ME1 Speaker
    • USB-C Charging Cable
    • Wrist Strap
    • Manual and Documentation
  • Victrola Music Edition 2
    • ME2 Speaker
    • Power Adapter
    • USB-C Charging Cable
    • Manuals and Documentation

Design

The design of the Victrola Music Edition speakers is what drew my eye when I saw them. They have an art deco look, and the “V” cut grille looks striking. Both speakers are made of high-quality aluminum with some rubber on various parts of the speakers. They both have a good weight and feel, combine that with the premium look, and this is easily one of my favorite speaker designs from a company.

The Victrola Music Edition 1 has a row of simple controls at the top directly next to the wrist strap anchor and USB-C port. The buttons consist of power, Bluetooth pairing, volume down, multifunction (MFB), and volume up buttons. The multifunction button is used for play/pause, FFW/REW, and pairing two Victrola speakers together. Here’s what those buttons do:

Victrola Music Edition review: Two new and interesting Bluetooth speakers
Back of the ME2
  • Power On / Off: Long Press Power (1 sec) button
  • Volume Up: Press + button
  • Volume Down: Press – button
  • Play/Pause: Single Press the MFB button
  • Next Track: Double Press the MFB button
  • Previous Track: Triple-press the MFB button
  • Enter MP3 USB Mode: Press and hold the MFB button for five seconds
  • Bluetooth Mode: Single press Bluetooth button
  • Pair a Device: Long press the Bluetooth button for one second
  • Disconnect Bluetooth Device: Press and hold the Bluetooth button for five seconds
  • Factory Reset: Press and hold the MFB button for ten seconds
  • Lightning Bolt: Used for wireless charging on the ME2 only

The Victrola Music Editon 2 has the same basic buttons but is arranged differently. The buttons are on the top, flanking the wireless charging pad, and the USB-C port is on the back, along with the AUX port. Victrola includes a power brick with the ME2, a nice touch. The controls on the ME2 perform the same functions as the controls on the ME1.

Overall, these are lovely-looking speakers. They are solidly built and have a unique design that looks timeless. I was impressed with the overall design and quality.

Victrola Music Edition review: Two new and interesting Bluetooth speakers
Top of the ME1

Ease of Use

The Victrola Music Edition takes ease of use seriously. These are basic Bluetooth speakers that require no extra software or apps. I appreciate it when brands choose to steer away from apps that can, most of the time, make things more convoluted than they should be.

The ME speakers have physical buttons that perform various essential functions, and that’s all one needs. Pairing your device is also easy; when you power either ME speaker on for the first time, it will go into pairing mode. Find your Bluetooth settings on your smart device, click the Victrola ME speaker, and you’ll be connected.

The one area I have criticism of is the dual speaker pairing. Following the instructions, I could never get the Victrola Music Edition 1 and 2 to pair together. I love that it has this feature, but I couldn’t engage it. UPDATE: After a closer look at the manual, you can only pair to the same model. So pairing the ME1 and ME2 is not possible. I have updated the scoring since this was an oversight on my part.

The Victrola Music Edition 2 has a wireless charging pad that is always on when plugged into wall power. If you want to use the wireless charging pad on battery power, you will need to push the lightning bolt button for one second. Wireless charging for smartphones and earbuds is an excellent value add.

The ME speakers also have USB-C MP3 playback. Long Press the MFB Button until the LED ashes Orange, then turns solid Orange. The unit is now in USB MP3 Playback mode. Use the O button to play, pause and skip MP3 files from a connected USB-C Flash drive. You can also AUX with something like an iPod using the AUX port to deliver music to the speaker.

Otherwise, these speakers are straightforward to operate. I will update the review if I get the dual speaker pairing to work.

Sound

Victrola Music Edition review: Two new and interesting Bluetooth speakers
Back of the ME1

The headline I chose to use says that the Victrola Music Edition speakers are interesting. The good interesting was the design and build quality of the ME1 and ME2 speakers. Sound is another area that was interesting to me. Why? Well, because I didn’t initially know what to make of it.

Most of the speakers I’ve reviewed are all similarly tuned in one way or another. Victrola threw a curveball my way with the ME speakers. At first, I felt that the top end was pushed way too much, emphasizing the treble. But listening more critically, the mids were right in there with the highs.

Then I realized that the lows, the bass end, were pulled back much further than I liked. The bass is there, but it’s not punchy or overpowering. I am not a fan of overpowering bass, but I also like a (minor) kick-up in the bass frequencies for a bit more punch.

The Victrola Music Edition speakers are very much a flat soundstage. This isn’t bad; this does give you playback as the artist intended. But for me, when it comes to speakers such as these, I want a broader and punchier soundstage. That’s not to say that music doesn’t sound good on them, it does, but it may not satisfy everyone.

Overall, music sounds good through these speakers, but they weren’t tuned to what I would typically like in a Bluetooth speaker. Bass lovers should find another option or use an EQ because you won’t get that fat bottom end you want.

ME2 top
Top of the ME2

Battery Life

The Victrola Music Edition 1 battery life is up to 12 hours, while the ME2 is up to 20 hours. Battery life will depend significantly on volume, distance from source and speaker, and if you use the wireless charging feature.

I tried wireless charging, which works great, but I did not use it while testing the battery life. I was able to get very near the advertised battery life with my device near the speaker, and volumes never going above 60%. Battery life is good and works as advertised, but it will vary by user.

Price/Value

The ME1 is priced at $99.99, and the ME2 is priced at $199.99. These are fair prices for what you get. There is a lot of value in these, but be aware of the sound. Bass lovers should look elsewhere, that is for sure.

Wrap Up

The Victrola Music Edition speakers are very interesting. I don’t dislike them, but I don’t LOVE them either. They have an extraordinary design that is lovely yet striking. But their soundstage didn’t grab me. The soundstage was not terrible, because the music still sounded very good, only not good enough to my ears. Most users will like these, while more critical users may not.

Last Updated on April 7, 2023.

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