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KEF Muo Review: It Ain’t Cheap, But It’s Worth It

KEF Muo 02

We review the KEF Muo!

For many, Bluetooth speakers aren’t something you spend big bucks on. Typically consumers buy something that has sound quality that’s good enough for sharing to other people in the room. For the KEF Muo, that’s absolutely not the case – this portable Bluetooth speaker is probably the best sounding one we’ve tested in a long while and despite its relatively small size, it handily beats bigger speakers like Bose’s Soundlink Mini II in sheer volume output and clarity.

KEF Muo 03

Anybody who is familiar with British brand KEF knows that they’re not fans of garish designs, and instead favor simple, iconic designs that aim to capture the eye of the casual observer without overwhelming them. The Muo is no exception as it was designed by famed industrial designer Ross Lovegrove and based on KEF’s limited edition, 9.3 million a pair Moun speakers.

KEF Muo 04

Overall construction is superb, as the Muo uses a single slab of aluminum for the main body, with only the ends being plastic. It feels sturdy and hefty in the hands, and while it’s not water resistant like other Bluetooth speakers, you can probably whack someone in the head with this without the speaker dying (your victim may not be so lucky).

KEF Muo 05

True to KEF’s no-frills ethos, the controls are rather simple. All of the controls are located on the right side of the speaker, which consist of a volume rocker, power button and a button to start the Bluetooth pairing process. There’s a slot on the back to attach the USB charger, and a 3.5mm auxiliary jack to daisy chain other Muo speakers together, if you happen to be Mr. Moneybags. You can also use NFC to pair your device to the Muo if you want.

Pairing your device is pretty straight forward – you just need to hold the Bluetooth button down for 2 seconds until the power indicator starts blinking blue, then pair your device as normal.

KEF Muo 06

While the outside of the Muo seem simple and unassuming, the inside is quite impressive. Inside the Muo are two 50mm drivers and a bass radiator, and KEF has designed the drivers in a way that emulates their Uni-Q drivers that inhabit their bigger and more expensive speakers.

KEF Muo 07

This gives the Muo surprisingly awesome sound quality, esepcially for its size. Sound fidelity is amazing, especially for a speaker this small – you can really hear the emotions in the vocals of Adele in Rolling In The Deep. Mids are very pronounced, though bass heavy tracks revealed the limitations of its bass radiator while playing Drake’s Back To Back. Typically speakers this small struggle to output clear audio at higher volumes, but the Muo takes everything in stride – even at higher volumes, the clarity of the sound remain unaffected. The sound quality of the Muo takes a very slight hit at max volume.

As far as run time goes, KEF rates the battery at around 12 hours but you can expect battery life of probably 8 hours with normal use. With the volume cranked all the way up, expect that figure to drop to 6.

KEF Muo 01

The only thing that’s holding us back from recommending the Muo is its price. At Php 14,000, it’s probably the most expensive Bluetooth speaker of its size in the market today and will be out of reach of most consumers. But for the people who put an absolute premium on sound quality, it’s the only logical choice in a market that’s saturated by gimmicky Bluetooth speakers that deliver mediocre sound.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

6 Comments

  1. Way too expensive for me. Only-for-the-rich bluetooth speaker.

    In my opinion, good, quality sound need not to be expensive not unless materials used are really expensive. One good thing though, someone had paid attention to the audio processing to bring out the best quality sound. If only other companies gave the same attention, they can rival this speaker in terms of sound quality and size.

    No matter if you have the best audio processor but used a mediocre speaker, sound will never be good. Half of the design is in the schematics, the other half is in the choice of speaker.

  2. The Bose sound link mini 2 is priced at around 13k and the UE boom 2 at around 12k. If the KEF Muo sounds better than both then the price is ok. Still too expensive for me, but it doesn’t cost that much more vs the 2 top dogs.

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