It may not be the loudest portable Bluetooth speaker we’ve tried, nor offer the best audio quality, but we love the additional functionality afforded by the Marsboy B2’s microSD card slot, and in our experience kids love the colour-changing LEDs. Although we didn’t have two Marsboy speakers with which to test it, the ability to pair two of these speakers is a great idea and should help ramp up the volume.
With built-in colour-changing LEDs and seven programmable modes, the Marsboy B2 Orb Wireless Bluetooth Speaker can turn your bedroom into your own private disco. We review the Marsboy Orb Wireless Bluetooth Speaker. Also see: Best cheap Bluetooth speakers.
The Marsboy B2 Orb Bluetooth Speaker costs £38.99 from Amazon, but PC Advisor readers can save £7 with the coupon code TAKYZ9OF (or $8 from Amazon US).
It’s not difficult to work out why Marsboy refers to this Bluetooth speaker as the Orb. Circular in design, this black plastic speaker is half mesh and half soft-touch plastic. Below the meshed surface a series of LEDs can transmit a range of colours, creating a disco-like effect in your bedroom. It’s a great-looking portable speaker, if on the large side (though it has to be for the light effects).
But while it’s good-looking, bear in mind that the meshed surface is susceptible to damage. We accidentally knocked the Marsboy on the floor from table height and put a dent in the speaker grille, and while it didn’t affect performance it did spoil the appearance. There is a grippy rubber pad on the bottom, which feels as though it should be enough to hold it steady on a flat surface (but obviously not in our case).
Rather than pulsating to the music, the LEDs are controlled by choosing one of seven programmes. The button to control this is found on the speaker’s rim. Also here are the various controls: play/pause, skip track, volume up/down and answer call when the speaker is connected via Bluetooth to a smartphone. You can also hook it up using an AUX cable, or take advantage of the built-in Micro-SD card slot – the Marsboy supports MP3, WMA, WAV, APE and FLAC. Removable memory card support is not at all a given on cheap Bluetooth speakers.
Also here is an M/T button. We couldn’t test this feature because we had only one review sample of the B2, but if you wish you can pair two Marsboy Bluetooth speakers to create surround sound from your smartphone. That’s handy, because this isn’t the loudest of portable speakers we’ve tried, although it is sufficient for bedroom use. See all speaker reviews.
While audio isn’t of the crystal clear variety you’d find in true audiophile equipment – and neither would you expect it to be at this price – the Marsboy was able to handle everything we threw at it, from rock to pop and everything in between. For the money, you certainly can’t complain about the performance.
With a 3,000mAh battery inside, Marsboy says you’ll get 12 hours of battery life. Of course your mileage may vary, depending on how you connect your phone and how loudly you play your music. When the battery runs down you simply charge it up via the Micro-USB port with your phone or tablet charger.
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Marsboy B2 5W Orb Bluetooth Speaker: Specs
- 5W Bluetooth speaker
- Bluetooth 4.1+EDR
- 80Hz-18KHz frequency response
- 90db SNT
- 85db sensitivity rate
- 4 ohm impedance
- 1A/5V/5W input
- 3,000mAh battery, 12-hour battery life
- AUX input
- microSD card slot, supports MP3, WMA, WAV, APE, FLAC
- colour-changing LEDs
- ability to pair two Marsboy B2 speakers