An upgrade to the Sony Ericsson MBS-100 Wireless Portable Speaker, the MBS-200 is the company's latest portable Bluetooth speaker. It has a sleeker design than its predecessor, and the Sony Ericsson MBS-200 Wireless Portable Speaker adds an OLED display that displays track information. It has retained the MBS-100's impressive sound quality.
Described by Sony Ericsson as "sensationally attractive", the MBS-200 Wireless Portable Speaker is compact and spherical, with a stylish white and grey colour scheme. Although it is a little too big to cup comfortably in your hand, the speaker is ideal for travelling as it runs off a rechargeable battery. Despite the all-plastic body and lightweight build, the MBS-200 Wireless Portable Speaker feels solid and well built.
It sports a black speaker mesh, similar to those found on regular hi-fi speakers. At the bottom is a standard 3.5mm jack for connecting a non-Bluetooth audio source, as well as power and Bluetooth buttons. The battery is non-removable and is charged using the included AC adapter. Volume control buttons are somewhat annoyingly placed on the rear of the speaker, making them hard to reach.
Pairing the MBS-200 Wireless Portable Speaker is a simple process and is achieved by holding down the Bluetooth button until the screen displays the pairing indicator. Search for the MBS-200 on your mobile phone or notebook, enter the default passcode (0000) and you’re done. When paired the display will show your phone's name and then show the Bluetooth logo to signify that a successful pairing has been conducted.
We tested the speaker by pairing it to the Nokia N96 smartphone, and we also used a standard line-in cable (not included) to connect the MBS-200 to Apple's iPhone 3G. The results were pleasing: for its size, the MBS-200 Wireless Portable Speaker boasts pretty impressive sound quality.
It obviously won't provide enough sound to fill an entire room nor will it impress audiophiles, but it doesn't need to — nor did we expect it to. Considering its portability we were extremely impressed. The MBS-200 Wireless Portable Speaker does distort at high volume levels and lacks clarity, but at around 75 per cent volume it provides clear sound with reasonable bass levels.
Unfortunately, one of the more impressive features of the MBS-200 Wireless Portable Speaker — the OLED display — only show track names if you connect a Sony Ericsson mobile phone. The screen will still show a battery life indicator and denote when the speaker is in pairing mode.