Designed for short stints of work in hotel rooms, but without Bluetooth this travel speaker struggles to compete
Price as reviewed: £39.99
Bluetooth speakers are everywhere, but the cables-free message they shout about is baloney. Cables are needed to charge-up their batteries, so after about six hours of playback, they need to be cabled-up. Step forward the Edifier Sound To Go PLUS, a slim and slender speaker clearly aimed at laptop users that eschews Bluetooth altogether.
10 hours battery
The Edifier Sound To Go PLUS is a simple, if slightly out-dated, concept. A kind of soundbar for laptops, it features a built-in battery that runs for around 10 hours once charged. However, there’s little point in doing that since it needs to be attached to a laptop via either USB or a 3.5mm audio cable to fetch audio. The only advantage of the battery is that it means that the Edifier Sound To Go PLUS can be taken on your travels to use with a smartphone. On the beach? Having a picnic? Sadly, the Edifier Sound To Go PLUS isn’t really loud or powerful enough to impress in either of those scenarios.
This is a speaker that’s best used with a laptop, and cabled-up via USB (if you set your laptop to output audio over USB) to prevent any need to swap cables. We do like the way it switches on; a pinch of both the volume buttons –situated on opposite sides – prevents accidental suitcase sessions. What we didn’t like, however, was the sound quality; vocals are clear enough at first, but distort at high volumes, while low frequencies are flat. Lacking power, depth, and warmth, it’s just not very musical.
Pair with a laptop
Weighing 314g, the Edifier Sound To Go PLUS measures 260x42x37mm, so while it’s hardly a pain to pack, it’s only ever going to find its way into your luggage if you’re off on a long stint of work on a laptop – and expecting to be bound to a hotel room. It won’t however, fill a hotel room with great audio.
Lacks versatility & quality
A massive improvement on all laptops’ internal speakers, the Edifier Sound To Go PLUS nevertheless sits in an audio no man’s land; it’s not as versatile as a Bluetooth speaker, and it doesn’t sound anywhere as good as a pair of similarly-priced earphones. Aesthetically styled to a MacBook and definitely improving the sound of that particular laptop’s speakers, this soundbar is nevertheless far from being a travel essential.