Edifier Soundbar Review

Out of the blue recently I was offered the opportunity to test a few portable sound devices, so like any true blood geek I jumped at the opportunity.

A picture of the SoundBarThe first one is the Edifier MP 250 (a.k.a the Soundbar). It is a very simple and portable single unit speaker which improves the sound output of moble devices. It will work with anything that can plug to sdb (like a laptop), and also anything with a stereo plug (like amost every other audio device on the planet).

Here is a quick review.

The good stuff is:

  • It is darn small, and reasonably light.
  • No setup required (plug in, pause for recognition, then it worked straight away – fark!).
  • Comes with a nice handy carry sleeve, so that it won’t get wrecked by your other gear.
  • Far better sound quality than standard laptop speakers.
  • It looks nice – all silver and smooth, not a fugly blob of black plastic.

The bad (only the obvious and the trivial):

  • As it needs power from the USB, you’ll go through battery life in no time. Use it when plugged in to power and there is no issue.
  • No tech solution can deliver high end sound, especially high end bass sound in a manner to replace a good multi-speaker setup. Do not have the illusion that the SoundBar will be a home stereo. Better, but not a holy grail.
  • Carry case should be slightly bigger, so it can also hold the cables. You can squish them in, but it takes a few minutes.

Overall: It would make an excellent gift for a techie who works regularly with a laptop or ipod/iphone on the road, and for aus$60 its reaonsable. 

I didn’t want a Soundbar until I tested it, and now I am very glad to have it. It is already in my laptop bag.

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Foot pedal love

Blizzard's Chat-Tap pedal.

When I saw the Blizzard official foot pedal for gaming I literally laughed out loud. It is such a direct branding exercise to snaffle some cash that I was both impressed by their gusto, and a little miffed that a usb pedal would cost so much. You have to seriously consider your expendable cash when you order an expensive one button keyboard, that you use with your foot.

Don’t get me wrong, a brand is something that is worth paying for generally, and these companies are all about making a dollar while we stay entertained. If you like the brand then you might not mind paying a little extra, and more power to you. But the cost vs feature set of a push to talk foot pedal seemed to be pushing the boundaries in this case.

It started me thinking, and went beyond an academic task.

So I searched around for an alternative. I could not help but think that somebody had already created this product, and the Warcraft franchise was just applying some smooth images and stickers to the package. And yes, you can purchase a usb foot pedal from Brando in Hong Kong for far less than the official product.

So I bought one. *blush*

Brando's usb foot pedal

Visually I think there is only the packaging and a sticker that is different. Of course I don’t have all the software that might be packaged with the official World of Warcraft Tap-Chat (Extreme-Gaming-Uber-Slayering-Foot-Pedal-Woof!). But I also only spent around USD$10.00 vs the $30 model option (I would spend far more on any given Friday night on drinks anyway).

I gave it a quick road test last night, and it’s a silly fun toy. It might make playing a tiny bit easier, but I can’t see the significant difference in the game yet. I expect that the raids will get easier to participate in because of not having to search for a keyboard key while also doing all the movement; and that is where I think the real gain is. For places in games where you’re already using both hands to drive, yapping in vent would help, but can’t just have an open mic due to background noise or flaky apps.

For raiders and pvp’ers I guess, more than for casual playing. Are you hardcore enough to need this toy, or are you deluded enough to think that it is worth the money, or just addicted

enough to know that you don’t have a choice?

Happy gaming, with your feet.

PS. I dread to think what the title of the post will bring in a Google search…