If you’re after a 2 in 1 hands free Bluetooth adapter, would the MK2 from Muson be the right one to choose?
In the box
Included with the MK2 you get quite a few accessories. In the box you get
- A 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable
- An RCA to 3.5mm cable
- A 3.5mm to 3.5mm adapter
- The USB charging cable
- The user manual
This is pretty much all you need for getting things set up with your device.
Design and Build
Looking at the MK2 its basic but functional. The top section is a Black plastic and feels quite cheap, but the MK2 is fairly cheap so that can be partially overlooked. If you’re keeping it in one place, then it should be fine, however if you’re switching sources a lot then it could get damaged easily. The top section also houses the main power button, this again is very cheap feeling but its functional. Finally on the top there is a LED light and some branding.
The left side of the MK2 has the main switch in which you swap between its two main modes and also the pairing button. These again aren’t the best made but they work just fine. As long as your careful, they should be fine over a long period of time.
In the corners on the left side there is a 3.5mm port and a microphone in the other. The sides of the MK2 are also plastic and again it shows as it feels low cost. I suppose for £26 its okay but I still would have liked to see a metal frame to increase its durability.
The top section is where you’ll find the volume controls, you can pretty much guess that these are again plastic and don’t feel the best. They still work fine though.
Onto the right side and its all but plain apart from the solitary Micro USB charging port.
The cables again all feel low cost and for this price its okay. I already have the cables I need, but for those that don’t its a nice inclusion and means you don’t have to source your own.
As a whole the MK2 is basic but functional and that is pretty much all you need from a product like this. I just wish that a little more effort was made to increase the durability as I have a feeling that it could easily break if accidentally dropped or knocked. On the plus side though its compact measuring just 47.8 x 47.8 x 9.7mm and it only weighs 15g, so taking it with you is not an issue.
Specifications and Technology
- Bluetooth technology: v4.1
- Bluetooth profile: HFP, HSP, A2DP, AVRCP
- Bluetooth chip: CSR8670
- Receiver connected: 2 devices
- Transmitter connected: 2 devices
- Working voltage: DC 3.0 – 4.2V
- Working current: <22mA
- Max range: 33ft (10m – clear line of sight)
- Standby time: up to 15 hours
- Working time: up to 10 hours
- Charge time: 1.5 – 2 hours
- Battery: Built in 170mAh
- Transmission power: CLASS2
- Frequency range: 2.4 – 2.480GHz
For its price the MK2 does have some decent features. I mean it has a built in microphone for using it as a hands free device. The mic can’t compare to the one on your phone but its a good addition. The MK2 also has the multifunctional side covered. It can be used with powered Hi-Fi speakers, a Hi-Fi amp, a TV, a car stereo, a non Bluetooth laptop or PC and of course a phone or tablet. This means you can pretty much plug it into most things with a 3.5mm output and it will work.
Its using Bluetooth 4.1 which is pretty up to date and is also backwards compatible with older versions of Bluetooth. The MK2 also has aptX support when in RX (Receive mode), this means it can stream with less compression.
So it pretty much has everything you need apart from WiFi streaming which is becoming the new norm. However I think as this is targeting a different audience the lack of WiFi is fine.
Setting up the MK2 is very easy depending on how you intend to use it. In my testing I connected it to my powered Denon monitors and it was very straight forward. You have to connect the RCA cable to the relevant outputs on the speaker, then connect the 3.5mm into the MK2 itself. Also make sure that the switch is on RX otherwise it won’t work.
You can then pair it with your device. All you have to do is press and hold the main power button until the LED light flashes Blue rapidly. You then search for the MK2 on your device and it should pop up. If it does, just select MK2 and it will pair. If it doesn’t I found that turning off Bluetooth, pressing the pairing button on the side and repeating the process worked. If you get stuck refer to the manual and that will help.
Once your paired its then pretty much like any other Bluetooth device and works great. The range is pretty solid too, I can take my phone out of my room and it will still work, its only when you put doors and walls between you and the MK2 does it struggle.
Transmitter mode is a bit spotty and didn’t work 100% of the time. When you connect to your TV and flick the switch to TX its supposed to pair with your headphones automatically. Now it did work with my headphones but when I tried my earphones it wouldn’t pair and I had to reset the MK2 and re-pair them. It did work on the second attempt though. Also I sometimes found that after turning everything off it often didn’t auto connect again. So it does work but my experience was not the smoothest.
The battery life of the MK2 is stated to be up to 10 hours and this is pretty much what I experienced. I got a time of 10 hours 33 minutes with the MK2 on 100% volume and my speakers on around 25%. This time will of course vary depending on usage but its still pretty solid. I found however, that most of the time I left it plugged into a low power delivery USB port on my PC and when I wasn’t testing the battery I simply left it on. That way I wasn’t needing to worry about topping it up. But this maybe be an ideal solution depending on how your setup, is well set up.
Charge time is quoted at anywhere between 1 hour 30 minutes and 2 hours, my testing showed this to be right as I got a time of 1 hour 42 minutes. That was via my USB hub that I use on my PC and it could have been even faster if it were done via my usual Anker Powerport. Again your time will vary depending on what you charge it with and your mains outlet.
Sound wise the Muson is decent, I didn’t notice too much of a quality loss between wired and wireless. Of course wireless isn’t on a par, but its getting better. In all honesty the only way you can tell the difference is by really listening for a difference. But for what its designed for (casual use) then its great. Its not going to win any sound awards for outright quality, but its good for what it is.
With headphones its pretty much the same as listening to them via your phone and I didn’t notice a difference at all.
For £25 its not a half bad product, it works exactly as it should and it does everything for the most part without issue. It does have a few drawbacks like the transmitter issue and the build quality but for the price its a solid 2 in 1 Bluetooth device.
Should you get one, well that is the tricky part. Its one to consider. I mean there are tonnes of these on the market and without testing more I can’t say if this is the pick of the bunch. But I will say that it works and for what it costs its worth it.
Pick one up here via Amazon UK
MUSON MK2 Bluetooth 4.1 Receiver Portable