If you’re after the best speaker under £50, could the Creative Metallix Plus be that very one?
In the box
With the Metallix Plus you get
- A Micro USB charging cable
- The documentation
So the contents are a little sparse and I did wish it would have come included with a pouch to keep it looking pristine. Hopefully though the Metallix can make up for it in other areas.
Design and Build
- Dimensions: 170 x 47 x 54 mm (6.7 x 1.8 x 2.1 inches)
- Weight: 385g (0.85 lb)
- IPX5 rating
The first area for the Metallix to bring some points back are its design and its a real good looking speaker. The overall design is lovely, it has a wrap around metal chassis which looks way more premium than its £45 price point. The colour is nice too, yes its Black but its got a shimmer to it in certain lighting and it looks great. Combine that with nicely integrated soft matte finish and its a real looker.
On the front you’ll see the circular cutout pattern to allow the sound to escape, theres also some tasteful branding too. Its not over the top or too large, so no complaints. The front section then seamlessly wraps around to the top section where you have all your buttons, microphone and LED indicator light. The buttons are actually really nice, they get the soft touch treatment too and are clicky with nice tactile response.
From left to right the buttons are…
- The main power on/off which doubles as a changing source button
- Bluetooth pairing button which can answer/reject calls as well as use voice search
- Play/pause on the middle
- Volume down/previous track
- Volume up/next track
I really do appreciate when each button serves more than one purpose as it cleans up the design and adds extra functionality without an excessive number of controls. The buttons are also nicely spaced and easily distinguishable.
Onto the sides and the left remains clear whereas on the right you have a Aux in and USB charging port. These are covered with a thick silicone flap that prevents water getting in. This is great as it helps the Metallix obtain an IPX5 splash proof rating. So it’ll be fine in the rain and at the pool side but its not submersible.
The back of the speaker is clear and the underside features two raised feet and more of that nice soft touch finish.
The overall build quality of the speaker is superb, the metal body has no flex and feels solid. The coated areas also feel premium but does mark easily. Some lighter scuffs will buff out, but deeper ones will not. Keep in mind that this isn’t a rugged speaker, its just well made, so drops could potentially damage it. But as a whole its premium in both its design and build quality.
- Bluetooth 4.2 @ 2.4GHz
- Up to 10m range (open space)
- Bluetooth Profile: AVRCP (Bluetooth Remote Control), A2DP (Wireless Stereo Bluetooth), HFP (Hands-free Profile)
- Aux in wired mode
First off the Metallix is using Bluetooth 4.2 which is a newer standard and is more efficient than older versions. This is one of the reasons the battery is so good as it doesn’t use as much energy. Its also more stable and consistently better at keeping signal strength. I did manage the 10m easy enough in a wide open space, but I also managed to take the speaker away from my phone around my house. I managed to get downstairs with only one minor blip before it sorted itself out. I got almost to my back door before it did start to have some issues, but that is impressive as its pushing the signal through walls and doors.
Using the Metallix Plus daily has been almost issue free. Like I mentioned I wish it did have some sort of carry pouch to keep it from getting scratched when transporting it around. As for lugging it around its not too bad, it fits in my bag no problem at all and the weight isn’t too bad either. Of course its not the lightest speaker, but that is the trade off for the build quality.
Pairing and using the speaker is a breeze too. Its a simple process that takes a minute or so the first time and far less than that once the initial pairing is out of the way. To pair you press and hold the power button until the LED light flashes. You then get a voice prompt, after that turn on Bluetooth and search for the “Metallix Plus”. It should come up pretty much straight away. Then select the Metallix and the rest is taken care of automatically.
Charging the speaker was easy too, even with the flap in the way its easily accessible and straight forward. There is a small cutout that makes it easy to open and once open there is plenty of room so its not fiddly.
- 2 x 2200Mah lithium-ion
- Up to 24 hours playback
Given that this speaker has not one but two massive batteries I had high hopes, I then saw it could last up to 24 hours and was even more impressed. In reality I managed 20 hours 34 minutes at 60% volume. This is still mighty impressive. I can also say that the 24 hours is plausible if you listen to the speaker at lower volumes.
Charge time was not quoted but it did charge in 5 hours and 5 minutes. Yes that is a while but considering it has two batteries and you get 20 plus hours playback at a good volume, I’m okay with that. When charging you also get a handy Red light when its being charged, this then goes out when its done.
The Metallix Plus has a three driver configuration which consists of two full range drivers and a centrally mounted passive radiator. You also have the option to pair two together to make the sound better and increase the stereo effect. Unfortunately I couldn’t test the stereo mode as I only have one speaker, but past experiences with a dual setup from Creative has been impressive.
On its own though it does get loud enough to full a medium sized room with good quality sound. It does start to distort at around 80% volume, but keep it below that and you’re golden. The bass is actual genuine bass. Its not that fake rumble or shake, it actually produced a decent low end which is pretty potent for the size of the speaker. Its pretty deep too which most other speakers like this fail to deliver on, its plenty punchy and surprisingly detailed. Usually with speakers like this you get deep bass but its muddy, or you get clear bass but its weak. With the Metallix Plus you get deep and clear bass. Keep in mind that this won’t match a bigger speaker but for its compact nature its great.
So the bass is good and so are the mids. They again are clear, detailed and reasonably open. Tonal quality is nice, sometimes it can lack any sparkle but mostly its really nice. But this lack of a bright nature may suit your listening style. I’ve also noticed that it sound better given a bit of space around the speaker. Back to the mids and I do think its impressive, listening to the piano track in Dua Lipas Homesick sounded brilliant and very natural. That can be said for number of other tracks that have a nicely produced mid section.
Vocals are great too, they’re clear, detailed and the tonal quality is lovely. Again Dua Lipa sounded really impressive and it even has some decent chops to carry and deliver the power from Rag N bone man. Its versatile too being able to swap over from those two artists and put out a great performance for both. It has enough power to do some justice top Rag N bone man, but it can do stripped back without sounding too thin. Its good.
Again keep in mind that it won’t compare to a set of hifi speakers or a larger Bluetooth speaker, but for what it is, its genuinely good. Its easily one of the best sounding speakers I’ve heard under the £50 price point.
If you want to hear the speaker, check out the sound test video. www.youtube.com/creative-metallix-plus-sound
So is this the best speaker under £50, I couldn’t say. Is it the best I’ve tested under £50, yes. During my 5 years on YouTube and time on my site this has been the best speaker to date as a whole package. Its very nicely designed, extremely well made, has brilliant battery life, no connection issues that I’ve experienced and to top it off great sound quality.
My only issue with it are the slight distortions at higher volumes, the slight tendency for the finish to mark and a missing carry pouch. That is pretty much all I can fault it with. Its hands down one the best speaker I’ve tested at this price point and if you want a great all rounder, this should be high on your list.
Get one here: www.uk.creative.com/metallix-plus