Creative Muvo 2c Review

Creative Muvo 2c Review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Muvo 2c can be used as a standalone MP3 player
  • It performs well with vocals and can get really loud
  • The Creative Muvo 2c is priced at Rs. 4,999

Creative is a familiar name when it comes to speakers and headphones. In its early days, it was the go-to brand for PC audio components, and today it sells a diverse range of consumer audio peripherals. Its Muvo series of portable Bluetooth speakers has generally been targeted at young people and those with active lifestyles, which is reflected in the products’ bright colours and snazzy designs.

We’ve reviewed a few of them in the past, including the Muvo 10, Muvo 20, and Muvo Mini. Today, we’ll be testing one of the company’s recent launches in India, the Muvo 2c. This pocket-sized speaker boasts of a water-resistant body and some interesting usage modes. With a sticker price of Rs 4,999, let’s see if it’s worth recommending.

Creative Muvo 2c design and features

The Muvo 2c ships in a clear acrylic box so you can see it from all sides. Inside, you get the speaker itself, a Micro-USB cable for charging and PC connectivity, a quick start guide, and warranty leaflets. The speaker is available in a range of bright colours internationally, but only the red, blue and black options are being sold in India. It easily fits in the palm of your hand so carrying it around isn’t a problem, and it’s fairly light at just 159g. The speaker has a plastic body with a rubberised coating, which gives it some grip. There’s a metal mesh covering the speaker in the front but no protection for the passive radiator at the back. This could be prone to damage if you’re not careful when transporting the speaker around.

The two rubber strips on the bottom offer good stabilisation, as even with bass-heavy tracks at full volume, the speaker doesn’t move about. There’s a rubber flap on the side which protects the 3.5mm aux input, microSD card slot, and Micro-USB port. However, the rubber flap is a bit to soft so re-sealing it takes a bit of effort.

Creative Muvo 2c buttons ndtv Creative Muvo 2c

 

The Muvo 2c has a series of five hexagonal buttons on the top, along with a microphone and two LED indicators. The first button powers the speaker on or off, and the Bluetooth button is used for pairing and Play/ Pause functions. The third button, labeled M for mode, lets you switch sources between Bluetooth, aux in, microSD, and USB. The colour of the right-hand side LED light tells you which mode you’re in. You get a voice prompt only when you are ready to pair the speaker with a device but for everything else, you have to know what the colour of the LED means. The first LED on the left lights up red when the device is charging.

The Muvo 2c can handle a bit of dust and light splashes of water thanks to the IP66 certification, but it isn’t designed to be submerged under water. You can connect a second Muvo 2c speaker to it and use them in a stereo configuration. It also doubles up as a standalone MP3 player if you use a microSD card. The speaker supports cards of up to 128GB in capacity, and file formats including FLAC, MP3, WAV, and WMA. You also use the Sound Blaster Connect app for Android and iOS to browse through songs on a microSD card and switch sources remotely.

Creative doesn’t specify the size of the driver or supported frequency range, other than the fact that it’s a single full-range audio driver. It only supports the SBC Bluetooth audio codec but you can also answer calls using the built-in microphone.

Creative Muvo 2c ports Creative Muvo 2c

Creative Muvo 2c performance and battery life

There’s no NFC to aid in the pairing process, but doing it manually is quite painless. You can pair the speaker with multiple devices but you can only actively use one of them at a time. In order to play music from another source, you’ll have to first disconnect the one that’s currently playing.

The Muvo 2c is compatible with Creative’s Sound Blaster Connect app for your smartphone and Sound Blaster Control Panel for Windows and macOS. Sound Blaster Connect is a bit flaky on iOS, and it simply refused to detect the speaker despite our persistent efforts. On Android, the app managed to detect the speaker but kept saying it was ‘disconnected’, despite us being able to play songs, so that wasn’t very useful.

The Sound Blaster Control Panel app works better, and we tried it on a Mac. Here, you can switch between different audio profiles (Music, Movies, and Gaming) and customise each one with an equaliser preset, or adjust audio characteristics like boosting dialogues, etc. The firmware of the Muvo 2c can also be upgraded using this software. However, you don’t need the software to use the speaker with a Mac or PC, as simply plugging it into a USB port does the trick.

creative muvo 2c app ndtv creative mauve 2c

 

We dumped a bunch of audio test files onto a 32GB microSD card and the speaker had no trouble playing them. To skip or go to a previous track, you can use the Mode button along with the volume up or down buttons. The files are played in sequence, even if they are in different folders.

As a speakerphone, the Muvo 2c does an okay job, but it’s not great. We found ourselves having to go really close to the speaker in order for the caller to hear us clearly.

For a single-driver speaker of this size, the Muvo 2c gets really loud. Unfortunately, it feels strained once you push the volume beyond 85 percent. Here, the bass from the passive radiator also begins to diminish and the vocals and highs tend to overpower them. At moderate volumes, the speaker is able to deliver a decently wide soundstage with a fairly open and detailed mid-range. In Hotel California by The Eagles, the subtle thump of the bass drum is audible thanks to the passive radiator, and the cymbals have good separation from the other instruments.

The Muvo 2c struggles a bit with heavy bass tracks such as Starboy by The Weeknd at high volume levels, and isn’t very punchy at lower volumes either. We also noticed an intermittent glitch when using it with iOS devices, where the volume sync between the speaker and the phone would randomly break. This meant that changing the volume level on the phone would have no effect on the speaker’s volume. The only way to fix this would be to turn Bluetooth off and then on again on our iPhone.

Creative promises up to six hours of life with the built-in 650mAh battery, but we got much less than that when we tested the Muvo 2c. With the volume set to about 70 percent, we managed get only 3 hours and 32 minutes of continuous music playback, which isn’t great. With such a low battery capacity, there’s only so much you can hope for. You don’t get any audio cues about the battery level either, just a blinking red LED. You can check the battery level by double-pressing the Mode button, which makes the right LED change from green to yellow, purple or red, depending on the level.

Verdict
The Creative Muvo 2c is nice-looking little Bluetooth speaker which packs in quite a bit of functionality for its size. We love its design (although some protection for the radiator would have been preferred), and the fact that it can be used as a compact standalone music player. The IP66 rating and the ability to use it as a USB audio device are also very nice bonuses. However, the single audio driver and passive radiator fall a bit short in delivering good bass and soundstaging. If what you’re after is great audio quality, the UE Wonderboom is a better pick for just a little more money. At its current price, the Muvo 2c feels a little too expensive as well.

Creative has an alternative called the Muvo 1c priced at Rs. 3,499 which is similar to the 2c in terms of dimensions and driver specifications, but that it lacks the microSD card slot and USB audio support, and is only available in one colour in India.

If you don’t mind compromising on battery life, the Muvo 2c is decent-sounding and versatile Bluetooth speaker.

Price (MRP): Rs 4,999

Pros

  • Compact and rugged body
  • Crisp vocals and treble
  • Varied usage modes
  • IP66 water- and dust-resistant

Cons

  • Exposed radiator
  • Mediocre battery life
  • Flaky apps

Rating (Out of 5)

  • Design: 3.5
  • Performance: 3.5
  • Value for money: 3.5
  • Overall: 3.5

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

How To Lead Creative People (When You’re Not A Creative Yourself)

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Creative people tend to be sensitive souls – some might even go so far as to say ‘highly strung’. They don’t always take criticism well, no matter how kindly it’s meant, and can perceive even the smallest piece of negative feedback as an unbridled assault on their competence.

In their work, many leaders who do not come from a creative background themselves have to learn how to motivate agency staff and freelancers. So how can they get these volatile ideas folk to produce truly outstanding work? Here are five top tips for encouraging the sparks of genius to fly:

    1. Praise us! If you want to keep getting great work out of creative people, the secret is not just to pay their invoice promptly at the end of the project (although that helps a lot, admittedly) but also to give them positive feedback if you’re happy with a job well done. You’re our client. We want to make you happy. If we were just in it for the money, we would have done something else instead – like law.
    1. Brief us properly. Sadly the place where most creative projects go wrong is right at the start – ie the part where you’re involved. If you don’t take the time to give us a proper, well-considered brief, either in writing or verbally, you’re effectively setting us loose to interpret what we think you want in the way we think is best. Unless you really are very open-minded about what you want, that’s a recipe for disaster. It’s a bit like saying to a builder: “Hey there, please can you build me a house” and just leaving them to get on with it.
    2. Be specific in your feedback. Saying something ‘doesn’t quite work for me but I don’t know why’ isn’t very helpful to a creative. If you want to get a better result, you need to be able to tell us why you don’t like a piece of work and what might make it better. Don’t be afraid to wrestle with a challenge and make your own input. Creative people value collaboration. In fact, the best results often come out of clients and creative teams working together constructively.
  1. Remember that we have feelings. You might not like the work we’ve sent you but unless it’s obviously sloppy – riddled with spelling mistakes, for example – the chances are that we’ve really labored over it and truly believe that we’ve done a good job for you. So before you embark on a long list of what’s wrong with a piece of work, try to highlight any parts of it that you do like or acknowledge where you may not have been clear on an aspect of the brief. Build a relationship with us – along with everyone else, we try harder for people we like.
  2. Be realistic. About everything. Don’t give a writer a strict word count and then ask them to make lots of points that could not conceivably be made effectively in such a small number of words. Don’t give a designer a day to turn around a complex piece of artwork that incorporates lots of charts. Finally, don’t expect to pay pittance and get outstanding work delivered ahead of deadline. You will just end up with a frustrated creative who produces suboptimal results.

[“Source-forbes”]

Behind Seattle’s history of creative prowess

A city of misfits, with its own way of doing things, Seattle is attracting creative minds from around the world.

A few years ago, Fast Company ranked Seattle as the most creative city in the world. Seattle is also a city of brands that have greatly impacted consumers and, to the marketing industry, are foundations of the city with names like Starbucks, Microsoft, Amazon, Nordstrom, REI and Boeing coming out of here.

This mix makes for a lethal combination. Though Wieden + Kennedy is the most well-known agency in the area there are other names to reckon with too – Cole & Weber (in the 1980s and 90s) and now, Wongdoody, Possible, Wexley School for Girls, DNA Seattle and others. But what makes Seattle the creative powerhouse it is?

The fundamental reason is a sense of innovation and being different. Technology too has been part of the transition and is one of the main drivers of the region. But what else makes the creative community here tick?

[“Source-afaqs”]

Creative curbs

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The ‘Padmavati’ episode will further push film-makers towardsself-censorship

Earlier this year, while discussing the issue of censorship with a film-maker-friend I was warned about the bigger demon lurking on the horizon: self-censorship. “Writers have started to censor their own screenplays,” he said. “I myself have rewritten or deleted scenes which I guessed won’t augur well.”

So, on the face of it the five “modifications” suggested by the Central Board of Film Certification to Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati may not seem all that alarming — just a few practical adjustments, a fair compromise to have the big-budgeted film get released; but they could well be yet another signpost in the treacherous road ahead for the film industry. This is one on which the pressures on creativity would only increase rather than ease, with not just external restrictions but self-suppression likely to get the better of free expression. The more debatable of the modifications is about the insertion of the disclaimer that the film does not claim historical accuracy and hence also the change of the title from Padmavati to Padmavat to clearly attribute the material/creative source as the fictional epic poem by Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi. As a consumer of popular culture it’s a comment on our inherent discomfort and inability to deal with creative interpretations of history and reality. Any supposedly tricky, thorny version needs to be clearly stated as invented, imagined and fabricated. There is certainly no room for a personal reading of an assumed truth, or seeing the past in a relevant, contemporary light. What we are then likely to see is either none of the above or the pat, safe and conventional takes to escape being held hostage by various aggrieved religious and political organisations.

Once upon a time there used to be a simple, all-encompassing disclaimer: “Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.” It appears that it will not suffice any more, a reason for the rather immature insistence (even in this instance) on specific disclaimers for anything even remotely uncomfortable. At times it can turn laughable as it did with The Ghazi Attack , which had a disclaimer at the start — the longest ever in my memory — attempting to cover every contentious ground imaginable and, in turn, exposing its own lack of creative resoluteness.

One assumes that Bhansali called the film Padmavati because he wanted to give primacy to the woman at the centre of the story. The change of title then also takes that sense of agency away from not just him as a filmmaker but the character itself and the actor, Deepika Padukone, portraying the role. What’s most galling, however, is the modification suggested in the song ‘Ghoomar’ to make the depiction befit the character being portrayed. There had been shrill objections to the queen shown dancing without a ghoonghat (veil). That is likely to change now, a thumbs up for the deep-seated patriarchal notion about a woman’s honour and a righteous mindset when it comes to her depiction on screen. Where does Indian cinema go in the face of such increasingly strident conservatism? We can only guess.

[“Source-thehindu”]