When I first came across Nokia’s MD-6 stereo speakers I was not aware of what the device was supposed to be and spent several long minutes trying to work out what on earth this peculiar black stick of plastic, looking like a new model of light sabre, was. Like primeval man, I pulled at the cable extending from the bottom of the device and prodded at the single button on the device. I finally managed to pop open the magnetic top to expose the two little speakers.
The purpose of Nokia’s Mini Speakers MD-6 is to provide full stereo sound for people on the move. Its unique design attempts to combine portability and great sound together in a pocket-sized speaker system.
Nokia’s MD-6 Mini Speakers make up a certainly unique device. Nokia have put together a set of small speakers, a battery back and a compartment to hide the cable extension in one convenient device. The MD-6 also allows your Nokia to receive FM radio via the built in antenna.
For such a small set of speakers the performance is surprising. It is possible to get a significant amount of volume from the device without the distortion present in similar size speakers. While the bass is obviously the weakest aspect of the frequency response of the device, it is still quite meaty for a set of travel speakers. The only let down of the MD-6 is the poor channel separation as the speakers are no more than a 1cm apart due to the hinge.
The MD-6 is a neat little package that has been thoroughly designed for travel in mind. While it is a little big to fit in your pocket pants, the MD-6 is a backpack traveller and suited to someone who wants to listen to music in car, bus or plane trips. The MD-6 dimensions are 122×32x33.5mm which is fairly small for a set of speakers, battery compartment and room for the cable and weighs in at 140g.
With a very retro glossy black and red feature styling, the only significant area of the speaker set is the red button which slide opens the cable compartment at the bottom of the speaker set to allow access to the cable which is thoughtfully hidden within. There is approximately 70cm of cable discreetly coiled and hidden in this compartment. There is also a white LED located on the opposite end which indicates whether the device has been turned on or off.
The MD-6 styling is cool and retro however, it doesn’t look good when you flip the speakers open. They are not symmetrical and it looks like the device is not quite right. However, this is only a matter of aesthetics and does not detract from the performance or operation of the device. The speakers are latched together using magnets.
Nokia have included a wide variety of connectivity options, for connecting the device to both its range of handsets and third-party products as well. There is a series of adaptors that come with the package including a 3.5 and 2.5 mm jack connector and these will allow users to be able to interface with most audio devices out there.
It is a shame that there is a lack of Bluetooth connectivity which might be an idea for a higher end version of these portable speakers.
The MD-6 speakers when closed come as a solid black stick with no protrusions and the unit does feel solid when in its closed state. The set of speakers are finished of with a glossy black plastic and are of good quality. The speaker opening mechanism is great to open but because it is only magnetically held together it still might be possible to open the speaker set unintentionally – for example other items in a backpack may open the speakers when they are jostled around.
When opened the MD-6 becomes fragile as the speakers open on a hinge which can be prone to breakage if they are sat on as this is the weakest point. However, this is simply a matter of being careful when using the device. Overall the build quality is good.
The Nokia MD-6 is powered by four AAA batteries which is a welcome feature as it is easy to find a set of standard batteries when travelling. The official claim is that the pair of speakers is able to operate for up to 27 hours. The figures quoted are about right although the louder the unit is operated, the more power will be drained from the batteries. The MD-6 is able to output a maximum of 1.5 watts.
The battery life for the MD-6 is good and will last more or less about the same amount of time as your phone or digital audio player will.