I have a weird hobby. I like to sort of collect small Bluetooth speakers then complain about how bad they sound. I probably inherited the habit from my grandfather who used to do the same thing with tiny AM/FM radios. Nonetheless, it means I have tried tons and tons of them.
At CES 2020 Unveiled, Pow Audio showcased a unique-looking Bluetooth speaker called Mo that caught my attention. At an MSRP of US$89, it's unique in that it can be pulled out to expand the body cavity and create better bass, then collapsed for easily bringing with you on the go in a purse or even pocket. It can also be paired with another Mo for stereo sound versus the dual mono Kumbaya style many other mini Bluetooth speakers offer.
Pow Audio sent me a pair of Mos to try out. I was surprised at how heavy these speakers are. They are unlike most Bluetooth speakers of their size. Structurally, they are sturdy and have the build material to match.
Setting up the speaker is super easy. When you switch it on, you're greeted by a cute ‘POW' sound, and a small soft blue light. Press the Bluetooth button to start the pairing process. The blue light flashes to signify pairing mode. Find the speaker on your phone, then once you're connected, that little light will stop flashing and return to a solid state. It's a pretty basic Bluetooth connection process. You're good to go!
The versatility is my favourite feature of the Pow Mo speaker. When I'm not using it, as noted, it folds down to a compact-ish size that can easily fit into the small side pocket of my backpack or jacket. And the range is pretty good - around 100 feet. It's also shower-proof (rated as water-resistant). I had mine in the backyard and the Canadian winter rain and snow did no harm to it at all. The little magnets at the bottom mean you can stick it up pretty much anywhere you go. I've stuck mine on my fridge, phone, filing cabinets, and even my monoblock power amps!
As for sound, of course I wasn't expecting audiophile quality. But I was pleasantly surprised that, for what it is, the Mo sounds rather good. You'll get clean enough vocals with low enough bass to make nearly all recordings (classical and orchestral not included) sound decent. Are they fun to use? Yes. Can they replace PC speakers? Yes. Are they ideal for long-time listening? No. I can listen to them carefully for about an hour or so before relegating them to pleasing background sound, after which they're great for that purpose for as long as you want music to play (and the battery is rated for up to eight hours per charge; it charges via USB-C).
The MSRP of US$89 is a bit on the high side. Regardless of how versatile these speakers are, at the end of the day, they are for-fun speakers, not designed for serious listening. But if you can get them during specials, they may just be right speakers to be by your side for casual listening at home and on the go.