Review: Sony MUC-M2BT1 Wireless Audio Receiver – don’t forget your phone

Disclaimer: I purchased the Sony MUC-M2BT1, used, from e-Earphone in Tokyo for roughly 110$ USD or so. I goes new in Japan for about 160$ USD and appears to go all the way up to 230$ USD, depending on where in the world you are.

Muck Em Two Bee Tee One – say that five times fast (just don’t mumble through the first syllable whilst in polite company). And, if you’re truly in polite company, don’t you dare put on headphones, least of all wireless ones. Share wine, cheese, and chat about the best Nintendo controller ever – which, as everyone knows, is the SNES one. On your train ride home, snuggle Muck around your neck, hit the power button, listen for:

“Power on. Bluetooth Connected”

And enjoy.

Muck is the first Bluetooth adapter for earphones that ticks every box important to me. Those are:

1: longer than five hour battery life.

2: legible/tactile interface elements.

3: low-profile MMCX leads.

4: Easy operation.

5: high quality cable.

6: sturdy build.

7: Amazing range.

8: good sound quality.

With the exception of sound quality – to which we will return – I’d like to tackle that list in reverse order.

7: Amazing range

My phone is an iPhone SE. It’s pretty run of the mill, and not compatible with APT-X. What it is is a range daemon, especially when paired with Muck. Which is a mixed blessing. Range is so good that I forget to keep my phone on me when listening to music. It’s always on the downstairs table, or in the next room, or in my daughter’s crib, a place it never got to whilst reviewing the Nuforce BE6i. Muck ranges all the way up to my office, threading a flight of stairs and rounding three hard corners to do so. It’s a distance of about about 35,8 steps and a vertical climb of three metres. Even with four interior walls between it and my phone the connection never hiccups.

It’s raining kittens and puppies outside. I’m just back from that wet petting zoo, having toted a coffee, and a douchey vape that looks like a tobacco pipe to test line-of-sight. Despite the extra hardware and nasty weather, Muck got me a full 25 metres from my house with 100% reliability. At 27 metres, the connection clipped and kept clicking at every step beyond that until it fizzled out at around 44 metres. After an about face from the 27 metre mark, backing slowly to a distance of 44 metres, I found that with Muck turned toward my wee phone over there, I could get it to stretch semi-reliability to about 35 metres. That’s more than double the distance the BE6i went.

6: Sturdy build

I planted two birch trees two years ago a bit too near my house. The mea culpa is that I thought they were a different species specifically bred to max out at about 6 metres in height. Nope, these, which already stretch to almost four metres, will grow up to 20. Two weeks ago, I moved both away from the power lines, whilst banging my head to Akhenaton & Faf Larage, The Boss, Armin, and the other usual suspects. The total operation took about 6 hours. Lots of sweat. Some rain. Lots of mud. Indirect splashes from a high-pressure water hose. Muck took it like a champ. It flexes, compresses, absorbs shock, and its semi-hard plastic resists strain breakage. The cable springs out from a soft-edged countersunk port that allows for incredible cable rotation range. It neither creaks nor groans. I’ve not encountered its equal among wireless receivers.

5: High quality cable

Muck’s striated cable is both thick and heavy. It glosses a bit when painted with oily skin, but only just. It doesn’t stretch even when faced with my most violent tugs. True, it lacks stress reliefs, but I don’t think it needs them. Angles at which you will use it on both over-the ear and hangy-down earphones won’t stress it. And the striated ridges reject pressure ingress. It doesn’t suffer much touch noise to the ear, and has a brilliant detachable neck cinch. Damn.

4: Easy operation

A two-second press of the power button puts Muck back into connection with your phone. In comparison to a few competitors’s products, it is almost instantaneous. About a thumb’s width from it is the volume rocker. Its plus setting has a raised nub. Hold either end for longer than a second to move the track forward or back. A quick jab of the power button pauses the music. Easy peasy.

3 through 8 after the jump below or the click HERE

Review: Sony MUC-M2BT1 Wireless Audio Receiver – don’t forget your phone
4.88 (97.5%) 8 votes

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Back before he became the main photographer for bunches of audio magazines and stuff, Nathan was fiddling with pretty cool audio gear all day long at TouchMyApps. He loves Depeche Mode, trance, colonial hip-hop, and raisins. Sometimes, he gets to listening. Sometimes, he gets to shooting. Usually he's got a smile on his face. Always, he's got a whisky in his prehensile grip.

1 Comment

  • Reply April 11, 2017

    John

    You can get it to wired sound quality if you pair it with the newer Sony walkman that support LDAC, I can’t really tell a difference streaming 24/96 from a NW-A35 between wired and BT LDAC playback.

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