Milwaukee has added a new M18/M12 Bluetooth jobsite speaker to their cordless lineup, model 2891-20.
The new Milwaukee Bluetooth speaker features 6 full-range speakers for “unmatched premium quality sound”, and it’s quite durable too, with an IP54 water and dust resistant rating with an M18 pack plugged in.
It’s fairly compact, at 14″ long, and weighing 5.25 lbs.
Features & Specs
- 2x 20W channels (40W total)
- Total harmonic distortion of 0.28%
- 2 mid-woofers
- 2 tweeters
- 2 passive radiators
- Runtime: up to 16 hours with M18 5.0Ah battery, 8.5 hours with M12 4.0Ah battery
- 2.1A USB charging port
- AC adapter included
- Aux input port (cable not included)
Milwaukee designed the speaker with a reinforced honeycomb grid, impact-resistant side caps, and a roll cage, to protect the internal components from drops, impacts, and the usual rough handling that a jobsite or portable speaker might encounter.
Plug in a power source, turn it on, press and hold the Bluetooth button, and reach for your smartphone or other device.
It took my Android phone 2 scans to find the radio for syncing.
It took maybe 2 minutes to unbox the speaker and start streaming music, and that includes plugging in a power source.
So How Does it Sound?
Milwaukee claims “high definition music,” “unmatched clarity of sound,” and “booming bass to sharp high frequencies.”
To my ears, the sound is indeed very clear.
Back in 2006 I had purchased a portable and wireless 2.1 speaker for my laptop. It worked with a special USB dongle, and the music was pretty clear but sometimes choppy. I ended up giving it to a colleague a few years later.
Fast forward to 2017, and clean and clear wireless sound is pretty much taken for granted. I’m pleased to say that this is a very good-sounding Bluetooth speaker.
But booming bass? Nope. It’s just not possible to get strong bass from small speakers. I’d consider the bass output to be adequate, which is actually pretty good when compared to some of the other small all-in one Bluetooth and cordless radios and speakers I’ve listened to.
Listening to it more, the bass seems to be sounding better. It’s still not booming, but the sounds are rich and full. Maybe the speakers have been breaking in?
The bass is only noticeably underwhelming with certain bass-rich songs. It’s more noticeable when I have an expectation of how a song should specifically sound.
These are observations, not complaints. It’s hard to describe the bass output, but if I had to, I’d say the lower bass frequency delivery is smooth and inoffensive. It’s clear, but simply lacks the punch of a subwoofer or larger full-range speakers. As expected.
Overall, I’d say that the new Milwaukee M18/M12 cordless speaker delivers very pleasing sound, especially for a cordless and wireless speaker.
I feel that Milwaukee hit the nail on the head with this system. It looks good, sounds good, the controls are simple, connectivity quick and easy, and you have 3 power options: an M12 battery, M18 battery, or included AC adapter.
It also has an aux input, in case you cannot or don’t want to use Bluetooth, and a USB charging port.
There’s a recessed carry handle on one end, and the speaker can be placed horizontally or vertically, which gives you some options. You might even be able to hang it from the handle if you were so inclined.
The AC power adapter jack, aux input port, and USB port are protected by a strong door that’s lined with rubber and retained by a thick rubber hinge strap.
It seems like a lot of careful thought went into the design and engineering.
This isn’t a no-frills Bluetooth jobsite speaker, but its compact size does mean there’s no enclosed media bay for stashing your smartphone or MP3 player. But, if you stand the speaker up, you can stick your phone into the recessed handle. It won’t be very secure, but it’s secure enough to keep my phone off the floor.
There’s no radio tuner, but you might be able to stream your favorite stations from your phone.
The $149 price might seem a little steep, but would I have preferred for some of the features to have been cut? Would I have wanted a stick-out handle? No USB charging? No dual-battery compatibility? A less durable design? Fewer or lesser speakers? Nope. It’s pretty perfect the way it is.
Questions? What would you have me look at over time? And no, I’m not going to throw it off a roof.
Thank you to Milwaukee for providing the review sample unconditionally.