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Speakers, like headphones, often aren’t very fun or exciting to look at. Sure, some come in various colors, and you can find a variety of szies, though it’s rare we ever find one that takes the shape of something else. And for that reason, we’re excited about a new product called MusicCup.

Here’s the gist: MusicCup is a compact portable speaker that is designed to look like a mug of sorts. In a crowded market of portable Bluetooth speakers the Music Cup looks to stand apart from the competition through its unique design and relatively inexpensive price ($49.99). The speaker streams music via Bluetooth (3.0) or a 3.5mm auxiliary port and a battery that can power the speaker for up to 6 hours at the highest volume level.

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From our own experience, the MusicCup speakers are really good for its price point and compact size.  Surely you can find a better audio quality speaker from any Bose speaker set, but these are priced just under $50 while Bose will set you back hundreds of dollars, so we’re talking about totally different products here. Let’s take a look at the design.

Design

The Music Cup is designed to look like a mug and is dressed in a polycarbonate enclosure with a rubber grip (bottom), a metallic speaker grill and a metallic handle.  The design is certainly neat and it certainly looks fun to have sitting on your desk at the office or at home.  It can fit well on the kitchen counter, which lends itself to just where you want to use it. The bottom part of the MusicCup has a rubber grip that keep it from slipping around on smooth surfaces. It also houses the speaker’s on/off switch and microUSB charging and auxiliary ports.  The inner portion of the cup has the speaker’s controls and volume keys.  While you won’t be able to plug in the microUSB or auxiliary cords while the MusicCup is standing up, you can turn the cup on its handle. On its side it reminds me of a retro blow horn or megaphone.

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The MusicCup is available in 6 colors: black, white, green, red, yellow, blue.  So surely you can find one to match your decor.

Bluetooth/NFC

MusicCup includes Bluetooth 3.0 and NFC to pair your NFC enabled devices. I paired the MusicCup to my Moto X easily and had music streaming through it in under a minute.  I also was able to pair the MusicCup to my laptop via Bluetooth and it to was easy, though of course not as easy as it would have with NFC. You can always plug in via the trusty aux port/cord. Plugging in through the auxiliary cord can also help with extending battery life if you’re worried about draining either your phone or the speaker’s battery.

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One of the conveniences of streaming wirelessly is that wires are removed from the equation. I was able to stream from one end of our office hallway to the opposite end (about 10 meters or 30 feet) before experiencing any audio loss. Depending on where you (and your phone) are around the house, office you expect to stream music within a reasonable radius.

Battery

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The battery on board the MusicCup is a 550 mAH, lithium ion pack that is advertised to last 6 hours of continuous playback.  Though I did not listen to the speakers for a full 6 hours straight, collectively it did live up to roughly 6 hours of playback.

Audio Quality

We were a bit skeptical of the audio quality of a sub $50 speaker, but we can honestly tell you the speaker is as good as any speaker in this price point.  You will be pleasantly surprised at just how loud the sound can get in this tiny speaker (3.6-inches tall and 2.8-inches wide).  The audio quality is fairly crisp, though not as robust or as full as the options you’d find in the $200-plus range. I had no issues listening to Jon on YouTube or music from my phone.

Conclusion

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The MusicCup is a great little speaker perfect to gift for the holidays, it fits in perfectly almost anywhere (kitchen counter, coffee table, office desk) and works easily and seamlessly across most devices. NFC is a nice additional feature (though iPhone users won’t find this feature to be all that helpful).  The audio quality, though not the best or top tier, is much better than what you’d find on most laptops and mobile devices. The MusicCup is easy to carry, and has a long enough battery to last most excursions to the beach, park or barbecue. The MusicCup is perfect for consumers looking for a decent, fun, and inexpensive portable speaker.

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Disclosure: The following is sponsored by MusicCup. The opinions are my own.  This unit was sent to us by Music Cup and was used for 6 days for the purpose of this post.

Source MusicCup