Price: $ 70
The Monoprice Harmony Capsule 200 is a decent budget speaker with a sturdy body suitable for indoor and outdoor environments. But while this speaker is certainly well-built and accessible, it lacks the sound quality necessary to be worth the price tag. Consider picking this one up for sale.
And What We Don’t
- Poor audio quality
- Small battery
If durability, ease of use, and affordability are your top priorities, the Harmony Capsule 200 absolutely fits the bill. But if you’re more concerned with sound quality and long-lasting battery life, it’s best to check out other Bluetooth speakers.
Design: Big and Sturdy
- Dimensions: 3.5 x 3.7 x 8.8in (90 x 95 x 224mm)
- Weight: 34.4oz (974 g)
- Waterproofing: IPX7
Purchasing the $ 70 Harmony Capsule 200 will get you the 34.4oz speaker that sits 88-inches tall on its edges and a USB-C charging cable. There’s no wall charger here, annoyingly. AC adapters aren’t exactly hard to come by, it’s just a little frustrating to have an extra cable and nothing to plug it into.
Buying the speaker should give you full access to its basic features, and having something to charge it with needs to be on the list. It’s not something that bothers everyone, but it certainly frustrates me.
The Monoprice Harmony Capsule 200 is touted as a portable speaker that offers “Big Sound in a Small Package,” but it’s a very lenient usage of “small.” Longways, the Harmony measures 88-inches, as mentioned before, and its shorter sides are 3.5- and 3.7-inches each.
It’s by no means massive, but I can’t imagine anyone describing it as small. Instead, the Harmony Capsule’s cylindrical shape makes it a breeze to find space for — as long as you’re not lugging it around. The speaker is on the heavier side of the portable speaker market.
Thankfully it’s also sturdy and waterproofed at an IPX7 rating — which means you can hold this thing under a few feet (about 1-meter) of water and have it come out fine. Rain isn’t a problem for this speaker.
While the Harmony Capsule is portable, I wouldn’t carry it around unless I had a destination in mind. In addition, the battery only lasts eight hours, and it charges slowly, making a nearby charger a necessity. Consider carrying a power bank with you if you’re planning to use the speaker for more than a few hours away from home.
The Harmony Capsule 200 comes equipped with both Bluetooth 5.0 (offering up to 32-feet of range) and a microSD slot — something that’s a little on the rare side nowadays. It’s nice to have as an alternative option, even if I didn’t get much usage out of it.
The play, Bluetooth, and power buttons are all present on the front of the speaker. They’re slightly recessed, but they feel decent and responsive, except for the odd volume sliders. I got used to these quickly enough, though. I would’ve preferred the volume buttons to follow suit with the others, but it’s just a minor oddity.
Sound: Middling and Muddy
- Driver Size: 1x ø66mm, 2x ø52mm
- Power Amplifier: 1x 18 watts, 2 × 6 watts
- Nominal Impedance: 4Ω
- Bluetooth Range: 32ft (9.75m)
Like most speakers, the Monoprice Harmony Capsule 200 uses a V-shaped sound profile; lows and highs are emphasized while the middle ground is recessed. As a result, it produces that big bassy sound that many people tend to like.
But even for a $ 70 speaker, the Harmony Capsule’s quality winds up sounding both muddy and tinny. It doesn’t handle volume well when compared to other Bluetooth speakers in the same price range, like the JBL Clip 4. There’s a good middle volume where it sounds decent enough, but if you go too high or too low, the quality takes a noticeable dive.
Apparently, it uses an automatic EQ (equalizer), but it’s hard to test it. Regardless of genre or artist, I kept running into tinny highs and muddled middles.
Given that the price of this speaker is fairly low, I don’t expect the sound to be outstanding, but it doesn’t match the rest of the design. When I buy a speaker as large as the Harmony Capsule 200, I want it to be loud and clear.
You can pair two of these up together for stereo sound, and once again considering the low price tag, it’s a lot less of a commitment here. Stereo does help the volume issue, but not so much the actual sound. People still sound like they’re mumbling; just now, it’s from two places instead of one.
User Experience: It Just Works
- Battery Type: 7.2V Lithium-Ion
- Charging Time: 3 Hours
- Playback time: 8 Hours
- microSD Card Capacity: 32GB
Setting up the Monoprice Harmony Capsule 200 was a breeze — you turn it on and connect it to whatever device you want. The battery and connection status is noted by a series of little LED dots near the bottom of the speaker, right beneath the power button. It’s straightforward, and that’s appreciated.
Along the same vein, it’s very noticeable how little the speaker does. There are no external applications; everything you can do with the speaker is right there on it. If you plug in an aux cable, it will play music from that device. The same goes for a Micro SD card — though it will play tracks in the exact order that songs are in on the card; there is no shuffle option.
The lack of a skip, repeat, or back button was frustrating, however, I could see it working wonders at parties. And while it doesn’t have a multi-point connection, it can take your calls for you. The quality isn’t the best, so I would look elsewhere for a speakerphone.
But, with this being a $ 70 budget speaker, the issue I ran into the most was simply how large it is. The Harmony Capsule 200 doesn’t do enough to warrant its size. It’s a little too big to carry around comfortably and its eight-hour battery life means you’ll always want to have a battery pack with you.
My speaker was plugged in almost 24/7 because it never charged very swiftly, either. Overall, it’s a bit clunky and not strong enough to match its stature.
The Best Bluetooth Speakers with Speakerphone Functionality
Monoprice Harmony Capsule 200: Get Two on Sale
The Monoprice Harmony Capsule 200 isn’t a very competitive speaker. Even at its standard price of $ 70, I would suggest people seek out other options. However, given that its sibling, the Monoprice Harmony Capsule 300 is out, the 200 will likely be on sale very often.
If you can get this speaker for around $ 40, I’d pick up two of them because, while the speaker’s not the strongest, stereo is still stereo.
And What We Don’t
- Poor audio quality
- Small battery