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Ministry of Sound Audio S review

Richard Easton
17 Sep 2015
Ministry of Sound Audio S teaser
Our Rating 

The Ministry of Sound Audio S Plus is a decent-sounding Bluetooth speaker, but it’s a little expensive

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Ministry of Sound might have started life as a nightclub, but it quickly branched out into headphones and early MP3 players. After a long hiatus, the company is now back with a speaker range, beginning with portable Bluetooth models and stretching all the way up to multi-room systems.

The Audio S Plus is one of the former, and while it’s slightly lighter than rival speakers, on initial inspection there’s little here to set it apart from the competition. The durable, pill-shaped body has nicely rounded corners, with metallic speaker grilles that give it a reassuring weight in your hand, but there’s little here we haven’t seen before. The white colour scheme with gold accents at least looks the part, or there’s a subtler black model with silver accents if you prefer.

Ministry of Sound Audio S vertical

It’s the vertical stand that helps separate the Audio S Plus from the likes of Pure’s Voca or the Cambridge Audio G2. As well as lying horizontally, the Audio S Plus can also be stood vertically, which helps reduce the amount of space needed to squeeze the speaker onto a bedside table or bookshelf.

You have to remove a rubber lining from the circumference of the speaker to fit the stand, which you’ll want to reattach if you plan on taking it outdoors, as it adds a degree of drop protection and doubles as a wrist strap for carrying the speaker around when out of the house. With an IPX4 rating it can also survive the occasional water splash, which could make the Audio S Plus a good choice for a kitchen or bathroom speaker.

Beyond Bluetooth pairing, the Audio S Plus also has NFC for making a quick connection with compatible smartphones or tablets, a 3.5mm auxiliary input for playback from a wired device, and a micro USB port for charging. Ministry says the internal battery should last for around 15 hours of playback; we matched this claim in our testing, which is an impressive result for a speaker of this size.

Ministry of Sound Audio S buttons

The two 2in drivers and passive bass radiator inside the Audio S Plus have a combined output of 10w, which is more than adequate for filling a small- to medium-sized room with sound. While it isn’t quite as loud as other Bluetooth speakers in this price range, but in fairness much of the competition becomes overly harsh at high volumes.

The Audio S Plus, on the other hand, remains tight and controlled throughout. There’s not an abundance of lower frequency response but it never felt particularly lacking. Mids and trebles are similarly well presented, but at times were slightly lacking in excitement and energy. Doubling up two Audio S Plus speakers would certainly help here; you can connect them wirelessly with Bluetooth, with one acting as a master for your phone to connect to, and run them in stereo.

Ministry of Sound Audio S teaser

You can also use the Audio S Plus for hands-free conference calls thanks to a built-in microphone. Sensitivity was perfectly adequate for talking at about a metre distance from the speaker at a natural volume.

The Audio S Plus produces reasonably clear and precise audio for a Bluetooth speaker, but it’s expensive for what you’re getting. At this price, less-lossy aptX Bluetooth support should really be a given. Without it, the Audio S Plus feels costly in comparison to the Best Buy award-winning Cambridge Audio G2 – it has better sound production for less money, and some might argue it has a classier design too.

Hardware
Speakers2
RMS power output10W
Audio inputs3.5mm stereo
Audio outputsNone
Dock connectorNone
WirelessBluetooth (SBC, aptX)
NFCYes
App supportN/A
Battery capacityNot disclosed
Dimensions110x134x240mm
Weight505g
Buying information
Price including VAT£130
WarrantyOne year RTB
Supplierwww.johnlewis.com
Detailswww.ministryofsound.com
Part codeAudio S Plus

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