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Panasonic SC-MC07 review: UFO-style Bluetooth speaker falls a little short

Portable Bluetooth speakers now come in all shapes and sizes, including one from Panasonic that looks like a mini spacecraft -- or a snack cake.

David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Kobo e-books and audiobooks.
Expertise Headphones, Bluetooth speakers, mobile accessories, Apple, Sony, Bose, e-readers, Amazon, glasses, ski gear, iPhone cases, gaming accessories, sports tech, portable audio, interviews, audiophile gear, PC speakers Credentials
  • Maggie Award for Best Regularly Featured Web Column/Consumer
David Carnoy
2 min read

First, Panasonic's C-MC07 Compact Wireless Stereo Speaker reminded me of a UFO. Then I thought Chipwich or some Drake or Hostess snack cake.

6.4

Panasonic SC-MC07

The Good

The <b>Panasonic SC-MC07</b> is a Bluetooth wireless speaker with an eye-catching, UFO-like design. It runs on AA batteries or can be powered by a USB cable. It plays louder than its size would indicate.

The Bad

Not much bass (sounds thin), no line input for non-Bluetooth devices, and should have a rechargeable battery at this price point.

The Bottom Line

The Panasonic SC-MC07 is cool-looking portable Bluetooth speaker, but there are competing products at this price point that sound slightly better and offer better features, including a built-in rechargeable battery.

Whatever image it conjures up, the $69.99 SC-MC07 streams music wirelessly from smartphones and other Bluetooth-enabled devices. The unit is powered by AA batteries or an included USB cable (if you want to connect it to your computer).

I liked the design, and -- like a lot of these small Bluetooth speakers -- it plays louder than you'd think for its size (though it does weigh just under half a pound with batteries installed).

It's sounds OK but falls short in the bass department and comes across a little harsh at higher volumes.

 
The unit has volume control buttons along with a dedicated Bluetooth pairing button. Sarah Tew/CNET

I compared it with JBL's smaller $59 Micro Wireless Bluetooth speaker and the JBL offered better bass and fuller sound overall. The JBL also has a built-in rechargeable battery, whereas this unit, as noted, takes standard double AA batteries.

 
While the speaker runs on batteries, you can also power it with the included USB cable. Sarah Tew/CNET

Conclusion
The SC-MC07 (who comes up with these names?) isn't a bad little Bluetooth speaker and it certainly has an eye-catching design. The only problem with it is that it doesn't offer better features or performance than the competition and it's also overpriced. Some people may like the fact that it takes AA batteries, but most of these very small Bluetooth speakers in this price range include a rechargeable battery. The device also doesn't have a line input for non-Bluetooth devices.

In short, there are better alternatives to the SC-MC07 at this price, but it's worth a second look if the price should come down closer to $40.

6.4

Panasonic SC-MC07

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 6Performance 5