Nillkin is the first time in our test laboratory and some people may already know the company from mobile phone cases. With the Cozy MC3 Pro, Nillkin delivers a portable Bluetooth loudspeaker that can also provide coherent light. Find out in our review what the loudspeaker/ “lamp” can do!

Design / build quality / scope of delivery

The packaging already makes a high-quality impression. After opening the magnetic lock, you first see the two boxes in which the accessories are stored. Besides a transport bag and the manual, there is also a USB cable, an OTG cable and an aux cable. The speaker appears under the two accessory boxes. It measures 78x78x200 mm and the size is thus on average for usual Bluetooth speakers. With 415g it is not particularly heavy and therefore portable. The “loop design” at the top of the speaker makes it easy to attach it to your luggage when you’re on the move.

The Bluetooth speaker consists mainly of two parts, the lamp and the speaker. The speaker is integrated in the base of the matt white lamp part and thus radiates the music in a 360° radius. The opening for the loudspeaker is surrounded by a fine mesh net to prevent the penetration of dust and coarse grains as far as possible. Overall, the Nillkin MC3Pro seems to have a very good build quality, nothing creaks or wobbles.

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The operating element is located on the top of the box, which is set upright. Notification sounds are played through the small speakers recessed at the top. In addition, there are two microphone openings, which also make it possible to make phone calls via the box. The Nillkin MC3Pro has 4 double keys. Thus, louder and skip forward, quieter and skip backward, play and pause are each placed together on one button. The M button changes both the lamp modes and the playback source. The operating element is made of silver plastic and looks kind of cheap compared to the rest of the speaker; I would have preferred a rubberized surface with embossed keys, which would also make the operation in the dark easier. Nevertheless, the keys have a good feedback.

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On the bottom you find an anti-slip ring, which gives the loudspeaker a secure footing. The various connections are located under a cover in the area of the loudspeaker opening. The Nillkin MC3Pro can play music not only via Bluetooth, but also via an aux cable. You can also simply put a micro-SD card with your favourite music into the designated slot and off you go. The speaker is charged via a micro-USB connector. If you want to use the MC3Pro as a power bank, it can also output power again via the micro-USB connection and OTG cable.

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The first impression of the Nillkin MC3Pro is very good. The build quality is good, but here even better materials could be chosen to convey an even bigger premium feeling; after all it is not a 20$ loudspeaker.

Functions

The Nillkin is a 2 in 1 device and provides an atmospheric light to the music being played. The 0.5W lamp can be activated independently by rotating the entire upper part and either glows white, in a selected color or the colors alternate. There is also a mode that adjusts the color gradient to the music. The different modes are controlled via the M button. After a long press of the button, the mode change is confirmed with a short beep. By turning the upper half of the speaker, the light can also be dimmed. The operation is partly not quite intuitive, but then a look into the manual helps. Pressing the M button for a long time changes between color change, white and color change to music, although I could never see a real effect with the latter. But if you want to keep a color permanently, you have to press the button twice in quick succession in the gradient mode to keep the color. The Nillkin device retains this setting even after switching off. If required, the lamp makes the light bright or provides atmospheric light with your favourite colour. When sitting together in the evening, the speaker not only provides the necessary sound but also a great atmosphere.

The loudspeaker must be started via the power button. It is of course confirmed by a “beep” and the status LED on the top also lights up. By default, the Nillkin speaker searches for a Bluetooth device. The connection is quickly established via Bluetooth 4.2 and remains stable for more than 10m as long as there is nothing in between that hinders the reception. With a wall in between, a poorer reception with occasional interruptions of the music is already perceptible after only 5 metres. Alternatively, the MC3Pro can also be supplied with sound via the aux cable or a micro SD card. To switch between the playback sources, simply press the M button. When turned on, the speaker also automatically detects which source you have just connected and then automatically switches to it. After a restart, however, the search for a Bluetooth device starts again and the change must be initiated via the button.

The rest of the music control is intuitive. Press the Volume/Skip buttons once for Volume Up and Volume Down and twice for a song forward or backward. The Play/Pause button is self-explanatory.

Sound

The Nillkin MC3Pro offers a 5W driver that delivers good sound. The treble and midrange are kept quite neutral, so that you can adjust the sound to your taste via the equalizer of the displaying device. However, the depths are already strong and become clearly perceptible with higher volume. When the speaker is placed on the table, you can clearly feel the vibrations caused by the bass. The maximum volume is high enough to provide sound in smaller rooms and also provides good sound outside. Thanks to the 360° concept, the Bluetooth loudspeaker delivers sound evenly to its surroundings. Even outdoors, the Nillkin provides a nice atmosphere despite its “only” 5 W driver.

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Overall, the sound can be described as very good. The balanced tuning of the speaker leaves room to adjust it to your personal taste via the connected device. The 360° sound output is particularly positive, as the speaker is often placed as a light source in the middle of a crowd. If you want to hear the bass a little more clearly, you can place the speaker on a resonating body, for example a wooden table.

Battery

In the Nillkin MC3Pro, a 3600 mAh battery provides enough energy to power the speaker and the lamp. Nilkin states on their website that 5 hours of music enjoyment are possible, which I can confirm, even if you turn up the volume a little bit. If the MC3Pro only plays music in the background and provides atmospheric light, it lasts longer. Even if an OTG cable is included to use the speaker as a power bank, you should not use it, as current mobile phones can consume the complete battery capacity. The function is fine for quickly charging 5-10% into the mobile phone in an emergency, but the Nillkin MC3Pro is definitely not a powerbank replacement.

Conclusion and alternative

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Mathias:

The Nillkin MC3Pro offers a successful overall concept. The atmospheric light and the good sound make the speaker the perfect companion for a cosy evening with friends. But it also cuts a good figure as a portable “sound system”. The only non-positive points are the cheap-looking plastic of the operating element and the lack of an IP certification. I would also refrain from using it on the beach, as can be seen in the advertising pictures, since the lamp is activated by turning the upper side. If there is sand in between, this could have a negative effect. Finally, the Nillkin MC3Pro is however highly recommended if you are looking for a Bluetooth loudspeaker with good sound that also creates an atmospheric light. With 69$, the loudspeaker is however anything but a bargain.

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