King of the vibe: Samsung Sound Tower MX-ST50B heavy-duty speaker with built-in battery and LED backlight review

By: Technoslav Bergamot | 07.07.2023, 16:05

Adding a built-in battery to the Samsung Sound Tower has made the MX-ST50B a giant invincible in the world of portable audio. Of course, you can't strap it to a backpack and go camping on foot and weigh almost 12 kilograms. But that is the only drawback, which is easily compensated by the other advantages of the speakers Sound Tower series: bidirectional sound, Party Lights + light effects, using DJ-effects, karaoke, control with the application, splash-proof and, finally, the ability to connect the speaker to any sound source - from analogue cables to streaming music services, or USB. And its large size allowed for a powerful battery that lasts a full day's work, from morning to night. And all this at a fraction of the price of the best portable speakers on the market! This device will also come in handy for "digitalization" instead of the old music centre, but perhaps most of all, its benefits will be appreciated by those who often organize loud youth parties in the open air and seek to create a powerful vibe.

Samsung Sound Tower MX-ST50B
Samsung Sound Tower MX-ST50B
With bi-directional audio, karaoke mode, and easy DJ effects or LED light settings from your mobile device, this speaker is designed to fit today's music consumption scenarios with up to 18 hours of battery life. The Sound Tower MX-ST50B control panel is water-resistant for use near pools or fountains. Group Play technology lets you wire-free audio from multiple systems to create surround sound. In this case, the sound source can be both old analog technology and streaming music services broadcast from a smartphone via a Bluetooth connection.

Current price on Amazon

5 reasons to buy the Samsung Sound Tower MX-ST50B

  • The most powerful speaker system with built-in battery on the market
  • You can always surprise your girlfriend by inviting her to "listen to your smart speaker"
  • Your lifestyle includes lots of friends and regular parties with loud music
  • You are able to turn the volume up to maximum, without attracting the attention of neighbours who might call the police
  • A cool gift for a friend you go to visit because they have a house in the country

3 reasons not to buy the Samsung Sound Tower MX-ST50B

  • You don't need more than 240W of power (Samsung Sound Tower models are over 1000W, by the way)
  • Do you prefer a portable loudspeaker that you can carry in a rucksack?
  • You don't need the autonomy of such a large speaker system

In the old days, long before the internet, you had to have a music centre of some kind at home. At first it was probably a gramophone. Then came the tape recorder with large reel-to-reel reels. Later came cassette recorders and CD players. In 'modern' times (but still before the advent of the Internet), a music centre was a device which contained a radio, a dual cassette recorder, a 3-CD changer and two loudspeakers. Times have now changed and all these devices have been replaced by the smartphone. Streaming music services and high-speed (even mobile) Internet have made it possible to do away with physical music media altogether. Even radio stations can be listened to as a stream on the Internet. So today's generation of consumers simply don't need all those big devices in their homes. But loudspeakers are still an important part of our lives, because they allow us to fill an entire room with sound. But in order to meet the needs of modern consumers, they had to change and become part of 'digital' life. The Samsung Sound Tower MX-ST50B is a new class of loudspeaker. And, with the added ability to run autonomously all day, it has everything to appeal to a new generation of consumers. Those who have never known life without internet, mobile, wireless and Bluetooth smartphone in their pocket. And love anything new. Ideally, new enough that it didn't even exist when their parents were young.

King of the vibe: Samsung Sound Tower MX-ST50B heavy-duty speaker with built-in battery and LED backlight review

The look: powerful disco glamour

The speaker's design immediately impresses, exaggerating expectations. Like all of Samsung's Sound Tower Series speakers, it has the appearance of a prism with three facets. Two of the edges contain the drivers (and thus create a bidirectional sound, which gives the sound volume). The third, discreetly covered with plugs, houses the jacks for the audio sources and buttons to control the wireless connections. At the bottom of the panel there is a power cable socket. At the top there is a special bend, which can be conveniently used as a handle, when the speaker needs to be moved. It's quite heavy, but thus the weight of almost 12 kilograms can be carried with one hand. The eye-catching feature is the textured matt surface, which doesn't leave any indelicate fingerprints - since the speaker's usage scenarios involve constant moving and use outdoors, one can only approve of such a design decision. It's designed to look like it will last for years to come.

The Sound Tower control panel is water-resistant to IPX5, protecting the Sound Tower from splashing water. The control buttons are arranged in a circle, which, together with the triangular profile, gives the impression of aggressive harmony and sets the mood for powerful sound. All the keys are large, with a clear tactile response and a characteristic muffled click sound. But the surface of the circle is made of some kind of material that resembles rubber and attracts a little dust. The only thing missing is some kind of light illumination of the keys, so that you can easily see them in the dark. On top of the circle with the buttons there are 5 LEDs, which let you know the status of the speaker - connection via Bluetooth, USB or one of the two analog cables, the fifth LED indicates the work on the built-in battery.

To the right and left of the speakers, hidden behind the protective perforated grille, are vertical bands of LED backlighting that can change their colour in the RGB palette according to the mode of operation. The long vertical fins allow you to create colour flowing effects and fill the room with vibes of energy and activity.

Finally, if you turn the speaker upside down, you'll find three small but sturdy feet and a bass reflex port for bass boost

Also included is a remote control with 2 AAA batteries. It allows you to duplicate all the buttons on the panel, and makes sense, of course, specifically for remote control - when you need to switch something from a distance without getting close to the Sound Tower.

Connection options: a bridge between the analogue and digital eras

The connection block is visually divided into 2 parts - 3 buttons with LEDs inside (blue for Bluetooth, green for the rest) that are used to connect via Bluetooth, create a stereo pair, or connect up to 10 Sound Tower speakers using proprietary Group Play technology. The connector group is hidden behind a durable cover with a soft touch surface that is pleasant to the touch. When closed, it has the appearance of a solid, monolithic surface, giving a sense of reliability. To open it, you have to put a bit of effort into it, and hold it in place with your hand to make sure it doesn't close. Behind the lid you can find the connectors which are responsible for cable connection or using a USB stick as a music source. About 10 years ago we would have said that the speaker has a built-in MP3 player, but now it's taken for granted. There's the option to adjust the power

King of the vibe: Samsung Sound Tower MX-ST50B heavy-duty speaker with built-in battery and LED backlight review-42

Here you can connect an external microphone for karaoke (two knobs next to its input allow you to adjust the volume and reverberation level). Or another sound source - an old music centre or amplifier - via one of two connection options: the first is for a single plug, like in headphones, and the second is for cinch cables, used to connect the speaker to others via Group Play. Therefore, a pair of pins is responsible for the input and a pair for the output of the sound. In this way, Sound Tower can be used with any sound source - all possible options can be applied in case of an occasion. Although my intuition tells me that the Sound Tower is most likely to be used for playing sound from smartphones via Bluetooth - isn't that why people have created so many streaming music services?

Controls: remote or smartphone?

Given a speaker system is neither a smartphone nor a washing machine, the control of the Sound Tower MX-ST50B is straight out of the box. You can control the sound by remote control, smartphone (you need the Sound Tower app, it's available for Android and iOS), or "old-school" method - with your own hands, just by pressing a button. I'm sure this is the method the speaker's owner will choose most often, although in fact use all three. Because the remote control is a classic "lazybones", allowing you to increase or decrease the volume from a distance. And a smartphone will definitely be needed - because there are features that are only accessible from it, and there's confidence that they won't go unnoticed by the user. Firstly, there's the ability to adjust the backlight colour in RGB. And secondly, there are the DJ effects called Noise, Filter, Crush, Chorus and Wahwah. Describing them in words is difficult, and literal translation won't get you any closer to the answer either. It is better to go to a shop and listen to these with your own ears. Of course, they're not made for audiophiles (because they don't improve sound in any way), but for entertainment - at a party with friends they can really add an interesting new experience to the tracks you already know. Also, it's more interesting to conduct such experiments together with friends - it really looks like an added value to the product. I personally love the Crush and Wahwah effects (the latter one turns the sound into something cosmic and extraterrestrial).

What else do you need to know about the Sound Tower MX-ST50B controls? A gear icon on the control panel takes you step by step through 5 light modes, called Party, Ambient, Dance, Thunder Bolt, and Star. Which one you like best is probably a matter of taste - you have to see for yourself. Also, I get the impression that the operation of the modes differs depending on the style of music, and this opens another field for creative experimentation. In addition to the 5 dynamic modes, the backlighting can also work statically by selecting a certain colour on the circle in the app's settings. Interestingly, when you control the volume, the backlight starts to show an upward or downward movement of light beams, depending on whether you increase or decrease the volume. At minimum and maximum volume, the light beams do not move, but simply pulsate in the middle third of the speaker.

Sound: power in two directions, which will please your friends (but not necessarily your neighbours)

The very first impression of the sound is a large overabundance of volume. I can't imagine how big a room must be for it to need the maximum volume of this 240-watt speaker. My old music centre from the last century, with its honest 70 watts was once enough to provide musical accompaniment to my classmate's wedding for a few dozen people. And the rented venue wasn't exactly small. So, unless you have a two-storey house with separate rooms for billiards or a fireplace, a library and several bedrooms, but an ordinary city flat, I doubt very much that you can use the Sound Tower MX-ST50B at full power at least once in your life. And if you can, don't be surprised if the neighbours do call the police, even if it's during the day. So you can only unleash the full sonic potential of this system outdoors. And I'm sure that in a city environment this powerful loud sound will be heard for a couple of blocks. Or your entire cottage community. Two sets of speakers pointing in different directions certainly plays a part in that too. So I don't really understand at all how Samsung managed to make this speaker tower for the price of a popular portable speaker, which is simply in a different universe in terms of sound quality and power. At least after getting to know the Sound Tower MX-ST50B I personally cannot perceive any portable speaker other than as a toy for tourism. And if you remember that this speaker can be combined with others (a total of 10 Sound Tower can be combined, but it is suspected that in that case the combined acoustic wave will simply move the Earth from its orbit), the effect of using the speaker can be doubled, tripled, etc. That is, if you move all this to the category of parties, yours will immediately get the status of a legendary. The main thing is not to stand under the loudspeaker system running at maximum volume during this time. The only comment, perhaps, is that the bass was a bit lacking for me. On the other hand, this speaker is more designed for listening to modern dance music, not hard and heavy or speed metal, which I listen to regularly.

Built-in rechargeable battery: a party that will end very late

I actually didn't have a chance to measure the battery life of the Sound Tower MX-ST50B at maximum power, as I do in such cases (otherwise I would have completed this review after meeting the police). But I can draw some conclusions after a couple of weeks of using the speaker. First, this speaker, of course, works much longer than a "normal" portable speaker. Secondly, if I use it at home for a few hours a day at relatively average volume (probably still below average, because it is too loud for my flat), then I had to charge it only for the next week. In the home, though, of course, it doesn't need the offline mode (except to entertain myself during power cuts). In my subjective opinion, even if this speaker plays at maximum sound power, you can count on 12 hours of operation, i.e. its charge should be enough for any party, you don't have to worry about that. In general Samsung claims "up to 18 hours" of operation, but rather these measurements are taken at average volume, and this is quite consistent with my observations stretched over several days.

Ruler neighbours

Overall, the Samsung Sound Tower series of loudspeakers includes several models. They have been in production for several years running and are regularly updated. The difference between them is in the speaker power. There is a model with extra high power (and a built-in subwoofer, giving all the benefits of 3-way speakers - this model is equipped with wheels for easy movement). These speakers may differ in the number of USB ports, the presence or absence of a headphone jack or microphone connection for karaoke. But all models are waterproof, smartphone control (with sound mode selection, backlighting and sound effects) and can be combined with each other using Group Play technology. The Sound Tower MX-ST50B stands out because it has a built-in rechargeable battery.

Samsung Sound Tower MX-ST50B
Samsung Sound Tower MX-ST50B
  • Powerful 240W speaker system with built-in battery
  • Group Play technology for connecting other systems and creating surround sound
  • The speaker control panel is IPX5 waterproof
  • Connect via USB or Bluetooth

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Technical Specifications Samsung Sound Tower MX-ST50B

Model MX-ST50B
Power 240W
Bidirectional Sound +
Dimensions 329x665x301 mm
Weight 11.9 kg
Waterproof + (IPX5)
Sound Mode Standart (mono), Party, Hiphop, EDM, Rock, Latin, House, Reggae
Light Modes Party, Ambient, Dance, Thunder Bolt, Star
DJ effects Noise, Filter, Crush, Chorus, Wahwah
Battery Up to 18 hours of use
Bluetooth SBC, AAC, aptX, Multi Connection
USB х1
Audio Input 3.5mm
Karaoke Mic In +
Group Play Technology Wired and wireless connection

Five things to know about the Samsung Sound Tower MX-ST50B

  • The most powerful sound system with built-in rechargeable battery, which can work independently all day
  • Can connect to both analogue and modern music devices (via USB or Bluetooth)
  • LED illumination, plus the ability to add sound effects to your music and plug in a microphone for karaoke
  • Splash-proof top panel lets you use it outdoors
  • Up to 10 of these speakers can be combined wirelessly for greater sound output

Go Deeper:

Samsung Sound Tower MX-ST50B
240W speaker system with built-in battery and LED lighting