Polaroid P2 review: a fun Bluetooth speaker with so-so sound

The Polaroid P2 is a joy to look at but less so to listen to

Polaroid P2 speaker front
(Image: © Jen Allen)

TechRadar Verdict

Polaroid's foray into the speaker world is very charming, but it lacks great sound quality and some useful extras.

Pros

  • +

    Brilliantly fun

  • +

    Near instant setup

  • +

    Surprisingly loud

Cons

  • -

    Mediocre sound quality

  • -

    Not very robust

  • -

    Practically pointless companion app

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Polaroid P2: Two-minute review

Genuinely fun and cute is how we'd describe the Polaroid 2. Part of its new range of music speakers, it might not hit all the right notes when it comes to what you need most from a Bluetooth speaker, but it's utterly adorable. 

Imagine what a Fisher-Price speaker might look like, and that's pretty much what you get with the Polaroid P2. Available in various colors, its controls are chunky and similarly vibrant. You even get a volume control that's an actual analog dial for you to sweep your hand across, just like a toy. 

The downside here is that much of the spectacle of the Polaroid P2 comes from its looks, rather than its sound quality. That means this isn't exactly one of the best Bluetooth speakers money can buy.

It's loud, for sure, with its volume dial ensuring this small and slender speaker will fill a room remarkably easily. However, the price you pay is a lack of crispness and finer detail. This isn't a speaker for anyone who wants to rediscover their favorites in a new way. 

Priced at $129.99 / £119.99, the Polaroid P2 is slightly expensive given it skips certain features. It offers a decent battery life of up to 15 hours, and can be paired with another speaker to produce stereo sound. However, there's no EQ nor even an IP rating, so you won't feel safe using it while hiking or by the pool. 

It's also a touch on the heavy side. Thanks to its rubber edging, it looks and feels like it should be more robust than it actually is. Still, we didn't fancy our chances of flinging it around and seeing how it handled it. 

It's full of cute touches like colourful buttons and a ribbon sticking out displaying the Polaroid colours. It's a shame the ribbon isn't an actual carrying strap, but the speaker does come with a more plainly designed wrist strap that attaches to it.

For anyone looking for a fun aesthetic and something other than fantastic performance, the Polaroid P2 is undoubtedly eye-catching. We can see it fitting nicely in an influencer's home, just waiting to be photographed or videoed. 

However, the Polaroid P2 doesn't hit the spot for those looking for something a bit more practical. It may look good in your living room, but if you want to hear powerful bass, crisp mids, and more, this isn't the solution. 

Polaroid P2 speakers

The Polaroid P2 speaker is utterly adorable, but it's a bit of case of style over substance (Image credit: Jen Allen)

Polaroid P2: Price and release date

  • Available in the US and UK
  • Cost: $129.99 / £119.99
  • Available in five colours

The Polaroid P2 was released in September 2022, priced at $129.99/£119.99, which is around AU$192. In the US and UK, it's available in five colors – blue, gray, red, yellow, and black. In all cases, the color relates to the speaker units and outer edge of the speaker, while the rest of the Polaroid P2 is white.

We wouldn't be surprised if one or more color schemes end up seeing a discount before the others, and we're counting on one of those being the black one. After all, why would you go for an uninteresting color scheme when there are so many other options?

Polaroid P2: Design and features

  • Up to 15 hours of battery life
  • No water-resistance
  • Analog volume dial

The Polaroid P2 is cute. Very cute. It looks like a toy speaker rather than a real working one. At the top are its controls. There's a vibrant red power button along with playback controls. None of these are tactile with not even a dot sticking out to help you identify them in the dark, but they're sunken down, so you should be able to feel your way around. 

The highlight is the volume dial. It's a chunky wheel that feels like something from days gone by. We loved how satisfying it felt to dial the volume up or down with it. 

On the bottom is a rubber grip which means the Polaroid P2 can stably rest on any flat-ish surface. A rubber door pulls out on the right-hand side to reveal a 3.55mm jack port and USB-C connector for charging. 

The front is more exciting. Between the two speaker grilles is a black circle. Turn the speaker on and it turns into a Tamagotchi-esque hive of activity. Play a song and you'll see its title gradually come across the screen letter by letter. Once the song plays, lines bounce up and down on the screen in time with the music. It's simple yet beguiling. The first time you notice it, you'll smile. 

On the other hand, that's where the cool features stop. There's no waterproofing here, not a hint of an IPX rating. The only standout practical feature is being able to pair the Polaroid P2 with another of the same type of speaker to produce stereo sound. 

  • Design and features score: 3.5/5

Polaroid P2 speaker dials

The volume dial of the Polaroid P2 is a real highlight (Image credit: Jen Allen)

Polaroid P2: Sound quality

  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Gets loud
  • Lacks finesse

The Polaroid P2 isn't the worst-sounding speaker, but it needs more clarity. While it has more bass than you would expect for a speaker of this size, it's still nothing special. Volume is everything here and the Polaroid P2 can get pretty loud if you crank up the dial. 

However, that leads to distortion, which further affects the lack of crispness. Listening to something like Come Together by The Beatles might sound loud. But if you pay close attention, you'll realize it's more like listening to something on the radio. Loud, but with zero clarity. 

Higher frequencies struggle here too, with something like David Bowie's Under Pressure lacking finesse. It's all alright, but you won't exactly appreciate the finer details and subtleties offered by such classics. Combined with its looks, we're instantly left thinking this is a speaker best for a younger audience who aren't yet reaching for audiophile sound quality. 

Thanks to distortion, the Polaroid P2 isn't really a strong contender for our list of the best party speakers either. 

There is a Polaroid Music app. However, it's more for discovering curated music stations created by Polaroid, rather than tweaking any settings. That means there's no Equalizer for improving your experience. 

  • Sound quality score: 3/5

Polaroid P2: Value

  • Distinctive looking for cost
  • Little pricey

The Polaroid P2 isn't the most expensive speaker, but it is a tad pricey for what it offers - namely good looks but a lack of distinctive sound quality. It's fun, but what price do you put on entertainment and a brief talking point?

  • Value score: 3.5/5

Polaroid P2: Should you buy it?

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Polaroid P2
AttributesNotesRating
Design and featuresIt ridiculously cute and toy-like – but that does extend to the feature set too3.5/5
Sound qualityIt goes nice and loud for its proportions, but lacks finesse across the frequencies3/5
ValueIf you don't care about the colorful looks, you can do better sonically 3.5/5

You want a fun-looking speaker
Many speakers look very similar to each other. The Polaroid P2 is different and stands out with its clean yet cute aesthetic. It'll be perfect in some households.

Audio quality isn't your priority
If you don't need the best quality sound but like it loud, the Polaroid P2 will scratch that itch nicely.

You need a family speaker
The Polaroid P2 is simple enough that your kids can figure it out. They'll love that cute screen too, firmly making it a family favourite.

Don't buy it if...

You want great audio
The Polaroid P2 offers fairly average sound quality. If you're an audiophile, this will irritate you immensely 

You want something rugged
With no IP rating, the Polaroid P2 isn't the best option to take anywhere near water or dust. Still, it does have a carabiner at least.

You like to tinker
There's no Equalizer via the Polaroid Music app or any other way to adjust settings. Simplicity is everything here, but it might not suit you.

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