Product Type: Xmi Pte Ltd. in PC Speakers
Newest Review: ... also keeps the volume down if you want to use it quietly. So I have two of the speakers and the sound quality is fantastic for such a smal... more
Warning: Unbelievably Loud
Member Name: theredrobin
Date: 29/01/13, updated on 30/01/13 (139 review reads)
Advantages: portable, great quality and sound
Disadvantages: fiddly to collapse, would of liked the wire to be able to extend
I had previously bought one from sainsburys for £5, which although were good did not have any way to change the volume and were not very loud.
I came across this online on Amazon for £20, I had a £10 gift voucher and ended up paying £10 towards it and thought it was a good price. Now I have to confess I do not know much about the technical side of portable speakers and did not really look into this purchase.
I had never heard of x-mini speakers before and didn't shop around before looking in to it, it was actually the first one I saw and I thought i'd give it a go as it seemed alright by the description. When the speakers arrived they were well packaged. They came in a cylinder box which stated on the box that it is sound beyond size, the back of the box had warning unbelievably loud on it and it had a list of features of the speakers.
When unboxing the speakers the first thing I saw was how tiny it was. Although it was bigger than my previous pair of speakers, these certainly looked better made, and of good quality. The speaker looks just like the above picture so I won't describe it.
The speaker itself has on the side of it the volume up and down button which is a scrolling button, an audio port - which would be to plug in your mp3 player, the on and off button and underneath it there is a 3.5mm audio lead which enables me to plug it into my iphone. The lead sits in the base of the speaker so that it is not dangling, I thought this was a good feature as it meant the lead could be sat securely in place and it would allow the speaker to sit on a shelf or wherever without the lead causing an obstruction.
Now when the speaker came it was fully up and I didn't realise that the speaker itself was collapsible. The speaker was already charged when unboxing so I plugged it in straight away to see what it would be like.
I set it up on my phone and was amazed by how clear the sound was. I then put the volume gradually higher until it was on the loudest setting and I have to say that it is definitely unbelievably loud!.. especially from such a small speaker! I personally have not used it on the loudest setting much as it is much louder then I need it.. though I know others would find it to come in useful for a party!
Since having this speaker I have used it to listen to music and podcasts and also when watching tv programmes on my phone. I'm not very knowledgable on the technical sound aspects of reviewing speakers but I find these to be the best portable speakers i've so far owned, i've not had any problems with the sound quality, and when listening to music the lyrics as well as background music has always been crystal clear.
When watching television programmes or videos, at first I thought it may be distracting that the sound is coming from elsewhere whilst I am looking at the screen... but the quality is really good with no delay or static sound coming through the speakers. Sometimes I prefer having my headphones in, not only so it's only me who can hear whatever i'm listening to but also so the volume is clearer and offers better quality.. but these speakers offer the same sound quality as my headphones so it's been a great purchase for me.
Now as I mentioned the speaker is collapsible, I found this fiddly to do at first and I have to admit I was a bit worried about pressing down on it as I was certain I would break it!.. I didn't even think it would be collapsible as the little instruction paper that came with it did not even have a picture of it collapsed!.. but as the amazon listing stated it was collapsible I did a quick google of it and ended up watching someone on youtube collapse the speaker lol to see how it was done and ensure I wouldn't break it!
To collapse the speaker you press down on it from the top, the reason I was hesitant to do it is because as I was pressing down on it, you could hear a noise, a bit like something deflating but it is just the 'spring' (it's a bit like an accordian) of the speaker (I don't know of the technical term to describe it! lol) going down. When you have pushed it fully down so that the speaker is a ball in your hand you have to turn it clockwise for it to secure itself and stay shut. Again I found this fiddly to do and it needed both hands. The speaker is still fully functional in this state and it just makes the volume a little quieter. So if you are after a louder and clearer sound you just raise it up again. It is also good to shut the speaker if you are travelling etc with it as it is just easier to carry.
Now the speaker says it has 11 hours of continuous playback in one charge. I believe this is correct although I have never timed it but the charge life is long, the speakers have never died out on me in one day... well i've never used it for that long and it has been a few days before I have needed to recharge the speakers.
To recharge them, the speakers came with a usb lead which had 3 connections, one to go in the speaker, one to go in your computer and the other was the audio lead so that you can continue using the speaker whilst it is charging. As you plug the speaker into your computer, it begins recharging straight away and there is a red light at the bottom of the speaker to show you it is being charged. What I like about the usb lead is, that most products that you purchase has them little plastic wire grips to wrap the wire around.. I always ended up taking them off and throwing them away or losing them rather than using it to wrap it up again. However on this usb lead there is a little velcro strap which enables you to wrap the usb lead. This is handy as it doesn't get lost and is also a lot less fiddly then wrapping one of the plastic grips around it each time.
Along with being collapsible another great feature of the speakers is that if anyone else has the same speaker or if you have more than one you can connect them together so it offers even better/louder sound. Now I can't comment on this feature as i've never done it, but I suppose it would offer amazing sound!
The speaker that I have is in black but I have also seen it listed in red. I went for the black as I preferred it more and thought it wont stand out as much as the red.
There's only 2 things I dislike about this speaker which I thought i'd mention.
1) that the audio port is so small, it's only 3.5mm long.. which although advertised as a bonus for being more portable.. I think it would of been even better if it was a bit longer or could be wound down as at times I have preferred to have the speakers at a greater distance (for instance if it's plugged into my phone and I want to send a text or quickly see something, then the speaker ends up having to be lifted as well, instead of staying where it was) and 2) I find the collapsible aspect of the speaker quite fiddly!
The speaker that I have is X-mini 2, though there is a model before this called X-mini which is cheaper, priced at £9.99.. the only major difference I can see between the both really is that the model below has less battery life and offers 6 hours rather than 11 hours, and that the newer model has an even better sound system.
Overall it's a great speaker though and I would give it 5 stars due to the amazing sound quality, but i'm knocking off a star for the last 2 points. The speaker also comes with a black felt bag to carry it in. It's currently priced at £17.50 on Amazon.
-- Technical Details from Amazon --
11 hours playback time
Modular 'Buddy-Jack design
Built-in retractable 3.5mm audio cable
Dimensions: 60 x 60 x 44 mm (closed resonator)
Frequency Response: 100Hz-20KHz
Signal-to-Noise Ratio: ≥80db
Playbacktime: Up to 11 hours
Battery Charge Time: 5V - 2.5 hours *I have never charged it fully for 2.5 hours and just plug it in for as long as I can, it still lasts me fine.
Thanks for reading :)
(It's now my longest review on here, but had a lot to mention to cover it all properly lol)
Summary: great sound quality