* Prices may differ from that shown
I received these XMI duo Speakers as a birthday gift from my brother who was probably sick of me saying how much I wanted a decent set lightweight speakers that I could easily connect to my laptop or iphone for listening to music or watching movies. These are currently for sale on Amazon for £19.99, Littlewoods have the duo speakers priced at £40 plus, Tesco are currently out of stock, and John Lewis have them priced at £39.95. There are a few for sale on ebay priced from £15.99, so it is worth searching around for the best price.
* Patented bass xpansion system
* Play the speakers together or separately
* In-built rechargeable battery
* 12 hours of continuous play
* Size: 52mm x 52mm x 70mm (closed resonator)
* 2 hour charge time
The two speakers are small and compact in size measuring approx 5 x 5 x 6.1 cm. The speakers have a black glossy finish and are made from hard plastic material. The small speakers have a capsule like shape and almost look like a mini webcam. The speakers have a modern stylish design that can either be used as one speaker when joined together via a magnetic strip or separately. It has a rechargeable battery that is located inside each speaker, as well as a mini USB connector and a jack for connecting to devices.
Size & Weight
These speakers are incredibly lightweight and small in size, weighing only approx 60 grams means these speakers are ideal for what I was looking for, as they are portable the speakers are easy to move around and use with different devices without any Hassel. I often use these duo speakers with my laptop and iphone, and find that as they are so small they can be easily moved from one location to another.
They also hardly take up any room on my computer table or desk when using them with either my laptop or iphone. The speakers are hardly noticeable either as they almost disappear into the background due to their size. These would therefore be ideal for those with small computer tables or small desks and need as much room as possible for other more important things.
The Sound Experience
I was pleasantly surprised with the sound quality from these mini speakers, therefore don't be fooled by the size. The bass xpansion system is located in the centre of the speakers and is activated when the speaker is extended. It gives that extra bass sound when listening to music, and gives it that similar effect you would get from a large subwoofer. The amount of bass it produces is amazing for its size, and enables me to enjoy and experience my favourite songs to their full potential. The volume levels can also be raised to very high levels without the sounds becoming distorted or buzzing, which is excellent when watching movies on my laptop as I can put the volume high enough so I can easily hear and enjoy the sound from the other side of the room.
The sound quality is a lot better when using the speakers separately, as I feel when they are joined together the sounds are not as clear and the sounds can get a little distorted. Due to the bass expansion system the speakers tend to vibrate when the volumes are set to really high levels, therefore I tend to position them right at the back of the table and have something holding them in place, as they do tend to move forward if the volumes are really high. I can easily listen to music and listen to movie audio even when these speakers are located all they way at the other end of large room, in fact the sound can be easily heard down stairs and in other rooms when volumes are set really high, which illustrate just how good the sound quality is.
The speakers are easily connected to devices such as laptops, ipods, iphones etc using a jack connection, and the other end of the cables as a mini usb connector that is simply connected to the speakers. Once connected the speakers can be manually switched on by pressing the power button located on each speaker, giving you the option to either use one speaker or power on both at the same time. A power light will trigger on letting you know that the device is connected and the speakers are ready to use. I found the process very easy and straight forward, as there are only three wires there are no messy tangling of wires to add confusion to the set up process.
The batteries are located inside each speaker and are rechargeable. The batteries are charged using the USB cable provided and take approx 3 hours to fully charge, which is quite fast in my opinion. A red light will flash on the speakers to indicate that the batteries are charging.
Once charged I can use them easily for a whole week until they needed recharging, the packaging states the battery will last 11 hours and I would say this is fairly accurate. I do use these quite often, and found that over the year the battery still manages to last a good 10-11 hours, which is even more useful when using the speakers away from home and in the office, which I sometimes tend to do if I'm working weekends and the office is near deserted. They are small enough to fit in my handbag and even fit in pockets, so I can easily use them out and about when needed.
Overall these are excellent speakers that are extremely lightweight and portable, easy to set up and produce excellent quality of sound. The price for these speakers are also fairly reasonable and therefore I give these speakers a great 5/5 rating.
I was bought these speakers as a gift due to my incessant whinging about my laptop have a woefully useless sound system. I was so impressed by them upon first use i have since convinced some friends to invest in these little gems! They are easy to use and you don't need to mess around with batteries or installing of drivers, its just plug them in and away you go! The most technical thing on them is either the on/off switch or the way they almost unscrew and pop up to become full speakers!
They charge off a USB port, a full charge in about will last about 10-12 hours but to be honest i find i only charge them once ever month or so and they are the proverbial "Duracell bunny", they just go on and on.
The sound quality is awesome, especially since the speakers are so small. I have had they turned up to full blast and the bass side is full and meaty and the high notes are truly ear shattering! I have found them to look really cool and with the standard 3.5mm jack they fit most mp3 players as well as smart phones and other devices incorporating audio functions.
They are also very well made and I have even taken mine on holiday with me, from sandy beaches to wet and muddy weekends in wales camping and not once have they let me down. Now if we consider that they cost £7 (second hand on EBay), but if you bought then new they would only cost around £20-£30, they are most definitely a wise buy!
Sound beyond size
XMI has a very neat and sleek slogan:_"Sound beyond sound"_. This slogan is prefect for describing these speakers, in fact this applies to all of the XMI product i have owned. These speakers certainly are small considering the quality provided. When the bass expansion system is closed the product is 6.6cm tall and 5.3cm wide. The size is astonishing as you can take it anywhere- it will fit in a bag, a hoody pocket or you could just carry it by hand. These speakers are usually connected to my miniature iPod and the sound provided is great. These speakers are made from durable plastic and is unlikely to break if your were to sit on it.
Connecting and charging
These speakers arrive in a cylinder packaging. The packaging is clear so you able to see the amazing speakers. With the speakers you hare given an instruction manual which is not needed as it is self-explanatory and a cable to charge the speakers and use the speakers. The batteries are internal and rechargeable so it is perfect for travelling as the the product charges through a USB and therefore being in a different country would not cause issues with wrong plugs and different voltage. To be able to use the speakers you just plug in the micro USB into the speakers and then connect the mm audio jack into any device like your iPod, or laptop. When you use these speaker i recommend separating them as you will be given better quality sound. These two speakers are held together with magnets on the stand , i only recommend using this feature when either moving the speakers around or when charging the device. There is a simple on/off switch on each speaker so you are able to use one and not the other and your are able to use both at the same time for even loader music. When you turn the speakers on a blue light will blue light will appear and when charging a red light will appear. Setting up these speakers for use will take no longer than 5 seconds as you just need to insert 3 cables (2 mirco USB's into the speakers and one 3.5mm cable into your device)
Dimensions (LxWxH) : 65.8mm x 53.4 mm (closed resonator)
Net weight: 178g
Loudspeaker Output: 2.5w x2
Signal to noise: 80db
Play backtime: up to 12 hours
Play backtime: up to 12 hours
Battery charge time: 5v input - 2.5 hours
The charging time on these speakers are very fast. You charge these speakers for 2 and a half hours and you will be able to use these speakers for 12 hours. This shows that these speaker are extremely efficient as they have a good battery life considering the sound quality and size.
Firstly, i would highly recommend that anyone who buys this product to check the quality of their songs first. If you download illegal songs then your files will most likely have a lower bit rate, and having a lower bit rate will affect the speakers performance and will limit you to what volume you can listen to these song on. This is because these speakers have immense quality and are able to go extremely load (considering the size) therefore these lower bit rate files (50kbps-120Kbps) are likely to distort and this will ruin your experience with the speakers and you may think the speakers are to blame for the sound being distorted but it is actually the file, therefore forcing you to listen to these low quality songs at a quieter volume. However if you download all your songs of iTunes or CD's then you will have no issue as these files will have a higher bit rate (300bkbps+), therefore allowing you to use these speakers at full blast and not encounter any distortion.The sound quality of the speakers are great. They are extremely load, for example when i listen to songs in my bedroom people sitting downstairs able to hear the music very clearly. Also the bass is incredible and this is made clear as when you use these speakers at full blast then the actually speaker will begin to move. Which is why i recommend placing them either on the floor or on a non-fall surface.
Bass Xpansion SystemTM
This is basically as system that allows you to turn the speakers, and they will then open. Once open the bass dramatically improves, and the difference is clear.
I recently brought these speakers from Amazon for £30, and i thought this was a bargain, when comparing these speakers to low-mid range docking systems. Obviously you are not getting the Beats By Dre experience for £30!
When I bought the set of speakers I thought that they were going to be very good quality and the bass and audio of my tracks from my iPhone will sound great with them. This was not the case I played my songs and turned the volume onto full blast and I could immediately hear minor distortion in both of them. It sounded of very poor quality and I could also hear a hissing crackling noise. I immediately decided to try to charge them up in order to ensure they were both recieving the full charge that they require. This seemed to make a difference for a small period of time only and then I got the same distortion when putting my music on full blast. I realised that if I put the volume down to around 70%-75% then it sounded great and I did not experience any issues. Therefore this is something you will need to be aware of and you need to decide whether you feel this would not be worth it based on just that one flaw. I like the design of the speakers and the fact that it looks very sophisticated with the black and silver colours make it look modern and cool and would make it very appealing to a mass audience. It is also very hard wearing and very solid so it can withstand a good amount of pressure been applied without it deforming or damaging in any way. I also like the spring design that is on these speakers and it really helps to be able to store them in a confined space without having to worry about additional storage requirements. They can be stored with ease and take up very little room. I also like the way the LED (blue) light will come on to signal that it has been fully charged and can be taken out of the plug. This feature is especially good because it reduces the liklihood of them over charging and possibly becoming potentially dangerous in some way. I don't feel the charging facility is the greatest on this design becuase it seems no matter how much you charge it up it will still have some level of distortion, which can be heard to a certain degree. All in all I would recommend these speakers if you are looking for something very cost effective the RRP is around £25 which I feel does justify the amount of advantages this product has.
I have fallen under the same trap as many people, these are called "MAX" and people ASSUME that this means it is better that the smaller and original versions. The design is better yes, but the sound quality is no where near as good as the X-Mini 2's. There is much less bass and the build quality is much poorer. As i have had both products, both my Xmini Max's have died and both my Xmini 2's are still alive and sound so much better. You can get 2 X-Mini's 2 cheaper than the price of these. The wire fell off one of them and the other started to go crackly, then the battery died so chucked them both away. While i had all four it was asif the X-mini MAX's were the treble speakers and the X-Mini 2's were two mini subs as their bass is far superior. I have found there are no reviews comparing the two and i believe with my own experience these are a waste of money and 2 Xmini 2's which are the single model which are much better in my opinion. I think these are a gimick and were made just to make extra money, i dont understand why XMI would make these so much worse than the stand alone model, i love the x-mini 2's. BUY THEM INSTEAD!! Trust me on this.
During the past few years all my music and movies have gradually been replaced from first tapes and videos to CD's and DVD's and now I am again making the change to having my entire collection digital which means I no longer have physical copies of everything. This saves me a huge amount of space and I absolutely love being able to access everything at the touch of a button but it does mean my CD's and DVD's have become rather obsolete and are now consigned to boxes up in the attic. Another byproduct of this digital age is that my CD player has just been gathering dust and is very rarely used and I much prefer to listen to my music on the go either on my netbook or through my phone which has become my primary multi media player.
Obviously having a netbook for storing my music and films on is great and being able to listen to music and watch movies anytime I want has completely changed the way I travel meaning that long train journeys are no longer something to be dreaded but sometimes I just want to crank up the volume of my music full blast and listen to it without the need of earphones.
For this I need a set of speakers and although there are literally hundreds to choose from I wanted something sleek and minimal to go with the rest of my things.
I had an original X-mini speaker that I thought was fantastic but unfortunately broke so when I saw that they had a MKII version I bought it immediately.
~~~~~~~~~~ What is the X-mini Max MKII ~~~~~~~~~~~~
The X-mini max MKII is actually a pair of speakers as opposed to just one like the original X-mini was. They have undergone a bit of a redesign and look much sleeker and even more modern than the first version.
The speakers are really small with flat bottoms that are magnatised so that you can stick them together for easy storage. This is a really cool little feature and not only looks great and sort of like a space ship but is fantastic for people like me who tend to just fling everything in a drawer and then can't find all the parts again. They also come with a little bag that you can store all the different parts in not that there really is all that many.
Unlike the picture supplied my speakers are a metallic red colour instead of the plain black which is the same colour as my netbook and they also come in black and white so you can keep everything co-ordinated.
They are made from plastic but don't let this conjure images of them being flimsy as they feel really solid and well made in the hand and from personal experience I know just how durable they actually are.
They are designed to be portable and they most definately are as they are absolutely tiny and weigh next to nothing. If you put these in your bag you would be hard pressed to even notice them.
X-mini speakers are designed so that you can add more X-mini speakers to your one's. All of them contain a 3.5 mm jack port and in theory you can infinately join as many speakers to each other as you wish meaning that in theory you can match bigger and better sound systems.
If there is one thing I am not keen on with the speakers is that you always have to take the cables with you to use them. With the original X-mini once it was charged it has it's own 3.5 mm jack that was hidden away on the base but these are missing that feautre and it is something that I miss from my old one as I thought that this was an excellent feautre. However this is only a small complaint especially when everything else is just so good with the speakers.
~~~~~~~~~~ Setting Up ~~~~~~~~~~
Setting up the speakers is an absolute breeze. In the box there is an instruction booklet but to be honest one look at the speakers will show you what you need to do without the need to read the instructions.
There are no external batteries to faff about with and instead the speakers are charged via the USB of your computer. Once fully charged they will last about 12 hours independantly and the great thing about this is that you can actually still use them on your laptop whilst they are charging.
I've never actually measured how long it takes for them to fully charge as I usually charge them up whilst using them but 30 minutes of charging will get you a good few hours of use with them away from the USB connector.
On the speakers there are no settings to worry about just an on/off switch, the micro USB connection and a 3.5 mm jack port. All you have to do is connect the supplied micro USB cable to the speakers then plug the USB into your computer to charge, the same cable also contains the 3.5mm audio connector which you plug into your music source and hey presto you are ready to go. It is all done with minimal fuss and the whole set up takes roughly 10 seconds.
~~~~~~~~~~ The Sound ~~~~~~~~~~
These speakers are definately a case of small and mighty. For anybody who scoffs at the size of them then they will be shocked with just how loud these bad boys can go. Of course they are never going to be able to compete with the larger high speakers but they weren't designed for that, they were designed to give good sound in an ultra portable form and for this they do the job admirably. There is no volume control on the speakers so you need to adjust this on the device you have them attached to.
You twist the base of the speaker which then pops open the speaker to reveal the bass xpansion system which is a patented system that is supposed to mimic a sub woofer. When you pop the speakers open the level of sound is greatly increased and according to the manufacturors the speakers are able to create a volume and bass that is over ten times it's physical size.
Now I am no expert in sound quality and what makes perfect sound so this review is based solely on my experience and preception of the sound quality. First of all the speakers are really loud, surprisingly so given their small size. For example I can easily have them plugged into my netbook in my bedroom and hear the music clearly from the bathroom with the door closed.
The clarity is good also and although they are loud the sound of the singer or the voices comes through really clearly and the sound is absolutely never tinny.
Another thing that they are good at is the level of bass. When I feel like having my music on loud I usually want to listen to something bass heavy and these speakers do a great job at giving me that 'thump' without disorting the rest of the music.
When I first received the speakers occassionally I would notice that the sound wasn't as good as the song previous and it would sound less rich and more distorted. I went online to see if anyone else was having the same problem and I found out that a few people were but instead of it being the speakers fault the blame lay with the sound file I was playing. The lower the quality the worse it sounds with the speakers as they do show up low quality recordings.
Another thing that I use these speakers a lot for is when watching movies on my netbook. Although I love my netbook and when in bed I am happy to watch movies on it's screen the sound can be a little tinny and just not up to the job and although these speakers do an excellent job when on high volume they also perform admirably when at a lower volume.
They make the voices on the screen come through much clearer than through my netbook speaker and the background music and effects are much better. The whole experience of watching a movie is so much richer with these connected.
~~~~~~~~~~ My Recommendation ~~~~~~~~~~
I would definately receommend these little speakers to people. I personally think that they are great. They look fantastic and yes I am a sucker for design but I also want my things to perform well and these speakers do that and more.
One of the best things about them is the price. Although they look like an expensive piece of kit in the flesh they can be bought for between £20 and £30 meaning that they are in everyone's price range. The music snobs may scoff but not everyone wants to pay hundreds of pounds or even has the room for great big speakers and for the money and size these speakers more than hold their own against so called bigger and better one's.
The fact that they can be connected to any device that has a 3.5mm jack such as phones and ipods mean that they aren't just for use with laptops which in this portable age is important as we have our music on so many devices.
They are also great for those of us who don't like our technology to be too difficult to set up. I personally want things that I can just remove from their packaging and use straight away without having to go to college and do a course in how to understand the instruction book. All in all I have been really impressed with the X-mini max II speakers and I honestly believe that if you are looking for a small set of portable speakers that ae ultra stylish and perform well above their fighting weight then you will be too.