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Review: XMi X-mini V1.1 Mini Speaker

Small in size, big in sound

Most mobile devices these days feature built in speakers, but they’re usually pretty terrible.  They’re tinny, they’re flat and they don’t offer any sort of great volume.

The problem is, most people don’t want to carry around a set of external speakers with them when they go out and about.

Enter the XMi X-mini V1.1, a mini speaker that offers some pretty impressive sounds from a relatively small package.

Design

The X-mini V1.1 is probably one of the smallest speakers that I’ve seen.  The unit is designed so that it can be compressed down for transit, but can then be unlocked to provide a longer format and a greater bass response.

Power Switch

Power Switch

USB jack and retention lock

USB jack and retention lock

Base

Base

Unclipped

Unclipped

unclipped

unclipped

Speaker driver behind protective cover

Speaker driver behind protective cover

The spring loaded membrane is a great way to keep the size of the unit to a minimum while maintaining good sound quality and volume.

On the underside of the unit is a small 3.5mm jack, which allows you to connect the speaker to any device with a 3.5mm jack.  It’s a little short for my liking, but that does enable it to be clipped nicely to the underside of the speaker, which is great for portability.

Unbelievably, the speaker includes a rechargeable battery which is good for up to 12 hours of use, with a 2-3 hour recharge time.  It’s charged via a mini-USB connector on the side of the speaker, XMi provide a lead in the package which can be used to charge the speaker from any USB port.  The same lead also features a 3.5mm jack with a much longer lead than on the base, allowing you to connect to devices without having to sit the speaker right next to them.

This is really useful for things like tablet devices, where the shorter lead at the base of the X-mini might not be long enough to connect comfortably with device.

One other interesting addition to the X-mini is the 3.5mm input jack, which allows you to daisy-chain multiple X-mini speakers together to provide better sound output.

Specifications

Dimension55mm x 42mm (Closed resonator)

Net Weight: 57.4g

Speaker: Magnetically Shielded 36mm (4Ω)

Loudspeaker Output: 2W

Frequency Response: 120 Hz ~ 20 kHz

Signal-to-Noise:≥89 db

Distortion: ≥0.3%

Playback Time: Up to 6 hours

Battery Voltage / Capacity: 220mAh

Battery Charging Voltage:5V

Battery Charge Time: Minimum of 2hours

Colours: White, Black, Red, Pink

Sound Quality

Following on from that last point, it’s obvious just from looking at the X-mini that it’s only a mono speaker, and connecting multiple speakers together will still only provide you with a group of mono speakers.

That being said, as mono speakers go, the X-mini is a pretty good implementation.

The sound generated is not the clearest out there, but what it lacks in clarity it more than makes up for in bass and volume.

It really is hard to believe that the sound is being generated from such a small (and cheap) device.

On balance, the sound produced is pretty similar to that produced by some of the more expensive laptop devices available today, and far better than the built-in speakers of any phone or tablet device that I’ve tried.

The X-mini also features a volume dial on the side, but this can actually raise issues in getting decent sound from the speaker rather than being of any real use.

As an example, with the output volume on an iPad set to its highest, and the X-mini’s volume set at it’s highest, you’ll get a lot of distortion and not a great deal of sound.  My advice would be to keep the volume dial on the speaker set to about two-thirds volume and then use the volume controls on your portable device to get the required volume.  You can push it further, if you wish, but you’re likely to start experiencing distortion, and no one needs that.

Of course, your experience may differ depending on what kind of device you’re connecting to, so have a play with the settings on your device and the X-mini in order to find the clearest sound.

Conclusions

Taking its size, price and feature list into account, the X-mini V1.1 is one of those products that you should definitely invest in.

If you spend more than a few minutes a week listening to music on a portable device using its built in speaker, then you will definitely benefit from this pocket wonder.

In term of portability and ease of use, there’s no parallel.  And when you consider the overall sound quality and unbelievably low price then it’s hard to think of a reason not to buy one.

The XMi X-mini V1.1 is available from MobileFun.co.uk in black or white for around £15

Author

Matt

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