Speaker – It’s so small yet so loud
Speaker, The speaker market for the PC and portable media devices is huge. Just go to any PC shop and you will find speakers in any shape and size, especially for MP3 players and mobile phones. These minispeakers usually run on AA or AAA batteries and offer a louder, if not acceptable, sound source alternative, depending on the budget.
Personally, I want a speaker with both style and performance. XMI’s X-Mini II mini-speaker, or capsule speaker as the company calls it, is more than meets the eye. At 60 millimetres by 60mm by 40mm when closed, it’s just the size of an egg. But its specifications claim 1.9 watts of audio enjoyment; some Web sites say 2.5W. Either case, it is louder than the speakers on your MP3 player or laptop.
Music is piped to the X-Mini II through its 3.5mm audio cable or mini-USB charging cable with splits into USB and a 3.5mm cable. It’s not a USB device, so no audio will be sent through the USB connector, but you can charge and play music on the speaker at the same time.
Note that the X-Mini II is a mono speaker and not a stereo speaker. I tested it on my Sansa Clip, Samsung T9 and Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP). The verdict? It’s an honest speaker – it reproduced all my tunes with amazing clarity.
The X-Mini II reproduced the Sansa’s trademark true-to-source music quality without much fuss while the Samsung’s heavier bass could be heard thumping away. But the PSP had a weaker output, the softest among the three.
The X-Mini II lasted for 8.5 hours at full volume on my Sansa – 30 minutes more than claimed on the specifications sheet. This is more than enough to get you through a busy workday. And since you can play it while still charging, it should have enough juice to get you home.
Before wrapping up, some might ask: Just how loud is the X-Mini II? Well, it can easily fill a 10-metre-by-10m room at full volume. And if your friend happens to bring his X-Mini II along, you can use the BuddyJack and hook up both speakers and blast the walls down.
Remember, they are mono speakers. You can get a 3.5mm-to-RCA cable and add two RCA-to-3.5mm adapters to get two X-Mini II speakers to play in stereo. But the X-Mini II is designed to be a mono speaker. From testing, two X-Mini IIs in a stereo setup tended to lose clarity when compared to speakers just using the Buddy system.
In a nutshell, if you want an external mini-speaker system that is easy to carry around and sounds great, the X-Mini II should fit the bill. It’s small enough that its carry pouch can hold the extra USB cable and my Sansa Clip, and loud enough that people in a PC shop within 3m of it could not hear themselves speak.
Product: X-Mini II
Enquiries: XMI Pte Ltd (02-62242595)
Dimensions: 60mm by 60mm by 40mm (when closed)
Speaker output: 1.9W
Power ratings: 1.7W
Frequency response: 100Hz to 20KHz
Battery capacity: Eight hours
Battery charging time: 2.5 hours on 5V
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