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Monday, May 18, 2009

The Lab: X-Mini portable speakers

Some time back, I had a chance to test the X-Mini portable speakers. But since I'm not the kind who listens to music all day every day, I didn't have a chance to really test it out until recently. And I must say that the X-Mini's small size is hugely deceiving.

The X-Mini is a small, spherical object that fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. To use it, you need to flick the power switch, then twist the shell open. The centre piece, known as the "accordion", is supposedly the secret behind the X-Mini's audio quality. Apparently, it delivers a superior bass experience to amplify your enjoyment.

Using it with my iPod, the music played about as well as through the earphones, based on my non-audiophilic test. In other words, I can tell that the quality is good enough for me to enjoy my music. True audiophiles may find it wanting, though, but then, what would you expect from portable speakers?

From the manual and website, I couldn't tell if the audio that came out was in true stereo quality. Nonetheless, what came out of the speakers sounded like stereo. The music definitely sounded richer, compared to my other portable speaker, which only plays mono sound.


Such sound quality would require a lot of energy. Fortunately, you don't have to weigh yourself down with AA batteries, since the X-Mini comes with its own built-in rechargeable battery. Recharging is done through a USB connection.

A word of caution: charge the battery before using the speakers. When I used the speakers with the USB wire still plugged to my laptop, I got static after a minute of iPod playback. This bug has probably been fixed in newer versions of the X-Mini.

To find out more about this made-in-Singapore product or to browse the rest of the range, visit the X-Mini website.

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