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Little Package, Big Sound: X-mini Speakers


By JohnG

PTG-XminicapsuleHearing is believing. And one listen to the latest X-mini portable speakers from Xmi convinced me, as the holidays approach, that good things do come in small packages.

Using a standard audio plug, these versatile speakers can plug into MP3 players and many brands of music-ready cell phones. A perfect size for traveling, they are powered by batteries that are recharged through a USB port. And your friends can bring along their X-minis and chain them together for even bigger sound.

In fact, while doing some side-by-side testing with a big-name manufacturer’s larger, powered speakers on one of my computers, my wife told me to switch back to the X-mini because it sounded better.

The smallest in the lineup, the X-mini Capsule Speaker, second generation, is ball-shaped and easily fits into the palm of your hand at less than two-and-a-half inches (60 mm) in diameter. With a slight twist, it expands slightly with a resonator that improves the frequency response.

This mono speaker will easily clobber any built-in speaker I’ve ever heard on an iPod, cell phone or laptop. It holds its own or even surpasses much larger speakers in a well-designed, easy-to-carry package. The built-in audio cable tucks neatly into the base of the speaker, so there’s no worry about dangling or lost wires.

Compared to the first generation X-mini Capsule Speaker, the new version contains a larger driver for better frequency response and triple the battery life. And the $29.99 price is easy on the budget.

This speaker really saved the day while I was making a video presentation recently to a small group. We were watching it on a DVD player but needed to fast forward and could not find the remote control. So I quickly fired up the laptop and played it from there. The built-in speakers on the laptop weren’t loud enough and sounded tinny, anyway—so I plugged in the X-mini and it was perfect!

PTG-XminiMaxIIIf you’re looking for stereo separation, X-mini recently introduced the MAX II portable speakers. The MAX II consists of two speakers, each slightly over 2.5 inches in diameter (66 mm) with the resonator closed. The speakers join together magnetically in an egg-shaped package for easy carrying.

Just like the one-speaker version, the MAX II speakers twist and expand, with the resonator works like a sub-woofer for boosting the bass. The results are impressive—much better than I would have expected on speakers this size. If you want even more bass, most music playback programs have equalization settings which can tweak the sound to your preferences.

These mini speakers can easily fill a large room with clean, transparent audio without the distortion and tinny sound that plague other small speakers.

The batteries on the Capsule Speaker and Max II last 11-12 hours between charges. The retail price for the Max II set is $59.

The X-mini products have won international design awards and the manufacturer, Xmi Pte Limited in Singapore, is also hinting about more good things to come. Xmi officials say the company is committed to bringing the “very latest wave” of multimedia products to the world market.

These mini speakers make a mighty sound. And if that’s any indication of what’s to come from Xmi, we have a lot to look forward to in the future.

Get the X-mini Capsule Speaker at Amazon

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  1. #1 by Legal Nomads - November 17th, 2009 at 15:12

    I actually picked up a set of these speakers and they’ve worked out perfectly on my round-the-world. Lightweight, great sound (considering their size – we’re not talking sound for audiophiles here!) and not disgustingly expensive. Ive been really happy with ‘em!
    -Jodi

  2. #2 by Backpacker - November 21st, 2009 at 01:56

    I think I can use this one. It fits my bag perfectly. Can bring it anywhere, wherever I go.

  3. #3 by julie - May 18th, 2011 at 06:07

    I’ve been looking for some compact speaker for traveling and these might fit the bill. I have one of those tiny vibrations speakers where you place it on a surface and it uses the resonance to create the sounds, but not all surface work that well. This could a good compact alternative.

  4. #4 by Abbs - June 9th, 2011 at 13:59

    I have to travel excessively because of work and so it does get frustrating hauling my rather bulky speakers along with me.I almost always have to pay extra on my plane tickets so it gets frustrating. I should probably make the investment on these since they seem lightweight and v. compact. Thanks for sharing. I love your website!

  5. #5 by Laura King - September 17th, 2011 at 09:10

    I have to say I have a love hate relationship with these speakers. Initially I loved them and would agree with everything you say in your article but they don’t last. At this price you would expect them to last longer than a year but maybe I was just unlucky. Did yours last the distance?

  6. #6 by Tim L. - September 18th, 2011 at 18:43

    I’m still using one with no problems. But your mileage may vary…

  7. #7 by Bo - September 25th, 2011 at 07:01

    It’s hard to picture the size of these speakers but I love the idea of filling the hotel room with good quality sound without having to lug around bulky speakers.

  8. #8 by Charlie - October 11th, 2011 at 12:11

    I used these and was very pleased with the sound output, but unfortunately they developed a crackle that messed up the sound. I’ve now moved onto the Satechi BT Wireless Bluetooth Portable Speaker System which is fantastic sound and of course you don’t need to plug the iphone in due to the bluetooth

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