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889 of 917 people found the following review helpful
on 13 January 2010
As someone who does a lot of travelling around the country, I find it very useful to have a set of portable speakers that can be plugged into my MP3 player so as to listen to music without headphones. Unfortunately the sound quality you get from most portable speakers is very poor with the bass in particular, failing to impress.

When I ordered my x-mini, I did so because of the size and design rather than any expectation of performance. However, these portable speakers are a very impressive piece of kit, so impressive in fact that as soon as I had seen my first one in action, I went straight online to buy a second.

The speakers are powered by an internal battery which can be charged through an included usb cable. The sound quality is so good that I use my speakers as replacement for my laptops speakers when listening to music and thus running low on charge hasn't been a problem for me so I can't comment on battery life further than what the official statement has to say. The sound quality as stated before is very good, the speakers can't quite cope flawlessly with the loudest parts of some songs when everything is turned up to full volume, but I think to expect that may be unrealistic for a portable speaker in this price range. Even saying that the volume these guys can produce without any distortion is amazing. The bass is far superior to any of the other portables I've used and the size is perfect for just throwing in a bag when you're on the road. There is also a system in place which means you can "buddy jack" numerous x-mini's thus further increasing their sound output. All the equipment required for this, as well as charging comes included so you don't need to worry about buying extra cables or peripherals.

All in all these are a great purchase and I've already recommended them to some friends. They should be seriously considered if you're looking to invest in some portables. I honestly think they would be cheap at twice the price.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2014
I was enticed into buying this as it was a lightning deal around Boxing Day. It wasn't something I'd have normally thought of purchasing but I'm truly glad I did! For such a small speaker (it really is small) the sound is brilliant! It doesn't struggle to produce a big sound and it certainly doesn't sound tinny. If you're phone speaker etc isn't good enough for you, this is a worthy purchase. I haven't used it enough to run the battery life down yet, so I'm unsure about charging time etc, but the sound alone makes it easy to justify buying it!
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147 of 156 people found the following review helpful
Review of the Xmini Uno portable speaker. When this unit arrived I was a bit surprised that it was the same size as the cheaper £15 XMi XMini II portable mini speaker, in fact you would be pushed to tell them apart. This isn't a bad thing as it makes the Uno ultraportable. They both come with similar accessories as well, a nice felt travel bag and a 60cm micro-USB2 recharge combined 3.5mm headphone cable. However this Xmini Uno is noticeably heavier at 112g compared its cheaper 83g sibling, probably due to it having a bigger battery lasting up to 20 hours not 11 hours on one charge. The Uno's extra weight also keeps it from moving about when the sounds turned up. Plus the Uno does feel noticeably more solid in construction than the cheap Xmini II. Other than the recharge/headphone cable being a bit thin and flimsy, the Xmini Uno is well built and easy to use. You charge via the USB2 cable, and feed analogue music into the speaker via the 3.5mm headphone out on the iPod/MP3 player. The Uno has LEDs for charging indication, an on/off switch and a volume control (the iPod volume control also adjusts Uno sound levels). Given the flimsy USB2 charging cable, I tend to charge the speaker via a USB 13A mains/12v car adapter, as from experience I know a 5V power feed short in the USB2 cable can fry a PC's motherboard and CPU (the USB2 cable isn't used for PC data transfer anyway). The internal Uno battery takes around 2.5 hours to recharge.

I compared this Xmini Uno with our many Xmini II's and the sound is clearly weightier with a bit more bass. In comparison the cheaper Xmini II's sound is lighter and brighter (which helps clarity), and although the II's bass is poorer and not as noticeable as the Uno's, it still manages to convey the beat. Both the Uno and the II's go fairly loud for their small 4cm size, and both go to pretty much the same volume. Sound quality doesn't markedly improve at high volume, although there's generally no major distortion at max. Neither are tonally accurate HiFi wise, but their tonal balance is pleasant enough, and you have the iPod's equalization control. I'm into pop, rock and some electric folk, i.e. vocals, and I found I was really quite happy with the sound from either the £40 Uno or the £15 IIs, which does make the II's better value for me. Overall I didn't think the difference in sound quality wowed me enough to make the Uno a preferable buy at its orginal £40 full retail (however recently it's full price has dropped to under £30, and I would always buy the Uno in preference if it's offered for £25). Our cheaper Xmini II's seem reliable having lasted 2+ years, which bodes well for the upgraded Uno, although being so small and always on the move they do have a tendency to get lost about the house. This Uno has li-ion batteries that are sensitive to heat above 30oC and should be stored long-term switched off with some, ideally 40%, charge or the Li-ion battery may go completely flat and refuse to charge (there's info on the Xmini website about kickstarting the discharged Li-ion battery should this happen).

Still the Uno's improved sound, build quality and extra 9 hours battery life is very welcome, so 5* for features/sound/portability and 5* for value at £25. Although bulkier and weighing 424g, if I was moving up from the Xmini's, I would save up my pennies and go for the superb £90 MINIRIG rechargeable speaker instead, which offers great mono sound, superb looks & build quality, loud volume and a 50h battery life (although the recent price hike to £139 is hard to swallow, even if it adds in BlueTooth). For highly rated stereo portable rechargeable speakers also check out the £20 Music Angel Friendz and the £100 Bluetooth enabled Cambridge Audio GO Active speakers. You can link together Unos (and Xmini IIs) via their inbuilt 3.5mm audio cable for a louder mono sound, or connect two in stereo using a Y Cable, but we prefer the simple ultra-portability of one Uno. The Uno is available in dark grey and five bright colours. It has a one year warranty, but that excludes damage to the wired in 'link' cable (unless present on delivery). Like all popular products watch out for Xmini fakes though, as they are certainly out there (ours came direct from Amazon).
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on 24 May 2012
My sister bought one of these on the flight to our holiday in France. I was pretty dubious about it. But when she plugged it into an iPad it was just amazing, it was suitably loud and the sound quality is brilliant for such a tiny gadget. I got mine from Amazon, £5 cheaper than Easyjet, and it's been really handy, it's great for watching iPlayer programmes, boosting the sound really well, and it's equally good with the iPod when having a bath. Seriously pleased with it, it charges quickly via USB and a charge lasts hours. It's also tiny, compact and pretty robust. Highly recommended!
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on 23 April 2013
So the Xmini Uno Portable arrives in the post and I'm eager to test it out. I say 'it', but I really mean 'them' as I bought 2 (I will refer to them singularly from this point onwards).

The speaker comes nicely packaged, hovering in a clear plastic box and I'm immediately impressed by the small size of the unit. But being so small, I'm also somewhat concerned about its capabilities.

As I'm unpacking the speaker, some fears are immediately put to rest. Firstly, transporting the unit around. I can see a small black carry pouch is included in the box. Having looked at it, it's more than sufficient for keeping the speaker free from damage when moving around. It's also big enough to fit the speaker's cable in. Secondly, as just mentioned, the cables. I'm relieved to see that all the cables required to use the speaker are included in the box, this includes a standard audio jack to plug into pretty much any audio equipment you can think of, and a USB jack to charge the speakers. Ah excellent, another fear put to rest; USB charging, so no batteries required.

When I take the speaker out of the box, it has a satisfying weightiness to it. I plug it into my iPod and flick the power switch to 'on'. A blue light illuminates underneath it letting me know that the power is on and that the unit is fully charged. Great, so no 16 hour initial charge up period, it's ready to go right out of the box. I turn my music on and am genuinely impressed with what I hear. The high end notes are clear and crisp, the midtones are completely audible. The bass is actually quite thumpy. Overall the sound is great. I immediately put on some of the more challenging songs in my collection, songs with enough complexity to have to be listened to through headphones or good speakers to be properly heard and appreciated. This speaker holds up just fine, and I mean it when I say it.

I am, however, going to qualify the above paragraph. Anybody who's owned a small speaker setup such as this will know that when I say 'the sound is great', I actually mean 'the sound is great..for a mini speaker'. This is afterall, a mini speaker, not a proper audio setup, and it can't hope to compete with proper stereo sound. Despite the inherent limitations, the sound is genuinely good quality. I turn the speaker up to full and there is some slight distortion with vocals and bass, but not too much and the music doesn't completely break apart as it can when pushing cheaper units to maximum volume. How loud does it go? It's difficult to say. Loud enough that the first time I turned it up to full volume, it felt a bit uncomfortable so I turned it back down a bit.

The only place the speaker falls a bit short in terms of sound is on the low consistent bass notes, they're there, but not quite like they should be. Having said that, I'm yet to see a portable speaker setup where the low bass doesn't suffer, and this holds up significantly better than most.

When putting the speaker away, it is pushed down and locked with a twist making it even smaller and easier to transport (a bit like a lockable kinder egg). The result is an impressive looking small ball of speaker ready for the carry pouch.

For those who are interested, I plugged both speakers into my iPod and the sound was increased exponentially, both in terms of quality and volume. The speakers are plugged into each other with an integrated audio cable which is conveniently hidden underneath the speaker when not in use. One speaker is plugged into the sound device, with subsequent speakers plugged into that speaker, creating a chain. The only gripe I have with this is that the wire that connects the two speakers is quite short (maybe 6 inches) meaning that there's a requirement to place the speakers quite close together.

All in all though, I'm impressed with this little speaker. It combines a truly portable setup with surprisingly good quality sound that packs a serious punch. I've given it 5 stars because for what it is (a small setup), it really can't be criticised.

As a sidenote, I ordered the silver/grey colour pictured above, and rather pleasingly, the speaker is slightly darker than pictured. I like it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 2 September 2014
I am a novice to such mobile devices so bear with me here - it was a bit of a learning curve. My son has been extolling the virtues of this sort of approach to sound for a while now so giving this a try seemed an idea. I noticed that the title failed to mention Android devices so thought that would be the way I would test it out. Neat little item (though rather larger than my thumb) and the build looks good and the supplied cable looks fine too. The "instructions" may well be great for folk with experience in these things but it took me a moment to figure out. Although charging was a breeze connecting to my devices took a little longer. Initially I was under the impression that it could use NFC to connect to my Nexus however reading around the subject suggests that actually that may only be a part of connecting with Bluetooth - either way it connects fine with Bluetooth as does another Android device.

Once done the playback is really very good for such a dinky device. Sound levels - for me - are easily controlled by the Android device and even at full volume there is barely any distortion. At one point I had the speaker on in the lounge and went to make a cup of tea and could hear it clearly in the kitchen with the door open - very good indeed. I charged it via my PC so I may well see whether the time can be improved using a 5v mains charger. Maybe worth noting that the claimed 6 hours playback is not when using Bluetooth and the time drops to ~4 hours that way. Still think it is great little device and one I will certainly continue to use both around the house and on the move. I'll certainly update this if I come across anything interesting while I'm using it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 28 May 2013
First off, at about the size of a satsuma, this is little. By golly yes it's surprising in it's smallness; the product photo doesn't do it justice (I've uploaded a photo of my own with my last £1 coin for comparison) I have testicles bigger than this (photographic proof most definitely NOT provided). It's rather pretty too: in graphite black with an orange ceramic inset in the top and collapsed down into "transportation mode" it looks like a cylon's turd.

What you get in the box is one mono speaker with an integral audio jack which allows you to plug the speaker straight into any player with that connector. There is a three way charger cable, a cloth carry bag and a cute little sticker for your pencil case. The instruction sheet is also tiny. So miniscule that it's almost impossible to read, but then using the speaker is so simple that this is hardly a disadvantage.

Using it is, as I mentioned, simple. Merely switch the speaker on (a little blue LED comes on to show battery state) whack the jack into your MP3 player and play away. The speaker's integral battery should give you a good 20 hour's worth of play.

Now - I have two tin ears so I'm hardly the most reliable reviewer of audio equipment, but even I could tell that this is the mutt's nuts, the canine's cojones, Bonzo's doodahs etc etc. It sat in my hand and buzzed and jittered its happy way through Rammstein's Ich Tu Dir Weh, every note faithfully reproduced, and the bass line sending surprisingly powerful vibrations up my arm. Perhaps it lacks somewhat in the volume department... even wound up to 11 on the MP3 player and the speaker, your mum is hardly going to be pounding on the ceiling with a broom handle, yelling at you to "turn it down else I'll have to come up to you, sunshine!" Neither will it ever form an integral part of your home DJ system, but it's certainly loud enough to sit by your bedside or on your study table.

A nice way of using your MP3 player, mobile phone or laptop/tablet as a hi-fi. Definitely recommended.
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133 of 144 people found the following review helpful
on 9 May 2009
Great little speakers - plenty of sound and staying power - tiny and easy to transport bought two of these and use a left/right splitter lead to obtain true stereo (e.g. Maplin L39BA)
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
I'm a big fan of XMI's capsule speakers - constant improvement and innovation mean they stay well ahead of similar me-too products and counterfeit copies. It might be an obvious thing tosay but sound quality seems to be genuinely important to the company - there are plenty of other portable speakers where greater emphasis in their design appear to go into looks or packaging. XMI seem capable of producing great looking capsule speakers, packaged and presented nicely but that also sound fantastic.

I was lucky enough to get a set of these stereo mini-capsules as well as one of their bigger stand-alone brothers the X-Mini Uno. It's an interesting comparison: the Uno is a bit heavier and, of course, mono but benefits hugely from it's larger body size and heavier materials. Whereas the set of Duo capsules offer a lovely stereo soundstage and for movies a 'bigger' sound.

In the end, I've found that I'm selecting the Duo speakers for one particular use-case: watching movies on my tablet in hotel rooms. The stereo set up from this very portable pair of speakers really brings life to films watched on small screens. I generally travel with a Microsoft Surface RT, which has a cracking set of built-in stereo speakers but the XMI pair bring a significant upgrade.

The sound is wide, very precisely sound-staged (you can easily place voices or individual instruments and sounds in specific spots between the two pods) and incredibly detailed. Where the sound is less impressive is in bass and lower mid-range. I don't find the sound tinny but that welcome bass punch isn't present. Musically, I much prefer the Uno instead which while still not hammering bass delivers a more rounded and full sound.

It's nice to have the options though.

Finally: the retail package is nice and the included extras in the shape of a protective pouch and multi-purpose cable are very welcome. The speakers themselves are beautifully made in what feel like premium materials. I like the finishing touch of a little sticker in the box too. It's the sort of detail that tells you a lot about how XMI go about things.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 27 May 2014
I wanted a speaker for my laptop as the laptop was very quiet and as I teach in a busy classroom needed something with a bit of power behind it. I was sceptical when I read the reviews for this little speaker but took the plunge and bought one on the advice of other customers. Im glad I did its a brilliant little speaker with excellent clarity of sound, and its small enough to pop in the laptop bag. Thanks for everyone's advice my advice would be if you are thinking of buying this speaker I would definitely recommend it you wont be disappointed
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