917 of 948 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.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 1 December 2011
These tiny speakers provide a decent amount of stereo sound. Folks don't expect full blown speaker quality, but do expect a pleasant surprise, after all what do you expect from a speaker the size of half an egg?. I have tried the speakers with a multitude of songs and they deal very well with all types of music. Please note that if playing mp3's the quality will vary on the bit rate the tune was saved at. Having said that, I reckon you still get good bang for your buck. You can get these little fellows dancing around if you crank up the bass and generally, I have found very little distortion. The size of these speakers is very smalland when attached together they are about the size of a duck egg. The bad points. The cables contained are not very long and do get annoyingly tangled at times. The blue LED's are ridiculously bright when fully charged and are not relaxing in a darkened room. They dull as an indication the batteries are fading, but really the quality of music and volume are a better clue to this. Overall a nice piece of kit and a good price compared to the newer, larger max v2. Decent stereo sound in a tiny little package, great on the go for folk who just want to enjoy there tunes.
154 of 163 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, when moving up from the Xmini's we went 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 (our Uno came direct from Amazon, and is still going strong after 2.5 years).
54 of 57 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.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
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.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I have to say that the sound quality is not as high as might be expected from the blurb, at least for the kind of music I listen to, namely Renaissance polyphony & Baroque opera. There is that certain 'tinniness' there. As a general rule for portable sound I would prefer to listen to my iPod through a decent set of headphones as the sound quality is superior, but the main advantage of these for me would be in other situations where that is not convenient for example when I am in the bath. Nothing would beat my Bose docking speaker for sound quality but that is not an easily portable option.
These are wonderfully compact though so would be good for travelling. Both can be used in stereo via the supplied separate cable with two mini-USB connectors to either an iPod jack or laptop USB, or could be used singly with iPod with built in jack which stows away neatly in the bottom. The two units could be connected in series using the inbuilt jacks but there is no advantage to this given the stereo connector with this set. The USB connector is also used for charging. The two units have magnets in the bottom so they can be stuck back to back for convenient stowage. A carry bag is provided.
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on 9 September 2011
Bought the first generation X-mini Max but my daughter has taken them away to college with her. So I needed to purchase a replacement. Was a bit wary of the updated X-Mi X Mini II 2nd Generation single speaker judging from the reviews of poor bass, also didn't really want to spend over £20 for the XMI X-Mini Max 2, so was pleased when I saw these speakers priced between the two.
The sound quality is superb, not tinny at all, in fact the bass response is better than the X-mini Max due the fact these speakers are slightly larger and the volume for bass resonance is much greater. The sound can get very loud but this can be controlled with an inline volume control.
Very happy with the purchase and the speakers concertina down to a slight larger "egg" for ease of carrying.
56 of 60 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!
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.
6 of 6 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