Most helpful positive review
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
light on bass --balanced mids & highs, loud, TONS OF FUN
on 18 April 2013
...by the time I am writing this, the MINIRIG has been the main (yes!! the main!) speaker in two parties... One with 20+ people (4 hours' playtime, 50%+ battery left), and one with around 50-60 people in a big room (8+ hours, 20% battery left). What a party machine this is... Where do I begin?
[ SOUND QUALITY ]
I was afraid from reading other reviews that the mids would be bright, the highs shrilly, the bass non-existent... Here is the truth about the MINIRIG:
* The bass is 'punchy', but light-weight --for example: the 'analogue' bass in Procol Harum's Whiter Shade Of Pale sounds deep & engaging through the MINIRIG... White Stripe's Seven Nation Army is played back with a controlled & tight bass that gets people moving their heads & tapping their closest solid surface (always a good sign) ...but in Daft Punk's TRON, the ultra-low digitally-created bass is... there, it is... clear, but subdued; it does not have the 'presence' I am used to hear through my Sennheisers. SO!...the MINIRIG does well in all but the lowest-frequency bass tracks.
* The mids are extremely well balanced: they never overshadow the bass, or the highs ...the very pleasant mids are the signature quality of the MINIRIG ...Robbie William's jazzy vocals in Swing When You Are Winning sound smooth, warm and 'natural'.
* The highs are 'clean', another strong point of the MINIRIG: Jean Michel Jarre's multi-layered Oxygen is reproduced transparently; Bob Marley's Exodus is crisp & full of rhythm.
So how does it sound as a whole?
"Loud & clear" are two words that come to mind.. There is also one more element that has nothing to do with the sound quality itself... it draws people, and brings them together (sounds weird, I know). Its unpretentious, THROW-A-PARTY-I-CAN-TAKE-IT character makes it easy for friends & flatmates to plug-in and share their music from their phones, mp3 players, tablets, you name it. Since I bought it, I am discovering so much new music I did not even know existed.
[ BATTERY LIFE ]
Absolutely amazing: the MINIRIG played for 9 hours straight on FULL blast (from 7pm till about 4am) on party#2 (the one with 50+ people) and still had another 20% of its battery left (according to the blue/violet colour of its LED)... I have not had a chance to use it 'normally' yet, but I do believe when they say it can go up to 50 hours, under normal, non-party load.
[ VERSUS the BOSE SOUNDLINK II ]
I was originally considering the Bose Soundlink II, but went with the MINIRIG instead as I could not see myself taking the Bose to the beach... plus one of my flatmates had the Bose, so I did extensive A-B tests on them both: the Bose does have MUCH more impressive bass on LOW volumes, but it is also much 'warmer' (less clear-sounding) than the MINIRIG. Start increasing the volume though, and the bass disappears from the Bose, and its mids become more evident than the rest of the audio spectrum; its highs also become muddier. By comparison, the MINIRIG's sound signature does not deteriorate when you make it play as loud as Bose's top volume; and then you realise the MINIRIG can actually go louder than the SoundLink II, with no distortion (how much louder? if mini rig's top volume is 4/4, the bose goes up to 3/4)...
The BOSE Soundlink II:
* excels in indoor acoustics (its bass is really good at low volumes, when the unit is positioned next to a wall)
* ...but once outside the safety of one's room (...at the beach! or BBQs) all that bass is nowhere to be found; just BEING outdoors kills bass... And if in a party situation, the BOSE stops producing bass as soon as you start increasing the volume, anyway... I also realised I would be scared non-stop of scuffing the Bose, or have someone put a dent on it // drop it by accident.
SO! ...what if they were cars?
* the MINIRIG would be an ICON 4x4: simple in operation; has the capacity for TONS of fun; tough as nails.
* the BOSE SOUNDLINK II would be a sedan Mercedes; regal, good (but evolutionary) design and 'precious'.
[ MODDING ]
...here are a couple of bits I chose to add to my MINIRIG. Note that ALL those extra bits fit within the MINIRIG's standard case, in the top pouch... Here they are in case you are interested!
* bluetooth module + mini cable
...The MINIRIG does not have bluetooth, and that greatly helps when it comes to its durability (less things to go wrong) and amazing battery life (100% of its battery is dedicated to driving the speaker)... But that does not mean you cannot add one yourself! The one I have chosen is the very reliable SONY MW600 that charges via USB, streams music for 8 hours and has a 3.5mm headphone output:
...and I also ordered a very short (30cm) cable to connect it to the MINIRIG:
...and attached onto the side of the MINIRIG using double-sided velcro (so I can attach & detach it at will)
* headphone splitter
...I have found that in parties, people might have their own speakers (say, a BIG JAMBOX) so if you wanna help them out (more like... stealing their thunder) by adding your MINIRIG, a headphone splitter is a must:
...this particular model has 5 inputs/outputs, so you can connect the MINIRIG, plus your friend's Jambox, plus the bluetooth module (for wireless input), plus a laptop, plus a... :D