We meant to do a review of this a long time ago but due to mixed feelings about how long it would last compared to the horrible reviews of competing brands, we decided to give it a year and come back to it when 1) we know for sure what we are saying has longevity and 2) we remembered that we haven’t written the review yet 🙂
We have also included our tutorial at the end on how to fix the speaker if it no longer extends all the way (explained below).
The X-Mini is a small capsule sized speaker that you can bring with you to attach to cell phones and other mobile devices to enhance their sound with. It offers a built-in lithium battery and the capability to daisy chain multiple capsules together to enhance the sound (or create stereo experience).
The X-Mini II Speaker is a previous model that was launched a few years ago and still available (and at a reasonable price now). It offers a built-in 3.5mm cable to connect to your device with that easily tucks away at the bottom of the speaker. It comes with a small carrying pouch and a USB cable that is used to charge the speaker with. The speaker will deliver up to 12 hours of listening time on a single charge which is really nice and over the last year we can confirm that it lives up to this. We have barely ever had to charge the device as it holds it’s charge perfectly when not in use thanks to the use of lithium vs the older battery types.
The sound detail that it produces is really nice for it’s size (and price). The speaker can stay closed to keep it’s smaller size, or with a small twist can open/extend creating additional bass. When extended, the amount of bass is impressive, although you may want to stick the pouch underneath it to add grip as the speaker tends to vibrate around if it’s sitting on a smooth surface like glass. The volume it produces is nice, however you want to refrain from maxing out the volume wheel as you will experience distortion at the highest setting. We have used the speaker on many devices such as phone, tablets, laptops and portable music players. We have used it for personal use as well as business-related demonstration purposes and in each scenario it performed perfectly for what was needed.
Cons: As long as you treat your speaker devices well, this device should last you a long time. The only downside we were able to find was eventually the spring mechanism that controls it’s extending capability (for bass) eventually loses it’s extended-position memory once you have had it closed for so long. When this happens, it only extends open by about a half inch or so and greatly reduces the amount of bass it puts out.
We attempted to contact the manufacturer to see what they said about this as we were able to find multiple reports online about users experiencing this problem. Keep in mind that this is a “portable” mobile speaker that comes with a pouch because your normal storage for such a device is going to be in a backpack, drawer, suitcase, briefcase…or however else you carry around your portables.
The manufacturer (XMI Pte Ltd) admitted that this problem is common and said over time it (internal spring) will indeed extend less due to being closed for extended portions of time. Their solution wasn’t on how to fix it but rather suggested that you don’t store it closed but keep it open when not in use. Obviously now for a portable piece of equipment, that isn’t a good solution since you don’t want it open and shoved in a bag as it would easily get damaged. So this takes away it’s portable attributes and reduces it’s longevity score which will reflect on the final rating at the end of this review.
At the end of this review we have provided you with our own solution on how to fix this.
The X-Mini Uno Speaker is the newer model that was recently released. It comes with everything the X-Mini II has (pouch, USB cable) but with some upgrades to the speaker. These speakers are slightly larger and come with ceramic drivers to enhance the sound. The sound does appear to be much better (and louder) than the X-Mini II and since this is a new unit, it has better bass since it extends all the way. We haven’t tested the longevity of the new model as we have only had it for a few days as someone brought it by for us to test (if XMI would like to send us a demo unit, we would be happy to add to the review at a later date to report additional finds as the speaker ages to see if the spring issue has been resolved – This could also contribute to a change in final score if the problem has been fixed).
Buy it on Amazon: X-Mini II Speaker
The battery life of the Uno has been improved to up to 18 hours of use which is great since the previous model was perfect at 12. So you know this little guy will last you on a business trip or weekend vacation just fine. Just like the X-Mini II, the Uno offers the ability to connect multiple speakers to themselves via an external 3.5mm jack (They refer to it as “Buddy-Jack”). They also come in a variety of colors so you can express yourself accordingly. Like the previous model, you will want to refrain from maxing out the volume rocker as again, it will start to distort at max volume. The max “non-distorted” level of the speaker is more than efficient though.
We give these speakers a 6.5/10 as they are a great product in terms of sound and mobility. They are offered at a good price (unless you buy them from Office Depot for some reason) and pack a mean battery charge. However due to the problems with longevity of the speakers in terms of opening it for bass extension, we had to deduct a large bit as that goes against it’s intended design as we were not impressed by the manufacturer’s response.
TUTORIAL – HOW TO FIX YOUR X-MINI SPEAKER IF IT WILL NO LONGER EXTEND OPEN ALL THE WAY
Keep in mind, we are not responsible for the success of this tutorial or your device. It worked for us and should work for you as well, but there is always a chance it won’t work or that you might pull on it wrong causing damage, so be careful and patient.
The process is pretty easy as long as you have some coins and soda bottle caps laying around the house or office (or similar items). Given, you shouldn’t have to do this as the product *should* work perfect in it’s “mobile” form but sadly you are probably going to face this. Also, you won’t be able to get max extension back in the speaker but at least come a little close.
Take the speaker and twist it open so it extends as far as it will on it’s own. Don’t force it open by pulling it apart too far. You are going to want to do this a little at a time to help bring some memory back to the spring.
What you will need:
- 3x Pennies
- 3x Nickels
- 3x Quarters
- 3x Small soda caps
Begin by carefully inserting the pennies between the upper and lower lid. Insert all 3 pennies evenly so that it is extended evenly on not tilting. If there is no pressure being placed on extending the speaker, you can skip to using nickels. Let it sit for about a day, and then replace the coin with the next size up. Give it another day and eventually you will replace the coins with the small soda caps. At this point, let it sit however long you want (one day, two days, three days), the longer the better to make sure the spring’s memory is being adjusted. Eventually you will remove the caps and your speaker should be further extended. *Do not* over-extend the speaker past it’s original capabilities. Again, it won’t be fully extended but you should be better off than you were before the “treatment”.
Are you a manufacturer or vendor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.