As you may have noticed, I’ve been doing a lot of shopping recently for my Big Trip which is coming up really soon (less than two months to go now). So far, I’ve bought myself tons of really useful necessities to really get me prepared for the trip – but not a lot of fun stuff. Lets be honest, travelling isn’t just about survival – I’m also hoping to have a little bit of fun on my five month trip around South America. Which is where the X-Mini speaker systems come in. Travellers love a party (I know I do) and what better way to get the party started anywhere than with a portable, mini speaker – perfect for playing tunes on a beach or livening up a long bus ride (provided your fellow passengers don’t mind).
I’ve tried out a few of the awesome X-Mini products, so here’s a break down of three of their portable speakers – a perfect last minute Christmas gift for your traveller friend!
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The Uno from X-mini is a fantastic, palm-sized portable speaker which really packs a punch when it comes to volume and sound quality. The design is fairly consistent across the X-mini range; a small, rounded speaker with a plastic concertina middle section which allows the Uno to be closed down to just 6omm x 47.5mm for portability, and opened out for great sound when in use! I love the style, it’s so smooth and all the parts – like the audio cable – tuck away for a neat, rounded effect. The awesome range of bright, funky colours is great, too; I love my bright purple Uno speaker!
Testing proved that although the Uno is small in size, it still gives out a very big sound! The ceramic tweeter produces great quality, clear and bright sound which is a vast improvement on my iPhone speakers and sounds brilliant, especially when compared with similarly priced products which use an aluminium speaker.
The only negative is that the audio cable is a tad on the short size, which means that you have to keep the Uno right next to your phone whilst playing music. Not the end of the world but a bit of a pain if you want to use your phone at the same time. That being said, it is the only downside I can see!
I was also really impressed with the battery life. The X-mini website promises that the Uno packs an excellent 20 hour battery life, which is pretty impressive and very useful for travellers who might need to go a few days between charges. I’ve been using the speaker on an off for about a week and haven’t needed to charge it once yet! Want one? Buy yours from Amazon now!
If you prefer your sound in stereo, the Max might be a better option. Again, it comes in a fab range of bright colours; mine are green and very pretty. You get two speakers in one with The Max, which can be used separately (if you only have room in your bag for one) or together for big sound or stereo playback. The Max speakers have flat bases, instead of rounded, but these are magnetised so that the speakers can be clipped together for easier storage and portability.
All the X-mini speakers can be used with many devices, including phones, MP3 players, tablets and laptops. The Max is particularly great to use with my laptop – which doesn’t have the best speakers built in – since it provides stereo sound; I just plugged them both in and enjoyed fantastic stereo sound.
If you prefer to keep them mono, the speakers can be buddy-jacked by plugging one into the other for a mono playback which can get much louder than the Uno, thanks to the combined speaker power.
Battery life for the Max speakers is quoted at 18 hours, and again I’ve had no problems with mine so far. They work fantastically and sound amazing – perfect for getting a beach party started!
The snazziest of the three speakers I tried out, and the more expensive, the X-mini Kai can work wirelessly using Bluetooth transmission from a paired device, which means you can keep on using your phone or tablet whilst playing music. This is a perfect feature, and it does set the Kai apart from the other two speakers.
It’s also a tiny bit bigger, which means even better sound quality, as well as keeping the same great features like the ceramic tweeters, so the Kai provides a fantastic sound experience overall. It certainly delivered the loudest playback during my testing, with amazing quality and great, deep bass.
Another great feature is the built-in microphone, which means that the Kai can also be used for hands free calling or even to set up a conference call. If you’re travelling in a group and calling home, this is a perfect way for everyone to say hi at once!
I love the beautiful, matt design which, like the Uno, is sleek and rounded. Although it is a little bigger than the other speakers, at 50mm x 62mm, it’s still no more than palm sized so the Kai can easily be slipped into your luggage without taking up too much of that precious backpack space! It’s perfect for travellers, to, because the Bluetooth doesn’t need wifi or data to connect, so you can enjoy a wireless experience on the road. The downside with the Kai is that the battery life is less than the Max or Uno speakers, at about 8 hours (as quoted on the X-mini website); but this should give you plenty of playback time between charges.
Click here to get the X-Mini Kai from Amazon.
All three of the X-mini speakers I reviewed are fantastic additions to my travel backpack; the only difficulty is choosing which one to take with me next year. Both the design and quality are fantastic, but more importantly the speakers look great and are loads of fun. Perfect for partying whilst on the road!