Audio delight

Written by Raaj Dayal | Updated: May 31 2009, 06:26am hrs
Tall, dark and handsome is pass, a more appropriate description nowadays would be small, dark and loudsome (oops! handsome), at least for this little bundle of joy!

The grenade shaped X-mini II speaker wields an explosive sound for its size. These black muffins are virtual threat to those big building-blocks shaped speakers kept on the tabletops.

Though these grenades are designed for notebooks, netbooks and PMPs but they can be hooked to any device that has a 3.5mm jack socket for streaming audio output.

Singapore based company XMI, that excel in mini capsule speaker design and mighty sound formula, shaped this X-mini II on its award-winning predecessor with a few tweaks and a bigger and bolder design.

Grenade shaped X-mini II speaker consists of two hemispheres joined together with expandable bellows that mimics the resonance of a sub-woofer (BXS or Bass Xpansion System) and capable of producing higher volume and bass for its physical size.

The top hemisphere consists a 40mm driver with a bright red crown and a protective strip with X-mini carved on it. The bottom hemisphere has an on and off switch, a mini-USB port for battery charging, a 3.5mm output jack socket, a knurled volume control dial and a 3.5mm audio cable that tucks away neatly in to a groove in the base.

The X-mini II has its own inbuilt high capacity rechargeable battery capable of sustained output for 11 hours of non-stop booming audio on single charge. With USB port for the battery charging, one can never run out of juice as it can be charged by any universal USB charger or by connecting to a PC or a laptop.

The most exciting feature of this speaker apart from its shape is its capability to be connected to each other through its 3.5mm audio cable to form an endless daisy chain for louder ear shattering volume. This feature I could only visualise, and not experience as XMI sent me only one unit of the X-mini II for hands-on reviewing.

Though this speaker connects to a stereo audio socket but it only reproduces mono sound even if more than one units are connected in a daisy chain fashion.

The X-mini seems to be designed to reproduce dedicated heavy bass but it successfully manages to reproduce the entire audible spectrum with rich mids and sharp highs even at higher volume without much distortion. To my amusement, at high volume the X-mini hobbles around a lot on the table but without the fear of falling down as the connecting cable manages to keep it on a short leash.

To put the X-mini II to grill, I played an assortment of numbers from varied genres on my PMP. To my amazement it handled booming voice of Bhupen Hazarika in Dil hoom hoom kare to the passionate taps on the keys of the synthesiser by keyboard genius Yanni in Until the last moment with the same ease. It did justice to the tender tone of the popular Hindi film number Bheege honth tere... with same fluidity as it did to the rustic tone and heavy beats of another Hindi film number Beedi jalai le jigar se piya.

Though this X-mini II looks like a deadly grenade, but I am sure it will touch your heart with its rendering of music in its true timber.

This pocketsize capsule speaker is available for grabs at an MRP of Rs 1,990 only.