New Age Trading, www.x-mini.com.au
Highly portable; concertina design; decent sound
Audio degrades slightly at high volumes
This attractive little capsule speaker should be a tempting buy for iPhone and iPod owners. It kicks out decent audio for its size, and is ideal for scenarios where you haven’t got access to a full-scale music system.
The RAVE looks like a hockey puck when stored. But give it a twist and you expose the concertina structure within. It’s a cute, portable design. (A basic carry bag is included.)
Portability is helped by the integration of the audio cable into the base. There’s a longer, detachable USB cable as well, which is required for charging; X-mini claims the battery should last up to six hours after a two-hour charge.
Audio quality was decent, with respectable bass punch and a pleasingly warm sound. The RAVE justified its higher price tag by outperforming similar speakers in most areas – it was less artificial sounding throughout our tests, and punchy disco tracks were noticeably stronger on this speaker.
However, while it’s clearly capable of producing high volumes (the packaging warns that it is “unbelievably loud”), we felt the quality suffered when we pushed the envelope. This is probably to be expected from such a small unit.
There’s a built-in FM radio, which can be controlled using + and – keys and a small display that can be hard to read. The sound quality of the radio seemed sharp, and is a nice extra. And here’s one more clever feature: you can link multiple units together, thanks to the integrated cable and audio input.
Macworld Australia’s buying advice.
The X-mini RAVE looks good, it’s highly portable and the sound is better than we expected at this price and size. And the option of being able to daisy-chain multiple units is a handy extra.