The X-mini speaker has branched out and added many new features with new models over the years and we've reviewed a lot of them. Speaker quality and volume are the main cornerstones of why you'd purchase such a speaker when you want to boost the audio performance from your portable device, which makes the X-mini an attractive proposition due to its compactness. The new X-mini UNO Speaker has a near sole purpose of incorporating improved audio performance, achieved through a ceramic driver. We've had ours for a few months and have been testing it to excess.
Design & Durability
Right away you'll notice that the X-mini UNO looks just about the same as every other X-mini model ever released. It shares that ball-like design when the speaker is latched together, but when in use the speaker will spring top from the base in an accordion styled manner. Interestingly that accordion style is wider here than it is on the X-mini II, which the UNO seems to be successor to. It's available in six colours: green, blue, orange, purple, red and gun metal silver which is the colour we have, it's a very dark shade of silver, definitely borderline black.
The outer soft to touch plastic casing is very rugged, we've accidentally dropped the UNO on more than four occasions from around two metres. The speaker casing didn't even crack and the UNO continued to function correctly. Its durability is well suited to be lugged around in a pocket or bag.
Controls & Connections
A volume slider along with an on and off switch, an upgraded micro-USB charging input are situated along the sides of the UNO and the 3.5mm auxiliary cable is wrapped neatly into the base of the UNO. These little design incorporations are what make the X-mini speakers un-cumbersome and pleasurable to use.
One of the neat features that we've always enjoyed using on the X-minis is the Buddy Jack, which is also prominent on the UNO. It's an auxiliary input located on the side and this allows one X-mini to plug into another X-mini in a daisy chain manner. We have quite a few X-minis at our studio and we can play audio through them all in harmony and this generates a whopping degree of volume.
The slogan of X-mini is 'sound beyond size'. This statement has never been more true than with the X-mini UNO which can output 2.5W. The volume that this mono speaker can output is absolutely staggering! At near full volume the speaker is very challenging to speak over and will fill a standard-sized living room with sound with ease. It's a welcome friend to assist your smartphone, tablet or other device increase its sound. We use ours in many scenarios, such as in the car, on the kitchen counter whilst cooking, and in the shower. With previous models of the X-mini the speaker would jump around due to its lightness so X-mini have weighted the base on the UNO, it still jumps around mildly at times but the overall 'jumpiness' has decreased. The weighted base also reduces distortion, but a mild amount of distortion is still present when the volume is fully cranked with bass heavy audio.
The ceramic driver has added significant improvements to the overall audio output. The bass is notably more prominent from the UNO in comparison to the X-mini II Capsule Speaker. The ceramic driver enables greater clarity across all frequencies, and the mid to high range frequencies are also more pronounced in comparison to the X-mini II. The overall sound output is clearer and crisper in character and both quality and volume far exceed the UNO's size. It's profoundly amazing that a device that sits in the palm of your hand can achieve so much volume and high quality.
The battery life of the UNO is vast. We achieved nearly 15 hours of continuous playback at near full volume from the inbuilt Lithium-ion battery. The UNO holds a solid charge too, the battery doesn't noticeably drain when not in use for weeks on end. This is definitely one of the most impressive real-world playback battery results we've achieved from a portable battery powered speaker.
Portable pocketable speakers are soaring in popularity, and after playing around with the UNO at the studio we've remembered just why the X-mini is such a popular pocketable speaker. And there's no doubt the UNO deserves to be even more popular, with its huge clear sound, exceptionally long battery life and helpful clean compact design. Plus the UNO is very fairly priced, it has a consistent price of £27 on amazon.co.uk and $30 on Amazon.com.