It would appear X-mini have become restless of their already compact designs and have decided to go back to the drawing board and shrink speaker technology even further.
WE Vs ME & Connectivity Options
This has resulted in X-mini whipping up two identical miniature speakers weighing just 48g and measuring 48mm by 40mm, named WE and ME. The one we have here is the X-mini WE speaker, which is the wireless Bluetooth 3.0 and one touch NFC version. The X-mini ME is simply a cheaper wired auxiliary variant, with a variety of colour options that the WE also shares. We didn't get a chance to test the NFC capabilities of the WE, but we used the WE almost exclusively in Bluetooth mode, which is easy to set up and always manages to pair when within the anticipated ten metre range. The six hour battery claim also lived up to be true on testing, with volume set just over mid-way.
Design & Features
The X-mini WE's design has been meticulously thought out. Its body is made from a rugged hard plastic with a stylish layer of rubber running around the middle of the unit. Because of this its impressive thumb-sized shape can be thrown around a bit and kept loose within a bag or pocket with no possibilities of damage. Even the speaker driver has a protective rubber cover attached to a loop lanyard, making the X-mini WE look like a novelty futuristic mini barrel of sorts. There's an auxiliary connection for connecting wired devices and linking up other X-minis for a bigger sound, and next to this is a micro-USB connection for charging. Also situated on the body of the X-mini WE speaker is a three mode switch, triggering the Bluetooth, wired only and off modes.
X-mini promise 'sound beyond size' and it's a statement that the X-mini WE really lives up to. Its 31mm 1.5W speaker driver is aggressively punching above its minuscule character. The bass has genuine depth and, when very boomy, can actually move the speaker around on a flat surface. The mid range has surprising clarity and most of the time there is ample breathing room between the bass and highs. The highs can get remarkably sparky, which was a surprise to hear from such a small speaker driver. A song we found that utilised the whole range of the speaker's audio capabilities was 'Air Balloon' by 'Lily Allen', with heavy bass and sudden mid-high ranges. Volume when fully turned up on the X-mini WE can sound fairly loud and obliterates most inbuilt smartphone speakers.
However, volume can also cause lots of reverberation and general distortion, particularly with acoustic and generally busy music tracks. When we compare the WE to previous and what are now larger X-mini models such as the UNO and KAI, it becomes very apparent that there is still a purpose for them. They output a more detailed and louder sound output, but that's not to say the WE doesn't sound good, as it can fill small areas with a notable notch up of sound quality and volume when compared to most device's own speakers. Brilliant for intimate usage or to gain a snappy audio output boost in a group or small presentation environment.
You must admire the X-mini WE speaker. It is an excellently built and designed portable wireless speaker which further cements the levels of compactness and convenience that speakers can reach, whilst not forgetting to enhance the audio output from devices such as smartphones.