Review: Does The X-Mini Max Match Its Miniature Brother’s Bass?

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The X-Mini II Capsule speakers are impressive little beasts, punching well above their weight, but can the bigger brother X-Mini Max IIs live up to the standard for laptop speakers? We find out.
We took a look at the pint-sized X-Mini capsule speaker in April that packed surprisingly meaty sound into a tiny, 2W package. That’s why it may be a bit prejudicial coming at the X-mini Max II portable speakers that seem to underperform compared to their smaller, cheaper little brothers.

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The Max II comes as two split-egg-shaped speakers, fit with 2.5W drivers. Despite the plastic build, they feel durable thanks to a solid base and rubbery coating, yet still light in spite of their magnet bases. These bases feature little ridges that allow the two speakers to lock together for easy storage.

While these little speakers are 2.5W each, they push out less impressive sound than their 2W counterparts. The audio comes out clear and crisp around vocals, though it is otherwise hollow with little low-end sound performance. Vocals resonate well in a way that would suit spoken word, but for music it delivers a much flatter sound than the smaller X-Mini capsules which give more bass and depth.

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Its one up comes in its stereo playback with its smaller mono brother doesn’t deliver. Just like the smaller variety, it can be ‘popped out’ in a spring-like form, though it makes little difference to the sound quality with these speakers.

 

The stocked cable links USB input, an input for each speaker, auxiliary port for iPods and the like as well as inline volume control into the one string of cables. It’s a slightly convoluted pile, but it allows all the connectors to sit on the one string. It also makes for a handy one-stop shop for connecting and charging the units.

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Max II capsules can be strung together with other Max IIs if you want to enhance the sound, but then you’ll be forking out beyond $100 to create a larger pile of average speakers.

They’re physically designed well for more portability than you’ll find in most laptop speakers, which tend to end up feeling more like smaller, stereo versions of straight PC speakers rather than portable accessories. The sound quality is lacking though – it’s very clear but not very pronounced on any end of the spectrum.

The X-mini Max II comes at an RRP of $69.95, distributed through New Age Trading.

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