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4.3 out of 5 stars
X-Mini II XAM4-BL Portable Capsule Speaker, Mono, Blue
Color: BluePackage Type: Standard PackagingChange
Price:$12.99 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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4,067 of 4,177 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2010
I'm sure this review, as with all other negative reviews, is going to get a "this was not helpful" rating. Look, I get it.. the X-Mini II is an AWESOME product and nobody should to talk bad about it, right? At least hear me out first.. because I've been using these for almost a year and have owned 3 of them. I think that earns me the right to an honest negative review. And remember, most people review products shortly after they buy them.. I've actually spent a lot of time using them.

I absolutely loved mine when I first got it. I showed it to lots of friends and all my coworkers, many of which have since bought their own. It's an excellent little speaker. The sound quality is amazing for such a small package.. the build quality feels very solid. Sadly, it's what's inside that counts.. and what's inside is junk. I've owned 3 of these speakers and all 3 are now dead. Here's the series of events that led to this bad review:

X-Mini #1 - Bought my first one about 10 months ago on Amazon. Loved everything about it. One thing that really stood out (aside from excellent audio quality) was the build quality. Very solid construction. I liked it so much I bought another one for a family member, which we'll call X-Mini #2.

X-Mini #2 - Worked fine, but I noticed the build quality wasn't as good as the first one I bought. The once soft rubber-like audio cable was now stiff, cheap, shiny plastic. The power switch was now flimsy and didn't operate as solidly as my first one. The sound wasn't quite as good, and it was a tiny bit lighter weight. After about 1 month, I started having audio hiccups from it and had to contact the store (possibly power surges?). They sent me a replacement and let me keep this one. The replacement they sent me is X-Mini #3.

X-Mini #3 - Same lower-quality construction. By this point it was obvious that X-Mi had started to cheap out on the materials of the speaker. The once rock-solid speaker now feels like a cheap toy. About two weeks after owning this speaker, the battery stopped working. It no longer holds a charge and has to be plugged in via USB or a wall outlet in order to play sound. I'm not going to bother the company I bought this one from because they already sent me a free replacement.. now it's up to X-Mi.

Now I have 1 good speaker (my original), one defective one, and one with a dead battery, right? Wrong.

Back to X-Mini #1 - My beloved original, now, after 10 months of light use (maybe 3 hours a week), is dead. The battery is having the same issue as X-Mini #3. It will no longer play sound without being attached to external power.

I'm done with these things. I want to love it.. I really do.. and several months ago I would have given this thing 6 out of 5 stars if it were possible. I can no longer do that. They simply don't last. I'm extremely disappointed with X-Mi for cheaping out on materials and have sent them an email explaining this.

If you've been able to snag one that lasts longer than a year, consider yourself lucky. I envy you.
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917 of 949 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2009
(Video) Could have been better quality, but too large and wouldn't upload.

First off, This speaker is incredible for it's size. There is almost no distortion in sound when playing on MAX volume. It comes with a USB splitter, to charge and a 3.5mm plug so that you can connect multiple X Mini II's together. It also comes with a handy bag to store your X Mini II in. I had an Altec Lansing iM207 before this, and the X Mini II blew the iM207 away!!!. The size difference was one thing, and the sound quality was another. The iM207 also ran on 3 AAA batteries. There will also be distortion in the iM207 on full volume. The playtime with the batteries was terrible. I had to switch batteries every week, with only around 20minutes of playtime each day. For the X Mini II, it can play up to 8 hours. There are also LED indicators of when you need to charge again, and when it is fully charged.
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212 of 225 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2010
My wife and I had been on a recent trip to the tropics and a few days it rained to the point that we really couldn't be outside much. Stuck in our room, we turned to my iPhone. I had loaded up some comedy CDs from iTunes prior to our trip. If we laid quitely on the bed we could listen to the iPhone, and it was OK, but about what you'd expect. Weak volume, tinny, etc. When we got home I thought I'd research to see if there were very light, easy to transport speakers. Being a fairly light packer I wanted my solution to be very small and light.

I stumbled on the X-Mini II on Amazon during my research, and ordered it. What a nice surprise. The speaker is not much bigger than a golf ball, but expands a bit when you twist it - there's an accordian-like structure that allows it to elongate. You don't have to do that, but the sound seems a bit better if you do. The x-mini comes with a small USB to USB-mini cable for recharging. Mine came fully charged and I used it for an hour or so... it didn't need to be recharged even then. Since i carry an iPhone I always have some way of charging that device, and whatever method I use will also work with the x-mini.

The sound was quite surprisingly good. Deep and as loud as I can imagine needing it. I don't know if you could use it for a big party, but I'm sure in a room with several people it would be just fine. I think you'll be surprised by how good it sounds.
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175 of 186 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2010
Even though the internal speakers on my Sony Vaio notebook computer are decent, I sometimes need a little more volume and clarity. When the need arises, I usually whip out the ear-buds. But recently, I've been wanting to play some tunes on my computer at work where it's not convenient to wear ear-buds. Hence, the "need" for one of these portable mini-speakers.

After reading the reviews on portable notebook/iPod/iPhone speakers, I narrowed my choice down to 3 products and ordered all 3. I thought that I would choose the best one, send the others back, and review them at the same time. So....my 3 choices were the X-Mini II Capsule Speaker, the iHome iHM60 Rechargeable Mini Speakers for iPod (Blue), and the Altec Lansing iM-237 Orbit Ultraportable Speaker for MP3 Players (Silver).

I tested all 3 speakers with my Sony Vaio notebook, my iPhone 3Gs, and my 60-gig iPod. All 3 speakers worked with all 3 devices, and the rating results were comparable.

One more thing: although 2 of the 3 speakers have USB charging cables, none of them are USB devices. The USB only charges the speaker; the sound is controlled via the headphone-out controls.

1) X-Mini II Capsule Speaker ---- This speaker is the most compact. I like the design, the lines, the feel, and the size. It just feels right. It looks like a little pill/capsule, and then springs open to reveal bellows that enhance the bass. The sound is focused and clear, but ranks #3 in loudness and bass quality. It is the only speaker of the 3 that I tested that has a volume control, but I really don't see the need for a volume control when the speaker is only 6 inches away from the sound source. It has a built-in speaker cord for when you want to run it on the internal rechargeable battery. There's also a combined USB charging/speaker cable....1 plug inserts into your computer USB port to charge the speaker battery, and the 2nd plug goes to the headphone-out on your computer (or iPod). So, if your speaker battery dies, just plug the 2 plugs into the computer and you're back up and running. If you're using the speaker to listen to your iPod or iPhone, you are out of luck if the speaker battery dies, unless you have a USB power source nearby. Unfortunately, both the attached speaker cable and the combined USB charging/speaker cable are very flimsy. It also has a speaker-out jack, which allows you to daisy-chain speakers together. Not really a huge selling point, since people tend to buy these speakers because they are small and compact...so who wants to carry 2 with them? But I suppose it does allow for more flexibiity, athough daisy-chaining 2-3 of these little guys together just doesn't make good financial sense. So, just like the volume control, the speaker-out jack is a non-issue to me. Also comes with a little carrying bag made of felt material.

Pros --- Looks and feels right. Small/compact. Decent sound, considering it's size. Rechargeable battery. Option of using built-in cable or combined USB charging/speaker cable.
Cons --- Worst performance in terms of loudness and bass (but still not bad). Flimsy cables.

2) iHome iHM60 Rechargeable Mini Speakers for iPod (Blue) ---- This speaker is very similar to the X-Mini II above. The major differences: it's larger than the X-Mini and doesn't look as "polished". It doesn't have a volume control, but who needs one anyway? It doesn't have a built-in cable....it only has a USB charging/speaker cable....but it's MUCH sturdier than the cable on the X-Mini. The sound is louder and fuller, with more pronounced bass.....probably because the diameter is bigger and the bellows are longer. Comes with a medium-heavy duty black carrying bag, which is more substantial than the felt used for the X-Mini II bag. Also has a speaker-out jack, just like the X-Mini II, for daisy-chaining speakers together.

Pros --- Ranks #2 in loudness and bass. Small/compact. Rechargeable battery. Sturdy cable. Nicer carrying bag. $10 cheaper than the X-Mini.
Cons --- Less "polished" look/feel. Not as small as the X-Mini. No built-in speaker cable, so you MUST use the more bulky USB charging/speaker cable.

3) Altec Lansing iM-237 Orbit Ultraportable Speaker for MP3 Players (Silver) --- This speaker is the largest, but weighs about the same as the IHome. It has NO USB charging cable....just a built-in speaker cable. It ONLY runs on 3 AAA batteries. I haven't used it long enough to test the battery life. The carrying case is a deluxe zippered case that really protects the speaker. It also includes a lanyard for the speaker and a little caribiner clip for the case. The sound clearly out-classes the other 2 in loudness, clarity, and bass.

Pros --- Best sound of the 3. Uses 3 AAA batteries (no rechargeable battery to die on you). Built-in speaker cable. Very nice carrying case.
Cons --- Largest of the 3. Uses 3 AAA batteries (rechargeable battery is convenient, but they often die.) Flimsy built-in speaker cable.

So.....which one am I keeping? That's a good question. I'm DEFINITELY returning the X-Mini II. It performed the worst of the 3, it has flimsy cables, and it costs as much as the Altec. Although the iHome requires that you use the bulkier combo-cord, it sounds better and costs $10 less than the X-Mini II. No-brainer.

How about the Altec? It sounds the best, but has some limitations. I might keep BOTH the Altec and the iHome. But I'm DEFINITELY keeping the iHome, which is the all-around winner in this speaker shoot-out when you compare sound, price, and features.

A couple more remarks. The iHome packaging is maddening. The speaker is wire-tied into the package, making it extremely difficult to remove. I ended up essentially destroying the packaging in order to remove the speaker. But perhaps iHome did that on purpose, so as to discourage returns. Very annoying, but not a deal-breaker. Also, the iHome's cable has a hard plastic clip attached that is supposed to be used as a wire-tie. I have very good manual dexterity, but I was unable to fold the cable back up and clip it back together. Nice try, iHome, but the velcro cable-tie of the X-Mini II is a much better design.....too bad they decided to include such a flimsy cable.

I hope this review helps you in your purchase of a portable speaker for your notebook computer or iPod/iPhone. Be sure to check out my VIDEO REVIEW, which includes sound bytes from all 3 speakers. It is located here: iHome iHM60 Rechargeable Mini Speakers for iPod (Blue).
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107 of 113 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2011
This is a review I left under my wifes name under "Altes-Lansing iM-237" review. I am also leaving it here for those of you who might need another speaker option.

After a long and lengthy research process here on Amazon, Youtube, and many other "review" sites, I narrowed it down to these two speakers. Unable to make up my mind, and didn't want to get buyers remorse, I decided to buy both.

The short version of this review is the Altec iM-237 is the winner here in my opinion. The reasons for this are in the "long version" to follow.

I recently recieved a Zune HD player (love it!). I am an active outdoorsman who spends alot of time hunting and fishing in remote areas, but love my music when I get back to camp. Hense, the need for a small, portable speaker.

If I,(you) were to buy the X-mini only, we would both be very happy and impressed with it. For such a small unit it really puts out nice sound. The built in rechargable battery is a nice option, but for me, in some of the areas I camp, I do not always have access to a 12volt charging source. It seems well built and the option of connecting these speakers with more speakers is another nice option I think. Like I said earlier, if I just bought this speaker, I would be happy, but when compared side by side with the Altec, big difference.

The Altec is larger than the X-mini, (little larger than a can of tuna), and comes with a nice, somewhat hardside case, the mini, a little cloth bag. The Altec is another well built speaker. This one runs on 3 aaa batteries which for me is more flexible than a rechargable unit. Run time has yet to be determined since I have not had these units long enough to find out.

I plugged the Altec into the X-Mini to make it easier to do my side by side comparison. I cranked up the volume and turned on the speakers, first the Mini. Wow, impressive, handles volume well, heck the dang thing vibrates all over table! a little tinny, mids were ok, bass was ok too. I turned down the Mini, which has its own volume control,(nice), and turned on the Altec, Wow times two!. It seem to fill the room with a much richer, deeper sound that was instantly noticable vs the Mini. I continued this back and forth, one on, one off experiment with a wide variety of music and it just kept confirming Altecs better sound. Actually, the best sound achieved was when I had both speakers on at the same time, incredible!

In conclusion, I think you would have to buy 2 Minis to out due the Altec, but if I was going to buy 2 units, I would buy another Altec and a splicer.

Hope this helps!
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125 of 134 people found the following review helpful
I joyfully recommend the X-Mini II Capsule Speaker -- it mostly lives up to my expectations and more. I was looking for a small-form speaker to test my techno mixes on (I'm a dance music producer, among other things) since many people have mobile devices and like listening to music "on the go" without the benefit of a really beefy, bassy system.

The unique design attracted me and after reading the many positive reviews, I ordered this. It was a fairly short decision and I hope this review will help others too -- I'm a big believer in sharing your experiences so others can benefit and save time (especially when it comes to avoiding shoddy stuff).

As you can see from the video, the sound quality is awesome for its size and specs. It gets a bit muddy in the treble and isn't going to be as distinct as listening through a good pair of earbuds, but it can definitely fill a small room. My wife has already found happiness using the X-Mini II connected to her iPhone while playing Plants vs. Zombies in bed (it's what we do) -- a big improvement over the built-in speakers! And for the iPod Touch's even weaker built-in speakers, I have a comparison at the end of the video so you can get an idea of the contrast.

My suggestion for the X-Mini III would be to have a longer USB charging cable, because I've ended up in situations where the audio cable was sufficiently long but the USB one wasn't... without an extension. Also, I don't know how feasible it'd be to have the X-Mini also function as an USB audio interface with a mini sound chip inside, but this could be useful in cases where your stereo miniplug output is fairly noisy.

Thanks very much to Arthur of Satechi for contacting me personally and asking if everything was cool, that kind of customer rapport rocks.

EDIT: I neglected to show in the video that you can twist the X-Mini II and extend it accordion-like so it produces even bigger bass! This is very impressive.
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110 of 118 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2009
I bought this and the iHome rechargeable mini-speaker at the same time. The iHome mini-speaker is much louder, but the sound quality of the X-Mini II is better for music, at least in my opinion. You get more of the high and low tones with the X-Mini II, and I am surprised that it does not have a tinny sound. The iHome speaker is good for movies or if you need a loud but small speaker for parties. The X-Mini II is slightly larger than the iHome speaker, but not much. I recommend the X-Mini II for listening to music, and it works really well with my netbook or with an mp3 player.
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2010
I just received this speaker and I love it! The color is great.Size wise the speaker is about half the size of a tennis ball, expanding it makes it a bit larger.Build quality is very nice.Sound quality is excellent for it's size, really it's quite amazing.It's loud and without sounding tinny or distorted.I use it with my DSlite, DSiXL, netbook and my Ipod Nano.Battery life is amazing!

My only minor quibble is that the cord is really short ( look at the customer submitted photos on the Black X-Mini II speaker) Also , you must remember to turn it off after use.

Overall, this is one of those rare items that you will love instantly.A nice treat for yourself.

***update***

Ive now had this about 8 months and use it daily and it still works great!
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2011
I bought my first X-Mini (Gen II) from another site. Impressed by the small body and good sound quality, I decided to buy another from Amazon in order to try the "daisy chain" effect. Unfortunately, the second speaker does not live up to my expectations. The second speaker, compared to the first, has the following poorer qualities: volume is about 50% less than the previous one, at all levels; sound quality is decreased - the bass is almost completely gone, and the treble is grainy. There are cosmetic differences that are also noticeable (although I am not sure whether they affect use): words are more difficult to read on the body - the raised letters don't rise as high, making distinguishing them from the body hard to do; plastic accordion body doesn't rise as high as the first speaker's; cords are about 30% thinner than those of the previous speaker. I have not owned either speaker long enough to attest to battery life.

A previous reviewer (the highest rated one at the moment) concluded that X-Mini must have started using poorer, cheaper methods to produce their speaker. However, both of my speakers are labeled "2nd generation," and I bought both within a few weeks of each other. Therefore, I speculate that the speaker I got from Amazon could be a fake, for the following reasons: 1. There are fewer trademarks on the body and in the information manual; 2. Text is replicated in the manual but with a different font (exception - no "please register" text in second manual!); 3. Poor audio quality is a known predictor of a fake audio product; I know of examples of legitimate goods being produced with cheaper materials but still resulting in fine audio quality. I am not ready to believe that X-Mini has ruined their otherwise attractive product so thoroughly as this. Until then, I advise Amazon buyers to steer clear of this product as sold on this site. I cannot tell who supplied it since Amazon was listed as the seller.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2011
See My video review.
I own several Idevices, including Ipad 2, Iphone 4, Ipod touch 4 and others. All play videos and music everyday continuously. The kids and wife like playing music and watching video on them. The speakers on all of them are decent in a quiet room, but most of the time they are insufficient. The X-Mini II and the SimplyVibe are 2 good options. The X-mini II is loud, covers bass sounds, and can become stereo when linked together. I have 2 of these and a SimplyVibe (also a good product), and I link them all together for sound that is better than the built in speakers in my HDTV. Not the surround sound speakers but the TV speakers. SimplyVibe is louder and crisper in song with out bass. The X-mini II is good for dance songs and rumbling movies. the 2 x-mini II's linked together sounds awesome, but when you add the SimplyVibe...Magnificant!

Both are portable, but X-mini is more portable and stylish. I show that off more just because of the design of it. Overall the X-Mini II gets better marks. The size to quality ratio is greater. It's less expensive. There is more of a "wOW" factor with the X-mini II. If you had to choose, choose the X-mini II.
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