Audio review

X-Mini Infiniti review: Bluetooth speakers with heavy-duty sound

One X-Mini Infiniti speaker alone can fill a room with a pretty impressive soundscape and crank up to ear-splitting loudness, should you so desire. A pair will create a stereo experience and open up the soundstage.
One X-Mini Infiniti speaker alone can fill a room with a pretty impressive soundscape and crank up to ear-splitting loudness, should you so desire. A pair will create a stereo experience and open up the soundstage.PHOTO: X-MINI

The first impression of portable Bluetooth speakers is that they are small and easy to carry.

Which is why the most innovative speaker from home-grown audio firm Xmi, the X-Mini Infiniti, has a bit of an identity crisis.

The 60cm cylindrical speaker is fully battery-powered and can go for 4hr on a full charge. But it's also a handsome speaker that wouldn't look out of place in the living room.

Xmi has long been known for its affordable and exceedingly portable Bluetooth speakers. The Infiniti is a radical departure from this philosophy, being speakers that are best suited for moving around the house or within a room, rather than carrying them about casually.

It's easily a unique speaker in the latest X-Mini series, which includes more traditional portable speakers such as the Click 2, Xoundbar, Kai and Supa speakers.

The Infiniti, which is about the height of a small stool, houses a 360-degree, four-driver speaker system that radiates a sphere of sound from the top, while a subwoofer resounds from its base.

At 4kg, you won't be lugging it around easily, but it is fine for whipping out for indoor parties or taken down to the condominium pool.

One speaker alone is enough to fill a room with a pretty impressive soundscape, with the ability to crank up to ear-splitting loudness should you so desire.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $569.90

    DIMENSIONS: 14.3 x 60cm

    WEIGHT: 4kg

    DRIVERS: 2 x 64mm front speakers, 2 x 38mm rear speakers, 127mm subwoofer

    FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 20Hz - 18kHz

    BATTERY CAPACITY: 10,000mAh


    RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 5/5

    PERFORMANCE: 5/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

Shelling out the dough for two Infiniti speakers allows them to automatically pair with each other, creating a stereo experience and opening up the soundstage.

There was a slight, disconcerting pop whenever I connected my device via Bluetooth to the speaker, but the sound is smooth and distortion-free after setup. I was also a bit confused as to why the volume-up button falls below the volume-down one - which is rather counter-intuitive - but that's a minor point against its otherwise modern and chic design.

For speakers of its size, the Infiniti pumps out exceptional bass that matches what a dedicated subwoofer can do, with impactful and resounding sub-bass even from a distance.

It's exceedingly versatile too, with a great balance between the mid-range and treble tones. It shines across genres, from the Arcade Fire's disco-centric music to the soft, melodic guitar tones of Simon & Garfunkel.

The Infiniti comes only with two cables: a 3.5mm cable for input sources and a USB type-C cable for charging.

The biggest gripe I have about the Infiniti is its lack of an AC adapter. This means you have to find your own USB port to charge the speaker - either a laptop, computer, or your own USB AC adapter.

The lack of a basic accessory is the biggest sour point of an otherwise-great product. Phone manufacturers provide an AC adapter to go along with their USB cables as they don't assume users have access to a laptop or USB port for charging. Why should these speakers be any different?

This also limits the Infiniti's use. With speakers that sound this good, I would want to use them all the time. And not just for music, either, but hooked up to a TV set in place of bookshelf speakers.

The option to leave them wired and running right out from the box, without my needing to source my own power adapter, would have been great.

• Verdict: The Infiniti wins with its sleek, chic design, and impressive, atmospheric sound quality. It truly shines when used in a pair, but at $569.90 a pop, it can be a pricey audio option. The lack of an AC adapter is also an annoying exclusion.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 02, 2017, with the headline 'Bluetooth speakers with heavy-duty sound'. Print Edition | Subscribe