X-mini RAVE full review

This attractive little capsule speaker should be a tempting buy for iPhone and iPod owners. It kicks out decent audio for its size, and is ideal for scenarios where you haven’t got access to a full-scale music system.

The RAVE (recently rebranded from ‘Wave’) looks like a hockey puck when stored. But give it a twist and you expose the concertina structure within. It’s a cute, portable design. (A basic carry bag is included.)

Portability is helped by the integration of the audio cable into the base. There’s a longer, detachable USB cable as well, which is required for charging; X-mini claims the battery should last up to six hours after a two-hour charge.

Audio quality was decent, with respectable bass punch and a pleasingly warm sound. The RAVE justified its higher price tag by outperforming the Scosche in most areas – it was less artificial sounding throughout our tests, and punchy disco tracks were noticeably stronger on this speaker.

The RAVE has a neat opening mechanism

However, while it’s clearly capable of producing high volumes (the packaging warns that it is “unbelievably loud”), we felt the quality suffered when we pushed the envelope. This is probably to be expected from such a small unit, but the Scosche seemed marginally more comfortable when going big on volume.

There’s a built-in FM radio, which can be controlled using + and – keys and a small blue display that can be quite hard to read. The sound quality of the radio seemed pretty sharp, and it’s a nice extra.

And here’s one more clever feature: you can link multiple units together, thanks to the integrated cable and audio input. We only had one Rave sample unit, but we were able to run the Scosche and X-mini off the same audio source thanks to the X-mini’s clever feature.

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