October 23, 2014

X-Mini KAI 2: Size doesn't matter

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Overall Score

4.56

Design

Sound

User Experience

Price

Pros: Portability, design, sound quality. Cons: Price is a little steep, but fair considering size, quality, features
X-Mini KAI 2: Size doesn’t matter Reviewed by on . Rating: 4.5

X-Mini’s motto is “sound beyond size” as they specialize in small speakers that are big on sound. This is the second X-Mini speaker I’ve had a chance to review. The X-Mini WE outperformed my wildest dreams. Will the KAI 2 do the same?

Despite its small and relatively light size, the KAI 2 comes loaded with features and improvements. One of the biggest improvements that the X-Mini team worked on was getting a ceramic driver in the speaker to make a great sounding speaker sound even better. This is something you can hear easily while compared to the previous version.

Besides being small, light, portable, and sounding great, the KAI 2 has another feature. Its also offers a built-in, noise-cancelling microphone for crystal clear phone conferencing. This is the ultimate Bluetooth speaker. It’s built for travel and sound quality but also allows you to take a conference call at the push of a button. I’m astonished by the quality and ease of use that this device offers.

Let’s take a look at the inner workings of X-Mini KAI 2:

Dimensions  : 62.0mm x 52.0mm
Net Weight  : 120g
Speaker  : Magnetically Shielded 40mm (3.3Ω)
Loudspeaker Output  : 2.5W
Frequency Response  : 20HZ-20kHz
Signal-to-Noise  : ≥89dB
Distortion  :≤0.3%
Playback Time  : Up to 18hrs
Battery Capacity  :550mAH
Battery Charge Time  : Minimum of 2.5 hrs

 

Bluetooth Specification
Operating Frequency Range  : 2.4GHz-2.48GHz
Wireless Range  : Up to 10m (33ft)
Bluetooth Compliant  : v3.0
Bluetooth Profile Support  : A2DP Stereo, AVRCP v1.0, HFP v1.5
Bluetooth Playback Time  : Up to 10hrs
Talk time  : Up to 12hrs
Microphone Directivity  : Omnidirectional
Microphone Sensitivity: -42db

The Bluetooth specs are something I would like to talk about. While the specs themselves are more or less standard for this type of device, one thing that I found amazing was that the Bluetooth Playback Time was up to 10 hours. After my testing of the speaker, I was able to get about 9 hours and 20 minutes on a full charge with the volume completely up. If you are using the device strictly for calling, it offers a talk time of up to 12 hours.

As mentioned before, the size of this device is incredible for all that it offers. To show the size comparison, I have a regular AA battery displayed next to the speaker. I am showing two pictures, one while the device is open and the other is when the device is clamped down in its portability mode.

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So the stats and specs are great on this device, but how does it fare up? After extensive use of the speaker to listen to music and movies as well as using it for conference calls, I have to admit the speaker was phenomenal. I was able to hear people easily and they were able to hear me. They said there was no static in the line and the “speakerphone” effect was minimal. I will admit, the volume on this device did not go quite as loud as I would have liked, I do believe that the X-Mini was louder but I speculate that this is because it has the calling features and the built in microphone that probably regulates how loud the device can go to maintain quality.

Now it comes time for the fun part. The sound quality for entertainment purposes. I’ve tested this speaker with music and movies. While I was jamming out to some Aerosmith, you could hear the rich bass sounds of Tom Hamilton’s bass intro to Sweet Emotion almost making me forget that the song was 38 years old. Our Nexus 7 has the unfortunate problem that it does not like to play Toy Story for my daughter at full volume. We have to use a bluetooth speaker so that she can hear it. My 18 month old daughter Liv put the speaker to the ultimate test. Toy Story 1, 2, and 3 in a five day period. Even though she is too young to notice the difference in sound quality, her father did. We could finally feel the emotion coming from Woody and Buzz as they wandered around on their journey’s during the movie. The speaker was more than an adequate replacement to the standard speakers and truth-be-told, I do not think we’ll be watching another movie on our tablet if we are not using the X-Mini KAI-2.

In closing, this device isn’t cheap. It is a mid-level priced device that rivals high-end bluetooth headsets. It is unique in that it gives users the added feature of a excellent quality bluetooth speakerphone to a device that was created to play jams. The design and functionality of this speaker is superb and I am more than impressed with it after using it for a full week. I really enjoyed my time with this device and if you are in the market for a speakerphone and something that can rock some times, then I highly recommend taking a look at this device. You can pick it up from Amazon for only $59.99.