It was a little less than a year ago that I reviewed the Minirig MRBT-2 speaker. I gave it high marks mostly for its sound. Minirig has now released the new Minirig Mini Bluetooth speaker, and this one is even smaller than the MRBT-2 for better portability. But does small in physical size mean that the sound will suffer? Has Minirig found a way to pack the same punch of the original into the new Mini? Read on for the full review of the Minirig Mini Bluetooth speaker to find out.
- Dimensions: 84mm x 53mm (3.3″ x 2″)
- Weight: 314g (11oz)
- Driver: Custom 52mm with neodymium motor system
- Frequency response: 70-16000Hz
- Max volume battery life: 3 hours
- Average battery life: 10 hours
- Low volume battery life: 30 hours
- Input power: USB
- Bluetooth: 4.2 with aptX, AAC and wireless stereo
- Bluetooth range: >10-30 meters line-of-sight
- Charge time: 2-3 hours
- Audio input/output: 2 x 3.5mm mini-jack socket
- Weatherproofing: Splash resistant
- App: IOS (future release) and Android
What’s In The Box
- Minirig Mini
- USB charging cord
- 3.5mm aux audio cable
The new Minirig Mini Bluetooth speaker looks identical to its big brother in all but size. It has the same rugged, industrial design and feel of the original. Being made of the same anodized aluminum gives the Mini the same quality feel as well. It also has black polycarbonate ring around the speaker mesh on the top of the speaker. The power/battery indicator light sits on this ring along with four exposed hex bolts. There are two aux sockets, one for high gain and the other for low gain. These can also be used to connect more than one Minirig Mini and even a Minirig subwoofer.
There are a total of 8 different colors from which to choose which include brushed aluminum, black, silver, blue, magenta, red, green, and gold. The speaker mesh matches the body color which is a very nice touch. There is also a rubber base that keeps the Mini from slipping around. Exposed hex bolts on the top lend to the industrial look of the Mini as well. The Mini is about 1/2 the size of a standard 12 ounce can of soda in height, and just a little bigger round.
Ease Of Use
Pairing on modern devices is always very easy these days. Minirig has made things even easier by getting rid of pairing mode altogether. When the Minirig Mini is on, it’s always available for pairing as long as two devices are not already connected to it.
The single button on the top of the unit controls power, gain, and is also a battery level indicator. Turn the speaker on by pressing the button for 2 seconds, press again for 2 seconds to turn it off. While the speaker is on you can do a short press of the button to switch from low gain to high gain. The button also houses a colored light, which changes color to indicate current battery level. Green is 75-100%, cyan is 50-75%, blue is 25-50%, purple is 5-25% and red is 0%. You can check the battery level when the MRBT-2 is off by quickly pressing the button.
The Minirig Mini Bluetooth speaker may be small, but it cranks out some big sound. This little speaker gets very, very loud! Using my decibel meter, I measured max decibel output at 103.7 dB with the meter being held one foot above the speaker. I wore hearing protection to test decibel output. Even with the volume turned up to 100% there was no distortion, this would be a great speaker to have at a picnic or the beach.
So we know the Minirig Mini Bluetooth speaker gets loud, now let’s talk about the quality of that sound. Remember, this is a tiny little speaker that fits (uncomfortably) in your pocket. With that in mind, I’m afraid the sound is not as full as it would be in a larger speaker. The bass is weak, and the mids are a bit muddy. You can plug in a Minirig subwoofer to help, but that would entail spending another $183.53USD on top of the $141.10USD you just spent on the Mini. Highs sound good, but the problem is that all this sound coming from this tiny little speaker tends to blend together, most especially at high volumes. Now that is comparing it to a larger speaker that is not as easily transportable as the Mini. The Mini does have good sound when you consider its size. You can’t really expect to have perfect sound coming from one small speaker after all. The main reason to buy the Mini would be its portability; the trade-off is sound that is a bit lacking.
The Minirig Mini Bluetooth speaker has an included app that currently is available for Android. An iOS version will be available at a later date. I had to borrow an Android phone to test the app, so my time with it was limited. To start, you must pair the app with the speaker by selecting your speaker from the list within the app. The app has an equalizer that helps a bit with the bass response of the speaker. You can also play your music directly from the app and connect with music services such as Spotify.
Calls on the Minirig Mini Bluetooth speaker sounded very good on my end, the person I called said that I sounded high pitched and mechanical, but they could understand me. Reception remained good, with line of sight to the music source, within my home.
I tested the battery life of the Minirig Mini Bluetooth speaker at high gain with the volume set to 50% and the music source never more than 5 feet away. I was able to get 11 hours and 14 minutes of play time before the battery gave out.
The Minirig Mini Bluetooth speaker is available from Minirig for $141.10USD. This isn’t a bad price if your main concern is speaker volume and portability. If you are looking for a well-rounded sound though, you may think the price is too high. The Mini gets loud for sure, but its size means that it lacks bass response.
The Minirig Mini Bluetooth speaker is a great option for when you need to take your music with you but don’t want to haul around a large speaker. It weighs very little, gives you different connection options, is expandable and has a huge sound. Yeah, the sound is not top notch, but if you need the portability that this speaker offers, it may well be worth the trade-off.