XMI X-Mini KAI portable bluetooth speaker for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch [Review]

by Zaib Ali on April 16, 2012

We recently reviewed XMI’s X-Mini II Capsule speakers, and in our post we mentioned that although they are among the top best portable speakers available in the market, the only thing they lack is the ability to connect to music players wirelessly. Now we have another portable speaker to review for you that is made by the same company that makes X-Mini II’s. X-Mini KAI looks almost identical to X-Mini II speaker, but it is very much different features wise as it sports wireless bluetooth connectivity alongside the usual 3.5mm audio jack and other cool features that X-Mini II lacks. It is also slightly bigger in size than the X-Mini II and produces somewhat better sound. Read on for our complete review of X-Mini KAI by XMI for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

Features

 

Though it is really small in size, X-Mini KAI speaker is full of features that one can dream of. The most important one is it’s bluetooth connectivity, that allows users to enjoy their music without the need of carrying the speaker in their hands while using their device. It features bluetooth version 2.1+ EDR. The bluetooth connectivity feature of X-Mini KAI makes it a must have for iOS device owners because they can browse the web, play games, do work and more while wirelessly enjoying their music loud. Another awesome feature of X-Mini KAI is that it features a microphone, that allows users to wirelessly connect their mobile phones with it and use it for teleconferencing. Simply connect it with your phone and dial a number, and talk with anyone on the phone, listen and reply using the X-Mini KAI.

X-Mini KAI also features built-in audio controls that allow users to Pause/Play, Volume up/down, and Change songs with Previous/Next button. X-Mini KAI would be full of buttons you might think, well that’s not the case as all of these functions can be performed with a single multi-functional button. Here’s how this works

  • Press the button to Pause and press again to Play.
  • Slide it towards left to go to the previous song, or slide to right to go to the next song on the playlist.
  • Slide towards left and hold for a few seconds to reduce the volume, slide and hold towards right to increase the volume.
  • In hands-free mode user can start or terminate a call by pressing the play/pause button.


The Mute Button

Another very useful feature of X-Mini KAI is it’s built-in mute button. Simply press the button to mute the volume of the playing music and press it again to turn the sound on. This mute button becomes very handy when you don’t have the device in your hand and you want to turn the sound off for whatever reason.

Wired connectivity (Just in case)

For most people, the main attraction of X-Mini KAI would be it’s ability to connect with devices wirelessly via bluetooth and play songs for hours. But a very nice and widely undiscussed feature of this speaker is it’s ability to connect with devices through it’s wire that has a 3.5mm audio jack on it. Having wired connectivity not only allows X-Mini KAI to connect with a wide-range of devices that lack wireless bluetooth connectivity, but it also allows longer battery life.

Other small but useful features

As i have said, X-Mini KAI is full with small features that you might not expect from such a small device. It has a blue LED light that notifies users that the device is turned on. It turns dimmer when battery runs low. This light when connected to power turns red while the device is charging and returns to it’s original blue color when the charge is full.

X-Mini KAI also produces beeps at certain occasions to notify users about the dying battery, while searching for bluetooth devices, and when it has established connection with one.

Portability

 

This is the feature anyone would buy X-Mini speakers for, and X-Mini comes well on the criteria of being an ultra-portable speaker. X-Mini KAI is so portable that you can carry it around in your pocket, bag, or purse as you like. It does not takes up much space and only weighs 95.2g. Just like the X-Mini II speaker, X-Mini KAI becomes really small when not in use thanks to it’s unique design. When not in use, users can simply press the upper portion of the speaker and turn it clockwise to close and anti-clockwise to open.

Compatibility

 

As i have mentioned above, X-Mini KAI is literally compatible with every digital music playing device. You can connect it via bluetooth to a mobile device as well as those without bluetooth connectivity thanks to it’s 3.5mm audio cable. Here’s a rough list of devices you can connect X-Mini KAI with

  • iPhone and other smartphones
  • iPod touch, other iPod models, and Mp3 Players
  • iPad and other tablets
  • Macbook, other laptops, PCs and many more.

Battery and it’s life

 

X-Mini KAI features a built-in rechargeable 550mAh battery that is capable of playing hours of music upon a single charge. X-Mini KAI comes with a charging cable that doubles as an audio extension. Users can simply connect that charging cable with X-Mini KAI’s miniUSB port and connect the USB charging cable with their PC or with their iPhone’s wall charger.

Battery on X-Mini KAI charges to full in 3 hours and provides 8 hours of playback time with audio cable, 4 hours playback with bluetooth connection, and 8 hour talk time when used for teleconferencing.

Sound quality, Bass, and Volume

 

This is the most important aspect of a speaker, if a speaker is lacking in this department then it is definitely not worth buying. Fortunately X-Mini KAI does features great sound quality and provides music lovers with adequate amount of volume, quality, and bass. X-Mini KAI speakers are amazingly loud given their small size. The bass amazes every one too, though it does not bounces like X-Mini II because of it’s larger weight.

As i have already said, the sound quality is simply awesome, the speaker does not produce any distortion even when the volume is kept high and handles the bass quite nicely. To get the best results, I would recommend placing the speaker on a wooden table near a wall.

Buddy Jack Feature

 

If you have got more than one X-Mini speaker, no matter what model, you can hook them up with each other and create a daisy chain of speakers. Connecting X-Minis with each other is extremely simple, just connect one X-Mini with a music device, and then hook the other one’s  audio cable in the audio jack of the first one. Repeat this until you run out of X-Minis and enjoy high quality and extremely loud sound.

Specs

 

Specs for X-Mini KAI speakers are as following

  • Dimensions: 50.0mm X 62.0mm (closed resonator)
  • Weight: 95.2g
  • Speaker: Magnetically Shielded 40mm (4Ω)
  • Loudspeaker Output: 2.5W
  • Frequency Response: 100 Hz – 18 kHz
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: ≥89dB
  • Distortion: ≤0.3%
  • Playback Time: Up to 8 hours
  • Battery Capacity: 550mAh
  • Battery Voltage: 3.7V
  • Battery Charge Time: At least 2.5 hours
  • Operating Frequency Range: 2.4GHz – 2.48GHz
  • Wireless Range: Up to 10 metres/33 feet
  • Bluetooth Compliant: v2.1 + EDR
  • Bluetooth Profile support: A2DP Stereo
  • Bluetooth Playback time: Up to 4 hours
  • Talk Time: Up to 8 hours
  • Microphone Sensitivity: -34db

Package contents

 

Unfortunately the box of my review unit was already broken when it arrived (thank you FedEx) so i cannot show you guys how the X-Mini KAI looks like inside the box or record an unboxing video for you. But believe me it came inside a very beautiful transparent packaging and had the following items in it.

  • X-Mini KAI speakers
  • Charging cable (that doubles as an audio cable extension)
  • Pouch
  • Manual

Price

 

X-Mini KAI speakers are available for purchase at a number of online retailers. You can also buy them from XMI’s official site that is selling it for 139 Singapore dollars 111 US dollars approx.) here. Also don’t forget to visit X-Mini’s official site to get more info about the X-Mini KAI and other X-Mini models here.

Pros

 

  • Wirelessly and wired connectivity
  • Ultra Portable and unique design
  • Great Sound quality and Bass
  • Long Battery life
  • Connects to a wide range of devices
  • Buddy Jack: Allows users to connect a series of X-Mini speakers and play them all at once.
  • Built-in audio controls

Cons

 

  • High price point

 

Final Verdict

 

I have been using the X-Mini KAI speakers for more than a week and honestly i am in love with it. I own an X-Mini II speaker too so whenever i want to listen to music, i hook both of them and enjoy my collection of music through my iOS device. Although X-Mini KAI speaker is a bit expensive it is definitely worth the money and i honestly recommend it to anyone looking for a nice looking, easy to carry speakers that provide good sound quality.

Gallery

 

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  • Joe740

    I have got these and love them.

  • Hughchi

    The Bluetooth connection worked once only with my iPhone 4S and since then always says Connection Failed. So it’s a good thing it comes with a mini-jack. I wrote to customer service to enquire about the Bluetooth problem but they never replied. And to tell you the truth, I find the sound rather tinny. My conclusion: save your money. There’s better quality out there at lower prices from companies that care about their customers.

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