Last Christmas, I decided to ‘crowdsource’ my wishlist. As a well-settled man in my late 30s, there wasn’t much (in the price range!) that I really wanted; so I decided to look down the various Amazon bestseller lists, and choose anything with even a modicum of appeal at the £10-20 mark. I ended up with a list of things I’d probably never have chosen. But by and large, they’ve been excellent.
One item was the XMI X-mini II audio speaker. It’s about the size of a tangerine, with a standard 3.5mm audio jack and a mini-USB socket for recharging the internal battery. And when you unscrew its two halves, it opens up concertina-style into a speaker with a surprising amount of welly.
I wasn’t sure how I’d find myself ever using it. But it’s proving useful in all sorts of circumstances: be it plugging into the iPod Touch for some bedtime podcast listening, or following live TV in the kitchen via the BeebPlayer Android app, or – most useful of all – plugged into a secondary PC in the office, allowing me to listen to streamed audio/video coverage of the week’s political developments.
The Amazon write-up promises 11 hours of playback: if anything, I’d say it feels like longer. I’ve only had to recharge mine a couple of times in the past few months – although of course, I’m not using it continuously 24/7. And besides, it seems to charge up very quickly.
For £14, I have no hesitation in recommending it very, very highly. You might not think you’ve got a use for it: but I bet you find one. Or several.