GadgeTell Review: X-Mini KAI Bluetooth Speaker

Sections: Audio, Speakers

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X-Mini KAI Bluetooth Speaker

Looking for a portable, small-sized speaker with enough sound to still party to? Look no further because the X-mini KAI Bluetooth speaker has arrived.

X-mi, a Singapore-based company, has produced a whole line of small, portable speakers since their debut in 2006. With the arrival of their new X-mini KAI, the company definitely lives up to its slogan, “Sound Beyond Size.” A speaker that can rest in the palm of your hand and still blast your favorite tunes? Sounds good to me.

Packaging and Design

When I was first handed the X-mini KAI to review, I was immediately impressed with its sleek, simple design and miniature size.

The speaker is packaged in a nifty plastic cube that slides easily out of a black paper sleeve. The cube can also double as a a case for storage. The base component comes with a small cloth micro-fiber carrying case. I prefer to keep the KAI in the cloth case; it easily fits in my purse, my gym bag, and my brief case without the bulk of the cube. Included in the base is a small set of instructions; their only drawback is that the print is pretty tiny, but there are illustrations to follow. While the KAI does not come with a wall charger, it does have a 3 jack charger (1 for a speaker’s unit, 1 for a USB port, and 1 for a headphone jack).

The KAI itself looks pretty similar to the rest of the X-mini models. When compressed, the KAI almost looks and feels like a hard-shell hacky sack. It easily opens up via its accordion neck, which is the best position for the most sound. It has a familiar 40mm magnetically-shielded speaker cover and matte-black color. Its base differs though, with a jog dial that allows you to switch tracks, play, and pause music. There is also a small LED light that registers the charge, which takes around 2 hours, but offers about 8 hours of playback time. The most important part of its base, however, is its 3.5mm Buddy Jack port that allows you to dongle to other X-mini speakers for added sound.

Set up and Sound

The KAI is super easy to set up, and it works with laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. I tested mine on a MacBook Air, an iPhone 4, and an Android Charge. To get your bluetooth working, simply switch the power button to bluetooth (located on the side of the KAI’s base); make sure you do this first before turning on your device’s bluetooth. There’s no button holding or pairing codes needed. I love the KAI’s bluetooth capability; it means I don’t need to use my device to change things or worry about carrying extra wires around.

The sound is what you would expect from a speaker this size. You aren’t going to be able to turn your large basement into a dance club, but a smaller basement, bedroom, or office will be fine. I recommend  placing the KAI on a hard surface, next to a wall or in a corner to pump up the bass. The KAI sounds amazing for such a tiny speaker, but don’t expect the same bass lines you would get from a home stereo system.

The KAI also has the capability of teleconferencing, which I tested briefly. The call quality was good.  I could hear the other person pretty well, as long as I stayed within fairly close range of the speaker.

Final Verdict

The X-mini KAI is a great buy if you are interested in portability. Its packaging and design is excellent, as well as its ease of use. The sound is good, and is what you’d expect from such a tiny speaker.

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