One of the best compact Bluetooth speakers there is just got even smaller
The original Minirig caused something of a stir when it arrived on the scene back in 2015. Here, at last, was a compact, portable Bluetooth speaker that actually sounded good and that didn't, for once, have all the low-end grunt of Joe Pasquale in too-tight spandex trousers. Now, fresh for 2018 comes an even smaller version, the Minirig Mini.
The first thing you'll notice about the Minirig Mini, if you see one in the flesh, is that it's not actually that much smaller than the original. The current Minirig 2 model stands 73mm tall and measures 101.6mm across; the new Mini is 53mm high and 84mm across. That's not a huge drop, but even this small reduction does make it more portable: I found I could easily slip it into my back jeans pocket, and of course the correspondingly lower weight (314g instead of 488g) won't go unappreciated if you're packing for a festival or camping trip.
It's also some £30 cheaper, at £99.95 to the Minirig 2's £129.95. The battery life has shrunk, too, from 15 hours (max volume)/80 hours (low volume) to just 10/30 hours, though on the plus side this means charging time has been reduced from nine hours to just three.
Can it kick it? Yes it can…
So much for the practicalities... what does it actually sound like? Great, is the answer to that! The original Minirig was undoubtedly one of the best-sounding Bluetooth speakers I've heard, and its new baby sister will do nothing to harm the company's reputation. It's got the same 70Hz-16kHz frequency response as the original model, and the same 15W power output. While that might not sound like a lot, this is one speaker where you're definitely not going to be frustrated by a lack of volume: the Mini proved it could more than adequately fill any standard-sized room with crisp and, crucially, meaty sound. And if it's still not loud enough for you then, as with the original speaker, you can pair two Minis together, with the option of adding a matching sub. Oh yeah, and like the original it's available in a wide range of colours, too.
A friend of mine who's a D&B producer and tech-head extraordinaire recently replaced his living room system - a hulking behemoth of a 70s Denon amp and two bloody great PA speakers - with two Minirigs and the Minirig Sub. He's a man who understands sound quality, and Minirig's developers (whose own background famously lies in building full-sized soundsystems for festivals) had finally invented a miniature speaker that was good enough. He'll no doubt be kicking himself he didn't wait for the Mini now!
Any drawbacks? Only the one, which is that speakers in this sector increasingly tend to support streaming via both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and that extra flexibility wouldn't have gone amiss here. But Bluetooth will do just fine for most, and if you are looking to buy a portable Bluetooth speaker, you'll struggle to do better for under £100 than the Minirig Mini.
Words: Russell Deeks
Review score: 4.5/5
Power output: 15W
Frequency response: 70Hz-16kHz
Battery life: 30 hours (low volume) / 10 hours (standard use) / 3 hours (max volume)
Charging time: 2-3 hours
More info: Minirigs.co.uk