Here’s how my tests went on this minimalist design device that promises to give a hard time to many products that have a low cost but lower quality. For sale on Amazon.co.uk.
Xiaomi has accustomed us to surprising products for design, features and price and the new Xiaomi Mi Bluetooth Speaker 2, makes no exception to this rule. Let’s start from here to introduce this mini review of the speaker just presented (the announcement is a few days ago) from the Chinese company, because this was the first thing we thought when we opened the box, minimalist, which brought us at home the accessory, and this is also the conclusion we reached at the end of the test.
Let’s talk about minimalism, because this is the very essence of this device starting, in fact, from the packaging: white with small silver-colored dots. No written, no trademark. Only on the bottom there are some written in Chinese. Nowhere is the word Xiaomi, but the package brings to mind the Chinese producer. And from here could start a speech that would lead us to discuss the ability of the Asian company to build an iconic image, but it is a different story that has nothing to do with the review …
Xiaomi Mi Bluetooth Speaker 2 how it’s done
Once opened the box and eliminated the useless, both because in Chinese, and because the operation of the device will immediately be intuitive, manual, here we see the speaker. A cylinder 12 cm in height and in circumference and five centimeters in diameter, made of plastic and aluminum, with a small part, which covers the speaker, in fabric. Aesthetically it represents an evolution of the previous model (reviewed here), it has the same shape, but it is totally different in size and also in concept. The former was made of aluminum, this is predominantly made of plastic, that was a sort of “pastille”, this is stretched.
Despite the prevalence of synthetic materials, quality is immediately perceived as high. The plastic, white in our case but the accessory is also in black, is satin and opaque, very pleasant to the touch. The anodised aluminum surrounding the top of the loudspeaker is a unique piece, partly opaque and partly polished, worked to give a nice stylistic effect but also with a functional purpose: it controls the volume adjustment. By turning it, as a small light gray writing on the cylinder says, on one side or the other, the speaker’s voice will rise or fall. At the top, as mentioned, we also find a cloth disc that covers the single speaker that is below. All the upper part also serves to pause or play the songs, or to answer a call.
This ring eliminates the main problem of the previous model which, despite having a comparable constructive quality, due to the excessive minimalist effort had the keys located below the lower part. The result was that to change the song, it was necessary to raise the speaker.
The operation of the system in version 2 of the speaker is very simple. Just press the part of the speaker where there is, in fact, the fabric to turn it on. Holding it down activates the Bluetooth search. A voice tells us (in Chinese) that the device is paired. Also the name of the device in the list of those connected in Bluetooth is in Chinese. A blue LED flashing on the Xiaomi loudspeaker signals the connection status: fast flashing means device search, slow flashing, connected. The LED lights red when it is turning off or when the battery (definitely long lasting, the producer speaks of 7 hours, we have used it for about six after having loaded it with no signs of failure) is unloaded. When we want to change the song or pause, just press the upper part.
The sound of the Xiaomi Bluetooth Speaker
But if already aesthetically the quality of the device appears very high, at least in relation to the price of the product, it is the sound quality that surprises most. Turning the aluminum wheel (very progressive) we will have a powerful voice at the right point, very well calibrated, enough for the purpose that the speaker aims, to be a personal device to use on the desk or a bedside table in the bedroom. This is a merit because some competing products tend to move power upwards, without caring for quality. On the other hand, in the case of the Xiami loudspeaker, the sound quality is very high and even at the most distorts very little.
Obviously we can not compare it to products that cost ten times more, but the comparison with even significantly more expensive devices is winning. For example, the deepest bass, such as Can You Hear Me, It Is Not Hard To Tell, Silent Shout, while not making the table vibrate; the medium-low and medium, which are the most frequent tones in casual listening music, have a very good performance as we can see from a tour with Jitterboogie by Michael Edges and Rivers & Sticks by Oakhurst. We have no boxed effect (which would not be surprising, given the size of the device), but discreetly round notes and an unexpected warmth and a perceptible agility in passing from the acute notes to the low ones. Good, perhaps excellent if we take into account that we are talking about a product of about thirty euros, the definition, as we can perceive from Axel F of Harold Faltermeyer.
But the impression is that this little object of Xiaomi is the perfect speaker for ambient music or those where the human voice plays an important role. At least this is the idea that we have obtained by hearing Girasole, Giorgia, Spunta la Luna dal Monte, by Bertoli and the Tazenda, The Words (which I have never told you) by Ron and Orinoco Flow by Enia. With this last song we have also been able to appreciate the ability to reproduce a spatial sound, on a cone much larger than that which should allow the dimensions.
We also did some tests as a speakerphone, using it to make phone calls. This will certainly not be the main purpose for which you will buy this accessory, but the functionality is excellent. The sound of the voice that comes from our interlocutor is powerful and clear, ours will be very good up to a couple of meters away.
Overall, therefore, a high quality product, excellent in relation to price. It is worth mentioning for the ambitious and carefully treated materials, a state-of-the-art assembly and a minimalist but very pleasant design. Musically, the sound output is superior to that of other competing products for spatiality and definition. From this point of view it is the perfect product to put next to the computer, for a personal playlist or a podcast or in the bedroom to accompany sleep. If you are looking for a speaker that can give some satisfaction, spending the minimum possible, it might be difficult to find something better than the Xiaomi Mi Bluetooth Speaker 2.