Pasce Minirig micro speaker
Accessory of the Week
British audio engineering firm Pasce has made such a big splash with its Minirig speakers that it had to stop taking orders for a while to replenish its stocks. It tells me that they’re available to buy again now, so I took a pair for a spin.
The speakers are sold individually, intended to be used with portable devices such as cellphones. To that end they have a re-chargeable battery and connect using a standard 3.5mm audio jack.
You can, however, daisychain them, or if you want to listen in stereo, connect your device to two speakers with the supplied audio splitter cable. The Minirig is made from brushed aluminium and polycarbonite and is both tough and stylish.
The lithium polymer battery is good for 50 hours' playback on low volume, or nine hours at full blast, both from an eight-hour charge. An LED on top of each speaker gradually dims as the battery discharges.
The audio from the built-in 15W amp is loud. Very loud. It’s remarkable to hear such volume from a tiny speaker. It’s not all about volume though, and the Minirig does itself proud when it comes to fidelity. It avoids the temptation to overdo the bass - if anything there’s a little to much emphasis on the treble frequencies.
There’s plenty of detail though. The intro Nirvana’s The Man Who Sold the World sounded fantastic, guitars scything through the air and snares snapping in behind. Plan B’s She Said was beautifully balanced, and though Richard Hawley’s Coles Corner lacked a little warmth, it was big and full-bodied.
This is the ideal all-round speaker for listening in the garden, on a picnic, or at the beach. ®
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So does anyone know how these compare to the far cheaper X-Mini range of speakers (£15 each at Amazon)? I have two of those and the sound they pump out is astonishing for such tiny little things.
Hey thanks for the comments and interest. I'll just clear up some of your questions:
@Jai - The input impedance is high so in theory you could daisy chain a thousand. You might see some strange antenna effects, I don't think we will ever found out. The most we have done is 22 so far. That was fun!
@thomas k - yes I was hoping reg would take some photos. There are other reviews which show size reference. It fits in the palm of your hand if you hold it by the base.
@Jim 59 - I don't think there were ever any claims that it "sounds just like big ones" but the technology has moved on a lot since 1973. We believe its certainly the biggest sound you can currently get from a speaker this size.
@Jamie Kitson - It pulls 500ma from the USB so as not to overload your ports. It will always take a while to charge due to the large battery inside. You can actually charge it from 8V if you want a faster charge
@Oddb0d - Polycarbonite may indeed be used in Star Wars, polycarbonate is used in the Minirig.
@Random Coolzip - bigger speakers will indeed produce more bass. It's simple science. It's just whatever you feel comfortable carrying round.
Sorry for the skepticism
Companies with fancy sounding names have been selling small speakers that "sound just like big ones" since 1973. They *all* sound like small speakers.
I wish when El Reg ran reviews of items variously described as tiny, small, diminutive, etc. that they would include in the obligatory product photo something like a cigarette pack or a deck of cards which can show the comparative size of the reviewed item.
Re: "Avoides temptation to overdo the bass"?
Presumably the reveiwer means the amp doesn't run out of steam at high volume, you know how most cruddy plastic speakers with dirt cheap op-amps tend to do. From the website, "An in-built digital amplifier provides a massive 15 WATTS of raw power", that pretty much confirms you're correct, plus according to the guy that makes them "There's also a built in clip limiter and compressor."
I've no idea what polycarbonite is though... maybe Han Solo knows ;)
@Jamie Kitson: Although it's supplied with a USB cable any 5V DC plug pack with a 2.1mm barrel plug can be used to charge it from mains.