Playing with the X-Minimax Portable Speakers..
While we were doing the Gear65 review for the X-Minimax, I thought I would try to do an audio review of the X-Minimax and compare the sound with another pair of speakers.. So I did a face-off between the X-Mini-max and a pair of Altec Lansing I use as my standard speakers.
Here is the setup.
On my desk, I have setup the 2.1 Altec Lansing 121i. The two speakers right in front, seperated by ~30cms, and the sub-woofer on the side. The EQ was set to the values I generally use for listening, with both Bass and Trebel set to the middle. I placed the X-Minimax on top the Altec Lansing speakers during the test.
I was using my MacBook as the audio source with my output volume set to 50% in the OS X System Prefences.
I placed my Zoom H4, in the center between the two speakers, and ~30 in front. It was pointed directly at the speakers and had it’s sensitivity set to Medium, using the builtin condenser microphones for capturing the sound.
I recorded the following things with this setup.
1. I played back the start of episode 108 of 65Bits through the two speakers and recorded them using the H4.
2. I played back start of the track El Campo by Derek K. Miller through the two speakers and recorded them using the H4.
3. I played back another section of the track El Campo by Derek K. Miller through the X-Minimax, with the volume in OSX set to 90% and recorded it using the H4. This was to test the distortion at high volume on the X-Minimax.
All were compressed as MP3 at 320kbps using LAME.
In conclusion, the X-Minimax does much better than expected compared to the Altec Lansing 121is. The low frequencies are obviously missing, but that’s comparing a Sub Woofer with the X-Minimaxs. But you can see the high end and the clarity captured very well by the X-Minimax. The stereophonic image helps a lot in that. Also you can see that even with the output is very high, the X-minimax doesn’t distort even a little bit.
Overall, I wouldn’t say that the X-Minimax is a replacement for your desktop speakers, or anything close to a great pair of headphones. But if you are someone who travels a lot, and would like to share your audio with people around you (with their consent ofcourse), or just listen without headphone, this is a great piece of gear. The power and quality it offers at this size and portability is really amazing.
Having said all this I will encourage everyone to not blast out your favourite tunes on these guys, just because they don’t distort, such that everyone in MRT or Bus can hear you!!! It’s your music, and we’d prefer if you keep it to yourself.
Also, do check out Episode 12 of Gear65 where we do a video review of the X-Minimax.