Xiaomi Bluetooth Speaker review: High on bass, low on price

first_imgXiaomi is like those little shops where you find some stupendous products at a bargain. Again and again. We better know the company for its phones and affordable powerbanks. But it is actually a firm that makes many more products, even if not all of them are available in India. But gradually it is bringing them here.Recently when it launched the Redmi Note 3, it also announced a small, compact Bluetooth speaker. And just like its other products, this one too has been aggressively priced. Sporting a tag of Rs 1,999, it is out to challenge the old-timers such as JBL and Sony in this price bracket.The Bluetooth speaker is the first from Xiaomi in India and it competes against the likes of JBL Go, JBL Clip, and Sony SRS-X11. The Sony speaker is pricier than the others in this category, which leads us to a sudden realisation — no big company actually has any good Bluetooth speaker in this range.This changes, up to an extent, with Xiaomi’s Bluetooth Speaker, which is called — rather boringly — Mi Bluetooth Speaker.The speaker is yet to reach the market, but we have a feeling that just like other Xiaomi accessories,  this too won’t stay in stock for very long. Reason: It’s darn good for its price!Design and build qualityTo put it in simple words, there is not much in the way of design in the Mi Speaker: it’s a very rectangular block of metal. Although, it does have a minimalistic aesthetics, something that will be appreciated by people who like their gadgets clean and simple. Encased in a full-metal body, the speaker is elegant. The perforated front reminds us of the LED equalizer displays from the old stereos. But this one doesn’t have those colourful lights going up and down with the beats.On the left of the speaker you will find a microUSB port and a port to connect an auxiliary cable for audio input and a microphone. All the controls are housed on the right side of the speaker, which includes the power, volume, and Bluetooth buttons. The Bluetooth button also lets you check the battery status.advertisementThe Mi speaker is a little over 6-inches long and about 2-inch high, so yes, it’s quite compact and can be kept in a jacket pocket (or pants pocket if you wear very loose pants or cargos). However, walking around with the speaker is not comfortable, because at 270 grams, it’s not exactly a lightweight device. The lack of a strap is also something that we didn’t like, as it leaves no other option but to keep the speaker on a flat surface. A strap would have also allowed a user to hang it over a car’s dashboard.Talking of places to put the speaker, the bottom part has two rubber strips that keep the speaker stable. The metal frame of the Mi Speaker is soft to touch. The finish is definitely nice. And all the buttons are sufficiently responsive.The speaker will be available in three colours: pink, gold, and blue in India. Although, the colour coating is susceptible so you will have to take care of the speaker. If you toss it in your car’s gloves compartment with keys and other things metal, it will get scratches.Overall, the Mi Bluetooth speaker looks better than its JBL competitors. Although, its design is very understated and sublime, which some users will like and some won’t.PerformanceIn short, the Mi Speaker is loud, bass-heavy, and sufficiently good for its price. Or in other words, it is a speaker that, when paired with a smartphone, justifies its Rs 1,999 price tag. Easily and handily.That said, now let’s dig a bit deeper.It may not be customary but we usually start testing a speaker with Metal songs at the highest volume possible. That, in the grand scheme of things, also turned out to be the area where the Mi Speaker struggles, especially at the higher volume. The problem is the bass, which a lot of consumers are going to find pleasant in different kind of music but in the Metal, it just overpowers everything on the Mi Speaker.But turn down the volume, switch to something else, say for example Pop songs, and you will start appreciating the Mi Speaker. The bass is still quite heavy, and it does drown treble and vocals, but it is the kind of bass that many people like.The Mi Speaker truly surprised us with the hip-hop and the dance beats, usually found in the Hindi Bollywood songs. It does a good job, handling all the beats with clear vocals. However, here too it is advisable to keep the volume on the lower side. Thankfully, the Mi Speaker gets very loud and hence it will be rare when you will feel the need to go to the maximum volume.advertisementIf you are an audiophile, you will not like to play anything at higher volumes on this speaker because as you increase the volume, the beats become flat. This means if you want to listen to Kashmir by Led Zeppelin, keep the volume somewhere in the middle.One issue that we faced while playing music on the Mi Speaker is that it vibrates a lot. Especially if you pump up the volume, the speaker vibrates so much that it makes noise, so you will have to be careful where you place it.Overall, we find the that Mi Speaker handles almost all genres of music well and offers good sound. It can also handle slow, mellow music efficiently. If you are thinking of putting in the middle of a party, go ahead, you won’t be disappointed, unless the people in party are audiophiles and their idea of fun is to sip on wine while listening to exquisite and rare jazz.Should you buy itIt’s tough to find a good Bluetooth speaker under Rs 2,000. That too from a company that can be relied upon. Xiaomi takes care of both.The Mi Bluetooth speaker will give you everything you seek from a Rs 1,999 speaker if your expectations are realistic. It is loud and while in some cases its bass can be overpowering, most consumers will appreciate the boom boom. So when in a few days the speaker officially launches in the Indian market, be quick to buy it if you are looking for a Bluetooth speaker that you can pair with your phone. You won’t regret that, we assure you.You may also like:AXL Powerbank review: Pretty but also expensiveUE Roll 360 Bluetooth Speaker Review: Best of the lotBose SoundTouch 10 review: Bigger not always betterlast_img read more