• Price: US$154
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Minirig Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review

Last updated 13 September, 2017

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The Lowdown

The original Minirigs were high-quality speakers that you could take with you anywhere. The new Minirig adds Bluetooth connectivity, which is exactly what we thought it needed to become a knockout portable speaker. Our favourite little speaker just got lots better, and we can recommend it wholly.

First Impressions / Setting up

It is clearly well made (it’s from a boutique UK company) in metal and rubber, and comes in a high-quality zip tubular bag, boxed with a charger, audio cable, some stickers, instructions, and even a lanyard.

On the side of each speaker (they are sold individually) are the power-in socket and a pair of audio plugs, one for high-gain and one for low-gain when adding audio sources via the audio cable (or linking to extra speakers for daisy chaining, or even linking the wired subwoofer that the company also makes).

Top Button
A single button at the top of the unit lets you cycle through different modes of operation, and also tells you how much battery power you’ve got left.

On the top, Apple-style, is just a single button which cycles through a range of colours to tell you how charged the unit is, and flashes to show you it is pairing with another unit by Bluetooth (more on this later). It also tells you via its brightness which gain mode you’re in when connected by Bluetooth. A long hold on the button turns the unit on in wireless mode, another long hold turns it off, and it makes a sound for each so you know that’s worked correctly.

There’s an Android app (soon to come for iOS) that additionally lets you mute it (for instance, for using it as a Bluetooth receiver for adding Bluetooth to wired equipment via an Aux In), set stereo modes, check the battery, control audio, and even rename the unit, among other things.

In Use

So for wired use you just charge it (eight hours via the supplied USB cable, once charged it lasts for AGES – the battery is so good, in fact, that the charging cable can also be used to charge your phone from it!) plug an audio device via the 1/8″ jack cable, and play away.

For Bluetooth use, you hold down the power button to enable it, find it on your phone, tablet or whatever, connect, and go. A quick press on the single button cycles through the volume modes (high or low), with detailed volume and tone adjustments done on whatever is playing the music.

Adding additional speakers can be done via wire (both the subwoofer and a second Minirig can be hardwired in), or via the aforementioned Bluetooth pairing for a stereo pair, but the subwoofer (sold separately, of course) is only wired, so needs to be plugged in accordingly.

For DJing, the best thing is still to use the cable, but the Bluetooth is now good enough to just about get away with DJing without wires, certainly if you’re using quantise / sync to match the beats. (This is true when using a single speaker; latency is too much for DJing with a stereo wireless pair.) The fact that we’re even talking about this is pretty cool, and we even had it going here with direct Bluetooth streaming from an Apple Watch. Ridiculous stuff to imagine, even just a few years ago.

Conclusion

App
The Minirig can also be controlled via an Android app. An iOS version of the app is forthcoming.

Us DJs like quality kit. we spend an awful lot of time and money on our controllers, audio interfaces, headphones and so on. We buy top quality audio files. We notice when stuff isn’t just right: And that’s why we loved the original Minirigs – they were simply high quality speakers, meaning you could have one with you for your hotel room, for use outdoors, etc, easily, all the time. The only thing we didn’t like about them was the necessity to wire them in, because sometimes you just want to stream music straight away, especially with portable devices.

Now, you can. And it not only works easily and conveniently (for instance, it will “remember” devices, and you can you can play from two sources at once), but the Bluetooth implementation sounds really good. The battery life, ability to patch it into a non-wireless system, and ability to charge your phone from one too, just add icing to an already very tasty cake. Our favourite little speaker just got lots better, and we can recommend it wholly.

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