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Speaker Showdown: X-mini vs. Boombotix BB1

xmini portable speaker versus boombotix bb1

Portable speaker battle royale

Looking to buy a portable speaker? Well, you need not look any further than two of the gadget industry’s most popular portable speaker providers (say that three times fast): the X-mini and Boombotix BB1. They’re incredible devices for their size and both have done fairly well when it comes to product reviews.

When you compare them head-to-head, though, their differences become a bit more obvious. This can help you, the prospective portable speaker purchasee, a great deal in making the best buy for your hard earned buck (cue “The more you know” PSA).

Price

This is always the first consideration when comparing products. In short, it’s a wash with these two speakers – if you’re seriously considering either, you’ll probably drop somewhere between $40-50 depending on the model you purchase and the site you buy it through. Plain and simple.

 Specs

There’s no beating about the bush with this one – the X-mini is much smaller in size and weight than the Boombotix BB1 model. The X stands at just 2.4” x 1.7” and weighs 3 ounces. The Boombotix BB1, on the other hand, is 3.8” x 3.6” and weighs 5 ounces. Granted, we are talking about inches and ounces here, but still, with some of the more passionate portable speaker folks out there, this sort of thing can be a deal breaker.

Despite the size differences, both project fairly well, though they equally lack in terms of bass output. This is particularly noteworthy since one of the selling points for the X-mini is their “Bass Xpansion System.” Truthfully, I just couldn’t tell a difference between the two. Does this matter? Depends – personally, I’m not going to be rolling down the block with one of these speakers hanging out my car window, blasting Jay-Z/Kanye’s “Otis” for everyone to hear. So for me, no, a lack of bone-rattling bass doesn’t matter that much.

Battery Life

Battery life is a pretty obvious consideration when it comes to portable speakers. Both manufacturers claim that their rechargeable batteries have a maximum playback time of 12 hours, but as is the case with all battery-powered gadgets and gizmos, this drops off after a number of uses.

When it comes to charging the two speakers, there’s a significant difference: with the X-mini, it takes about 2 and a half hours to charge. With the Boombotix BB1, it takes under an hour (about 45 minutes or so). Please feel free to draw your own conclusions here.

Durability

These are small device, so they need to be as durable and drop-resistant as possible, especially since a good majority of us possess butter-finger syndrome.

The X-mini model looks sharp, but when you hold it, the material feels cheap. The outer box is thin, which leads me to believe that, if I were to drop it on the floor, it would crack open and spill its speaker guts all over the place. Also, the wire feels a bit rigid, which is generally a good indication that, after so many uses, it’ll eventually need to be replaced.

The Boombotix BB1 is the complete opposite. These things not only have a great Japanese urban design to them, they feel great, too. The manufacturer conducted their own drop test and swears by the speaker’s ability to withstand all forms of bumps, bruises, and weather conditions. That’s right, weather: the Boombotix BB1 is completely unaffected by rain and snow exposure (without complete submersion to all you literal people out there).

 Wow factors

The X-mini has what’s called a “Buddy Jack” system. This allows users to daisy chain a row of X-mini speakers together. Cool, sure, but I’m just wondering – doesn’t that defeat the whole “portability” selling point? Plus, if you’re chaining them together to get a louder sound, shouldn’t you really just go with bigger speakers?

With the Boombotix BB1, you can clip the speaker to your clothes and plug it into a portable music player to listen to while you’re out biking, boarding, or just hanging around. How those around you feel about this nifty little feature will depend upon your choice of music.

Decision time

When comparing them head to head, it’s clear that the Boombotix BB1 is the better choice. This decision becomes even more obvious when you consider the fact that the manufacturer offers a one-year no-matter-what warranty on its products. So, should anything arise (battery’s dead, sound isn’t good, speaker fell off your jacket lapel while skydiving) within the first year of owning the device, you can get a replacement easy-breezy.

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