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Pasce Minirig - Sound Quality and Performance

By Edward Chester

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Pasce Minirig 4

Summary

Our Score:

9

So the Pasce Minirig is clearly a tour de force in terms of ingenious design and engineering but what's ultimately going to matter when you're holed up in a hotel room or looking to accompany your camp fire with some lilting summertime tunes, is how good it sounds. And, the answer is very good. Very good indeed.

What's most striking is just how loud it is. You'll easily fill any sensibly sized house or hotel room, and in fact you'll be splitting ears if you really crank it up - not that you'd want to do that. At such high volumes, while a dampening circuit kicks-in to stop the device damage itself, the audio does deteriorate. But for sensible listening levels it excels.

Pasce Minirig

As well as volume you also get depth with far deeper bass notes than any laptop or most comparable portable speakers can manage. With a frequency range of 100 – 20,000Hz, you're not getting quite the lowest rumblings but for its size, the range is astonishing.

Clarity is also good, though not exceptional with a tendency for instruments to muddle together a little. Again, though, for its size you won't be disappointed.

There are two downsides though; the device's shape and the fact that it's mono. While that round shape allows you to get the most volume from the least volume (so to speak), it isn't conducive to being placed either side of or on top of a laptop (various portable speakers can split into stereo or nestle in the hinge of a laptop). As such you have to place it off to one side making the sound somewhat detached from what's onscreen, which is a little odd when you're watching a video.

It's this same scenario that is the problem with the restriction to mono. While you hardly get a huge amount of stereo separation on any portable or laptop speaker, those that do offer stereo, do immerse you that little bit more when used close up. As such, the Pasce Minirig really excels at simply filling a space with sound, with the best listening being from a distance.

You could argue there's a further downside in that this is a wires-only device with no wireless audio system such as AirPlay, Bluetooth or Kleer onboard. However, while this certainly would've been nice, it would've meant bringing that old word “compromise” back into the equation. Size, price and battery life would all likely have been affected.

Pasce Minirig 4

For it's size and price, the Pasce Minirig is really without equal though if you're willing to cast your net wider to include larger devices, the choice becomes vast. From the wireless sporting Bose SoundLink Wireless Speaker and Aliph Jawbone Jambox to the iPod dock equipped Philips Fidelio DS300, to the laptop sound bars we were talking about earlier, such as the Edifier Soundbar. For its power and versatility, though, we'd pick the Minirig over the lot.

Verdict

The Pasce Minirig is a quite brilliant portable speaker. It may lack the wireless and stereo capabilities of some rivals but if you're simply after the loudest, smallest and longest-lasting speaker around, this is the top dog. All this and it's also beautifully built and relatively competitively priced.

Overall Score

9

Scores In Detail

  • Design 9
  • Features 7
  • Sound Quality 9
  • Usability 9
  • Value 8

Ed

December 7, 2011, 9:17 pm

@Pepperrell Not sure why you didn't just post a comment but hey ho.;) The MightyDwarf appears to be a rather different device. It's not a speaker per se but something that turns flat surfaces into speakers. I've a similar device here on my desk, which I will be reviewing soon, and from initial experience I wouldn't hold out much hope for the MightyDwarf. Those devices are too reliant on the surface you're using them on so performance is very inconsistent. I'm reserving full judgement until I've had a proper play though. The Minirig, in contrast, delivers the goods regardless of where it's sat.

Pepperrell

December 7, 2011, 9:59 pm

@Ed 'Cos it wouldn't let me. It will now, and that may be my server, or its software, or your site, but I genuinely don't know which. I've looked at the power outputs since and there is no comparison. A Minirig for me! Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to shop I go...

Andrew_TR

December 8, 2011, 4:18 am

If you're after laptop speakers rather than an all-round portable jobbie, also consider the QSB SoundScience BMR driver speakers. Primarily because they're currently half price at AMP3 (㿝.99) - a real bargain at the price.

Chrisos

March 10, 2012, 5:26 pm

WHat a fantastic product, i wondered if it would justify its £85 price at first, but its simply a beast of a speaker! very pleased :D

Ed

March 10, 2012, 9:02 pm

Glad to hear it. I actually love it more everyday - it is just so perfectly suited to its purpose. Don't be surprised if it appears in our products of the year list.

Jamie Kitson

April 13, 2012, 4:47 pm

It is possible to connect two in stereo, isn't it?

Pepperrell

April 16, 2012, 6:08 pm

@Jamie - yes, it is.

Me to them: "For the Mk2 version could you split the feed so that the second speaker cable feeds the other channel? Then we'd have stereo and I'd buy another one"
Them to me: "Yes I will work on this. But it needs to work in Mono for 3+ minirigs which makes it harder to implement. In the meantime, I supply a simple stereo to 2xmono splitter cable for everyone who buys two Minirigs."

Can't get much clearer than that.

Bugblatter

April 19, 2012, 5:32 am

If you want it wireless you can add one of these: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Samsun...

That give you Apt-X Bluetooth streaming at a pretty reasonable price.

I've got an old Jabra BT3030 that's similar but only supports A2DP. Nevertheless it does a pretty decent job as long as the device on the other end uses a high-enough bitpool (bitrate). Plenty good enough for driving this type of thing; my Shure SE430's reveal the shortcomings of A2Dp so I plug in directly with them but I reckon with Apt-X I probably couldn't tell the difference.

Bugblatter

April 22, 2012, 3:15 am

I've ordered one. You can see a lot of the back-story of the development and prototyping here: http://www.hijackbristol.co.uk...

It'd be interesting to see an interview of the guy; seems like a classic story of a British inventor in his shed, but so far at least he's the one making money from his invention rather than big business.

Pepperrell

May 2, 2012, 5:01 pm

@AndrewTR - but like the Frankenspiel speakers, they only work off USB, they don't have a battery, and you can't plug them into an MPS player.

Have just bought no 2 Minirig, and still chuffed to fuck.

Angel Allimac

December 17, 2012, 2:34 am

Got one of these beauties, am travelling with it. It is amazing and has protective case. Everyone I meet wants one am telling everyone to buy one. No more tinny music. Not got a bad word to say about it. My mate has one too and put together the sound is truly awesome. Clean crisp and decent bass. Oh and they look sleek and no bother in a day pack or back pack. Great sounds on a beach or at hostel. Hurrah!

Benjamin Evans

May 23, 2013, 8:44 pm

Well, I've had my minirig for about a year now and its fantastic....great sound
out of a very portable speaker and outstanding battery life and quality. The one
thing missing from the minirig is Bluetooth capability and I have found a
wonderful workaround. I would imagine that Pasce is working on their own version
of a wireless minirig, but for now this is absolutely amazing ! One item you
must purchase...and that is a Braven portable bluetooth speaker. What's
incredible about it is that it has a an EXTERNAL lineout output that accepts a
standard 3.5mm audio cable. Simply piggyback the minirig thru the Braven and it
is spectacular ! If you want clear, loud and decent bass out of a portable
system....this can not be beat and all of it works seamlessly with your
bluetooth phone or device.

The Braven 600 (the one that I purchased) is
nornally $149.00USD here in the states but, right now a retail here in the US is
clearing out their red Braven 600 for $59.99...that retailer is FRY's
Electronics. This is a simply amazing deal and I just wanted to pass it along.
The Bravens (all of them!) have this external output and many other great
features. Check out their
website.........

http://www.braven.com/braven-6...

Hope some
folks take advantage of this pairing........it will blow you away !!

Greg Houghton

June 22, 2013, 11:24 pm

just got one of these delivered to australia from chemical records uk, awesome product and great service by the chemical folk. thanks guys ... forget about bluetooth/airplay - a 5 gram wire from your phone to your speaker and no worries about drop outs and stuttering sound ... this speaker is gold.

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