Portable speakers come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from larger iPod docks to tiny pocketable units like the X-mini Capsule speaker we're looking at here. Measuring just 52 x 42mm, and weighing a mere 57.4g, it's small enough to take with you almost anywhere, but is it actually any good?
Pink finish aside, it's a reasonably stylish and well-made device. A translucent plastic flip-up lid keeps the speaker protected, the bulk of the body is finished in a reasonably hard wearing soft touch plastic, and its various sockets, switches and other features are all sturdy and neatly integrated.
Around the sides you get a chunky On/Off slider switch, above which is a loop for attaching the speaker to a lanyard, bag strap or such like. Further round are the miniUSB charging port, headphone jack, and volume wheel. It's a shame a microUSB socket isn't used instead of mini, as micro is now largely the standard for phones, and it would be handy to be able to use a single cable to charge both.
On the bottom of the portable speaker, along with three little rubber feet and a blue LED to show the unit's on, is the audio input cable. This 11cm cable with a 3.5mm stereo jack on the end fits snugly in the recess that wraps around the bottom, keeping cable and plug surprisingly secure.
All told, this is a decent selection of features for a cheap portable speaker, though overall it doesn't quite have the simple elegance of some alternatives. It's certainly a far cry from the clean lines of the sublime Pasce Minirig, which requires no power switch (it powers on when something is plugged in) nor volume control (it just relies on the volume control of the input device), but that speaker costs nearly eight times as much. What is crucial is that the X-mini can be used on its own, without any cables, making it a truly portable solution – you really could just permanently keep one in your jacket pocket or in a compartment in your everyday bag.