- Compact size and funky design
- Decent sound quality on the right surface
- Good, reliable Bluetooth operation
- Distorts easily if pushed
- Not ideal for bass or kick drum-heavy music
- Only sounds good on certain surfaces
- Review Price: £79.95
- Bluetooth 2.0
- USB port for charging and analogue input
- Rechargeable battery
- Hands-free phone operation
- 10W amplifier
If you’ve ever found yourself stuck in a hotel room or office wishing you had a way of listening to music out loud, then you might be interested in this cool little gizmo. The Lil’ Wiz Mini Vibration Speaker is a portable device that turns any flat, hard surface into a speaker, letting you listen to your tunes in places you might not have thought possible.
You can send your music to the Lil’ Wiz Mini Vibration Speaker via Bluetooth or from any device with a 3.5mm headphone output jack using the supplied cable. There’s a rechargeable battery inside, which can be charged via USB from a laptop, for example, or a mains adapter (not supplied). There’s also a version of the Lil’ Wiz that comes with a Micro SD card reader and costs about half the price of the Bluetooth version. Both types are available from Anthem AVS through their Amazon store.
Lil’ Wiz Mini Vibration Speaker Design
There are many of these speakers on the market, but what separates the Lil’ Wiz offering from the rest is its remarkably funky design. Available in black, pink, blue and red, it’s a little cylinder that stands 75mm high, with a rubber pad on the bottom. The actual speaker is located in the top section of the device, which is separated from the main body by a concertina-style plastic support. This top bit can be pressed down and locked to the main body to make it easier to transport.
Wonderfully compact and weighing just 273g, the Lil’ Wiz Mini Vibration Speaker feels robustly built. The plastic round the sides is thick and tactile, while the aluminium speaker mesh on top is another sign of its solid build quality. The only thing you need to be careful of is the plastic concertina part, which is flimsy and could be easily dented.
Lil’ Wiz Mini Vibration Speaker Connectivity
Around the side of the device you’ll find an LED status light and a miniUSB port, which can be connected to any device with a headphone output using the supplied minijack-to-USB adapter cable. If you’re playing music from a laptop, the cable has a 3.5mm jack and USB connector at one end, so you can charge the built-in lithium battery while playing music.
Lil’ Wiz Mini Vibration Speaker Features
The most convenient way of transferring music to the Lil’ Wiz Mini Vibration Speaker is via Bluetooth 2.0. Not only can you can play music wirelessly from phones and other compatible devices, but you can also transfer phone calls to the Lil’ Wiz, turning it into a hands-free car phone kit – there’s a built-in microphone and it interrupts music to receive calls (although you do need a phone that supports this functionality).
When playing music via Bluetooth the unit has a operating range of up to 30 feet and you can control playback using a little dial on the side. You can skip tracks by moving it left or right, or play/pause by pressing it in. You can also control the volume by pushing left or right and holding it down. Another switch on the side has three positions – On (for playback via analogue input), BT for Bluetooth playback and Off.
The device uses separate high-frequency and bass drivers, with a built-in 10W amplifier, and its frequency range is quoted at 40Hz – 20kHz. There’s an optional glass mount, which allows you to attach the Lil’ Wiz to a window or windscreen and turn the pane of glass into a speaker. Supplied in the box are a USB cable and carry pouch.
Lil’ Wiz Mini Vibration Speaker Setup
We had absolutely no difficulty pairing the Lil’ Wiz Mini Vibration Speaker with our phone. After turning it on and sliding the switch to ‘BT’, our phone discovered the unit instantly – all we had to do was follow the phone’s onscreen instructions (it’s listed as COWIN BT). The blue LED lights up solidly to denote a connection. Music streaming was stable, with only one or two momentary drop-outs. It obediently skips tracks and adjusts volume on the phone using the toggle switch on the side.
Lil’ Wiz Mini Vibration Speaker Performance
Through the wonders of resonance and vibration, Lil’ Wiz Mini Vibration Speaker uses a flat, hard surface to amplify the sound. Hold it in the air while playing and the sound is thin and weedy but the moment you plonk it on a table it miraculously gets louder and you can suddenly hear the bass frequencies.
How well it performs depends very much on the surface and the type of music you’re playing. There’s fun to be had walking round the room and seeing how it sounds on different surfaces. Wood is best – we tried a coffee table and dining table, and both resulted in a clean, crisp 360-degree sound with just enough bass presence to stop it sounding too thin and fatiguing. That said, like most of these vibration speakers, there’s a distinct lack of richness and polish to the sound. Bass notes can sound a bit flabby and vocals sound strained.
It also doesn’t really like being fed with a signal that’s even slightly too loud, which causes the sound to distort. It struggles with dance music featuring heavy kick drums and lots of bass, so it’s best to keep the source volume at a fairly low level. So while the sound quality is good enough for everyday, unfussy playback around the house or in a hotel room, don’t expect miracles.
It’s worth noting that it sounds better over Bluetooth than it does via the analogue input, possibly because it’s not quite as easy to overload the speaker drivers. Love Is A Losing Game by Amy Winehouse sounds great from our Bluetooth phone, playing back the retro-soul with solid bass and crisp hi-hats. Winehouse’s voice doesn’t sound anywhere near as thin or nasal as we expected too. Obviously we’re not talking audiophile grade sonics here but considering it’s using a wooden table as a speaker it’s actually fairly impressive.
Lil’ Wiz Mini Vibration Speaker Verdict
The Lil’ Wiz Mini Vibration Speaker is a cute little speaker solution for those who do a lot of travelling and just can’t stand to be without their favourite tunes. Obviously it’s dependent on you having a suitable flat surface though, which won’t suit all situations. Bluetooth streaming is a convenient reliable feature, while the versatile analogue input makes it compatible with any device that sports a 3.5mm headphone output port.
On a flat hard surface like a wooden coffee table it produces listenable sound quality with some audible bass and clean high frequencies. It’s easy to make it distort though and energetic forms of music can sound a bit flabby, but with judicious use of the volume controls it’ll keep you entertained while you’re out and about.
Score in detail
Sound Quality 6
|Speaker||High frequency and bass driver|