There aren’t a lot of Bluetooth speakers that catch our attention any more — there are just too darned many of them to even keep track of. But the latest offering from Singapore-based X-mini, the Clear 2.1, has a little something special. Taking us back to the 80’s with its see-through chassis, the clean and refined speaker is as neat on the inside as it is on the outside, allowing for all users to see the magic happen first hand.
The speaker’s unique design, which features flashing lights that bounce along with the music, isn’t the only reason X-mini called its latest speaker the Clear. It also provides a crystal clear sound signature, which does a nice job of illuminating the finer moments in your favorite tracks.
The Clear’s sound is delivered by way of dual ceramic drivers encased in separate enclosures to reduce resonance, flanking a custom 70mm “woofer.” The drivers are powered by separate amplification for each driver. Other features include a touch-capacitive control panel along the top, an on-board speakerphone, and a rechargeable battery with a claimed 6 hours of playback time, which if fairly modest considering much of the Clear’s competition boasts 10-12 hours of charge-free fun.
X-mini claims a frequency response of 40Hz – 20kHz for the speaker, but it appears to trail off long before that in the low end, making us wish for a little more punch in the bass. And while the sound is brilliantly clean on higher quality tracks, it occasionally brings a bit too much bite in the upper mids on lighter productions, or thin-sounding mp3 tracks.
Still, its distinctive design and ample collection of amenities allow the Clear to rise above the fray. Those looking for something a little different this holiday season may want to put this speaker on their shopping list. The X-mini Clear is slated for release sometime in November, with pricing yet to be disclosed.