Category Archives: Podcasts

Product Review – XMI X-mini II Mini Speaker

Let’s start with some background which led to the purchase of this speaker. Back in February when I bought a Nokia 5800 I used to listen to podcasts in the car with the phone’s speaker. However, when I changed to an iPhone 3GS I didn’t want to subject it to 3 hours of ‘almost maximum’ loud speaker usage a day – that and the loud speaker is not loud enough to be heard over motorway traffic. So, I decided to look at other options.

My car is 7 years old and doesn’t play MP3 CDs, nor does it have an AUX input to enable me to plug my iPhone to it. I went to Halfords this weekend just gone as they had a new fascia for my car which would allow me to get a new stereo fitted with both an AUX input and MP3 CD playing ability. All sounds good right? Wrong! The fascia was too small and after being contacted by Halfords yesterday I am told the manufacturer says that is the only fascia available for my car – FAIL!

So, this brought about another option – that of attaching a speaker to my phone. Only problem I found with most is that they would take their power from the iPhone and the sound was pretty poor, if reviews are to be believed.

Then I came across the XMI X-mini II Mini Speaker which is charged via USB, has 360 degree sound and reviews were very good. I ordered this from Amazon yesterday and it arrived this morning, courtesy of my 1 month free trial with Amazon Prime!

The XMI X-mini II Mini Speaker

The XMI X-mini II Mini Speaker

Don’t be fooled by the size – while it appears small in comparison to my iPod Touch the performance is very impressive. Apart from being very cute, the sound quality is superb, and the volume was more than enough to cope with motorway traffic when I used it for the first time this morning. With a simple twist the speaker expands to play mode and after being turned on a little blue LED glows from the underside.

A full charge took 2 hours and this should give me 11 hours of usage – I’ll report back to say whether that is the case. It comes with a dual lead that is USB at one end and then splits to mini USB and 3.5mm jack so that you can charge it, whilst having it connected to your audio input and playing simultaneously. All this can be housed in a little velvet pouch so it stays clean and safe.

At just £16.96, my first impressions are very favourable and it has met and exceeded my expectations and fulfills my requirements which is enabling me to get back on track with my podcast listening and fill those 3 hours in the car every day with something of interest.

As an aside, you can actually daisy chain these little speakers for enhanced sound – maybe one day I’ll try that, but for now just the one will suffice.

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Filed under Electronics, iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch, Mobile Phones, Podcasts

Podcasts

If you read back a few posts you’ll see me talking about my new phone, the Nokia 5800. I’ve since discovered that it’s awfully good for podcasts, and I now subscribe to quite a few and listen to them in the car to and from work as the phone’s speaker is loud enough to use in the car, even on the M25!

My favourite podcast so far is the Stuff.TV podcast which is a geeky/techy podcast about mobile phones, televisions, MP3 players, gadgets and ‘stuff’! The subject matter is right up my street and the presenters are pretty fab too. They also gave my new phone a glowing report so extra marks there!

Others I subscribe to are:

Chris Moyles – low brow humour at it’s very best and I miss the morning shows now I listen to podcasts instead. Is there some irony there somewhere?

F1 Weekly – only listened to one show so far and it was ok, though being American based the bias was towards their quest to get a Grand Prix in America rather than the upcoming season. May try to find a suitable replacement.

Jonathan Ross – probably the funniest guy on radio and good to have him back. Always has a procession of great guests with whom he engages in lots of witty banter.

Guardian Tech Weekly – more technical musings with lots of web talk and as an eCommerce bod it’s most interesting from a professional and personal standpoint.

I also have Stephen Fry and Mark Kermode’s podcasts set up to listen to and am always open to some recommendations of podcasts I should listen to. Two that i didn’t particularly like are the Adam & Joe and George Lamb podcasts – just didn’t click with me. I also tried the Geek Squad podcast but they guy waffled on for so long about not a lot that I decided my life could be better spent on other things and turned it off.

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