Finding portable speakers for your iPod or other MP3 player isn't much of a challenge. Manufacturers have made speakers ranging from the pocketable to the boomboxy in terms of size and design. However, if you want a tiny speaker with an MP3 player built right in, look no further than the X-Mini Happy, an itty-bitty portable music player with an all-in-one design.
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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The X-Mini Happy could almost fit in a pocket, if not for its bulbous shape. When the unit is twisted down and locked for transport, it measures just 1.6 inches high and 2.2 inches in diameter. Popping the unit out extends the height to about 2.5 inches and reveals an accordion-style "subwoofer" of sorts that maximizes bass.
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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The bottom of the Happy stows an integrated stereo patch cable for connecting any external audio source with a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. There's also an LED that glows blue during charging, static red when the speakers are powered on, and flashes red while songs are playing through the internal memory.
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Actually, the memory is not quite internal, as the X-Mini Happy has a built-in SD card slot for this purpose. Two handy extras are included to this end: a 2GB microSD card and a standard SD-to-microSD adapter card. This means the player can accept either the larger or the smaller media, which is very cool.
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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
Transferring music to the unit is handled via an included USB cable, which also serves to charge the internal battery (rated for 6 hours for the player and 10 for the speaker). The package also includes a soft carrying pouch and some decent earbuds, in the event that you want to use the MP3 player for private listening.
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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
Around the base of the device are a Mini-USB for charging and syncing and a 3.5mm jack that lets you "daisy-chain" other X-Mini speakers to create a more dynamic sound space. Since the speaker also acts as an MP3 player, there are playback controls, as well. Well, perhaps it would be more accurate to say playback control. One jog button serves to power on the unit, play and pause music, skip forward and backward through tracks, and adjust volume.
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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The overall performance of the X-Mini Happy made us, well, happy. Audio comes through clear, with nice warmth and richness through the mids. There is a reasonable amount of resonance across the low end, but bass is not as thumping as what you would expect from larger speakers.
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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
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