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MP3 Players

TDK Tremor Xa-10 speakers

Part of TDK's Tremor range of speakers, the slimline Xa-10s are clean, lean, and available in lime green.

Part of TDK's Tremor range of speakers, the slimline Xa-10s are clean, lean, and available in lime green. Measuring 117mm by 80mm by 16mm, they're small enough to stash in your back pocket

Upside
With their white bases, the Xa-10s are primarily targeted at iPodders, but they are also compatible with other MP3 players, laptops and pretty much anything else that's portable and has an 3.5mm stereo output. They can be juiced up via mains power, AAA batteries or even USB.

As to where you'd make use of these candy-coloured contraptions, TDK suggests "in transit" (though perhaps not to blast industrial rock during a long-haul flight), "while at the beach or enjoying the great outdoors". They're certainly easy to throw in a bag -- a magnet in each speaker allows the front panels to stick to each other, so they'll stay protected from damage and dirt.

At AU$29.95, the speakers are certainly priced well, and we're intrigued to see whether they are solidly constructed or tending toward the plastic toy variety.

Downside
Each speaker provides 1.2 watts of sound, which won't exactly make for a chronically enjoyable house party. Still, the Xa-10s weren't designed to turn your abode into a nightclub, and the small wattage should suffice for travellers and occasional users. When we test the Xa-10s, we'll be particularly interested in the bass line, as flat speakers from other vendors have delivered trebly sonics in previous testing.

The AU$29.95 price tag does not include an AC adaptor, so factor in the cost of buying one if you plan to go sans-batteries.

Outlook
The Xa-10s seem primed for success given their low price point and funky citrus looks. We can see them being used to scare away the ducks at a funk-infused picnic -- provided they'll stand up properly on the grass.

The speakers will be available mid April, but will hit CNET.com.au HQ any day now, so check back for our full review.

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