IXOS XMI308 iPod speakers: Tubelicious

IXOS has jumped into the iPod accessory arena with a tube-shaped iPod speaker system. For £25, we're tempted to say it sounds even better than it should...

IXOS, the company usually responsible for gnarly speaker wire, has joined the 'Made for iPod' party. Its gift? The XMI308 -- a portable tube-shaped iPod speaker system. It's a silvery contraption that runs on four AAA batteries, from a USB power cable (which doesn't carry data) or from an AC adaptor.

The XMI308 has a pair of 25mm (1-inch) drivers, each capable of outputting 2W of power. These drivers are curiously mounted on the two ends of the speaker tube.

These sort of speakers often boast convenient size over quality of performance, but the IXOS worked surprisingly well, and live material sounded particularly good. There's a fair amount of definition in the mids and highs, and although not bursting with power, the lows were clear and well pronounced.

The only gripe we have is the slightly disappointing silver finish of the speakers' stand and iPod docking mount -- it adds a look of cheapness that the system doesn't deserve.

There's a line-in socket for those of you without iPods (the cable for connection to other devices is included). All new iPod models are supported, including the massive 160GB iPod classic, as used in our photo.

The XMI308 is branded under IXOS's new budget brand, 'First by IXOS', and is on sale now for a well-worth-it £25. Bargain. -Nate Lanxon