Xiaomi has a few Bluetooth speakers in the market, one being the traditional box-shaped speaker and another range featuring a cylindrical design. Oh yes, there’s a bunny shaped Xiaomi speaker (Mi Rabbit Mini) too, well, because, why not!
So, basically, what I am trying to say here is that you could be confused with the sheer number of Xiaomi Bluetooth speakers in the market, so I’ll make it clear about the device up for review. What I’m reviewing today is the Xiaomi Mi Bluetooth Speaker 2, the second generation model in the company’s cylindrical speaker range. It’s available at present for just $25 which is a great price considering the quality of output from this compact device. More details on its sound output down below.
Xiaomi Mi Bluetooth Speaker 2 Design:
I am not going to talk about the speaker’s box because there’s literally nothing to talk about it. It’s just a basic white box with a couple of cushions that keep the speaker in place and a manual that’s useless to most readers here since it’s only in Chinese.
Coming to the actual design, just like other Xiaomi products, the company has kept things simple. So, there are no protruding parts or buttons that stand apart from its simple design. In fact, as you might see in the pictures, there are no buttons at all.
The Mi Bluetooth Speaker 2 uses a two-stage design, which means there are two major parts to the speaker. The top half, which takes up just a third of the overall height is the place where the real controls are. So, the top half of the speaker is pressable and it’s very easy to figure out how the speaker works. But more on that later.
The speaker output comes from the top of the cylindrical body, which is evident from the mesh on top. The top half acts as a dial as well as a button. You can also see the markings for volume controls that show how to move the dial to increase or decrease the volume. Coming down to the lower half, you’ll find just a LED light (Red and Blue colors) and an opening for a standard MicroUSB port for charging.
The size of the speaker is actually quite compact and the metal feels good to hold. It’s compact enough for me to cover it with my palm. The build quality of the speaker is stellar, with everything working perfectly, including its dial.
As for the color options, there are two available, Black, and White + Silver. Black has a shinier top half, but the difference isn’t as evident as the white colored model which features a silver top.
Xiaomi Mi Bluetooth Speaker 2 Connection & Controls:
As I said earlier, the controls are very simple. Just long press the top and you’ll see the blue light blinking. This means that the speaker is ready for connection. Connecting and pairing any smartphone to the speaker takes just a few seconds and you are good to go in under a minute!
Once connected, you’ll see the blinking blue light on the notification LED. That’s normal and indicates that the phone is connected. The light remains Blue most of the time, with an exception being during charging when it turns a constant red. Even when it’s charged completely, the LED light turns blue.
The Mi Bluetooth Speaker 2 controls are easy as well. You turn the dial clockwise to increase the volume and anti-clockwise to decrease it. There are clear markers on the speaker to indicate the right direction. Now note that this is a continuous dial which means there’s no upper limit or stopper to let you know that you’ve hit the max sound. So, it keeps on turning in any direction even after you have reached the max / min sound limit. I, personally, am not a big fan of continuous dials, as I like to know when I hit the max sound limit or vice versa. But I am sure most users won’t mind this or may even love this design.
Pressing the top ‘play / pauses’ the soundtrack and that’s about it for the controls. Rest of the things like jumping to the next song or hitting the previous track are all controlled via the smartphone. Note that, for some reason, the speaker fails to continue the song where you left it off after you hit pause. It starts again from the beginning and this is kind of annoying especially if you have to pause / play the speaker multiple times. Of course, the controls via the smartphone music player work perfectly well and this is just the case if you try to control it via the speaker dial.
And one more thing, there’s a microphone on the speaker, so it accepts hands-free calling. I did receive a few calls while I was playing with it, and everything went perfectly, as in, I could have a clear conversation using the speaker.
Xiaomi Mi Bluetooth Speaker 2 Review: Sound Quality & Output
Xiaomi’s products are known for its top-notch quality and the same applies to the Mi Bluetooth Speaker 2. This handy little cylindrical device produces enough sound to give tough competition to the number of cheap portable speakers in the market today. It is loud enough to keep everyone in the room in tune with the music.
But being loud isn’t enough. We expect a Bluetooth speaker to do a lot more and I must say that this nifty little device manages to impress.
The quality of sound output is impressive considering its super-compact form factor. So, along with it being loud, the output is clear and crisp. The treble is great and the mids are also pretty good. The bass is not as good as I expected — it’s pretty decent but I feel the lows could have been better and thumpier.
I have to add that the vocals are super crisp and it’s a pleasure to listen to vocal rich songs on this speaker. At $25, the overall music output is definitely impressive.
As for the battery life, I could easily get over 7 hours of music playback on a single charge. And it doesn’t have to be continuous. You can listen for a few hours one day, switch it off, and get a few more hours (total around 7 hours) the next day.
If you can ignore the fact that the Mi Bluetooth Speaker 2 comes with a Chinese manual and a Chinese voice (only when you connect or disconnect your phone), then this nifty little speaker is definitely something that you should check out! It’s light, compact and looks good, so you can carry it around wherever you travel, which is exactly what I do.