X-mini, a Singaporean company founded in 2006 has been in the audio market, especially the Bluetooth speaker market for a while. This time around, X-mini launched their premium Bluetooth speaker Supa which boasts of DSP and DPAC audio technologies. Let’s see how it sounds.
Build and Design: 7/10
“It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's a…Supa.”
The X-mini Supa is certainly quite the looker with the minimalistic design and vintage looks.
The Supa has a brushed metal finish on the giant volume knob control. The speaker appears to be fully made of hard plastic, though with the colour, finish and styling it almost appears to be made of wood.
Minimalistic in looks, but rather heavy in weight at almost a kilo (960g), the speaker houses two 52mm 10W speakers with a frequency response of 40 Hz — 18 kHz. I’m honestly surprised that there is no passive radiator emitting bass in these speakers.
Other than the usual Bluetooth connection, the X-mini Supa comes with an aux connection and a microSD card slot where you can run the music directly off it.
The Giant Knob
I was ecstatic to see a giant round volume knob on the top of the speaker. I personally have a liking for the simple volume knob design rather than the usual plus and minus buttons most Bluetooth speakers have.
However, to my surprise the volume knob isn’t just a volume knob, it doubles up to skip tracks forward/backwards, and when pressed on the top, pauses the song and switches modes too.
This design certainly makes absolute sense from one control navigation perspective, it also means one needs to get used to the gentle nudges to work it. Many times you will naturally turn the knob all the way to turn up the volume, only to accidentally skip the track or YouTube video you are playing.
This only applies to Bluetooth mode obviously. In the AUX mode, the volume control works for volume only albeit with a delay in adjusting the volume as it isn’t a typical volume knob operation.
In the box
You get a micro-USB cable for charging, aux cable, a helpful visual operation guide and a thoughtful pair of extra rubberised feet for the speaker unit.
The X-mini Supa was tested with an Android phone and a Windows PC with FiiO Q1 DAC amp. The speaker has two distinct modes, one is the regular mode and the other is the souped-up version with powerfully loud and boomy bass.
In the regular mode, the speaker is well balanced. The highs are good without being sibilant; rock music did not feel ear-piercingly irritating. The mids are balanced but lack the sharpness in them.
The bass is capable though felt lacking in wholesomeness. While just fine when hearing in the background, but when actually listening to the tracks, you’ll need to up the bass in the EQ a bit. In spite of that, it feels X-mini could’ve done a better job at handling the bass in regular mode.
Almost as if to overly-compensate the lack of sufficient bass in regular mode, X-mini added “the crazy bass” level, which makes the bass overly pronounced and loud. The bass setting here is so boomy that it quickly overpowers all other frequencies but unfortunately lacks the punch. Perfect for a party and to the fill the room, but certainly very imbalanced to have actual listening sessions with them.
Call Quality: 6/10
The X-mini Supa isn’t ideal for phone calls. It has a microphone that enables one to talk over a phone call for convenience, but expect a hollow sound that Bluetooth speakers generally have. While the caller sounded fine to me, my voice tended to sound like it was spoken with low volume and had an “underwater effect” as the caller put it.
Expect the X-mini Supa to give around 7 to 8 hours of audio playback. This is the general playback time for Bluetooth speakers under 3000 mAh battery power, however, it is quite surprising to know that not one but two 2200 mAh batteries have been used in this design (therefore adding to the weight). One would’ve expected a lot more playback time for this much battery power used.
Verdict and Price in India
X-mini Supa is a bit of a mixed bag. It is positioned as a Bluetooth speaker but isn’t portable due to its weight and design. It appears to fit more at home or on the desk like a home audio system. If you are into the minimalist-vintage design aesthetics, Supa would certainly be a right fit.
Costing Rs 7990, it competes directly with likes of JBL Flip 4 (full review) which is a waterproof portable Bluetooth speaker, the Sony SRS-XB30 with party lights and if you are into intelligent speakers, the AI voice-enabled Amazon Echo.
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