I’ve received several emails asking me with what pieces of technology I travel. I’m going to start a series on my travel tech, but will kick off with a re-run of a post I ran earlier in the year because the XMI X-mini II Mini Speaker which I raved about back in May really has become one of my indispensible travel gadgets.
Not only is it useful for playing music, but I use it for playing interviews I need to transcribe, and for playing downloaded BBC radio podcasts when I need something more than music to listen to. I’ve also used it on the beach, by a swimming pool, and in the middle of a field. And it’s still only a measly £14/$28. This has to be the best bargain ever for such a dazzling mixture of sound quality & portability.
I travel incessantly and, even in these days of hotels tricked out with gadgets and modern comforts, I still find that very few hotel rooms have iPod docks or any music available beyond cable radio. It’s essential that I have some form of good music to drown out background noise (I don’t always stay at The Peninsula), and to keep me company on long writing sessions.
I first read about the XMI X-mini II Mini Speaker on India’s blog, filing the info away for later use. When I got round to ordering one I couldn’t quite believe that a £15 speaker that fits in the palm of my hand would really be anything other than tinny with crap bass. I was wrong. (Always trust India.)
It’s bloody brilliant: definitely not tinny, instead a nice round sound that, if you wish could be doubled by adding another speaker using the integral mini jack. It charges for eleven hours through a USB port and is tiny enough to fit in my handbag without adding to my carry-on weight allowance – which I always manage to exceed.
To give you an idea of scale: