Many of us are familiar with the X-Mini
brand as it is quite likely that we’ve all used their portable speakers before.
Founded 10 years ago as Xmi in Singapore by brothers Ryan Lee and Reuben Lee
alongside Barry Choo, Xmi grew from a single product company selling their
signature portable capsule speakers into a world renowned, award-winning
company with a solid product line.
X-mini™ Evolve in white
For their first foray into headphones, Xmi
has decided to produce an on-ear, dual headphone and speaker, bluetooth enabled
device. Priced at $99 USD, the X-mini™ Evolve has been designed to offer
superior audio quality with a feature rich set without breaking the bank.
Armed with separate 40mm audio drivers for
the both the headphones and speakers, 20 hour playback time and 10 meter
Bluetooth range with call answering capability, the Evolve is very impressive
on paper but, how does it actually perform? Tech Storm had the opportunity to
test out the device briefly and to have a conversation with Jerry Lam, Business
Development Manager of Xmi and Ryan Lee, CEO and founder of Xmi to find out
more about the device.
“When you have a device the size of
headphones, you might as well put a speaker in it. To us, it seems like the
natural evolution of headphones” Says Ryan Lee about the Evolve.
We put the audio quality of the Evolve to
the test with several songs to test the range of the headphones and I have to
say that the quality is impressive especially considering its price point. I
personally own a fairly pricey pair of Bluetooth headphones and I was
pleasantly surprised at how close the difference in audio quality was between
the Evolve and my V-Moda Crossfade M-100.
I personally don’t find on-ear headphones
to be very comfortable and this was the case for the Evolve. However, the plush
pleather cups had enough padding to make for a reasonably comfortable
experience. The speaker mode is quite excellent as I expected but, the
headphones lacked a hinge to allow the speakers to face upwards and instead
face outwards to the left and right. Jerry Lam however, claims that this will
be addressed in the next iteration of the Evolve.
quality and Controls
I found the controls intuitive with very
little coaching needed to figure out quickly how to use the device and I was
soon easily flipping between speaker and headphone mode, switching songs and
changing the volume. The controls are all placed at easy to reach locations on
the right headphone cup and I am pleased at the obvious care and thought put
into placement of the controls.
The device is almost entirely constructed
of plastic and while this allows for a more affordable device, it gave me some
concern about the durability of the product and I gingerly handled the device
as there were several times I had to take it off to re-adjust the headband.
However, Jerry seemed to have none of my fears and cheerfully tugged the band
out to the length required for me.
One of the upsides of having a mostly plastic
frame however, is that it makes the Evolve very light weighing in at only 284g
and easier to wear for longer periods of time.
and the future
When I asked Ryan Lee about why he decided
to design products like the Evolve and continually innovates and evolves his
product line, He had this to say. “It’s not just about the product, it’s also
about the people and I don’t want to forget and lose sight of the fact that
it’s the people who use and make the tech”.
By Nicholas Ho / 31 August, 2016
00:00AM GMT+8 Singapore
Disclaimer: The above images and
trademarks are the sole and exclusive properties of their respective owners and
are reproduced herein for the purpose of fair criticism and review.
this is a preview and not a review as we only had access to the device for a
short while. Should we get a review unit, this article will be updated.