For the purposes of this test, we decided to match the Wavemaster Mobi up against a similarly priced X-mini II unit (i.e. also sub-£20).
In terms of overall size etc, these chaps are well balanced. The Mobi offers a 3.8cm full range speaker, while the X-mini comes in at just over 4cm. So how do they match up technically?
We ran both speakers through a standard set of songs and a game test (which you can read more about here) and considered 3 things:-
- In absolute terms, what is the audio quality like?
- If you were in a hotel room or by a swimming pool on holiday, would there be enough volume to carry the songs?
- Living with the units – how are they in terms of ergonomics and battery life?
This is what we found:-
Both units perform very well indeed.
Way better than the kind of speakers you get on an average laptop from Toshiba or Hewlett Packard and way better than the microscopic speakers that KitGuru has in our much loved Sony Z-Series laptop.
While the X-mini offered more ‘punch’ toward the bass end of the audio spectrum on songs like Song 2 from Blur or Woo Boost from Rusko, the Mobi seemed to ‘fill the room’ better overall with the Love Theme from Bladerunner and Muwookie’s Memories. Pretty much a tie on music – depending on individual taste.
For gaming, we feel the X-mini has the edge because there is a little more distortion toward the low end. For music purists, this will sound wrong on an audio track, but when you’re blasting away with a machine gun, it’s a little more satisfying with the X-mini II.
Filling the Room
We actually tried this by the side of a pool and in the very large KitGuru studios. Indoor tests showed both speakers performance in a very similar way, but it’s much harder to be heard in a genuine realworld environment.
Compared to a laptop or phone with nothing attached, both of these speaker units leave built-in speakers way behind. However, they were close to a dead heat against each other. We feel that the Wavemaster Mobi performed slightly better in the studio, while the X-mini II has the edge pool side.
Living with the Units
Recharging cycles for both units were similar. We followed the kind of practice that a normal person would do if they were going to be moving around a lot, we left them on charge overnight, then set them to play music continuously the next day.
We split the audio in so both would be playing exactly the same tracks at the same time. We found that the X-mini II actually stopped first, but it was very close (less than 30 minutes difference) so, technically, they both happily blasted out all day.
Overall, the minor wins and loses for both speakers seemed to balance out.