The choice is Clear

20140829_MiniSpeakers_XMI.jpg

The choice is Clear
X-Mini Clear speaker. It comes with two speakers and a subwoofer in a compact package.

Singapore hardware maker XMI, famed for its portable, capsule-sized X-Mini speakers, is now primed to take on the big boys of the speaker industry.

Making its debut at tomorrow's Comex retail show and its global debut at the annual IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin on Sept 5, the X-Mini Clear - despite the name - is the company's first full-sized portable speaker.

Measuring 218mm x 89.5mm x 112mm, the 2.1 channel audio device comes with two speakers and a subwoofer and is just one of several new product categories the company has lined up.

"The X-mini Clear is our first step towards creating larger portable speakers for the more discerning customer," explains XMI founder Ryan Lee, 37, who created the X-Mini line of devices. He points out that the company is not merely making speakers because it can.

"We believe that there is an over-emphasis on bass over clarity in many competing portable speakers today," he said.

"It is easy to produce speakers that are loud, but we firmly believe that we should deliver quality audio through clean sound separation for the enjoyment of listening to it, exactly the way the recording was meant to be heard."

What this means is that the X-Mini Clear is not designed to artificially enhance the lower frequencies to produce bass if the original track did not have it in the first place.

What also makes the Clear stand out is its transparent sides and rear panel, which allows a peek into the innards of a speaker. XMI added mood lighting, allowing LED lights to pulsate to the beat of the music.

The placement of transparent acrylics over the LED lights help amplify their brightness, creating the ambience of being in a club.

The Bluetooth speaker also comes with Near Field Communication (NFC) connectivity and has a row of touch controls located at the top front of the speaker.

The model available from October will have a black front panel; XMI is also working on one with a white front panel for later release.

According to XMI, the Clear is also the company's 49th (including colour variants) product since it was founded eight years ago. XMI, which earns about $30 million a year, is launching a pre-order special at Comex 2014.

The Clear is supposed to retail at $399; Comex attendees can pre-order a unit for $199 and receive a free X-mini Max Capsule Speaker worth $63.90.

XMI is also working on a range of earphones, though it declined to say anything more than that earphones are a natural fit to its profile.

Said Mr Lee: "Before we launch any product, we will always ensure that we have enough differentiating factors to make it worth the investment."

XMI is one of the Singapore companies participating in next month's IFA trade show under the Singapore Pavilion banner.

At the event, other home-grown companies, such as Nanoveu, Big Box International and Appcessory, will also showcase new product ranges to the European market.

sherwinl@sph.com.sg

This article was published on Aug 27 in Digital Life, The Straits Times.

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