Starting June 14th and running through June 21st (Father’s Day), Kinivo is selling a few father-friendly items for under $20 (see “No ties for Father’s Day”). One of the items is the ZX100 mini speaker. The ZX100 is not a Bluetooth speaker. You will need to plug it into the audio out port of your device. The ZX100 does have a built-in audio cable, however, the cable is only about 3 ⅕” long. To rectify this issue, the speaker comes with a longer audio cable that can plug into the same micro-USB port used for charging the speaker. The cable has a “Y” connector, so you can charge and listen to music simultaneously. It also comes with a nice carrying pouch. The speaker takes about two hours to charge and will play music for about six hours.
Now for the important stuff. How does it sound?
The speaker might have “mini” in its name, but the sound sure isn’t. The first day I had the speaker, I plugged it into my Chromebox and blasted it! My wife left the room it was so loud. The speaker has a power button and a button for volume up and volume down. It also has a pop-up resonator and when deployed, you can really hear the bass. “Good Time” by Owl City was my test song.
One thing I noticed during testing is that my Chromebook/box is able to give some additional power to the speaker and get it nice and loud. During a majority of my testing, I was using my Nexus 10 and the volume was much lower. Even full volume on the Nexus 10 did not hold a candle to using the speaker on my Chromebook/box. If you want even more sound, you can daisy chain another Kinivo speaker (and another, and another, and another, etc.). Kinivo only sent me one ZX100, so I tried plugging a non-Kinivo speaker into the ZX100 and it would not work. The non-Kinivo speaker stole the show. Speaking of stealing the show, everyone in my house agreed that that other speaker (Anker A7910 Pocket Bluetooth Speaker) blew the ZX100 away. I’m no audiophile, but my 18-year old niece is at the house, so I guess that qualifies.
Having said all that, I am just leisurely listening to music, not having a house party. The ZX100 is much better than using the external speakers on my Moto X, Nexus 10, or Chromebook, especially if you want to share your tunes with others in the room. For under $20 (as low as $14.95) through Father’s Day, I would highly recommend picking up a ZX100 or two or three for dad. I have a feeling he’ll like it better than the tie.