How much time did you spend at the park last summer? It's remarkable to think how quickly our lifestyles have changed from frequenting pubs and bars to travelling shorter distances, meeting our loved ones in green spaces. Things like portable speakers have proved themselves invaluable, as more than ever we are forced to provide our own backing tracks to our social events.
That being said, the Buy Me Once team would consider ourselves cautious when considering a portable speaker to recommend. When it comes to electrical devices, particularly involving Bluetooth, the likelihood of them being made to last is broadly questionable across the category.
But the UK-made Minirig Bluetooth speaker had a remarkable billing – we'd even call it the best portable speaker out there.
Sound that turns heads
If you were to ask any self-respecting audiophile to recommend you a set of long-lasting speakers, the Minirig will come up time and again. They say that these speakers are built by music-lovers, and that comes through in the speaker's loud and proud sound. More importantly for us, a Minirig is designed with durability in its blueprint and with functionality and long battery life at its heart.
It’s no surprise that Minirig emerged from Bristol, a city bathed in sound. Through inspiration from engineering departments at Bristol University, the entire design was conceived and constructed around common sense user-friendly principles. The Minirig 3 is a neat 10cm in diameter, with most of that space dedicated to a gigantic 70mm driver powering the audio with a high degree of sound quality.
The sound is delivered with remarkable clarity, turning heads in the office at half the volume. What space there is left is reserved for the similarly massive battery, fit for a mind-boggling 100 hours of battery life. Other top-of-the-range speakers offer just 15 hours at low volume.
A tough cookie
Encased in anodised aluminium, each Minirig is built to last. They say it can be thrown around a bit, and while we wouldn't advise it, it's clear you'll have to try extremely hard to damage it. It's worth noting that the top is vented and not water resistant – so don't leave it out in the rain. At least without a brolly. If sand gets in it at the beach, Minirig recommends leaving it to dry and vacuuming the top. The speaker can withstand it. The brushed metal exterior is also worth a mention; it makes for a refined look and gives the body a real tactility.
A one year warranty is included, but outside of the warranty, you can have your speaker fixed for just £24. With every Minirig manufactured in the UK and assembled in Bristol, all the parts needed to repair, recycle and service older products are under one roof. It’s a small company of real people that care about their customers.
That principle is proven by how Minirig treat advancing technology. They actually offer the option to upgrade your existing device, if for example Bluetooth went out of fashion for a new system. This would be at a fraction of the cost of a replacement. Minirig wants to see your wireless speaker last, not just replace it with a new one. They are dedicated to keeping everything they build in use for as long as possible.
Grow your sound system
As well as being connectable to your phone or other device via Bluetooth, the Minirigs also have two AUX ports – for those of us who like the way things used to be. They also allow you to link up to other Minirigs, so you can create a wall of stereo sound no one would believe is coming from such tiny speakers. According to the founder David, a slightly ridiculous 80 Minirigs have been joined up before.
The Minirig collection, which can all work compatibly together, includes:
- The Minirig Mini: Minirig's smallest speaker at just 84mm in diameter. Perfectly portable, whilst delivering huge sound.
- The Minirig 3: a whole sound system in one, promising 100 hours of battery life.
- The Sub 3: a compact little portable subwoofer made to supercharge the bass of your Minirig setup.
Ready to upgrade your outdoor music experience? Shop the Minirig collection here.