How much time have you spent at the park, or entertaining this summer? It's remarkable to think how quickly our lifestyles have changed from frequenting pubs and cocktail bars to travelling shorter distances and meeting our loved ones in green spaces. Things like a portable speaker have proved themselves worthy, 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 portable ones, the likelihood of it 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 speaker.
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 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.
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 they treat advancing technology. They actually offer the ability to upgrade your existing device; say if Bluetooth went out of fashion for a new system or some other functionality was improved, 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.
The features keep flowing. Along with being connectable to your phone or other device via Bluetooth, there are also two AUX ports – for those of us who like the way things used to be. We can confirm it's super easy to set up out of the box - it arrived with plenty of charge.
The Minirig can even link up to other Minirigs if you’re so inclined, you could create a shimmering wall of stereo sound with two, three or more speakers. According to the founder David, a slightly ridiculous 80 Minirigs have been joined up before.