The Minirig is a very British creation and also one of the best portable speakers around. This latest version is also now rocking improved bass response and some robust wireless audio chops too.
PASCE Ltd. created the original Minirig as more of a hobby project than a serious manufacturing effort. The company's background is in professional audio, but some of its engineers started messing around with portable audio as a side-project.
Now it's become an entire brand in itself.
The Minirig has also developed a bit of a cult following in the South West, around its Bristol HQ, springing from the area's musical heritage and sound-system culture. If you've ever experienced the sensory explosion that is St. Paul's Carnival in the city you'll have an idea what I'm on about…
The Minirig is built on solid foundations of great sound, ease-of-use and long life.
That tight focus has enabled Minirig to produce a portable speaker that does only what you need it to do, but does it brilliantly.
The unassuming little device has a solitary 3-inch driver and a single button. That does make it a resolutely mono device on its own, but also means it has been able to pack in that large speaker for serious sound.
There are two analogue inputs too, for high and low-gain playback, and a power I/O for battery charging.
This 2015 Bluetooth Minirig, as the name suggests, also comes with Bluetooth connectivity. It's the top spec too, with Bluetooth 4.0 and aptX to allow for CD-quality playback from a compatible wirelessly connected device.
That's perfect for playing from a hi-res audio player or a streaming service like Tidal.
I've got to make special mention of the battery in this thing though. The Minirig isn't particularly big by portable audio standards, and it's not that heavy either, but this thing packs in a battery with a completely unprecedented maximum 50 hours battery life.
That's a full weekend of audio fun.
One of the things that's helped the Minirig gain popularity among the sound system crews is its ability to connect up to multiple versions of itself to boost sound. Daisy chain the analogue cables, if you find it a friend, and you can make with some big audio dynamite.
PASCE knows this and has made sure the new Bluetooth Minirig will talk with older versions too, making sure no-one gets left out.
As well as being able to link up a whole bunch of the little speakers themselves (Minirig fans are in fact attempting to create a world record with 100 of them to blow the ears off Bristol this Summer…) you can also boost the bass with a dedicated subwoofer too.
That's a fair bit larger than the main Minirig, and if you go for a 2.1 setup the portability thing does start to become a little trickier to manage.