These space-saving speakers pack a punch when it comes to playing music on the go. Collette Miles tests five.

 

Product review: X Mini Rave capsule speakerEditor’s Rave: X-MINI RAVE CAPSULE SPEAKER
$74.90, from major electrical stores in Singapore

WHAT ROCKS Music is crisp, clear and full-bodied, both indoors and outdoors, even at the highest volume. The bass is strong and the built-in FM radio comes across loud and clear. Even when I pressed it down to compact it, music was equally clear.

WHAT COULD BE BETTER At high volume, the speaker vibrated so violently it nearly fell off the table!

VERDICT: 8.5. Excellent sound quality, indoors and outdoors.

 

Product review: Chicbuds Fauvette SpeakerCHICBUDS FAUVETTE SPEAKER
$55, from Epilife in Singapore

WHAT ROCKS It is the smallest and lightest of the lot. It doesn’t have a volume button but I could play music reasonably loudly by adjusting the volume on my MP3 player.

WHAT COULD BE BETTER The sound quality is poor, and exceptionally weak when songs with heavy bass beats are playing. The sound becomes more muffled the louder it gets. The music also sounds grainy outdoors.

VERDICT: 6. Portable, but let down by its poor audio quality.

 

Product review: Nakamichi My Mini Plus speakerGreat Find: NAKAMICHI MY MINI PLUS SPEAKER
$69.90, from Tangs in Singapore

WHAT ROCKS This is the loudest of the lot – the audio could fill a living room. The sound is top-notch at a regular volume, but echoes when it getslouder; the sound is muffled outdoors. With a micro SD card slot, I can load my songs into a memory card and use the speaker as a music player.

WHAT COULD BE BETTER Although it has an FM radio function, a screen would have made switching between radio stations easier.

VERDICT: 7.5. Not just a speaker – it’s a radio and a music player, too.

 

Product review: Gavio Wrenz portable speakerGAVIO WRENZ PORTABLE SPEAKER
$89.90, from Tangs in Singapore

WHAT ROCKS The most stylish-looking, this bird- shaped speaker could pass as a decorative paperweight. 

WHAT COULD BE BETTER At average volume, the sound is satisfactorily clear, but lacks depth. When used outdoors, the sound is slightly muffled although it is loud. There is no power switch and the faint blue LED light makes it hard to tell whether the speaker is switched on or off.

VERDICT: 6.5. Simple and basic.

 

Product review: Philips MP3 portable speaker SBA1700Best Value: PHILIPS MP3 PORTABLE SPEAKER SBA1700
$49, from major electrical stores in Singapore

WHAT ROCKS It is the only speaker powered by three AAA batteries – it won’t drain the battery life of your music player, unlike the others. The sound is loud and fairly clear at mid-volume, both indoors and outdoors. I could lay the speaker flat or prop it up on the stand.

WHAT COULD BE BETTER The palm-sized speaker took up the most space on my desk. Music is scratchy at high volume, which is jarring.

VERDICT: 7. A battery-powered find, with reasonable sound quality.

This article was originally published in Simply Her Apr 2012. Product photography: Darren Chang.