XQISIT delivers a great combination of looks and performance
XQISIT is a new company to this reviewer and makes a vast range of phone and audio accessories, from Bluetooth headsets to car chargers.
Its website lists it as being based in Germany, though the hardware I received declares on the exterior that it was built in the P. R. C. (China), predictably.
Wherever this device was conceived and made, the S20 a nicely engineered, compact and portable speaker that can be used either using Bluetooth or a 3.5mm audio jack from any audio device with either of those options.
And as these devices tend to offer, using Bluetooth allows you to change volume, skip track and even answer the phone through a built-in microphone, should you need that capability. These are the sort of features that I’d expect from any portable speaker these days.
But what makes this item stand out is the all-metal construction and how compact XQISIT managed to make it. The length and breadth of the S20 are less than my Nexus 5X phone, though at 2.5cm thick, it’s much deeper.
Considering its relatively diminutive size, you’d imagine that it wouldn’t be able to push much sound, but the dual 3W drivers on it are deceptively punchy.
And the lithium-ion battery is good for up to ten hours of output, and a full recharge using USB can be achieved in about four hours using a standard USB micro-B source.
To add even more usefulness to the S20, XQISIT also included a standard USB port, allowing you to turn the charging cable around and use the battery in the speaker to charge a phone or tablet.
A recent price drop has also made it highly affordable, so what’s the skeleton in the S20’s closet?
I can find only one, and that’s the Bluetooth chip, in that it only supports version 2.1 + EDR, a spec that was finalised way back in 2007. Both Bluetooth 3.0 and 4.x introduced enhancements that help audio quality, and the S20 can’t take advantage of any of them unfortunately. The specs also don’t mention A2DP or aptX, pointedly.
Therefore for those wishing to get the best sound out of the S20, I’d recommend the 3.5mm jack connection, even if it isn’t as wireless or interactive.
I also find the gold version much less flattering than the black or silver one I was blessed to review, but everyone has a different style threshold.
Those points aside, if you’d like some well-engineered speakers to annoy numerous others with your musical bias, then the S20 could easily fit the bill.
Compared with many plastic speakers I’ve tried, these are in another class entirely. Mark Pickavance
Highly desirable speakers.
• 2 x 3W HD stereo sound.• Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR.• Integrated Li-ion battery with 2500mAh.• Up to ten hours of play time with only four hours charging time.• Built-in microphone.• 150-18kHz frequency range.• 4 ohms impedance.• Charging cable included.• 3.5mm line-in.• Dimensions: 6.65 x 2.5 x 14.4cm.• Weight: 262g.