In this review of the Minirig 3 bluetooth speaker we are going to basically tell you why this is an absolute no brainer of a purchase. If you want the absolute best sound quality in a rock solid package nothing comes close, even from more expensive speakers.
Yes the original Minirig has been dethroned and not by some other company or new startup but by Minirigs themselves with the release of this new third version. Its louder, its more detailed and it goes for even longer. If you just want to skip the rest of this review you can know right away that I am recommending this speaker wholeheartedly but if you want to know why I am so enamoured with this speaker free to stick around and read on.
Packaging and Accessories
The Minirig 3 packaging is super simple with a recycled cardboard tube decorated in some Minirig graphics and a little information about the speakers. Its nothing fancy but Minirig have basically eliminated waste materials in there packaging so I like it.
In the top of the tube, you will find all the accessories and extras, and in the bottom, you will see the Minirig 3 is inside its fitted carry case.
There isn’t much in the way of extras as you would expect with any portable speaker, but what is in the box is a Minirig lanyard, charging cable, sticker, and manual. Of course, there is the speaker itself and the carry case which it is inside.
My single solitary criticism of the Minirig 3 is that it is still using a proprietary connector instead of something like USB-C. The included connector is robust and very durable, and on my other models they have held up just fine over time, but I am always worried that when traveling I might lose the cable and be forced to hunt the comparable one. If it was a USB-C, I could pick up a new one or even use the cable from my laptop or phone.
The case is excellent; it keeps the Minirig safe in transit, and it gives you somewhere to keep the charging cable when it's not in use. It fits very tight with the speaker, so it doesn’t take up more space in a suitcase when backing it for a trip.
The Same Industrial Style & Build Quality
You wouldn’t be wrong if you mistook the Minirig 3 for the original model or the second because Minirig don’t change their design and there is an excellent reason for that. The speaker, in my opinion, is perfect the way it is and built better than any other on the market. Yes, the Bang & Olfson Bluetooth speakers are prettier to look at as are many others, but they are nowhere near as robust and compact as the Minirig 3’s chassis.
The Aesthetic is straightforward and industrial looking. I like it, and it is available in several different colors for you to choose from. It's very much a case of them trying to build the most compact and best sounding speaker and then trying to make a housing around that which is exceptionally robust while adding minimal bulk to the design.
The minute you pick up the Minirig 3, it just feels so substantial and dense. There's no creaking plastic or delicate parts; it feels like a solid block.
A testament to how well the Minirig holds up through punishment is the fact that it has been on three separate Long distance motorbike and camping trips with me. The first from Deli to Shimla in the Himalayas, the second the full length of Vietnam and the latest to the up the spine of the Peruvian Andes and through Colombia. It has been stuffed into kit bags, it has been stepped on, dropped left out overnight in the Peruvian desert and covered in sand, and it got a thorough drenching in the Amazon. It just keeps ticking, and no doubt in my mind, had I taken any other speaker with me, at least one would have failed over the past two years.
Funnily enough most of the other people that were on those trips later bought Minirigs because they were so impressed with how loud it got and how much bass it had. Each brought their speakers, but it was the Minirig we all used for watching movies or listening to music around the campfire.
So the housing itself is made from rather thick anodized aluminum. You get small rubber ring bumpers branded with Minirig on the top and bottom. The side only has connectors for pairing in other units (The Minirig can be daisy chained to other speakers for louder surround sound) and for charging through the proprietary connector.
The top of the unit is where the driver sits protected behind some seriously durable mesh that has been color-coded to the speaker.
Operating your Minirig 3 Speaker
Operating the Minirig 3 portable speaker is extremely simple. It is very little in the way of extra functionality, and there are no gimmicks like being able to charge your mobile or put in a micro-sd card. It's a straight up speaker, and it's not pretending to be anything else.
To power on there is a small bump of a button that when pressed, will start glowing. You turn the unit on and search for the Bluetooth device, and you are connected and ready to play music from the go.
There is no volume button on the device, but they do have two power settings that will instantly give more loudness and increase the fullness of the sound. You can switch between these modes via a single press of the power button.
To switch the device off, you hold down the power button.
Battery life is outstanding and the best I have ever tested with well over 50 hours playback beyond charges. Minirigs claim 100 hours, but that is at the lower gain and volume levels. If pushed though I could easily see myself getting over 70 hours between charges.The Minirig App and the Minirig 3 Speaker
The MInirig App
As mentioned above there’s not much in the way of extra functionality via hardware on the unit itself, but there is an app available via the Google Play Store that gives you more control and customization over your setup.
Enable play/pause by a single press of the power button
Skip a track via double press
Enable power saving mode (Minirigs 3 will turn off after 30 mins of inactivity)
Enable Standby mode
Customize your sound
Inside the Minirigs app, you will also find support for a five-band EQ system that allows you to custom tweak the sound of your speaker. I was surprised just how well the speaker took the EQing because I have had some units struggle in this regard in the past.
One of the cool things about the Minirigs as a sound system is the ability to link multiple speakers and create stereo sound and much more. You can connect lots of Minirigs and place them in various locations.
What about the Subwoofer unit?
Unfortunately, I have not tested or reviewed the Minirigs speakers with the addition of the, but this is something I would look to doing in the future. Stand-alone, the Minirigs speaker, has a lot of basses so I’m not sure without testing whether it would be too much bass with a sub unit or make it sound even more impressive..
The way it works is your link in the sub unit to the speaker and should give a significant boost to the low end. As I said I haven’t had the chance to play with one of these, but it could be an exciting addition if you don’t mind carrying the extra weight.Sound Quality
Even though it has been a few years since the Minirigs came out still regard it as the best sounding Bluetooth speaker on the market also edging out Bang & Olufsen's A1. The Minirig 3 is on an entirely different level.
The main reason that the Minirigs sounds so good comes down to the big single unit driver on the inside. Almost all these other companies have taken the approach of creating multi-driver Bluetooth speakers whereas Minirigs has opted for a single extremely high-end unit. The result, when put side by side with the competition, is dramatic and the Minirigs 3 sounds better than all others I have tested and to be honest it also sounds better than more significant semi-portable speakers 5-10 times the size of the Minirigs.
The sound is full and rich, and there is lots of detail and minimal distortion. Even when you push the speaker to its total volume, it sounds incredible and results in a slight clipping of the bass instead of complete degradation of the sound.
It sounds transparent and open with an air about it, and the bass can hit seriously hard. All out sub-bass is not on the level of a full-size speaker, but it blows away anything from B&O or Bose.
Sound signature is V-shaped with peaky highs and big lows, but if you desire a different tuning, you can cut the highs or lows with the EQ as well as expanding the midrange to give an overall flatter profile.
Tips for a better sounding Bluetooth speaker.
A tip that is worth mentioning (and one that can be applied with whatever speaker you end up buying) is positioning your speaker for the best sound quality.
If you want to amplify the sound, think about putting it near a wall. The music will be much fuller and bass deeper. Even better stick it in a corner. Finally, try to keep your speaker on a solid surface. As this will allow keep distortion down and further enhance bass.
Minirig 3 - The best portable bluetooth speak of 2019
Minirigs didn’t pay me for this review. I think given my enthusiasm for the Minirigs 3 throughout this review I need to put that out there. It's just such an incredibly good speaker that price permitting I wouldn’t recommend anything else.
Since our review of the original Minirigs speaker I know many many people who have bought them and they are all shocked by how good it is. It blows the competition out of the water, but relatively few people even know it exists and continue to buy sub-par speakers like the B&O A1 (which I also own and hardly use). Its an incredible little speaker with the best build, best battery life, and best sound for its size. It’s a no brainer.
Company Website: www.minirigs.co.uk