Mini speaker from The Pi Hut – review

The Pi Hut have just launched their mini speaker, which has been modded from a standard model especially for the Pi.

It comes in a really nice box (below).

It comes with a 3.5mm audio cable to plug in to the port on the Pi and also a USB charging cable.

The speaker itself is about 2-3 inches across and is an attractive deep red colour. It’s got a soft matt finish, which is great because that means it’s fingerprint-resistant. You can also use it as an MP3 player as it’s got a microSD slot in the side. I didn’t try it in this mode, but it’s a nice addition. It’s also got volume control buttons on the side.

So, how does it perform? Well, I tried it out on a Model B+ with the slightly improved audio performance of that model and, I have to say, it performs brilliantly. The decibels it pumps out when turned up to maximum are truly impressive. I tried it with Big Buck Bunny using omxplayer…

and I tried it using Sonic Pi, which the box proclaims as being ‘ideal for’, and it really is.

Here’s Sonic Pi v2 playing at full volume. Slight bit of distortion at the high end, but still acceptable:

I should say at this point that none of those clips really does the sound justice, it’s just the best I can do on my phone!

So, are there any downsides? Only one that I could find. If you plug the 3.5mm cable into the Pi and the USB charging cable into the Pi at the same time, you will get interference in the form of static playing over the speaker. I’m no technical expert so I’m not sure why that is. The static isn’t so bad you can’t hear anything, but it is a slight problem that I felt I ought to point out. Strangely, if you charge it from a mains USB charger at the same time, there is no static. Many people will charge the speaker independently of using it, of course, so it’s not that big an issue. The good thing is that, thanks to a modification, you are able to charge it and use it at the same time.

Overall

Overall, I love this new speaker. It’s only £12 (plus postage) and is extremely portable. I expect from a Model B the sound isn’t quite as good, but the Model B+ is excellent. The build quality is very good and the sound produced is of very high quality. I will give this speaker a score of 9/10.

You can buy this speaker from The Pi Hut by following this link (they have a sale August Bank Holiday weekend that means you can get it for £10.80 + postage).

3 comments for “Mini speaker from The Pi Hut – review

  1. Quintin
    28 July 2016 at 2:07 pm

    This speaker is charged via USB or can be a USB speaker. However, how do you do that with a Pi? Why would I want a speaker that I have to charge separately, especially when I have a device capable of charging it (and also outputting USB sound) – however no one covers how to make this speaker’s USB “capabilities” standard on the device. Also, plugging it into USB and AUX is not an answer, as the device will switch between the 2.

    • Michael Horne
      29 July 2016 at 10:50 am

      Not sure it _can_ be used a USB speaker, or why you’d want to.

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