A little while ago, I reviewed the Cambridge Minx Air 200 and found it a solid new performer in the UK-based company’s new lineup of wireless speakers. Today, I’m looking at the Cambridge Audio Minx Go, a portable Bluetooth speaker with 18 hours of advertised battery life and a $149 price tag. It’s bigger than cheaper competitors like the Jawbone Jambox, but it’s got plenty more juice, too, and Cambridge’s high-quality pedigree.
- 3.5mm input
- Built-in digital signal processing
- USB charging port for phones and devices
- 18 hours battery life
- MSRP: $149
- Product info page
Cambridge is sticking to a common design language with its Minx line of wireless speakers, and the Minx Go resembles its older sibling the Minx Air almost exactly, but shrunk down to about a quarter of the size. That still makes it larger than the comparably priced (though more expensive) Jawbone Jambox, arguably the most recognizable competitor in this category.[gallery columns="4" ids="842355,842354,842353,842352"]
The size is still fairly portable, however, and the same design principles that give the Minx Air 200 such room-filling sound are at work here, too. The arc of the front grille projects sound out, and the narrow base is supplemented by a small, extendable foot that keeps it upright. It can do without, as well, in my experience, but those wary of the thing toppling off a deck railing will want the foot.
As far as Bluetooth speakers go, the Minx Go is pretty barebones. It connects to your smartphone, tablet or computer via Bluetooth, and streams audio from that source (or from a hardwire connection via the 3.5mm jack). The device itself features a volume up, volume down and power button for controlling music, without any kind of back/forward or play/pause features like you might find elsewhere. It’s simplicity defined.
Simplicity is nice in terms of offering a straightforward user experience, but competitors like the Jambox offer speakerphone capabilities, and remote control is nice if the speaker is more portable than your source, for instance. Plus with gadgets like the Boombot Rex, which I also just reviewed, that speaker function is very useful, especially when hanging out lakeside.
One very nice feature is the USB charging port, however, which unfortunately only works for pass-through charging when the AC adapter is plugged in. The Minx Go also charges very quickly, topping up completely in just two hours.
The battery is the real star for features: 18 hours of advertised battery life isn’t an extreme exaggeration. I’ve used the Go extensively, and have charged it only twice during that time. It’s been a cottage companion, and a daily work soundtrack provider, and it goes so long you forget it isn’t plugged in. Truly a category leader in this regard.
Battery is impressive, as mentioned, but audio performance is also obviously important in a Bluetooth speaker. And in my experience, the Cambridge is one of the top contenders in that area. Cambridge has a long pedigree of building high quality audio products, and the Go is no exception. It delivers plenty of clarity at even high volumes, along with impressive bass performance from such a small package.
At least one other review I’ve read suggested that the bass performance on the Minx Go led to undue case rattle and distortion, but I haven’t found that at all with my unit. To the contrary, the bass remains strong and clear at even high volumes, which is in contrast with more muddy speakers like the otherwise excellent Big Jambox. The Cambridge at $149 rivals many AirPlay speakers that cost $200 and up, in my opinion, which is all the more impressive since it’s primarily using Bluetooth as its source.
Cambridge’s Minx Go is a new bright spot in the portable wireless speaker category, and the battery life along paired with the relatively low price tag should turn a lot of heads. If you don’t mind missing a few bells and whistles like a speakerphone function, this is the Bluetooth speaker I’m recommend, for summer adventures and beyond.