Art & Culture

So now Christmas is all over and you've taken stock of your wonderful array of gifts; the David Beckham aftershave, the DVD you already own, the jumper you'll never wear and the chocolates you ate for breakfast, it's time you let the person who cares about you the most (your good self) buy something you really need (want).

For those of you who don't know or haven't guessed the Minirig is a portable speaker. The type you can take to one of those music festivals and attempt to impress your fellow campers with your diverse collection of speed garage and 90s trance till 11am.. I've heard you! The first thing to say about the Minirig is that it is foOking LOUD.. Ludicrously so for it's unassuming size. I can guarantee the first thing you'll do if (when) you get your own is whack on your most filthy baseline and smugly grin with glee as you crank it up – at least till you start worrying about complaints from your neighbor's dog. Whilst the volume continues to rise, seemingly forever, you'll quickly appreciate the lack of distortion. Your ears prepare themselves for the inevitable snap crackle and pop but it never arrives. The clever inbuilt limiters protect your ears and the 3 inch neodymium loudspeaker from certain degradation. The quality of the sound is undeniably impressive for such a concise and cheap bit of kit. Holding it in the palm of your hand you'll marvel at Mini Rig's minimal design and magical output.

As an example of the level of amplification this little guy is capable of we opted to use this as the in car sound system when my good mate Rob gave me a lift up North in his 25 year old Mini. We were making time up the M1 blasting out All Along The Watchtower, the Mini's engine whaling along in the background. Even at a resonating 85mph the bass notes and the vocals were all perfectly clear, no mean feat as many of you will appreciate. If you're ever on a similar journey feel free to make use of Making Time

I'm already excited about finding someone else with a MiniRig so we can join forces and link up via the two jack sockets (cool eh) and I can foresee some stage at Shambala built entirely out of MiniRigs with some half naked bloke dancing round with his iPhone. As you'd predict they've nailed the battery system too. Rechargeable via USB over 500 cycles with no memory effect and can last up to 50hours from a single charge, which admittedly sounds dubious. There's even a neat 3 chip LED to tell you what's going on via a kind of multicoloured morse code. The only annoying aspect I've found was when I left the jack lead plugged in without a device on the other end and managed to drain the battery over night without realising it, pretty frustrating.

From the very fact that you're even reading this on R$N I'll assume you've a vested interest in quality sound with a desire to listen to your favorite Bewitched album at the highest possible fidelity anytime anywhere. I can bet you've at least attempted some form of rudimentary decoupling using halved squash balls, spikes and breeze blocks. You already own at least three different sound systems in various combinations lying around the house including what you consider to be a fairly decent set of portable speakers.. there's plenty of reasons not to buy the Minirig but you definitely want one. For an easily excusable £85 you can fill your ears with sound from a hand built piece of quality audio engineering designed and crafted by some genius in Bristol (so i'm told).. He even puts your name on the bottom!

For more info check MINIRIG

Rob Jones