Three UK, this little fellow drop by the post this morning. As it isn't technically Christmas yet, let's just call it a late birthday gift. ;) It's a Mini Buddy portable speaker in the form of a confused looking primate, from a company I have never heard of before, KitSound.
While not quite as exciting as the SoundWave SW50 bluetooth speaker I touched on a couple of months ago, the Mini Buddy at least looks the part. The single large 36mm driver resides at the back of its, uhm, head. It might not look like it, but good lord is this thing loud! Initially believing this to be more of a novelty toy, this monkey looking portable speaker is actually rather good sounding, considering the price.
Inside the Mini Buddy lies a Li-ion battery that can be charged via a supplied micro USB cable. Sadly, the speaker won't work via USB, but the universal 3.5mm headphone jack via a short cable will work on almost every mobile phone and DAP ever released. A simple on/off switch ensures the battery wouldn't be wasted when the speaker isn't busy annoying your fellow bus passengers.
With an impedance of 4ohms, it is rather sensitive. While this allows it to be incredibly loud, there are obvious distortions the louder you go, though still surprisingly crisp for what it is (certainly more so than most laptop speakers I have used). You probably wouldn't want to trade your Klipsch monitors for this!
Still, for £10, these speakers are neat and cute looking portable speaker for kids or anyone who wishes to have something just a bit louder than their phone for a trip to the beach where sound quality isn't an issue anyway. Generally, for kids at least, speakers are safer than in-ear headphones.
Incidentally, the Mini Buddy speaker I received was the Monkey version, which fits me perfectly considering I was born in the year of the monkey. There are loads of other versions too, including a penguin and devil, plus a more expensive deadmau5 version that lights up.