Podspeakers MiniPod Review - The Perfect Bluetooth Speaker?

Updated date: 
2018-07-26
Scandyna Podspeakers The MiniPod Review - Perfect Bluetooth Speakers?
Our Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

We simply had to ask a single question about the Scandyna MiniPod Bluetooth Mk II Bluetooth Speaker. Did Children of the Nineties Create the Perfect Bluetooth Speaker?

Not only did Joey from Friends showcase these very speakers in his apartment on the popular show, but they have been updated with Bluetooth for the 21st century and also sound great. Here is our rather detailed answer!

 Make Style Part Of Your Sound

A child of the nineties, the Podspeakers prototype designed in 1991 was created using salvaged loudspeaker components by Simon Ghahary and Lawrence Dickie.

Later both of whom were involved in the development of the famous B&W Nautilus loudspeaker series which started out life in places like the Museum of Modern Art’s Design Store New York City, and then was introduced to the general population.

Scandyna PodSpeakers Predecessor Design B&W NautilusThe designers themselves describe their Podspeaker speakers sort of as “modern art meets music”. To quote the designer Simon Ghahary: “It began with sculptural, rounded forms, with anatomical contours. Objects to inspire a connection to music.

“A connection designed to deliver a superior sound quality over the conventional rectangular enclosures.”

It was fitting that the first designs coincided with the emergence of a new wave of an electronically based music.

“Here were objects that expressed a new way of listening – with your eyes as well as your ears.”

We see there are several practical performance benefits to the beautifully rounded shapes.

This design avoid the edge diffraction effects caused by the corners of ordinary square cabinets, and spherical enclosures offer an excellent combination of strength and interior volume when combined with a ridged ABS enclosure.

All In The Family

The fact that Scandyna never had much US distribution for Podspeakers or possibly didn’t or couldn't meet demand in a market the size of the USA, should not hold you back from getting these wonderful sounding speakers. You can get them for the best prices below.

They have sold well over 100,000 speakers and customer service worldwide which should give wary shoppers piece of mind.

Both tried and true and always improving Scandyna makes several different Podspeakers that share the ultra-modern styling of the MiniPod Bluetooth MKII.

These include the passive version of the MiniPod, the smaller MicroPod, the larger BigPod MK III, and the small Podspeakers The Drop Mk3 – which really does look like a giant droplet of plastic, or a Hershey Kiss, and can be suspended from the ceiling on a slender rod.

Useful Accessories

Scandyna MiniPod Mk2 Stylish Accessories

So dress up your Podspeakers because they have lots of interesting and useful accessories that can be added or subtracted at will.

The various options of metal and wood spikes, hoops of various materials, plus wall and ceiling mounts really do contribute to the exotic look and functionality of these modern small speakers.

And they offer you lots of ways to personalize your Podspeakers…. You can even match the hoops and spikes to your furniture and then easily mount them on walls and ceilings.

It would be great hanging them for a big screen home theater or a unique music listening room setup,

The Scandyna MiniPod is Part Of The New Podspeakers Family of Speakers

Now Let’s Talk About Functionality

The MiniPod Bluetooth MKII is an apt-X Bluetooth enabled single or stereo pair sound system with an excellent combination of useful features we will highlight here.

Flexible connectivity options: The MiniPod Bluetooth MKII offers an amazing variety of ways you can connect and configure it. It accepts Bluetooth, Toslink optical, and analog audio inputs. It also has a subwoofer output – which is a feature that many other Bluetooth systems lack. (The subwoofer output is a line level signal, so you’ll need to connect it to a powered subwoofer.) You can use one MiniPod Bluetooth MKII by itself, or you can use a pair of them for stereo, or you can pair one MiniPod Bluetooth MKII with a passive MiniPod speaker as a stereo pair.

The smart indicator LED: The MiniPod Bluetooth MKII has a single LED on the front. It lights in blue, white, or green to tell you which input source is selected; it lights solid when the MiniPod Bluetooth MKII is playing, pulsates brightly while it’s waiting for a source, and pulsates less brightly when the MiniPod Bluetooth MKII is in standby; and it flashes rapidly when the speaker is pairing. This may seem simple, but delivering that much information, in such an easily understandable manner, from a single LED, is really a marvel of industrial engineering.

Simple pairing options: The MiniPod Bluetooth MKII has two separate pairing modes for monaural (individual) and stereo (as a pair). Providing a separate button for each is much simpler than using some complex sequence to select one or the other. We like that.

DSP EQ options: The MiniPod Bluetooth MKII offers a choice of three DSP-powered EQ options: Optimal, Flat, and Boost. While not exactly exciting, these are useful for providing a bit of customization to the way the MiniPod Bluetooth MKII sounds.

Standby timeout: By default, if it doesn’t receive any audio for five minutes, the MiniPod Bluetooth MKII will drop into network standby, and, after a half hour it will go into low power standby – both in accordance with European standards. However, this time can be extended to one week if you prefer.

Scandyna Podspeakers MiniPod Base Controls

Images by Simon Ghahary

Controls and Indicators

The controls for the MiniPod Bluetooth MKII are on the bottom; and they include:

  • a push button switch, which turns the MiniPod Bluetooth MKII on,
  • and switches between inputs when the MiniPod Bluetooth MKII is on
  • a pair of push buttons to turn the Volume up and down
  • a rocker switch to disable the wireless input
  • a pair of push buttons that actuate pairing
  • (these are also used to control the DSP EQ functions)

A single LED on the front (near the bottom) lights in a variety of colors and patterns to tell you what the MiniPod Bluetooth MKII is doing. This LED is the most expressive single LED indicator we’ve ever seen. It can illuminate in blue, white, or green; bright or dim; and steady or “breathing”.

Along with the LED, some of the control options are acknowledge by an audible beep tone. The included remote control is well thought out and includes all of the important controls.

Connectivity

  • Bluetooth: version 4.0 apt-X
  • Supported Bluetooth profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, SBC audio CODEC
  • Digital audio input: Toslink optical
  • Analog audio input: Aux (3.5mm jack)
  • Subwoofer output: Analog (3.5mm jack)

Are You Curious About Sound Quality?

We had a positive listening experience. We found the sound quality on the MiniPod Bluetooth MKII is quite good. Midrange is clear and well balanced, with plenty of detail, and the high end is smooth.

The bass capability of the MiniPod Bluetooth MKII is somewhat limited, but that’s easily remedied by attaching a separate powered subwoofer for a beautiful sounding full range system.

The Upside and Limitations

There are lots of nice things we can say about the MiniPod Bluetooth MKII. Aside from unique and stylish enclosure, they’re a nice no-nonsense Bluetooth speaker. These latest MKII use a new and excellent crossover providing much better treble and bass balance.

The latest version is well thought out and also more flexible than past models allowing access to the inside via a bottom plate you can remove.

The MiniPod with its built-in 2 x 25 Watt DSP amplifiers is very easy to use, sounds good, and they offer plenty of ways to connect to your music. They offer a variety of different ways to play stereo music in your room, and both the optical digital input and the subwoofer output are features you don’t find on many Bluetooth speakers.

A big plus: The power supply is internal, so they don’t need an annoying wall wart; they run from a wide variety of line voltages – and switch by themselves; and they deliver good sound for their size. Even the remote control is rather likeable. And the cool multi-color indicator LED really is useful; it really shows you a lot about what’s going on.

Wireless music streaming from PCs, laptops, smartphones and tablets

Whether you consider it to be a drawback or not, the MiniPod Bluetooth MKII. is just a Bluetooth speaker – so it doesn’t have any apps or anything like that.

The important part is, no matter how you stream your music (Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music, etc.) it will all work great and sound great using Bluetooth using the latest greatest aptX codec.

MiniPod Use Is Convenient With Bluetooth Via Laptop or Phone

Overall, we find the MiniPod Bluetooth MKII. to be an excellent example of reimagining the bookshelf speaker and creating a wireless streaming system. As far as the ultra-unique looks…. Well, you’re either going see how great these will look on a desk or in your living room or not.

Podspeakers The MiniPod Mk2 Specifications

  • Cabinet material: ABS + Fibre material
  • Speaker terminal type: Push Type 04mm
  • Bass driver: 5.25” Kevlar cone
  • Bass tuning: Tuned port (front)
  • Tweeter driver: 25mm cloth dome
  • Sensitivity: 86 dB
  • THD: < 1% @ rated output
  • Frequency response: 58 Hz – 22 kHz +/- 3 dB (48 Hz – 22 kHz +/- 6 dB)
  • Nominal impedance: 6 Ohms
  • EQ modes: Optimal >FLAT >Boost
  • Bluetooth module: Qualcomm/CSR CS 8670 TrueWireless
  • Connectors: AC Power input - Analog Aux-In (mini-jack) - Optical toslink - SUB-OUT (analog, mini-jack)

Electronics

Amplifier power: 25 W/channel x 2 (Class D amplifier with DSP)

Power

AC power only (no battery)

Power requirements: 100 – 240 VAC

Power consumption: 0.4W (standby); 1.1W (network standby)

Dimensions and Weight and Accessories

Dimensions: H14” x 11”W x 7”D

Weight: 7lbs

Included in box: Rubber feet - 2 types, 6 pieces total - User guides - AC power cable

Pricing, Options, and Accessories

Keep in mind The MiniPod Bluetooth MKII is sold as a single unit. For full stereo, you can add a second passive MiniPod speaker (connected by a wire) or you configure two MiniPod Bluetooth MKII speakers as a stereo pair.

The MiniPod Bluetooth MKII speaker is available in White Stain, Black Matte, and Red Matte

(the Red Matte is really bright). The MiniPod Bluetooth MKII comes with an AC power cord, a remote control, a manual, and two different sets of rubber feet, and ass mentioned there are many neat accessories you can add to customize and mount your MiniPod.

They include:

Spikes (cute little tripod feet that screw into the bottom).

Spikes come in both aluminum and wood – each in several different colors.

($24/set in aluminum; $29/set in wood).

Hoops (sort of a trim ring, about a half inch wide, that encircles the woofer).

Spikes come in both aluminum and wood – each in several different colors.

($24/set in aluminum; $69/set in wood).

Wall mount (a futuristic little adjustable arm/bracket).

The mounting plate and adjustable mount are black; the rods are silver.

($99 a pair).

Metal Grilles (round punched metal grilles that cover the woofer).

Grilles only come in black.

($99 a pair).

All models of the MiniPod Bluetooth MKII are sold with a black hoop for $599 (each).

The Black Matte model can be purchased with a variety of hoops (from $579 to $599).

Additional accessory hoops can be purchased separately. The passive version of the MiniPod speaker costs $369 (used to make a stereo set).

How Do We Rate the MiniPod?

We’re happy give the MiniPod Bluetooth MKII an enthusiastic and positive review and rating. As a latest generation Bluetooth speaker, it looks great with the sound quality to match.

With the MKII crossovers the mid-bass and treble-balance is just right at punching up the sound.

Also, being able to turn it into a 2.1 stereo system by adding a separate powered subwoofer makes it full range setup to be envied!

We had fun imaging using the Podspeakers in various desktop music, home theater, or gaming setups; and being able to connect multiple powered subwoofers, for even more low-end impact.

The MiniPod Bluetooth MKII also has a nice variety of connectivity and stereo configuration options including multiroom, a handy remote, but we’d like to see some more EQ controls – or maybe at least a full set of tone controls on that remote.

In the end, you really CAN’T ignore the looks. We might reasonably say the MiniPod Bluetooth MKII is a well executed piece of industrial design that owners can revel in its HiFi uniqueness.

They do come in a variety of (sometimes changing) colors and finishes, including a somewhat sedate black and white, a bright and shiny Ferrari red, and a selection of different hoops and spikes – in both wood grains and metallic colors – this offer a near endless combination of accent details.

Scandyna MiniPod Mkii

Image Name Buy now Color Output Power Rating Lowest price WiFi Warranty Length Battery Power Connections Available Bluetooth Dimensions Stereo Pairing Warranty Weight Remote Control Details
Scandyn Podspeakers MiniPod in Black Podspeakers MiniPod Bluetooth MKII buy this Podspeakers MiniPod Bluetooth MKII Black  lowest prices available now Black 50Watts
4
$449.00 Bluetooth enabled devices n/a No Bluetooth version: 4.0, AUX-In (analogue, mini-jack), OPT-In (toslink) Yes 14" x 11" x 10" Yes 1 year 12lbs
Compare The Podspeakers Podspeakers MiniPod Bluetooth MKII Podspeakers MiniPod Bluetooth MKII buy this Podspeakers MiniPod Bluetooth MKII Red Desktop lowest prices available now Red 50Watts
4
$399.00 Bluetooth enabled devices n/a No Bluetooth version: 4.0, AUX-In (analogue, mini-jack), OPT-In (toslink) Yes 14" x 11" x 10" Yes 1 year 12lbs
Compare The Podspeakers Podspeakers MiniPod Bluetooth MKII Podspeakers MiniPod Bluetooth MKII buy this Podspeakers MiniPod Bluetooth MKII White Living Room lowest prices available now White 50Watts
4
Currently unavailable Bluetooth enabled devices n/a No Bluetooth version: 4.0, AUX-In (analogue, mini-jack), OPT-In (toslink) Yes 14" x 11" x 10" Yes 1 year 12lbs

The Last Word

In short, these Podspeakers can create a wireless streaming system that really gets the job done and will please your ears. Also, your interior decorator will love you for life because it’s flexible and easy to use in any home decorating conundrum.

You’ll appreciate that a Podspeaker system can be either a flexible one-box solution or a true pair acting as a wireless stereo system. These are not designed or built to blast you out of your chair but rather provide a refined sound and still are absolutely room filling.

We see it as perfect as a desktop solution (alone or in a pair) or as an iconic eye catching living room system with a powered subwoofer. Everyone here who has spent time with this audio system guarantees you will have a positive listening experience with this fab looking HiFi product!

Introduction to The Podspeakers Line Up [Video]

Introduction to The Podspeakers Line Up 2017

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Great sound along with an iconic look and bluetooth make the Scandyna Podspeakers Minipod a true classic!

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