There are countless Bluetooth speakers to choose from these days, so if audio companies want people to take notice, you have to do something pretty different. The Muzen Wild Mini speaker is just that. Measuring about 3″ high x 2.25″ wide x 1.375″ deep, this ultra-compact speaker is small enough to carry in the palm of your hand, but this tiny speaker punches way above its class in build and sound quality.
The Wild Mini comes packaged in a sturdy plastic case that’s substantially larger than the speaker itself. The rugged, foam-lined case is a nice touch but given the speaker’s own rugged look and feel, I’m not sure I’ll ever be putting it back in its packaging.
The speaker is the true star of the show, featuring a high-quality body made from high-density zinc alloy, and a design inspired by military radios. With the exception of a couple of trim pieces and buttons, everything on the Wild Mini is made from metal. Combined with the weight of a battery that can last up to six hours at full volume, the little speaker feels incredibly substantial and weighs in at over half a pound.
Despite being a pre-production model, my review unit feels really well built, with no gaps or rattly bits. The 5-watt amplifier and speaker produce a surprisingly big sound, without discernible distortion even at high volume levels. Physics prevent a speaker this small from ever producing booming bass, but it handles low end admirably for its size, and mids and highs are clean and pleasing to the ear. Overall sound quality is much better than I expected for a speaker this small, and I think the metal enclosure and rubber feet help to eliminate unwanted vibrations.
Every detail of the Wild Mini’s case and controls are smartly designed and engineered. There’s a satisfyingly clicky knurled metal thumbwheel for adjusting volume, a spring-loaded flip switch for powering the unit on and off and Bluetooth pairing, and a pushbutton surrounded by a bi-directional ring for pausing and changing tracks.
A MicroUSB charging connector hides beneath a hinged door that keeps moisture out. The speaker enclosure is IPX5-rated, which means it’s water-resistant, so it’s fine if it gets rained on or splashed at the beach, but you don’t want to submerge it.
In addition to its above par audio capabilities, the Wild Mini serves double duty as a flashlight. There are three modes – high, low, and SOS. It’s not an exceptionally bright light even at its highest setting, but it does provide enough light to guide your way on a pitch-black trail, or to find your keys in the dark. Plus, it can be operated at the same time as your music plays. The speaker’s case also has an “n”-shaped loop on its top, which lets you lash it to a backpack or belt loop with a piece of paracord or a small carabiner clip.
I absolutely love this little speaker. It’s got a unique look, is built really well and sounds very good considering its size. You can pre-order the Muzen Wild Mini Bluetooth speaker now over on Kickstarter. While the MSRP for the speaker is $99, there are still a number of Super Early Bird and Early Bird deals available, priced at $69 and $79, respectively.