Anyone who sneers at the description of iPod as 'hifi' needs to hear a pair of these
Nicely made, well specified
full-scale, articulate sound
Prefer stands to a desktop
At first glance there's little but cabinet dimension to differentiate the Epoz AktiMate Minis from the more affordable Audioengine A5s; but look closer and significant variations become apparent.
The right-hand speaker is still a passive design, but over on the left-hand side there's a fair bit more going on.
There's an iPod dock on top for a start, and the 3.5mm input is joined by stereo RCAs on the back. 40 Watts per channel may not read as impressively as the A5s' 50W, but the Minis offer more than enough to make up for it.
The Minis are up-front, entertaining performers. The Replacements' Alex Chilton fairly barrels along, the punchy low frequencies straight-edged and packed with information.
There's plenty of detail on offer throughout, in fact, combined with commendable timing and deep-breathing dynamic heft.
Rhythmically adept and just as comfortable with plodding tempos as with foot-to-the-floor attack, the Minis offer excellent tonal variation and convincing texture to any instrument or voice.
Go good and loud
And, despite the uninspiring power rating, they are able to go good and loud – though low frequencies get a little flustered and over-keen at volume – and have enough control to remain detailed and involving.
You should put them on some dedicated stands, but even when positioned on a desk-top the Minis remain poised and deliver a convincing stereo image.
We said ‘this is about as good as your iPod can sound without chucking more money at it' when we first listened to the Minis, and that remains emphatically the case