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Half the fun of this portable speaker is experimenting with it on various surfaces. Luckily it’s a well-built and designed product to boot.
On the surface
The Mighty Dwarf proves one of mother nature’s laws — that even the smallest of creatures can pack a punch — especially when it’s super colourful. The Mighty Dwarf (MD) isn’t made by mother nature though, but rather Audiomotion, a very human company focused on making products that play music using vibrations (rather than the traditional speaker membrane). It may be a tiny speaker, but once you place the 52mm x 59mm speaker on a solid surface, you’ll be blown away by the volume and, depending on the surface, quality of this dynamite package.
The MD doesn’t have any of the components you’d expect from a speaker, and that’s why it’s so compact. Instead it resonates vibrations on the surface you place it upon. You can literally make any solid object around your house a ‘musical instrument’.
The speaker uses the electrical output of your music-playing device — be it smartphone, MP3 player, laptop or tablet — to produce a loud and sustained vibration. This vibration is then amplified once placed on a surface and directed 360 degrees around. This ‘omnidirectional’ sound is one of the main features of the Mighty Dwarf and it really works. Placing the speaker in the centre of a room and moving around it you won’t notice any difference in quality no matter where you stand. The sound quality only depends on the surface itself.
Out of the box you get the MD itself and a splitter cable USB 2.0 to mini USB / 3.5mm headphone jack. You simply plug the headphone jack into any portable music-playing device and the mini-USB into the MD and off you go. This will run off the lithium-ion battery and get you around five hours of playtime, if you are running low then merely plug the USB 2.0 into a power source to charge.
On the speaker itself are a handful of useful features. There is a mini USB slot, microSD card slot (to play music directly and wirelessly on the speaker) as well as controls for volume, play/pause and forward/backward track, but these only work when playing music off the microSD. There is also an LED light that indicates the battery charge.
At the bottom of the speaker is a replaceable gel pad that sticks to surfaces. This is quite necessary because the vibrations can be forceful moving the speaker around a touch. Luckily the Mighty Dwarf is really heavy and the gel pad can be cleaned with a quick wipe from a damp cloth or finger. There are also a few accessories that help stick the MD to porous surfaces such as glass.
Here are the full specs:
Output Power: 5W
Frequency Range: 80Hz — 18 KHz
Power Supply: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery / USB power
Impedance: 2 ohms
Audio Source: 3.5mm Stereo Jack/TF (microSD) Card
Speaker Size: 52mm x 59mm (2″ x 2.25″)
Deeper than that
The initial appeal of the MD is trying it out on a variety of surfaces: wooden or glass tables, walls, tiles, countertops and so on. This is a blast as you analyse the tonal quality of each respective surface. What is most striking is that not only do various surfaces have sound differences but even surfaces of the same type have unique tonal qualities. For example teak will produce a deeper tone than chipboard and thicker glass with have a bass and richness thinner glass lacks.
The size of the surface plays a role too, the bigger the better, as well as shape and angle. A windscreen for example, as a large piece of glass and angled towards its listeners will be much louder than a small glass table facing upwards. Check out the video below to see how the MD performs on car hoods and windscreens to get an idea.
The Mighty Dwarf is fun and may even appear a bit gimmicky, but there is more to it than what’s on the surface. It’s a solidly built and beautifully designed portable speaker with great battery life. It’s packs a punch (in volume) no matter what you put it on, but it’s quality resonates on the right surface. Just make sure to play the Beach Boys on it.
Available in: Black, Silver, Pink, Red, Blue, Green
Retail Price: US$74.99