Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tweakers. Great Portable Speakers For Your MP3 Player.

Here we have another "Good Thing in a Small Package". Tweakers, manufactured by Grandmax and available at for under $30 are the most well-thought out small portable speakers I've come across to date. They were a Engineering and Design Innovation award winner at this year's CES. In addition to the speakers you get a nice carrying bag. Tweakers will "stick" together, base to base, with the help of magnets. This make them an easy bundle to slip into the bag. You also get a usb adapter (for charging the speakers) and instruction sheet. That's it. Yet this little package has everything you'll need to share the audio from your MP3 player or pico projector with friends and family. Cables to connect the speakers to each other and your player are wound inside the body and extract when needed. The battery and amp is in one speaker. It connects to the other with it's retractable USB cable. The other speaker has a volume control dial and hides the 3.5mm stereo audio cable used to connect them both to your player.
The top of each speaker will twist to pop up (about 1/2") for what Grandmax claims in better bass (low frequency) reproduction. The effect is noticable, and I recommend you open up these little speakers for better playback. You won't be shaking the floorboards with these speakers, but they do a decent job for their diminuitive size. Bass tracks on my favorite songs are completely absent from these speakers, but mid range is helped quite a bit. The included specifications rate Tweaker output at 1.7 watt x 2. Fequency range is 280Hz ~ 16KHz. SNR >= 80db
You get just a little more than 14" worth of cable to stretch between the speakers. This will leave them 16.5" center to center at maximum stretch. You will notice some stereo separation if you're within 20" or so, but farther than that you might as well move them together.

They are powered by a lithium battery, which is charged via the USB port on your PC or with any 120vAC to 5vDC USB charger. Charging should take 2~3 hours. An LED glows Red when charging and Blue when fully charged. There is no indicated play time in the documentation, but I'm guessing it will vary depending on how loud you turn up the speakers. I've used them through two movies (3.5 hours) on my AAXA projector and the duration of this blog post, with no indication that they need charging. I recommend you do your own duration test before counting on them to entertain you for a long period between charges.

How loud are they? It depends on your source. Of the two dozen or so players I have no two have the same output from their headphone jack. You won't entertain a large crowd with them. They can be overwhelmed in a noisy room (like a cafeteria). If you gather a few kids around an entertaining movie from the AAXA projector, and can keep the giggling down, the Tweakers should do fine.
I rate Tweakers an A+. If you're in the market for some small portable speakers then these can't be beat.


  1. Are these exactly the same as the Chill Pill? There are a couple of other brand names but I'm not sure if the audio specs are the same or not.

  2. They look identical to the Chill Pills to me, Phil. I suspect they are all made in the same factory and the screen printed different company or brand logos are the only difference.