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Mighty Dwarf Speaker by Tier One Electronics




When we think of portable speakers, most of us tend think shoX. There are, however, many more types of portable speakers out there, but it does take some digging and asking around to find something worth your while. The good news is that we have found a worthy opponent, in the form of the Tier One Mighty Dwarf Speaker. There are many similarities between the two, but a few noticeable differences that make truly makes the Mighty Dwarf worthy of its name. I mentioned in the review of the shoX solo that it was worth getting as a Xmas gift, but before you do just that, let’s consider our options. I’ll go through the similarities first.

Mighty Dwarf Speaker Front Mighty Dwarf Speaker by Tier One Electronics

As with the shoX solo, the Mighty Dwarf is both a speaker and portable music player. This means that this device can operate as a stand-alone player, by means of copying your mp3 and WMA files on the SD card provided, but can also double as a speaker for your mobile phone, PC, laptop, or anything with 3.5mm jack for that matter. Unfortunately, unlike the shoX solo, the SD card cannot be mounted to your PC/laptop. However, if you do not have SD card reader available on your PC/laptop, you can always plug the SD card into your phone, connect it, and then copy the desired files onto the SD card. A bit of a workaround, but it works. The controls are pretty much the same as well. Again there is a centralised button, the only difference being that it is not used to power on the device. Pressing play/pause is a trivial task, along with skipping forward and backwards between tracks. The trick with the volume is again to press and hold the button to the right for a few seconds to increase the volume, and left to decrease. A separate switch is used to toggle between speaker and SD Card player modes, and to power down the device. The USB cable port is situated right above the SD Card slot. An LED displays the status of the speaker. Green means that the lithium battery is sufficiently charged and turned on. The different types of red means that the device is either charging (if plugged in via the USB cable), or flashing red when the battery is low (if used in speaker or stand-alone player mode). Unlike the requirement to revert back to the User Manual when using the shoX solo for the first time, it was not required for the Mighty Dwarf. Even if you require assistance from the manual, it would be of very little use, as it makes almost no sense.

Mighty Dwarf Top Angle Mighty Dwarf Speaker by Tier One Electronics

At 285g, the Mighty Dwarf is quite a bit heavier than the shoX solo, but does pack a lot more punch. Instead of the conventional method of playing sound (by passing waves through a vibrating speaker), the Mighty Dwarf relies heavily on the vibration of the object it is placed upon. Basically, most of the sound is generated on a solid surface by means of vibrations, yielding a multitude of different sounds depending on the surface. There are a few surfaces that, in my opinion, generate the best sounds, that of solid wooden, glass, and thick metal surfaces. Feel free to experiment though, the device works on plastics, car dashboards, computer cases, drawers, boxes, even chairs. And yes, I tested it on all those surfaces, and more. Heck, I even tried the vibrations against my chest to fully grasp the effect of the device. I will note that if the device were to emit no sound, the vibrations on the solid surfaces would make it a nifty instrument for those hard of hearing. The device has an omni-directional (360 degrees to be precise) sound output, with the volume generated beneath the device.

Mighty Dwarf Side Mighty Dwarf Speaker by Tier One Electronics

Also available for the Mighty Dwarf is a wall and door mount, allowing you to hang the speaker on a door, wall, or any other flat surface. The suction cup is very stable, and any worry of the device falling to its death is non-existent. The build of the device itself is also very strong, and has no obvious means in which to open it. The Mighty Dwarf comes in a multitude of cool colours, and its design is very clean and minimalistic, they way I prefer any device to be designed.

So before you make the decision of purchasing a shoX speaker for yourself or a loved one, be sure to check out the details on the Mighty Dwarf. I can’t really decide between the two speakers, both have their strong points. If you’re looking for an efficient, lightweight player, then the shoX solo is for you. And if you’re looking for something a bit more fierce and fun, then the Mighty Dwarf is definitely the only choice. My choice? Get both!



12 comments on “Mighty Dwarf Speaker by Tier One Electronics

  1. Johan

    I have tried these out at a shop and to be honest, it’s a great gimmick but the sound quality is pretty bad.

    It’s a great party trick but not something I’d want to use for any amount of time.

  2. I agree in part. On most surfaces, it tends to distort when played too loud.
    But on really solid surfaces, and glass, I find that those distortions are reduced dramatically.
    I found that I used it a lot more when working outdoors, as opposed to when any place indoors.
    It needs to be more stable at louder volumes.

  3. Johan

    It was tested on a nice solid wood surface but I didn’t get a chance to try it out on glass unfortunately.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad but I can’t justify paying that much when Shox or something similar could do roughly the same job. I think it could work when camping and using it on a car, I’m not sure but I still think it’s party trick.

    If they cost R200 I’d definitely be all over them.

  4. I tried them out on glass, wood, and many other surfaces. I really got good sound out of them. A lot of the times it was better than the shox. I think it’s a matter of what glass and what wood.

  5. The sound from this is quite different to that of the shoX.
    If you place the device on, say, a glass coffee table, the whole table would vibrate and emit some sort of sound.
    Again, a neat party trick. But both these speakers I’d say are for personal use and not for a bunch of people to gather around at a party.
    Still comes down to personal preference. Cool vs. (more) functional I suppose.
    Thanks for the comments. If you do get a chance, try some other surfaces to test. Glass, boxes, tiles, etc. Even some of the hollowed objects have some neat effects. Nothing crystal clear though, but then, the shoX isn’t superb either, but slightly better, and much lighter.

  6. Johan

    Cool, that is good to know. I’ll wait for the price to drop.

    Cheapest I can get them is around R450, a bit too much for what it is.

  7. Johan

    I’ve taken your advice and decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and ordered one.

    I’ll keep you posted.

  8. I have’ta force myself not to play around with the one for the giveaway! I think it really is a useful device, especially when you are limited with sound. I actually had a shox speaker for years and never used it.

  9. Johan

    Baby steps, lets see how much I’ll end up using this one. I do think it’ll be great for camping and that sort of thing. I can’t see myself using it much around the house though.

  10. Danie

    I see a lot of people complaining. But erm, maybe its cause this is a knock off product and not the REAL mighty Dwarf? its even listed as a knock off product on their site

  11. Hi Danie,

    Thanks for the comment. We just saw that link on the Might Dwarf website too. As far as we were informed, Tier One is the official distributor of the speaker in South Africa. Whether this is true or false remains to be seen. The product we reviewed, however, was of good quality, regardless of whether or not its a knock off product.

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