The Denon Envaya Mini is the little brother of the full-sized and very popular Envaya speaker. Thankfully this mini version lives up to the Envya family name in pretty much every aspect. Don’t be deceived by its small exterior as this portable speaker packs a punch.
Straight from the box the Envaya Mini feels like a solid piece of kit, which has been manufactured very well. There are 2 different colour combinations available, and we happened to get the blue and black finish. The other option as seen below is orange and white.
The speaker is mainly black, while the main body is covered with a black metal grille with the blue fabric backing. Sitting proudly in the center of the grille you’ll find the Denon logo. I fell in love with the design as soon as I saw it and the coloured fabric which sits behind the grille adds a nice contrast.
Either end of the speaker is fitted with a hard rubber stub which will help to protect the rest of the speaker if you knock it off your desk. The rubber feet also sit here which ensure the speaker stays put when blasting out your music.
On the left end of the speaker you’ll find a micro-USB charging port and 3.5mm input port hidden under a rubber door, as well as a battery indicator LED. NFC is also on hand for quicker connectivity.
On the right-hand side is where you’ll find all of the controls including two volume buttons, play/pause and the power button. While all of the other buttons are inverted it’s nice to see that the volume increase is actually everted. Using this button you can find the position of the other controls more easily just by feeling the end of the speaker. This means you don’t have to keep picking up the speaker and spinning it around to look at what button you’re pressing.
As mentioned the micro-USB and AUX input are covered by a rubber door, and this is to protect them from water – yes, the Envaya Mini is water-resistant. It has an IPX4 rating which means it can easily deal with splashes of water, although don’t go ahead and fully submerge as it won’t survive.
Denon also include a dark blue velvet carry pouch which is perfect for when your on the move or travelling.
Connecting your device to the speaker is a quick and easy process. I was using an iPhone 6 and managed to pair the two via Bluetooth in less than a minute. To make the speaker discoverable you’ll need to hold down the play/pause button for a couple of seconds. Once done you’ll be able to head into your Bluetooth settings and tap on the ‘Envaya Mini’ to connect.
I also had no trouble pairing the speaker with a Nokia Lumia 930 using NFC. It’s possible to have up to 8 devices connected to the speaker at once, although obviously you’ll only be able to play audio from one at any time.
The speaker is equipped with dual 40mm wide range drivers which really pack a punch, and in terms of volume the Envaya Mini performs extremely well. Even when racked up to maximum there is little distortion of the audio.
Also inside is a 40 x 83mm passive radiator which offers a real kick when it comes to the bass, and although noticeably present it’s not overpowering enough to drown out the other frequencies.
You’ll see on the spec sheet that Denon really have ‘maxed’ everything out on this little noise maker. Including MaxxBass, Maxx Treble and Maxx3D. These combined with everything else offer superb audio quality and a punchy bass to back this.
Although the speaker is ever so slightly inclined, it seems to me that most of the audio is being projected at the wrong angle. To improve this the incline needs to be increased which would project the audio higher towards your ears instead of at your body.
AptX support offers CD quality audio streaming over Bluetooth as well, so no need to worry about a loss of quality when not using a wired input.
Moving onto the battery life, and this is the only slight disappointment I had. Denon claim a battery life of 10 hours, however after using for a fair while now, I haven’t managed to reach this once. When jamming out to some classics at a pretty high volume I managed to reach just over 5 hours before it ran out.
On a separate test I did manage to reach just under 8 hours on a lower volume, but still didn’t reach the claimed 10 hours. Another thing I noticed was that the Envya Mini doesn’t have an auto-power off function. So if you leave the house and expect it to turn off on its own – it won’t.
From such a small unit the Denon Envaya Mini delivers great quality audio as well as packing a punch when it comes to the volume. The speaker is compact so you can easily throw it into a bag and be on your way, and the travel pouch will go someway to keeping it safe.
Although it has a couple of minor annoyances such as the battery life, omission of auto power-off and the slightly under estimated incline, the speaker more than makes up for this in other areas.
For under £100 there simply isn’t a better portable speaker on the market, and I would highly recommend it! Hence it receives the full 5 stars and our Gold Award badge.
Update x1: Auto power-off: Thanks to Frank in the comments for letting us know that there is an auto power-off function.