The first bluetooth speaker head to head. Who would have thought? And the contenders are the. In the blue corner, is the Mi portable bluetooth speaker 16W, and in the black corner, is the Oraimo Sound pro.
Unboxing and accessories
Let’s talk about the unboxing experience. The Mi speaker comes in a relatively ordinary box and in it, you get the speaker itself and the USB-C cable to charge it plus a manual.
The Oraimo box is a little bit of an occasion with the top sliding off and inside you have the speaker itself, some paperwork, a Micro USB cable for charging, and a 3.5mm aux cable. So on just unboxing and accessories alone, the Oraimo Sound Pro takes a win.
Now, this section is very subjective but I can start with the easy stuff. The Oraimo Sound Pro is much lighter than the Mi portable Bluetooth speaker 16W. In terms of size, they are pretty much identical. The Oraimo consumes a bit less space with how rounded it is at the ends but it’s not much.
Oraimo goes for a pill-shaped design whilst Mi goes for a box shape. Both have extensive use of fabric in their design with Oraimo going for plastic on their button segment and Mi going for rubber.
Now it’s worth noting that the Mi’s box design allows it to either stand in a horizontal or vertical position which is a luxury that the Oraimo cannot enjoy, so the Mi is more versatile on that one. I’ll give it a tie in this category. The Mi’s design doesn’t look as ergonomic to me as the Oraimo but the Oraimo’s design makes it less versatile than the Mi. Let me know which one you prefer in the comments.
Looking at ports we have 2 on the Mi and 4 on the Oraimo. The Mi speaker only comes with an aux port and a USB-C port for charging. The Oraimo, on the other hand, has a MicroSD slot, full-size USB port, aux port, and MicroUSB port to charge it.
As for battery life, the Oraimo is quoted at 5 to 7 hours whilst the Mi sits at 13 hours but at 50% volume. And in terms of battery size, the Mi has a 2600mAh battery which is bigger than the 2000mAh battery in the Oraimo.
The Mi speaker also has a truly wireless stereo mode where you can pair 2 speakers together for more pronounced left and right audio separation. It’s very good for immersion.
The Oraimo speaker does not have this feature but it does have an FM radio receiver that uses the aux cable as an antenna. A feature that is not there on the Mi bluetooth speaker.
The Mi speaker is IPX7 water and dust resistant whilst the Oraimo speaker is IPX4 making the Mi speaker more resilient in harsh conditions than Oraimo.
Regardless, I think Oraimo wins on 2 fronts that I feel matter to most of the people in Africa. It offers a lot more flexibility in terms of ports and also it is more Africa-ready when looking at the FM receiver and the fact that the full-size USB can be used to charge another device. Features that the Mi smart speaker omits on its spec sheet.
The Mi speaker is heavier for a reason. It has beefier stuff inside. A bigger battery and also 2x8W speakers which give it the 16W in its name. As for Oraimo, it makes do with 2x5W speakers and a 2000mAh battery.
In terms of sound performance, these are both pretty good speakers. The Mi bluetooth speaker has more bass and goes much louder than the Oraimo but at high volumes, it has a bit more distortion than the Oraimo.
The Oraimo has a slightly brighter sound stage whilst the Mi has a warmer one thanks to the added bass. It makes the Mi speaker capable of delivering good sound on a wider range of genres of music than the Oraimo.
Overall I’ll give it to the Mi speaker. It sounds better and goes louder making it more usable in a lot more scenarios than the Oraimo. The charging port is also USB-C on the Mi speaker which I personally prefer over the micro USB on the Oraimo. A win for Mi here.
The Mi speaker is going for US$55 whilst the Oraimo is going for US$40. So naturally, you are all wondering if the US$15 difference is worth it. What is going for the Mi speaker is battery life, brand, and better audio quality. And what Oraimo has going for it is a lot more versatility with the ports and consequently more features than the Mi speaker.
Looking at this alone the Oraimo is definitely better valued, especially for the majority of the African community because it’s cheaper and can do more stuff. To some like me, the difference in audio quality could be worth spending the extra 15 bucks to get the Mi speaker but I can bet for the majority of you, the difference in sound quality is not big enough a motivation to give up on the power bank feature, FM radio, and selection of ports.
If you didn’t know about Oraimo then you should now. They have definitely come to play and they have the better overall package here. The Oraimo Sound pro has the right sort of boxes ticked for customers in these parts. It’s a bluetooth speaker worth buying and you can check out other speakers we have tested here.