Razer debuts its 'Leviathan Mini' portable soundbar

The 24-watt system can be paired with a second unit for double the sound.

Razer introduced a smaller, portable version of its popular Leviathan sound bar on Thursday. Dubbed the Leviathan Mini, this 24-watt system ditches the original's subwoofer for a pair of 12-watt drivers. And while it may not have the ear-bursting power of its predecessor, the Mini still packs an auditory punch -- and a couple of cool tricks to boot.

The Mini utilizes a Bluetooth 4 to connect with your mobile device (up to 30 feet away). It can also pair with a second Mini unit over BT4, using the Combo Play feature, to either mirror the virtualized 5.1 surround sound output or act as separate left and right channels. What's more, the Mini incorporates a noise-cancelling microphone (powered by aptX's Clear Voice Capture tech) allowing the bar to take phone calls as well. The Mini will retail for $180 when it hits shelves in January of next year. You can preorder one right now on Razer's website.

I got a chance to use the Mini for a few days earlier this week. Consider me rather impressed. Since its 12w speakers face both forward and rear, it can easily fill a room with sound -- especially when you have a pair of them daisy-chained together. I tested my unit using podcasts and a smattering of streaming music. When you're listening to news or dialog, the output is very crisp. However the bass does tend to muddy the mids and highs when streaming music -- especially the brands of metal and rock that dominate my musical archives. Plus there's no way to adjust the unit's equalizer so what you hear is what you get.

In fact, a lot of the speaker's functionality is rather opaque. There isn't a battery meter, volume indicator or even a remote. Heck, I'm still not entirely sure what the circle button on top of the unit does. On the plus side, the Mini's 2,600mAh battery is rated for up to 10 hours of playback on an hour-long charge so you'll have plenty of time to listen.