The Razer Leviathan was one of the most innovative products Razer has put out in the past five years, only falling behind the Nabu Smartband and Razer Blade laptop in terms of significance to the company’s future.
The full-size, four-driver soundbar not only offered a complete range of sound, from a meaty bass to clear mids and highs, but it also did so for half the cost of the competition. Perhaps more importantly, though, it offered Razer an opening into the living room space that the company quickly followed up on, with products like the Forge TV, an Android TV micro-console, and accessories like the Razer Wild Cat Xbox One Controller.
Just as loud and comparatively pricey, the $179 (£149/AU$269) Razer Leviathan Mini, a portable Bluetooth speaker version of the TV-tethered soundbar, follows in its progenitor’s footsteps.
While some products tack on the word “mini” simply to emphasize the fact that it’s a smaller, portable version of an existing product, Razer takes the definition quite literally.
The Leviathan Mini is, as far as design is concerned, the same shape and made from the same sleek plastic as the Leviathan, but is roughly an eighth of the size. The measurements, in case you need them for planning/visualization purposes, are 2.12 x 3.34 x 2.16 inches, or 54 x 185 x 55mm (L x W x H).
Weight-wise, the speaker is an equally slim 1.18 pounds (538g). This miniature monster fits easily into most bags including, of course, the satin bag that Razer ships with every unit.
Instead of four speakers, like the Leviathan soundbar, the Leviathan Mini rocks two front-firing, 45mm drivers and one passive radiator on the back side. You can count the Mini out from any sort of surround sound, 5.1/7.1/Dolby Atmos or otherwise.
Guarding those speakers is a simple black grille that covers the front face and back side. On top of the speaker, you’ll find a reduced set of controls: volume up, volume down and a sync button, the latter of which can be used to pair a second Leviathan Mini for left-right channel stereo listening.
Spin the jet-black box around to the side, and you’ll find the standard set of power and Bluetooth buttons, as well as a standard 3.5mm auxiliary jack and micro USB port that you’ll use to charge the unit when it’s running low on juice.
Finally, on the bottom of the unit is a rectangular rubber base that props the unit up, and provides a small barrier between it and any surface underneath it.
In terms of performance, expect a boisterous sound that excels in the mids and lows. I don’t find absolute clarity to be one of the Leviathan Mini’s strong suits, but it’s more than sufficient to stream 160kbps files from Pandora or get clear audio from YouTube videos.
I would’ve liked a bit more clarity in the high-end of the spectrum, and slightly longer playtime than the 2,600mAH battery can provide. As it stands, you can expect the battery to last about 4 to 5 hours with music playing and around 8 to 10 in standby mode.
One of the most frustrating experiences you’ll endure while using the Leviathan Mini will occur minutes after you open the box. Syncing up the speaker to your Bluetooth-enabled device shouldn’t be a hassle in 2016 but, on more than one occasion, it took several minutes and several attempts to get the speaker and my phone to play nicely.
While a second speaker adds an additional variable into the mix, I actually quite enjoy having a wireless left and right channel speaker system that requires zero wiring.
From a design perspective, there’s a lot right with the Leviathan Mini. It’s sleek-looking and should blend in on most shelves without drawing too much attention. As far as performance is concerned, it’s similar, if only slightly less clear than its primary competition, the Bose Soundlink Mini. That said, when stacked against the bass-heavy Beats Pill, I found the Leviathan Mini to actually outperform Dre’s dream speaker in every category, bass included.
For an extra $20, you can pick up the higher-end Bose system and, if you’re willing to compromise and carry an extra pound or two of equipment, there’s always the excellent Creative Sound Blaster Roar that will only run you $129/£125.
Syncing and sound quality issues taken into account, I found that the Leviathan Mini’s price is just a little too high.