Hands On with RAPHA’s SurroundXi Speakers

This little beauty – the SurroundXi – looks best with an iPod Nano, but plays well with other music toys. I’ve been tinkering with these speakers for a couple of weeks now, and they’re fun, highly portable and easy to use. The sound isn’t Bose quality, but with my iPod Shuffle and my iPod Mini, it’s not bad at all. Here are the pros and cons.


  • Plug and play
  • Very portable (runs on wire and on batteries)
  • Works with multiple audio players and flash drives
  • Auto-play from flash drive is seamless
  • Comes in many colors
  • Cheap! $40 at Target, but word on the Web says you can get the speakers for much less


  • Music played from a flash drive worked very well the first time around, but now is accompanied by a very loud windy sound out of one speaker. Faulty unit? iPod Shuffle still plays well.
  • I plugged the SurroundXi into my Squeezebox a while back, and initially it worked reasonably well, but now the speakers make an annoying buzzing sound.

Bottom Line: The SurroundXi speakers are fun and cheap, but probably won’t hold up to years (months?) of use. Buy’em with that in mind, and you’ll be happy.

Oh yeah, and my cat liked them.

2 thoughts on “Hands On with RAPHA’s SurroundXi Speakers”

  1. I wonder if you jacked the volume too loud at some point and fried them? They are cute.

    I’m using a little Altec Lansing thingy with my XM Helix which was about $75ish. It’s bulky but probably has better audio fidelity. I’d love to replace, but I’ll probably have to wait for the new XM tabletop speaker docks. Overpriced, but what can you do? Well, I could cancel the Helix subscription and just use web playback (based on my car subscription)… So far I’ve only docked my iPhone into speaker sets at Target – seems to work well, but not sure I have a need. Unless Apple pulls the trigger on some sort of subscription service.

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