Product Review: Totem Mite Bookshelf Speakers

So you could write about the quality of a pair of speakers by simply asking one question: do they sound good? We all know that if you buy speakers they’re bound to get the job done; they’ll reproduce sound. But because I’m taking the time to write about my experience with a unique set of speakers, I’m probably going to have a strong opinion about how they sound. I’m not talking about the specs. I’m talking about sound deliverance and quality. And after listening to some of my favorite music on the Totem Mite bookshelf speakers, I’m a true believer in the Totem brand.

Unlike any other speaker

Totem won me over at “hello”. Well, more like an informal introduction in the Gramophone speaker showroom. After learning how to connect my iPod to the amplifier, I was left alone with the Totem Mites and about 7 other brands of speakers ranging from floor-standing towers to compact subwoofers. I chose to first play “Last Nite” by The Strokes, a song with energy and punch. I sat down in a leather chair in the center of the room and closed my eyes. As soon as the song started my eyes snapped open. I was surrounded by speakers over three times the size of the modest Mites, and I was instantly blown away by the amount of sound in the showroom. Embarrassingly enough, I got out of my chair and put my ear up to the each speaker to make sure I truly was listening to sound coming from the Mites. Satisfied, I sat back down and let the music take me away.

Sound Quality

After a half hour of listening to my music on the Totem Mites, I had a hard time convincing myself to go back up to the office. I kept finding reasons to test out another song or a different angle of listening. If the Mites could talk, they’d probably say, “Wherever you sit or whatever you choose to listen to, we’ll give you the best experience.” Music never felt so real on a pair of speakers. I could feel the music drifting in the air before it reached me. And the Mites never “pushed” sound into my ears. Every note seemed effortless for the pair. 

A more notable feature of the Mites was the sound quality at even the lowest volumes. And because sometimes we’re all forced to listen to music quietly, I decided to test out the Mites at a low volume to see how to they performed. I was happily surprised by how clear and rich the speakers sounded. I could still hear all of the “hidden” notes of my music that I somehow don’t ever pick up when blasting music in the car. The realism never disappeared.


We all hate being judged by how we look. Maybe we’re having an off day. Or maybe we could have used those extra five minutes pressing the snooze button to make ourselves look more presentable. The Totem Mites, however, aren’t self-conscious. Instead they proudly present smooth, graded angles. From the color Fire red to Dusk black, each Totem speaker becomes a part of how you envision your music. 

Visit the Gramophone showroom in Timonium or Columbia and test out the Totem Mites for yourself!