Sony is known for its quality products and especially its consumer electronics products. And recently we got a chance to test the latest offering from Sony’s Consumer Audio portfolio. While the competition tends to keep launching hefty speakers in the name of portability, the size or the weight is far from desired. Say hello to the Sony SRS-XB13, a speaker that checks all the boxes when it comes to portability, sound quality, and adventure proof at an affordable price tag. So, is it worth your money? Well, after using the Sony SRS-XB13 for almost a month, here’s our review to find out if you should consider this as the Perfect Portable Speaker for all your Audio needs?
DESIGN & CONNECTIVITY
The SRS-XB13 is a relatively portable speaker. With a weight of around 253 grams, this speaker can be easily carried around and can easily fit on your wrist or palm due to its portable size. This tiny cute speaker has a solid build quality that can face off accidental drops and rough surfaces. The integration of a removable strap comes in handy for hanging or hook it onto your travel backpack or off a branch.
This cylindrical design boasts a metal mesh on the top and rubber and small gaps on the bottom which aids in the gripping of the speaker to prevent moving it from bass vibrations and ensures sound to pass through with ease. To sum it up, Sony SRS-XB13 carries a lot of design sensibilities from its predecessor, the Sony SRS-XB12.
The major changes in these speakers are the rubberized physical buttons which boast a power button, Bluetooth trigger button, play/pause button, and volume control keys. Right next to it is the USB Type-C Charging Port which is covered beneath the rubber cover for protecting it from dust and rain with a huge ‘SONY’ branding etched vertically on it. It also has IP67 water and dust resistance which keeps them safe for up to 30 minutes, protecting it from wind and water torture and it did not falter when we purposefully put it into moderate rain for an hour or so.
However, there’s a lack of an auxiliary port that would have been helpful when you needed to preserve the battery on the speakers as well as a smartphone for longer usage without sipping out the juice. Like most of the Bluetooth speakers, Sony SRS-XB13 holds a range of about 10 meters and during our testing, I experienced no skips and stutters unless I was intentionally testing the range. This speaker can be the best companion while trekking on any hill with a little drizzling to boost your confidence with some of your favorite tracks on the go.
Sony SRS-XB13 boasts Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity which is coupled with Google Fast Pair Service through which pairing your speaker to your smartphone will not create any hindrance. The First-Time Pair was snappy, Single Tap on Power Button to turn it on and long press on it to turn it off, the Bluetooth button is used to pairing another smartphone or speakers to your SRS-XB13. Once, it gets paired with your device, it’s automatically connected to your smartphone. You can connect two of these speakers to create a Stereo Pair of Left and Right Audio.
SOUND QUALITY & BATTERY
Sony SRS-XB13 is still rocking a single 46mm driver with a passive radiator which has its own limitations. This single driver will not sound loud and tempting if you’re out on a hunt comparing it with other dual or more audio driver speakers. But hey, considering how tiny it is and when it boils down to the audio quality, we are more than satisfied. This speaker has been tuned for a balanced sound profile with well-balanced mids and an overall combination of bass, treble, and clear vocals. Passive radiators allow the woofers to produce deep tones which helps in boosting the bass-rich music. Though, bass can be a bit distorted at higher volumes.
Listening to songs like Blessings by Big Sean and Interstellar by Badshah, there is a clear separation between bass and vocals which made our office session delightful. With its Sound Diffusion Processor, it expands the sound according to the room space and delivers a surround sound experience. Overall, Sony’s portable speaker sounds more than good and will be a perfect partner for casual house parties, picnics, and trekking. It supports two audio codecs:- AAC and SBC. The built-in mic aids in answering the phone calls which are decent enough to handle your telephonic conversations.
Every Gram Counts! Speakers that are lightweight usually have a compromised battery backup and this is where Sony SRS-XB13 shines. These speakers can last long up to 16 hours on a single charge which is pretty sweet and competitive for its rivalries. However, this can’t chargeback the smartphone and as far as charging is concerned, it took almost 3 hours 30 minutes to get it full to 100%. Sony has introduced Quick Charging features exclusively to its X-series Party Speakers only as of now. If you’re someone who loves the Sony Music Centre, sadly, this isn’t compatible with it yet which means you can’t fiddle around with your preferred settings into the equalizer.
Sony SRS-XB13 – THE UNBIASED VERDICT
The Sony SRS-XB13 is compact in size but holds a mighty stagger sound experience and its sound quality sits above its weight and easily stands out while comparing it with most of the bigger Bluetooth speakers. If you’re someone who is looking for a compact and lightweight, rugged speaker with the perks of water and dust proofing and with an impressive battery backup. Look nowhere else and grab the Sony SRS-XB13. It may not sound the best but if you’re someone who is looking for sound quality, you’ve to shell out more money from your pocket for that. At INR 4990, this speaker is very portable; it’s very easy to cling it onto a bag and go wherever you want to go, the build quality is robust, you don’t need to care about the speaker much and for the price, it’s can be your best hiking/travel partner.
Disclaimer: We tested the Sony SRS-XB13 for 3 weeks before writing this review. All our reviews are unbiased and are published without the brand getting to read it before you guys. We don’t change our reviews on pressure from brands and that’s the reason we are not sent review units from companies like Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi, and a few more.