Sony SRS-XB13 Review

Image of Sony SRS-XB13

Sony has been competing non-stop against other brands with one portable speaker against another—pinning only the best ones afterwards. The Sony SRS-XB13 portable speaker is handy with a convenient size for travelling or carrying around wherever you go. But with size comes the risk of its sound quality—from the balance between treble and bass to the whole sound quality affected by it all. It’s what usually happens when you come across a small speaker. They tend to have thin bass and sound prone to distortion when the volume is higher than normal. But what about Sony SRS-XB13? This article will help you decide if Sony SRS-XB13 will be worth a shot.

The Sony SRS-XB13 is the successor of the Sony SRS-XB12—to which many have good feedback. Despite that, the XB12’s successor doesn’t have the same favourable comments. Most likely, there’s a clear division within the crowd’s opinions. It could be due to preferences or a problem with the speaker itself. Hopefully, this article will give you the answer.

Sony SRS-XB13: DESIGN

The Sony SRS-XB13 is cylindrical but a little wider and shorter. A metallic grill covers the speaker’s top, while a black plastic matte covers the body. On the bottom part of the speaker, you’ll find small spaces separating intervals as a way for the speaker to blast music from all directions. Underneath the speaker is where you’ll also find the passive radiator that helps with enhancing the bass. Not to mention, the size of the Sony SRS-XB13 makes it compelling and lightweight–the major reasons people tend to go for it instead.

On the speaker’s side is a strap to hang on your backpack or even in your car. It makes it good for trekking rocky places or driving around the city.

Along the side is the location of the controls from power button to volume to switching modes (Bluetooth). Aside from that, you’ll be able to locate the USB-C charging port with a small, thick rubber covering the port.

In terms of design, the Sony SRS-XB13 is somewhat identical to the UE Wonderboom 2–only, the latter’s controls are at the top of the speaker and has a second driver plus two bass radiators. Wonderboom is louder than the Sony SRS-XB13 and is considerably better in all aspects.

Sony SRS-XB13: FEATURES

The Sony SRS-XB13 can give you 16 hours of playtime that can drop to 12 or 13 depending on how high you crank up the volume. The speaker needs 4 hours of charging time, but that’s already sufficient for a small speaker that can play for almost an entire day. Unlike JBL speakers, which are known for functioning as a power bank at the same time, the Sony SRS-XB13 can’t offer you the same thing. It doesn’t offer wireless charging, either, so be very careful about keeping the charging cable so you don’t lose it.

The Sony SRS-XB13’s waterproof and dustproof rating will make outdoor lovers happy. The IP67 rating will do more than protect the device from sprinkles of water. The speaker is durable against huge splashes of water, even when tossed into it. As long as the speaker doesn’t sink deeper than 2m and longer than 15 minutes, it’ll be fine. You can also pair the SRS-XB13 with another of the same model to give you double the fun!

Sony SRS-XB13: SOUND QUALITY

The Sony SRS-XB13’s sound quality isn’t as impressive as other speakers of its size. Of course, we have to give some credit where it’s due to SRS-XB13’s Sound Diffusion Processor–the thing that allows the speaker to play music at a 360-degree angle. Admittedly, it’s very effective. But something to note is that the majority of the songs we had the speaker play for us feel flat. Yes, the bass is there, but it’s faint. It is a downside to the speaker, or it could be the brand’s way of marketing. Pairing it with a secondary SRS-XB13 is the ideal solution to the “flat” sound quality.

The Sony SRS-XB13 is ideal for small rooms or even a campfire with a small group of people. Small spaces will allow the sound vibrations from the speaker to bounce around, making the quality a bit better. Using it in large rooms will overwhelm the speaker and may not satisfy the ongoing occasion. The sound from the speaker can easily drown in a group of people chattering altogether–especially when another device is on, such as a TV.

Another downside is the volume. It’s still fairly low even when you crank it up to max. If you compare it to other speakers of the same size (especially UE Wonderboom), Sony SRS-XB13 is easily overthrown.

If your main reasons for getting a portable speaker include hands-free calls, we suggest that you look somewhere else. Aside from the low volume despite cranking it up to maximum, there’s also the mic we worry about. Upon testing, your voice will sound distant and muffled–almost inaudible when answering a call despite standing an arm’s length away from the speaker.

Sony SRS-XB13: PRICE

The Sony SRS-XB13 is available on Amazon for $58 and Newegg for the same price. Amazon may have different colours available for the speaker, which is almost out of stock. So hurry if you find the small speaker appealing!

Sony SRS-XB13: VERDICT

The Sony SRS-XB13 is not an all-around type of portable speaker. If you want a portable speaker in your room that doesn’t use up much space, nor will it disturb people at home with loud, blasting music, then the Sony SRS-XB13 is ideal for you. If you’re a music enthusiast who loves the deep rumble of the bass, then we suggest you try and find an alternative–ones that are easily better than this speaker. The Sony SRS-XB13 is most likely for casual use only and not partygoers.

Perhaps for others, $58 is too big of a price for a speaker like Sony SRS-XB13–especially since there are better alternatives that are cheaper but better.

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