Sony SRS-XB13 Bluetooth speaker overview: Sonic goodness in your wrist

Sony’s $60 SRS-XB13 compact Bluetooth speaker is likely one of the best-sounding, monophonic private audio system I’ve run throughout. After all, there’s solely a lot you are able to do with its diminutive dimensions and a single speaker, however Sony appears to have maximized the potential by way of audio replica. It’s additionally IP67 rated, that means it’s largely proof against water and mud. You may learn all about IP codes on this different story.

Design and options

The SRS-XB13 measures just below 4 inches tall with a diameter of round 2.75 inches. That is normally a recipe for a extreme lack of bass, as low-frequency waves are far longer than the inside of the speaker. Sony ameliorates this considerably by augmenting the 1.8-inch top-firing driver with a passive driver sending waves out facet ports close to the underside of the unit. They might make use of different tips, however the result’s unusually sturdy bass—for this measurement speaker.

This overview is a part of TechHive’s protection of the very best Bluetooth speaker, the place you’ll discover evaluations of the competitors’s choices, plus a purchaser’s information to the options you need to take into account when searching for any such product.
sony srs xb13 controls Sony

The controls for Sony’s SRS-XB13: Simply behind and above the openings is a passive driver mirroring the decrease frequencies produced by the top-firing most important speaker. Simply to the proper of the controls is a rubberized plug overlaying the USB-C charging port.

As you possibly can see above, the usual Bluetooth speaker controls are current, in addition to a microphone to be used throughout cellphone calls and along with your voice assistant. The facility button is, effectively the ability button. The Bluetooth button is for pairing with telephones, and so on. (quick press) or one other Sony speaker as a stereo pair (lengthy press).

The plus and minus buttons are single perform—elevating and reducing the quantity—whereas the play/pause button you see has a number of extra features: reply/finish a cellphone name, and invoking both Google Assistant (Android) or Siri (iPhone) by way of lengthy press.

The explanation I dove into such element in regards to the button performance is that the included operation information appears bent on proving {that a} image will not be all the time price a thousand phrases. There’s a Assist Information on-line that delves into these particulars as effectively. 

The SRS-XB13 is accessible for $60 in coral pink, lemon yellow, gentle blue, taupe, black, and powder blue to match your temper or sense of fashion. Sony didn’t record the wattage of the unit, however I’d guess round 5-10 watts from the quantity the unit produced. Run time from the battery is claimed to be 16 hours, and I noticed 6 of these earlier than I put this text to mattress. 

Sound and run time

There’s actually solely a lot you are able to do about producing bass when the size of the air chamber inside a speaker is smaller than the wave frequency you need to produce. Sony claims 20Hz to twenty,000Hz frequency response for the SRS-XB13; nonetheless, there shall be an enormous dip across the 100Hz mark in the event you graph that. 

Caveat apart, whereas the Additional Bass moniker is perhaps a tad deceptive, the SRS-XB13 produces extra bass than another speaker its measurement I’ve ever examined. 

sony srs xb13 logo Sony

Not proven on any of those photographs is the helpful, detachable wrist/backpack strap.

So, it’s not very sub-wooferish, however the sound from this tiny speaker is pretty much as good as you’ll discover within the class. It’s not overly loud, however the naturalists will thanks for that. It’s not a celebration speaker. The midrange is properly outlined, and there’s sufficient excessive finish that nothing sounds choked or smothered. Not less than in the event you purpose the highest speaker in direction of you.

The SRS-XB13 could be pair with a second Sony speaker to supply true stereo, however the firm didn’t ship me a second to check that. From previous expertise, I’m guessing the development can be noticeable. Particularly as you possibly can area them effectively aside for wider than regular (single-unit stereo) soundstage. Additionally, I’ve by no means heard any stereo replica that I didn’t like higher than the mono model. 

Bluetooth 4.2 is on board, and the SRS-XB13 related rapidly in my hands-on. I  additionally managed about 7 to eight of the 10-meter vary provided by the expertise in my difficult house with its chicken-wire laden partitions. I used to be at six hours of play time (Sony claims sixteen hours of run time) and counting in my listening checks with the SRS-XB13 nonetheless working sturdy. 


So long as you’re conscious of the sonic limits of monophonic audio system of this measurement, then the SRS-XB13 is pretty much as good or higher than something related that’s on the market. I’d love to have the ability to let you know how they sounded paired in stereo, however you’re by yourself for that.

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