Review on Sony SRS-XB13
- Wirelessly connect up to 2 smartphones or tablets to the speaker and take turns playing impressive stereo sound
- Built-in 3000mAh rechargeable li-ion battery Supports up to 12 hours of playtime
- Ipx7 waterproof means no more worrying about rain or spills; you can even submerge flip 4 in water
|Price history for JBL FLIP 4 - Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker - Black|
This review is about Review on Sony SRS-XB13. So read this review Review on Sony SRS-XB13 with full details and specs.
The Review on Sony SRS-XB13
Pros Gets loud due to its modest size Sturdy, waterproof construction Cons Can distort at high volume levels Bass vibrations cause speaker movement over flat surfaces
Sony has no shortage of Bluetooth speakers to choose from, some of which are huge in terms of both size and sound. At the other end of the spectrum, the $59.99 Sony SRS-XB13 is small enough to be thrown in a carrying case and taken anywhere. It’s waterproof, has a removable strap, and delivers solid volume levels and decent bass depth for its size. It’s pretty barebones otherwise, but that’s to be expected at this price. Ultimately, the SRS-XB13 is a perfectly usable outdoor-friendly speaker that will serve you well on your next vacation/summer/camping trip. Small but sturdy
Available in black, dark blue, light blue, pink or taupe, the cylindrical SRS-XB13 measures approximately 3.8 inches wide all around and weighs approximately 9 ounces. The 46 mm upward-firing driver delivers a frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz. It packs a respectable thump, but the SRS-XB13 is all about portability and durability.
The base of the speaker has a rubber foot, ostensibly to prevent movement due to vibration, but it danced across our desktop and wobbled dramatically with bass-heavy mixes – and even some not-so-bass-heavy tunes when the volume was pumped. The lower half of the speaker is also packed in a passive radiator for bulking up the audio a bit, but most of the bass depth is felt (and seen) here more than heard. There’s also a sturdy, sporty strap that can be removed; hanging it on the leash is probably a better choice than placing it on a resonating surface.
Along the side panel there are rubber buttons for power, Bluetooth pairing, play/pause and volume. A double press play/pause button skips a track forward, while a triple press navigates backward. The game/pause button also answers/ends incoming calls using the loudspeaker function. In addition to these controls, there is a covered USB-C port for the included USB-C to USB-A charging cable. Sony SRS-XB13 lifestyle
The SRS-XB13 is completely waterproof and protected against dust. With an IP67 rating, it is completely safe against solids and can be submerged up to one meter for 30 minutes. Of course, the Bluetooth signal doesn’t work well underwater, but the point is that the SRS-XB13 can get a little dirty and can be rinsed, submerged and/or exposed to moderate water pressure without worry.
There is no app, which is no surprise for a speaker this simple. The SRS-XB13 is compatible with Bluetooth 4.2 and supports AAC and SBC codecs. Sony estimates that battery life is about 16 hours, but your results will depend on your volume levels. SRS-XB13 Audio Performance
On tracks with intense sub-bass content, such as the Knife’s “Silent Shout”, the SRS-XB13 handles the deep low frequencies quite well – meaning it flirts with distortion, but never quite gets there. However, if you leave the speaker on a flat surface and play this track at high volume, the vibrations from the base (and bass) of the speaker will be powerful enough to create a distortion-like sound. So, as mentioned, it would be wise to hang the speaker from something so that it does not come into contact with any resonating surfaces during pumping up the volume. Sony SRS-XB13
This vibration effect can also occur on tracks with less bass, such as Radiohead’s ‘Pyramid Song’, and we did indeed hear slight distortion on some tracks at maximum volume. This is more likely to happen on tracks with rich low-end and low-mids rather than thumping subwoofer bass‚ as the SRS-XB13 cannot recreate sub-bass, but it will try to recreate low-mids and may encounter problems when called up in the mix. We’re talking a $60 speaker, so this isn’t really a serious criticism – no speaker of this size or price will excel in bass response, although some manage to sound less overwhelmed at top volumes.
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Bill Callahan’s “Drover”, a track with much less bass in the mix, gives us a better idea of the overall sound signature of the SRS-XB13. The drums on this track get the least bit of extra bass, but it’s Callahan’s baritone vocals that get the most bass response here. The acoustic strums are clear, as are the higher register percussive hits. The passive radiator does well in its supporting role, adding a sense of richness and resonance to the solo driver’s modest bass presence. For a portable speaker of this size, the SRS-XB13 does a good job delivering rich lows and clear highs at a relatively high volume.
On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild”, the kick drum loop takes on enough high-mid presence for its attack to keep its punch in the mix, while the sub-bass synth hits clearly don’t have a real subwoofer-like feel. power, although they do get some extra low-mid push that makes things sound a bit fuller. The drum loop also gets some low-mid boosting, making it sound a bit fuller and heavier, and the vocals on this track are delivered clean and clear, with a touch of hissing added to the equation.
Orchestral tracks, such as the opening scene of John Adams’ The Gospel Against the Other Mary, don’t have the speaker dancing across desktops, though even this track gets some added low-mid resonance that sets the passive radiator off slightly. If you’re not on a resonating surface, much of the perceived depth disappears, especially on a trail like this.
The speakerphone microphone offers decent intelligibility. The signal is a little weak and there’s definitely some Bluetooth fuzz in the mix, but callers should be able to understand you. Powerful and portable
Neither the Sony SRS-XB13 nor its main competitor, the $70 JBL Clip 4, are stunning, groundbreaking speakers. That said, they’re both perfect for taking to the pool or on a camping trip, and the audio performance is better than you’d expect for the size. You can get fuller sounding audio in a relatively portable design, but it costs more. If you’re willing to spend $150, the Marshall Emberton delivers the best sound quality for its size. Meanwhile, for $100 there is the Sony SRS-XB23, which is a nice step mooie up in terms of price and performance of the XB-13, while we like the $40 JBL Go 3 for a lot less.
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