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Sony SRS-XB13 Portable Bluetooth Speakers Review: Tiny Beast On A Budget
Sony has been the pioneer in audio tech, offering users a wide range of audio solutions. Of late, the brand has also managed to scoop interests of budget-conscious consumers with its wireless speakers; specifically the portable ones. The Sony SRS 'XB' portable speakers have been iconic in the compact Bluetooth speaker segment. The SRS XB12 is the best such example which is now been succeeded by the SRS XB 13.
- Good built quality with IP67 certification
- Loud and rich audio
- Decent battery backup
- Battery takes over four hours for a full recharge
- Bakckup reduces significantly below 10 hours with volumes over 60 percent
Announced on World Music Day 2021 (21 June), the Sony SRS-XB13 carries a price tag of Rs. 3,990. It's the same pricing with which its predecessor (SRS-XB12) debuted in the Indian market and was a hit amongst the consumers. A lot is expected from the Sony SRS-XB13 in terms of performance. How well this new portable speaker fairs in carrying forward its predecessor's legacy? Let's find out:
Sony SRS-XB13 Design: Practical Aesthetics
The Sony SRS-XB13 doesn't bring any major design overhaul from the SRS-XB12. It has the same short cylindrical design as the previous-gen model with upward-firing speakers. The speaker has a matte finish with a big Sony logo is inscribed vertically. A rubberised strip houses the media control keys which offer nimble feedback.
The speaker comprises a power key, Bluetooth pairing, play/pause, and volume control keys. Right next to the keys is a USB Type-C port with a cover to protect it from water and dust.
The top speaker grille is painted the same as the remaining body. The sturdy strap with a carabiner adds to the portability factor. The Sony SRS-XB13 is IP67 certified which makes it water and dust resistant. With up to 30 minutes of water resistivity, it becomes suitable for outdoor activities.
Sony SRS-XB13 Audio Performance: Fills Your Room
Sony is well known for its premium audio signature. While that's more prominent with the premium products, the budget offerings by the company don't disappoint either. The SRS-XB13 employs a 46mm mono driver combined with a passive radiator to deliver rich and filling audio.
The extra bass feature is what further enhances the audio experience. The output overall is balanced, unlike the cheap counterparts, the SRS-XB13 doesn't distort at the loudest levels. The peak audio levels are sufficient to fill a small to medium-sized room.
But you'll have to turn up the volume to the maximum for the latter. This is not Sony's best-sounding speaker, but compared to the competitions it offers better audio feedback. Besides, you can also pair an additional SRS XB-13 speaker to amplify the listening experience.
Sony SRS XB-13: Battery Backup, Connectivity
Sony claims a backup of up to 16 hours on a single charge. The results were close in our testing, but with the volume levels at 50 percent or less. The backup significantly drops to less than 10 hours if the volume is increased. If you need a verdict, it's decent for a small package. Connectivity options are restricted to wireless.
The speaker uses Bluetooth technology to pair with smartphones and other supported devices such as laptops, PCs, tablets, and smart TVs. The connectivity range is standard at 10 meters. There have been no issues with the pairing process as you just need a single tap on the Bluetooth key to toggle on the pairing mode. There is no 3.5mm AUX port for wired connectivity. That's one missing feature that would have made it a complete package.
Sony SRS-XB13: Lives Up To The Expectation
The Sony SRS XB-13 is a well-loaded package overall. It has a subtle yet aesthetic design that is practical in all aspects. The IP67 rating to make it weather resistant is a bonus point. The audio listening experience is amplified with the extra bass feature present.
If you step out, you will probably get numerous options in the sub Rs. 5,000 category of portable speakers. However, I would place my bet on the SRS-XB13 for Sony's premium audio signature and rugged built quality.