sony srs xb13
Speaker Reviews

Sony SRS XB13 – Small, and portable!

Sony SRS XB13

When searching for a portable speaker, the Sony SRS XB13 offers the greatest portability. Sony doesn’t lack their options for portable speakers, but the SRS XB13 is by far the most budget friendly and portable they offer right now.

However, with its smaller size, does this device produce on the sound profile a Sony user may expect? Or is the portability its only biggest win?

Join me in this SRS XB13 overview to understand whether this speaker is the right one for you, and performs at the high quality Sony is known for.


Overview & Specs

The Sony SRS XB13 has over 5,000 ratings on Amazon and is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars for its portability, intimate sound profile, and user friendly operations. It was released in June of 2021.

Most of those that rated this device on the lower end were frustrated by the smaller sound they received, possibly not realizing the device was going to be as small as it is.

It sells for $59.99 and is on the cheaper end of the Sony device line-up. It comes in 5 different colors: black, coral pink, light blue, powder blue, and taupe.

The XB13 has an IP67 rating, making it completely waterproof and dust proof. It is extremely light, and so when dropped it doesn’t hit with as much force as speakers usually do. This is a product you can literally take anyway without a worry for potentially damaging it.

It does not include an app to go along with it, so you can’t use the Sony Music Center app to control device EQ. You can however, connect two of the XB13’s together for a full stereo sound.

It features a Bluetooth 4.2 version and holds a 16 hour battery life. When put to the test at top volume, this speaker withstood on one charge for about 13 hours. This is still a decent amount of time for such a small speaker, although the charge time does take 4 hours!

If you have phone calls coming in, the built-in mic supports hands-free calling. This was a sore spot for this device, as the mic doesn’t perform well, and the sound clarity from the call is low.

Designsony srs xb13

The SRS XB13 is very compact and cylindrically shaped. It weighs a mere 255 grams, fitting easily into the palm of your hand without much of a “feel” that it’s even there. It

The dimensions are 76.2 mm x 95.3 mm. It is 46 mm in diameter.

The speaker grille sits on the top of the speaker, with the 1.5 inch driver, and the passive radiator sitting on the bottom. The speaker grille is made of aluminum, the body a silicon, and the bottom base made of a rubber to secure it on flat surfaces and avoid vibrations.

The controls are located on what can be believed as the “back”. They are placed lower, right above the small slots that encompass the bottom half of the speaker to help push sound out. They are along a rubber panel, with raised grooves outlining the buttons themselves.

The controls include power, Bluetooth pairing, play/pause, a volume up and down. The Play/Pause button also serves as a call answering button.

There are LED notification lights that show the device is charging, when it is in stereo pair, and the mic is located right next to these indicators.

Next to the controls is a rubber flap covering the USB-c charging port.

Sound

Image of the XB13 EXTRA BASS(TM) Portable Wireless Speaker.

As with all small devices, you only get so much sound. This seems to be the biggest concern to users and the Sony SRS XB13.

The XB13 includes a sound diffusion processor that expands the sound created with DSP technology. It is meant to enhance low end tones and give bigger bass. As with most Sony speakers today, the “Extra Bass” developed by Sony is also included within the XB13.

Unfortunately, this device doesn’t deliver on the “loudness” factor, as most users indicate it is only really good for personal listening.

The device doesn’t get very loud, and will distort at higher volumes. Although this is to be expected by a small speaker, it’s a disappointment from Sony. I’d like to see future models developed to capture a bit more punch.

Cons and Other Considerations

What I Love!

This device is very portable. It’s extremely light, easily attachable to any part of your body, backpack or surroundings, and won’t damage when exposed to water, dust, dirt or sand.

You can fit it within very small spaces, including a car cup holder, and for the cheap price of $59.99, you’re not breaking the bank!

What I Think Could Be Better…

Its a small device, and should really only be used for personal listening. It doesn’t pump out the music loudly, and this aspect seems to be the only reason users rate it lower than 5 stars. There’s no app associated, and you cannot adjust this sound profile.

The built-in mic, although handy, isn’t the greatest quality. Complaints made by users indicate that it’s very hard to hear the recipient, and the recipient said the user was distant and muffled.

Lastly, its amazing to see a potential 16 hour play-time with the battery. But having to wait 4 hours to charge it is very long, and can be inconvenient if you’re on a longer adventure and need to charge. There is no quick charge.

My Verdict: Compact, but too quiet

The Sony SRS XB13 is most definitely a compact device and great for bringing anywhere you go. However, it also captures all the characteristics of a small speaker, including the lack of sound.

At high volumes, you not only eat up the battery, but you hear slight distortion in your music, something we all dread. This device is perfect for a single user, who’s in a quiet area, and just wants a bit of extra tunes.

This speaker, although very durable, compact and light, won’t be able to drown out outside noise or more than 2 or 3 people within a small space. It simply is too small for that kind of power and won’t come in use for larger events or groups.

Take a look at some of my other reviews to determine if theres a better speaker out there for you!

 

10 Comments

  • Stratos K

    In general all these small speakers will distort sound when pushed to their maximum. From my experience only a few I had tried managed to keep good balance even at high volume. But this is to be expected as these speakers are not meant to be HiFi material, not by a long shot. For casual devices they can be really good, but not much more.

    • Brooke

      Hey Stratos!

      Yeah, if you’re buying a smaller speaker you have to understand its capabilities and be okay with that. If not, you’ll always be disappointed.

      Thanks for the comment! Chat soon!

  • LineCowley

    I was at a picnic recently where somebody in the group had brought along a portable speakers. I thought it was great to have some background music, and have started looking at portable speakers. Sony has always been one of my preferred brands, as I have known them for many years to make reliable and quality products. 

    The Sony SRS XB13 portable speaker seems to be very compact and ideal to carry around in a bag, but most probably best for an individual to use, rather than in a group. 

    • Brooke

      Very true, this speaker would easily get drowned out by the group chatting between themselves. Check out the rest of my website for some bigger, and more noteworthy speakers!

      Let me know if I can help!

  • William

    Wonderful review on the SONY SRS Xb13 portable speaker. Well researched and presented. I could easily make a purchase decision based on the information you have provided.

    Even though I have not seen nor heard this speaker perform, based on your review and the opinions of other reviewers, I would not likely buy this speaker. Bluetooth technology has come a long way and I’m sure Sony will improve this model or perhaps introduce another similar speaker with the added improvements.

    Reviews like this are valuable to anyone considering a purchase, so we appreciate this article. Keep them coming.

    • Brooke

      Thanks for commenting! I always appreciate good feedback. 

      There’s a lot of different speakers out there and I wouldn’t want anyone settling. Let me know if I can assit with your speaker search.

      I will most definately keep the reviews coming 🙂

  • David Nelly

    Very interesting little device, you mention however that it’d be only loud enough for one person. Do you think it would be loud enough for someone who doesn’t have a working radio in their vehicle, or do you think that person would just be annoyed by the fact that it isn’t very loud?

    • Brooke

      Oh Gosh it would work very weel within a vehicle. Any constrained spaces would work beautifully as the sound has more (closer) surfaces to verberate off of. 

      Let me know if you have any other questions 🙂

  • Valerie

    I was interested to read your review of the Sony SRS XB13 portable speaker.

    Some years ago, whilst attending a business meeting, a particular brand of the portable speaker was introduced. I have no recollection of the brand. However, I was intrigued but never followed up on it, possibly due to the cost of the item at that time.

    Reading your review has retriggered my interest. And as a single user, the Sony SRS XB13 would probably be adequate for me.

    • Brooke

      Hey Valerie, Bluetooth portable speakers have definitely come a long way! There are so many different choices, I am sure you’ll find the one for you.

      Please let me know if I can have the pleasure of joining you on that journey, and maybe help you find the right fit 🙂

      Talk soon!

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