SONY SRS-XB13: The Sony SRS-1313 is a lightweight, durable speaker that can be used outdoors.
This speaker has a surprisingly loud sound, a small form factor, and an extra kick at the lower frequencies. It also has extremely long battery life. However, it is not too bells and whistles.
SONY SRS-XB13 DETAILED REVIEW
The launch of the Sony SRS-XB13 in India was on World Music Day. It’s still exciting to open an audio product that has the Sony logo.
The top flap contains all the necessary instructions. It explains how to use the buckle and strap in various configurations.
The box contains the speaker, along with a 12-inch long USB type C charging cord, a pictographic instruction guide, a reference guide, and the warranty card, which lasts one year. The speaker is contained within a soft cloth pouch.
BUILDING AND DESIGN
The speaker measures three and a quarter inches high, three inches wide and weighs in at 250 grams. The speaker is small and lightweight, so it’s ideal for outdoor use.
It is light enough to be carried in a backpack for your next adventure. For short trips, it can be dangled from your hand and is small enough to be easily carried.
The main driver is located at the top, pointing upwards. However, the bottom half of the device makes it a bit different. Below the main driver, pointed downwards, is a passive radiator.
It is smart, but not difficult, to include one in such small dimensions. The passive driver is powered using air pressure and relies on the electrical manipulation of a primary driver to add thump at lower frequencies.
The membrane is now enclosed in a railing, which raises it above ground. This directs the sound downwards and in all directions. The railing is about half an inch above the ground and requires a little care. Sony suggests that speakers not be placed on any loose sand.
The strap can be attached to the bag at two locations. One where the speaker hangs from the side and the other where it is securely attached at two points. The clip is an S-shaped design, which allows you to switch between the two configurations quickly.
This allows the speaker to be hung from everything, including trees and gear hooks in tents. The clip and the strap are strong enough to withstand a few tugs and snaps.
Although the textured strap is easy to clean, it can get clogged quickly with mud and grit from trees. Switching between configurations is easier when the strap’s dry.
It is much more straightforward to get the clip out and slip it through the holes at the bottom when it is wet.
It is IP67-rated waterproof and dustproof. It was tested in the rain without any problems. It is very easy to clean. In light rain, the grill doesn’t get too wet. To get rid of any water droplets, turn them upside down for about an hour.
The speaker feels solid and can withstand outdoor use. It does not appear to scratch easily. It will float if dropped in water, but it will sink slightly after about 15 seconds. It seems to be able to remove small drops of water quickly and does not affect sound quality when wet.
The volume and power buttons are found on a rubber strip at the base of your device. A flap opens to the USB Type C port. The flap is located below the strap. This is, if you think about, the best location.
This flap ensures that the speaker while being charged simultaneously, is not dangling from any surface. It also makes sure that the power cable does not get pressed against any surface, or is dangling in an awkward way, which could cause them to become stuck and need to be yanked away.
SONY SRS-XB13: FEATURES
The speaker has only the essential features necessary for its intended function. This model does not support voice assistants or WiFi connectivity.
The companion app is also incompatible. It would have been extremely convenient to be able to add the speaker via the Sony Music Centre App.
This would have made it easier to check the battery life and pair two units for stereo capability. We wish that the speaker could have support from the Sony Music Centre app, even if it was just to check the battery life.
The device compensates for this with long battery life and an LED indicator that indicates when it is charging up.
The strap is a great feature, but we still consider it to be an option. It allows you to position the speaker in many different places, making it extremely versatile.
The ability to hang the speaker in tight spaces, such as tents, is very useful. However, this feature can also be used indoors.
For example, you can hang it from a tripod in the center of the room (allowing the speaker’s volume to rise) or from shelf handles or hooks near the ceiling (great for creating ambiance).
Even if you decide to travel and stay at a hotel, the versatile speaker is still useful and practical.
Google’s Fast Pair technology allows for superfast pairing of Android devices using Bluetooth Low Energy.
This works almost like magic with some Android devices. You will receive a notification on your device if the speaker has been turned on in any area. It will pair after you tap it once.
The SRS-XB13 doesn’t have an audio jack input, which is a big difference from the SRS-XB12. We don’t mind that but it makes the device lose points in the features section.
A line-in jack is a huge plus for outdoor speakers since trekkers often use dedicated music players to save their phones’ batteries.
Only one other feature is offered by the speaker: a microphone that allows you to answer calls. It is located below the control buttons and doesn’t perform well from a distance. It can be used at arm’s reach without raising your voice.
However, you will find yourself reaching for it to speak into the microphone to make it more clear. You can amp up the volume of the incoming voice and you can also have a group chat with the speakers.
SONY SRS-XB13: PERFORMANCE
The speaker’s position is something you should be aware of. It is better to place the speaker in a tent towards your face. If it can be hung from an umbrella, that’s also a possibility.
It is best to place it inwards. It makes a significant difference, especially at lower volumes. The strap allows you to easily and quickly switch between configurations.
It also allows for some space around the speaker, making it sound better when it is hanging loose. It is small enough to be pushed against walls and corners, so it can sound great.
It has very long battery life. It can be played at approximately fifty percent volume. The battery life was well above the 16 hours that the box contains. We assume it is at higher volumes. It’s the type of battery that you need for treks.
However, since the speaker is not going to be used constantly, it can last at least a weekend without having to be charged up again.
Although we know that battery life will deteriorate over time it still seems to be able to last for a long time out of the box. This is exactly what outdoor gear users expect. The unit has indicators that indicate low battery life.
Sometimes, the Bluetooth connection can get jittery and audio playback may stutter or become distorted. This is usually fixed by turning the device on and off, although it is not often. It is easy to turn off the device and turn it on.
Establishing a connection is quick. The power button is designed so that it turns off when it is released. Pairing is extremely fast on both Windows and Android devices.
You can feel the power of the main driver when you hold the speaker. The speaker’s entire circumference and the casing underneath the passive radiator also thump to the beat.
This indicates that the main speaker has a lot of energy, even though it is very powerful. Both the highs and mids sound clear and distinct.
Although the speakers sound bass-forward, it is not very punchy. In a review, it is difficult to reconcile buyer expectations and reality. It is important to note that the speaker sounds better when it is dangled in the right way.
This is because the sun reflects off various surfaces, such as umbrella tops, treetops, and tent tops. The leaves are a great-sounding combination with the bass. It is not as impressive when it is placed on the ground or floor.
This is actually how all speakers should be used theoretically. After listening to the thing suspended in an infinite plane, you will realize that it was meant to be used. This speaker is for people who are looking for a balanced sound with a distinct bass.
However, those who prefer a kick in the lower frequencies may find it disappointing. You shouldn’t expect a pounding sound that causes baby birds to flee their nests. The speaker’s passive radiator helps distinguish the lower frequencies.
You can clearly hear the sound coming from the speaker’s base. Although the bass is more powerful at higher volumes, the beats are still subdued at lower volumes (think Bjork’s Hunter).
This is in contrast to Bluetooth speakers or desktop speakers twice the size. That’s about the average size of both these devices. The highs and mids sound great and the bass is not too loud.
A single speaker can fill a cave at a high volume, so that’s no problem. You can expect it to be quite loud considering its small size.
The mythical soundstage is a common question we receive from listeners. These mono speakers don’t have much soundstage, but they still produce clear and distinct sounds. Mono has its charms, but a pair can be connected to make a stereo pair.
We don’t think this model is supported by the Sony Music Centre app. However, the instructions manual gives clear instructions on how to pair it up.
These speakers would be a great replacement for desktop speakers and offer excellent stereo sound outdoors. We tested only one speaker.
The speakers were tested with a variety of music styles, as well as games, movies, and TV shows from many sources.
Although the speakers are capable of handling a wide range of music genres, the speaker’s quality really shines when you listen to soft dialogues or low orchestral scores. These sounds sound great even at low volumes.
These speakers are perfect for those who often find themselves driving to remote areas, pitching a tent, and making popcorn while watching a movie.
SONY SRS-XB13 : VERDICT
It is currently available online at a price of $3,990. This makes it a very attractive deal. It seems that the price was right considering the quality of this device.
However, we wish Sony would offer a better deal for those who are interested in purchasing a pair. There are six colors available, while the Taupe version is for those who like camo.
The Sony SRS-13 is a lightweight, durable speaker that can be used outdoors. This speaker has a surprisingly loud sound, a small form factor, and a passive radiator to boost the lower frequencies. It also has extremely long battery life.
- Lightweight and small
- Long-lasting battery
- waterproof and dustproof
- Flexible strap for attachment
- Sony Music Center app is not supported
- Be careful with loose sand
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