A small and sturdy speaker for outdoor use
In India, Sony SRS-XB13 was launched on World Music Day. The launch of an audio product with the Sony logo is as exciting as ever. All the important instructions are actually on the top flap, which shows you how to use the straps and bark in different configurations. The speaker is enclosed in a soft pouch in the box, a 12-inch long USB Type-C charging cable, an image guide manual, a text-heavy reference guide and a warranty card (which lasts for one year). The speaker itself is in a soft cloth bag.
Construction and design
The speaker is three and a half inches long, three inches wide and weighs about 250 grams. It is designed as a small and light weight speaker, meant for the exterior. The speaker is light enough and the form factor is compact enough so that it doesn’t feel extra burdensome when packed in a bag for the next track. It is actually small and light enough to hang from your hand for short trips.
The upper bouts featured two cutaways, for easier access to the higher frets. The lower bouts featured two cutaways, for easier access to the higher frets. At the bottom of the device, pointed down is a passive radiator, which is a smart but obvious place to include a small form factor. This passive driver is powered by air pressure and relies on the electrical manipulation of the primary driver to provide additional thumps at low frequencies. Now the membrane is inside a railing that lifts it above the ground, pointing the sound downwards and then all the way. This railing sits half an inch above the ground surface, and requires a little care from the users, so that there is not too much dirt and grime between the railing and the passive driver, although it is easy enough. Clean with earbuds. Sony recommends that speakers should not be placed directly on loose sand.
There is a simple strap that can attach itself to two configurations on the side of the bag, one where the speaker hangs down from the side and another where it is more securely attached at two points. There’s an S-shaped clip, a sleek smart design that lets you quickly switch between the two configurations, allowing the speaker to easily hang on everything from the tree to the gear hook in the tent. Both the strap and the clip seem stiff enough and are capable of taking a few tugs and shakes without snapping. The textured strap, while easy to clean, gets dirty quickly because it easily traps mud or grit on the side of the tree. It is also much easier to change the configuration when the strap is dry, it is more difficult to take out the clip and slip through the gap around the bottom and it takes time when the strap gets wet.
The speaker with IP67 rating is waterproof and dust proof. We tested it in the rain and did not encounter any problems. The unit is easy to clean, and in light but continuous rain the speaker faces straight, not too much water getting stuck in the grill. It is enough to get rid of any drop by inverting it for an hour or more. The speaker itself feels sturdy, and is completely satisfactory as a solid outdoor speaker in terms of build quality. Looking at the finish of the speaker, it doesn’t look like it will be easily scratched. If you throw it in a pool, it will float, but it will sink a little in about fifteen seconds. The speaker seems to be able to easily flush out small droplets of water and if it is wet it does not affect the sound quality.
The power and volume rocker buttons are located on a rubber strip at the base of the device, with a flap that opens up to the USB Type-C port. This flap is located just below the strap, the best place to be if you think about it. This ensures that if the speaker hangs from somewhere and is charged simultaneously, the power cable from the port is comfortably stuck under the strap, not being pressed against any other surface or hanging in an awkward way where they can get stuck. Some yanked off and on.
The speaker has only the features required for its intended function, with the exception of all extra bells and whistles. There is no WiFi connection, or voice assistant support, and the companion app does not work with this particular model. Being able to add speakers to the Sony Music Center app would be incredibly convenient to test battery life and simplify the pairing of two units for stereo power. The only feature we want to get from the speaker when looking at the battery capacity of the device is the support from the Sony Music Center app. Fortunately, the device meets this by having a dedicated LED indicator to show that it has a long battery life and that it needs to be charged.
That said, we will consider the strap as its own feature, as it is really convenient and allows the speaker to be positioned creatively in different places, making it incredibly versatile. The ability to hang speakers is really helpful in confined spaces with limited floor space, such as inside a tent, but this feature is effective even indoors, where the speaker can be easily hung from a tripod in the middle of the room (speaker to fill it with permission) or ceiling. From the shelf handle or hook nearby (great for creating the environment). So even if you decide to go out and stay at the hotel, it is a convenient and versatile travel speaker.
Google also has Fast Pair technology, which allows you to pair superfast with Android devices using Bluetooth low energy. It actually works like magic on some supported Android devices, where you’ll get a notification on the device if the speaker is turned on somewhere nearby. Tap it once and it will be paired.
Unlike the SRS-XB12, the SRS-XB13 has no input for an audio jack, we don’t miss it at all, but it does make the device a low score in the features section. Having a jack line is a big advantage for an outdoor speaker, as trackers use a dedicated music player to conserve their smartphone battery.
The only other feature of the note given by the speaker is a mic that lets you answer the call. The mic is located under the control button and does not work very well at a distance. You can use it around the length of a hand without raising your voice, but you’ll see it speak to the mic to catch up and be clearer, so it’s not really something that anyone would like to use, but it’s a viable option if your phone Charging Elsewhere The good thing about using speakers like this is how loud you can make incoming voice, and it allows a group of people to hang around a device for a conversation.
One of the things you need to be aware of is the position of the speaker. In a tent, for example, it is best to keep it to the bottom, and if hanging from an umbrella (this is a possibility!), It is best to place it on the inside. Especially at low volumes, it makes a noticeable difference when it comes to which direction the speaker is facing. However, the strap that allows you to quickly and easily switch between configurations makes this part easier to manage. The strap gives some space around the speaker, which makes it even better when hanging. Considering the small size of the speaker, it is easy to push against the corners and against the wall, where it may not sound great.
Battery life is really good. We played it at about fifty percent of the volume and it went well over a day of continuous playback, over 16 hours in the box, which we estimate at a higher volume. This is the kind of battery life you need on your tracks, but since it won’t last all the time, it’s safe to say that this speaker can run smoothly on weekends without the need to re-juice. While we suspect that battery life is bound to deteriorate over time, it seems to last forever outside the box, which is exactly what users expect from outdoor gear. Next to the unit is an indicator for low battery life.
Audio playback The Bluetooth connection with stuttering or distorted playback is interrupted from time to time. When this happens, usually turning off the device and turning it on is enough to fix this problem, which is rare anyway. Turning the device on and off, and making a connection is a quick process, the power button is set up in such a way that it shuts off when you release it, so it’s okay to press too small (as long as you keep pressing it, it shuts off, It will not work). Pairing is superfast, faster on Windows as well as iPhone and Android devices.
When you hold the speaker while playing, you can actually feel the power of the original driver. The bottom cover of the passive radiator also thumps with the beat along the entire circumference of the speaker. It shows that the original speaker is really powerful, but still has a lot of mis-directed power. High and clear in the middle and distinct. The bass is a bit problematic, when the speakers are base forward, they don’t really pack in a punch. It is also difficult to reconcile buyer expectations with reality in reviews. The most important thing here is that the base sounds much better when the speaker is hung, the way it is used, reflected from different surfaces like the top of the tent, the top of the tree and the top of the umbrella. Seriously, the leaves resonate with the alloy. When placed on the ground or floor, it is not so impressive. In fact, theoretically, you would think that all the speakers, after hearing this thing, were meant to be suspended and used in the middle of an infinite plane. This is the right speaker for those who want a good round sound with a differentiated bass, for those who expect extra kicks at low frequencies it can be uncomfortable. Just don’t expect an excessive tap that falls from the baby bird’s nest. Passive radiators really help to distinguish low frequencies, which can be heard clearly from the base of the speaker. The base packs more punches at higher volumes, but beats at lower volumes (think Bjোর্rk’s Hunter), twice its size compared to Bluetooth or desktop speakers, which is less than the average size of both devices. In short, the middle and high sounds sound great, and the bass is almost perfect, not too much. At higher volumes, a single speaker can easily fill a cave, so there is no problem in that section either. It can get surprisingly loud for its size.
One of the most frequently asked questions from our listeners is the mythical word stage. Since they are mono speakers, they do not have a sound platform to speak of, but all the instruments are distinct and clear. Although the mono has its own charm, a pair of these speakers can be linked to create a stereo couple. Since the model is not supported by the Sony Music Center app, we find the pair more difficult, but the manual contains clear guidelines on how to do this. We imagine a pair of these to perform admirably as a replacement for a desktop speaker and provide great stereo sound for the outside. For our tests, we used only a single speaker.
We tested the speakers from a variety of sources, including a variety of music and games, movies and TV shows. Speakers can handle a wide range of genres, but when you listen to soft dialogs and low orchestral scores, the quality of the device really shows up, which is all transparent, even at low volume. If you often drive somewhere in the middle, pitch a tent, make some popcorn and watch a movie, these are just the right speakers.
The device is available on ecommerce sites with an MRP of 3,990 which makes it an attractive proposition. Considering the quality of the device, it seems to be priced right, but we want Sony to make the deal even sweeter for those who want to pick up a pair. The speakers are available in six colors, and those on camouflage will love the Toupe one. The Sony SRS-XB13 is a small, lightweight but sturdy speaker for outdoor use. With a surprisingly loud sound from a small form factor, an extra kick at low frequency through a passive radiator, and an exceptionally long battery life, this speaker is perfect for its intended use, but without the extra bell and whistle.