Sony SRS-XB01 Review
Sony has many good Bluetooth portable speakers, but Sony SRS-XB01 is the smallest member of the family. You can tie it to your bag and forget about it. It is designed to always be with you, no matter where you travel.
- Decent sound
- Carrying strap
- Built-in microphone
- Size and weight
- Short battery
- Lack of bass
- Small charging cable
- No A/C adapter
The Sony SRS-XB01 comes in a transparent plastic case, where the product is visible from the packaging. Besides the speaker, a short USB charging cable is included, together with a strap (same as the speaker’s color), the manual, and the warranty. The USB cable has a micro USB on one end to connect the speaker and a USB-A connector on the other end.
The speaker’s dimensions are 3.20 x 2.26 x 2.22 inches (WHD), and the weight is just 160 grams, the lightest portable speaker from Sony. Despite the lightweight, the speaker manages to avoid feeling cheap. From color options, you have: red, blue, black, and white. On the top-right side of the speaker, there is a slot for attaching the strap.
The speaker is solid, with a textured finish, and there are four buttons on the top: On/Off, Play/Pause/Phone answer/end, Volume up, and Volume down.
Sony SRS-XB01 is a mono speaker and has a single 1.47 inches driver and a passive radiator on the back for the bass. The power output is 3W. It sounds decent for its size, and Sony limited its volume to prevent it from distorting.
The speaker has an IPX5 rating, meaning it can survive rain, but not if dipped into the water. On the top right side, a rubberized cover protects the micro USB port and the audio input.
SRS-XB01 connects to smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other Bluetooth-enabled devices through Bluetooth 4.2 with a range of 10 meters compatible with A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP Bluetooth profiles. For hands-free calls, there is a built-in microphone.
The battery is not replaceable and has a capacity of 800 mAh, which has enough juice for six hours. When you charge the speaker through the micro USB input, an amber LED lights up on the top right corner. The light turns off when the battery is fully charged. Sony recommends full charge of the device, even when not in use, every six months. This way, you preserve the battery life. The complete charging of the battery takes about two and a half hours. The speaker also shuts off if there are 20 minutes without an audio signal.
If you want to turn the device On or Off, you quickly press the On/Off button. But if you press and hold it for a few seconds, it will set the pairing mode, and a blue LED lights up on the top-left corner. The LED blinks while the pairing mode is on, and once the Bluetooth connection is established, the light goes steady.
The built-in microphone makes the Sony SRS-XB01 a hands-free device. You can answer phone calls while listening to your music. The downside is the low quality of the microphone, so you need to speak close to the speaker. Otherwise, you will not be heard well by the person on the other side of the line.
Sony SRS-XB01 can’t compete with the sound of the more prominent members of the family. The sound is tinny and lacks bass. The speaker can get loud enough for a small room but doesn’t have the power to entertain the crowd at a party. Still, the sound is much better than a smartphone’s speaker, and it is handy to carry it with you around the house listening to music.
Even though the SRS-XB01 has an “Extra Bass” label on the packaging, that is purely for marketing purposes. The bass on this speaker is not absent, but there is no satisfying thump found in more prominent speakers.
Music does not sound terrible, and you shouldn’t have high expectations considering the price of this speaker.
You should go with other speakers like Bose SoundLink Micro, Tribit Xsound Go, or Oontz Angle 3 Plus if you prefer more bass and bigger sound. But keep in mind that all of these speakers are about double the size of the Sony SRS-XB01.
So if the sound quality is what it takes to determine your mind, then you should lean towards Tribit or Oonts, but still, Sony managed to produce a likable little speaker, well designed and with a decent sound for a low price.