STEREO GUIDE verdict
+ Amazingly rich, punchy bass for its size, even at higher listening levels
+ Clearly marked operating keys; voice prompt for numerous functions
+ Stereo pairing of two SRS-XB13 possible
+ Large carrying strap
- no analog AUX input
Sound: Tonal balance / transparency6.4
Sound: Bass / Dynamics5.3
Ease-of-use / Connectivity8.5
Price / Performance9.5
With its round housing made of thick hard plastic, the Sony SRS-XB13, which is available in beige, yellow, blue, azure, pink or plain black, stands out from other mini Bluetooth speakers like the Bose Soundlink Micro or the JBL Go 3. The other design also stands for a different concept. The 4.6 cm full-range speaker radiates vertically upwards through a perforated metal grille. At the bottom of the case, there are side slots for its passive radiator housed inside for a boost that Sony dubs “extra bass.” This review shows whether that works.
The minimalistically designed Sony SRS-XB13 presents itself very functionally. However, its round shape makes it harder to store than a Bose Soundlink Micro or a JBL Clip 4.
Not necessarily handy, but functional
The keys are integrated into a rubber insert in the case and exemplarily marked with white imprinting. The play/pause button proves to be a kind of universal key. It can also be used to skip tracks, call up the smartphone’s voice assistant(Google Assistant or Apple Siri) or take calls with the integrated hands-free microphone.
The large carrying strap also proves to be practical in the practical test. With its quick-release buckle, you can also attach it to a backpack. The waterproof and dustproof design of the Sony SRS-XB13 according to protection class IP67 matches this. With a battery life of up to 16 hours , the cylindrical Bluetooth speaker is a real endurance runner. This is especially true when you compare it to other mobile mini boxes. However, it’s a hefty performance even compared to larger speakers like the JBL Flip 6.
Give bass, have fun
The bass reflex concept of the Sony SRS-XB13 can prove itself in the listening test of the review. Its amazingly rich bass is completely to the taste of a young target group. With it, electronic beats are simply more fun than with many other mini Bluetooth boxes. If you make a direct comparison with the Sharp GX-BT60, you will notice that it is a bit lower. However, the Sony holds its own with a great punch for this class. Its bass reflex system with the passive radiator is obviously tuned exactly to the frequency of typical bass beats and thus gives them proper emphasis.
The vibrations can even be clearly felt on the tabletop and the small cylinder sometimes even vibrates to the beat of the music. Fortunately, this is not at the expense of sound quality. The Sony SRS-XB13 remains clean even at decent volumes and produces clear highs. However, the bass, which is extremely powerful for minis, sometimes obscures the lower midrange. This has a negative impact on transparency. The voice reproduction of the small bass wonder is also not 100% perfect. Vocals can sometimes appear a bit hoarse with the XB13.
Conclusion of the review and alternatives to the Sony SRS-XB13
When it comes to bass from minimal volume, the Sony SRS-XB13 is a real highlight among mini bluetooth speakers. However, if you have a bit more space in your backpack, the Tronsmart T7 Mini is a cheaper and more powerful speaker with a spherical design. For those who value maximum harmony and clarity, we rather recommend the Sharp GX-BT60, but it sounds much thinner.
Specifications Sony SRS-XB13
- Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: 50 Euro
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 7.4 x 9.2 x 7.4 cm
- Weight: 240 g
- Battery life up to 16 hours
- Features: waterproof and dustproof according to protection class IP67, stereo pairing
- More at: www.sony.com