Sony has a good range of Bluetooth portable speakers, and SRS-XB01 is the smallest member of the family. Tie it to your bag and forget about it until you need to listen to music. Designed to stick with you everywhere you go, the speaker bellies its size and reaches for a surprisingly big sound. Read this review to understand what the Sony SRS-XB01 speaker has to offer:
Sony SRS-XB01 portable Bluetooth speaker: Who is it good for?
The Sony SRS-XB01 speaker is a good choice for people who want:
- An affordable Bluetooth speaker
- Music on the move with a light load
- To enhance the audio output of their smartphone with a good looking accessory
Pros and cons
The Sony SRS-XB01 speaker delivers:
- It is lightweight - strap it on your bag and you forget it is there
- Decent full range sound in a small format
- Water resistant for splashes
- Handy strap color matched to the speaker. It looks good hanging on your bag, bike or wrist
- Easy to connect and to use
- Built-in microphone for hands-free calling
The speaker has a couple of inconveniences too:
- The battery life is rather short. It delivers approximately 6 hours of playback that fall to 3 hours if you play it at full volume
- The built-in microphone is not great. You need to keep the speaker close to your face for a decent conversation
The Sony SRS-XB01 speaker is the smallest Sony has in its portable Bluetooth series. It delivers full-range sound in a small form-factor. SRS-XB01 is the speaker that you can take everywhere. It is a significant improvement from the speaker on your smartphone, and it makes a fashion statement while being available in several good-looking colors. If you want a small and convenient Bluetooth speaker, the Sony SRS-XB01 is the one for you. It delivers good value for money.
Unboxing the Sony SRS-XB01 portable Bluetooth speaker
The Sony SRS-XB01 portable speaker comes in a transparent plastic case. On the front, you see the name of the product and its main EXTRA BASS feature. The product is visible on the bottom of the packaging.
On the back, you see the documents enclosed with the product. When you open the package, you find the speaker, a short USB charging cable, a strap color matched to the speaker, the setup guide, the warranty and the reference guides in several languages.
The unboxing is quick and painless, and you get exactly what you need to start using the product.
Hardware specifications and design
The Sony SRS-XB01 speaker has a solid build, and it comes in four color options: red, blue, white, and black. The size is approximately 3.20 × 2.26 × 2.22 inches or 81.5 x 57.5 x 56.5 mm in width x height x depth. It weighs 5.65 oz or 160 grams making it the lightest portable Bluetooth speaker from Sony.
It can connect to smartphones, tablets, laptops or other devices through its Bluetooth 4.2 chip with a range of up 32.81 feet or 10 meters. It has a built-in microphone for hands-free phone calls. It is compatible with A2DP/AVRCP/HFP/HSP Bluetooth profiles.
The top part of the speaker has four buttons for On/Off, Play/Pause/Phone answer/Phone close, Volume up, and Volume down.
Sony SRS-XB01 has a full range mono speaker of 1,47 inches or 37.5 mm, with a passive radiator on the back for the bass. The maximum power output is 3W. It also has an IPX5 water resistant rating, which means that it can withstand rain, but it will not resist when you immerse it in water. On the top-right side of the speaker, you find a slit where you can attach the strap.
On the top-right side, there is a rubberized cover that hides the micro-USB port and the audio input.
The battery unit has a capacity of 800mAh, and it is not replaceable. The package contains a short USB cable with micro-USB on one end to connect the speaker and a USB-A connector on the other. For more details read the SRS-XB01 specifications.
Using the Sony SRS-XB01 wireless portable Bluetooth speaker
Before using the Sony SRS-XB01 speaker, you should charge it. When you charge the speaker using the micro-USB input, an amber LED lights up on the top right corner on the front side, behind the mesh. The light goes off when the speaker is fully charged. Sony recommends doing a full charge for the device at least every 6 months, even if you do not use it, to preserve its battery life.
Press the On/Off button for a couple of seconds, to set it in the pairing mode. It is the button in the top-right corner in the picture below, and it has the word PAIRING written on top of it.
If you want to turn the device Off and On, quickly press the same button. When the pairing mode is on, a blue LED lights up on the top-left corner, on the front side of the speaker, behind the mesh. The LED blinks rapidly while the pairing mode is on, and it becomes steady once the Bluetooth connection is successful. We tried to pair it with a Huawei smartphone, a Samsung tablet, and a Lenovo Windows PC. The pairing was quick and the connection worked well every time.
The audio experience when listening to music is pleasant, and the speaker sounds bigger than its size. If the songs you listen to require significant bass, the size of the speaker starts to show despite its moniker of EXTRA BASS inherited from its speaker line. For better bass, you have to look for a bigger and more expensive speaker, like the Sony SRS-XB40.
The built-in microphone is a good idea, making the Sony SRS-XB01 a hands-free device. It means that you can immediately answer a phone call that starts ringing in the middle of your favorite song. The problem is that the microphone is of rather low quality, and your smartphone works better in speaker mode. If you have to use the Sony SRS-XB01 speaker for a phone call, make sure that you speak close to the speaker, otherwise, you are not heard well by the person you are talking to.
To sum up, in one sentence, the experience offered by Sony SRS-XB01, it would be: reasonable sound quality, in a good-looking light package, at a price anyone can afford.
What is your opinion about the Sony SRS-XB01 portable Bluetooth speaker?
What do you think about the SRS-XB01 speaker? Does it sound like a gadget that you want? The low price tag makes it a compelling offer with good value for money, but is that enough for you? Do you want a truly awesome BASS from your portable speaker? Let us know your opinion in a comment below.