Sony is a very big name in the tech world and they are one of the leading manufacturers when it comes to electronic devices. They have brought us some of the best audios devices in history, some of the best TVs and also one of the best gaming consoles ever - the PlayStation. But these are only some of the devices they develop and manufacture. They also manufacture portable audio speakers, like the Sony SRS-X11. The name might not sound too impressive, but this small speaker has a lot to show. In this review, we're taking it for a test drive and we'll share with you all our thoughts and opinions about it. So if you're searching for a portable audio speaker, and Sony is a brand you like, don't hesitate to read this review:
Unboxing The Sony SRS-X11 Portable Wireless Speaker With Bluetooth
The Sony SRS-X11 portable speaker comes in a transparent box made of plastic, so you can see the actual speaker before opening its package.
At the bottom of the package, there's also another box, this one made of cardboard. On its sides, you can find some details about Sony SRS-X11's features and specifications.
Inside the cardboard box you'll also find a strap for hanging the speaker, a micro-USB cable for charging it and the usual leaflets: quick start guide, warranty and reference guide.
The Sony SRS-X11 uses a 1.77 inch diameter driver with an output power of 10 Watts. The wireless connectivity is handled by a Bluetooth Version 3.0 chip that supports the SBC codec and multiple profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP and HSP. This portable speaker also supports NFC, so pairing it with another NFC enabled device is really easy.
Another interesting addition to the hardware specs and capabilities offered by the Sony SRS-X11 wireless speaker is the fact that you can pair two such speaker to achieve a stereo sound setup, or simply to amplify the volume (if you choose to pair the speakers in mono mode).
Besides its wireless Bluetooth, the Sony SRS-X11 also offers a 3.5mm stereo mini-jack that you can use with devices that don't have a Bluetooth chip.
The frequency transmission range of the speaker lies between 20 - 20,000 Hz, at 44.1 kHz sampling, and Sony SRS-X11 promises to deliver an impressive 12 hours battery life.
This portable speaker is cube shaped and its size is quite small, with dimensions of 2.4 x 2.4 x 2.4 inches (61mm x 61mm x 61mm). In terms of weight, Sony's SRS-X11 weighs 7.58 oz (215 g).
If you'd like to see the full set of hardware specification for Sony SRS-X11, head to the official presentation web page: Sony SRS-X11 Portable Wireless Speaker With Bluetooth - Product Specifications.
Using The Sony SRS-X11 Portable Wireless Speaker With Bluetooth
With its cubic shape and slightly rounded corners and edges, the Sony SRS-X11 wireless speaker sports a very attractive design. The speaker's housing is made partly from metal and partly from plastic, but a plastic that feels like rubber. The combination of these materials make the speaker look and feel good, while at the same time, holding it gives you a really nice sensation of sturdiness and durability.
The Sony SRS-X11 wireless speaker is available in multiple colors, all of which are cleverly chosen to make it attractive to all types of consumers. You can get this speaker in black, white, red, pink or blue.
For our review, we received two Sony SRS-X11 speakers, one in blue and one in red, and we must say that we instantly liked these colors. And we were not the only ones: all our friends who saw them immediately asked more about what they are, what do they do, are they good devices and so on. To put it shortly, these speakers are quite some eye-catchers!
Going back to SRS-X11's design, on its top side, you'll find a power button that also acts as a Bluetooth pairing button, a button for taking or closing phone calls and two volume buttons. All these buttons are recessed within the speaker's housing, and the phone button is even more deep-set. We found this design approach to make it easy for you to press the right buttons even when you're not looking at the speaker.
Still on the speaker's top side, Sony's logo is printed close to the top rim, and in the center you get the NFC symbol. When you'll want to pair this speaker with a NFC enabled device, this is where you you should tap the two against each other.
The front and the sides of this cube-shaped speaker are metal grilles. However, the driver unit is faced towards the front grille, so the side grilles are more of a design choice than a function one.
On the back of the Sony SRS-X11 wireless speaker, you'll find a button called Add, used for pairing two SRS-X11 speakers, a Reset button for when things go out of hand (we never had to use it), an Audio In 3.5 mm jack and the micro-USB charging jack.
Usually, there's not much to see on the bottom of electronic devices. However, Sony made another quite nice design choice and placed all the LEDs on the bottom of the SRS-X11 speaker. Well, not quite on the bottom, but close to it - on the speaker's rims. You get tracking LED light for charging, Bluetooth (established connection, waiting connection or scanning) and also two LEDs for showing you if the speaker is set to be the left or right one when using a stereo setup.
Speaking of the audio quality of the Sony SRS-X11 wireless speaker, we were quite happy with what it offers. The volume levels are quite high and sound is well balanced. It's true though, that at maximum levels, the sound tends to distort a bit, but that's to be expected from a portable wireless speaker and even more from a such small device. However, if you don't feel the need to always push the Volume Up button, you'll be more than satisfied with what this device has to offer. And if you really want higher volumes, you should definitely take into consideration buying yourself two of these devices and use them in a dual setup. While one of these speakers is more than enough to fill a decently sized room with sound, using two will give you all the sound power you need to fill a large room, or even a 3000 square feet courtyard. And we're not talking cheap: we actually tried that, and the audio level is quite decent even in such situations.
We also tried the phone options offered by the Sony SRS-X11 speakers and, while we could easily hear the people we were talking to, not the same can be said about the other way around. The speaker has a built-in microphone, but for the person you speak to, to be able to hear you well, you need to place the Sony SRS-X11 in a certain position. It's OK when you use the speaker in a room, but we wouldn't recommend you use this feature when on the move, like when you're driving your car.
Connecting to the Sony SRS-X11 via Bluetooth is a simple and fast process, and we've never had any issues with it. We've paired the speaker with a Nokia Lumia 930, an HP DV7 multimedia notebook and with an Amazon Kindle Fire HDX tablet, and they all worked well. There were no interruptions and no glitches whatsoever. We've also like to mention that we really enjoyed the NFC capabilities offered by the speaker. Pairing the Lumia 930 with the Sony SRS-X11 is as simple as it could ever be: tap and play - that's all there is to it!
During the time frame we've had the two Sony SRS-X11 wireless speakers in our hands, we've used them both for listening to music, and their batteries easily lasted more than 8 hours. That is - when we've set the sound volume to a roughly 70-80 percent of the maximum available. When we've set the volume to something like a third of the speaker's capabilities, we've managed to use these speakers for more than a day - thus we can confirm that the battery life you can squeeze out of the Sony SRS-X11 is indeed the 12 hours they advertise.
We really like the clever and robust cubic design Sony used for its SRS-X11 speaker, the opportunity of expanding your sound to true stereo by pairing two of these devices, the very easy and issue-free pairing process (especially the NFC feature) and last but not least, we liked the quality of the sound delivered by it. We also consider that the battery life is very decent for a portable device and it's exactly the life you need if you're using this speaker with your smartphone or tablet, for instance. After all, the battery life you expect from most smartphones and tablets nowadays is less than the 12 hours you can get from the SRS-X11.
On the not so good side of things, we'd have to mention that the Sony SRS-X11 wireless speaker is not handling high sound volumes too well and audio tends to get distorted in such situations.
Overall, we loved this little device and we consider that it deserves our "Buy for Everyone" badge. You won't regret getting yourself this wireless speaker and you'll be even more satisfied if you get two of them and create your own truly portable stereo sound system.