SRS-XB13 wireless speaker (Image credit: Sony) Photograph:( Others )
The Sony SRS-XB13 weighs around 255 grams, is portable as well as waterproof
Guilty. I am one of those women who has that big scary bag which packs in her life. I am prepared for anything. So I have extra sanitizers, masks, a hand cream, a perfume, a surface spray and even a book that I never get to read.
The latest addition to my handbag is a compact speaker from Sony.
Why do I carry it along? Am I predicting a music emergency? A situation where someone may yell, "Anybody got a good outdoor speaker?" I don't know yet.
But the fact that a speaker fits into my bag seamlessly and belts out powerful sound is worthy of acknowledgment. And it can be yours for Rs 3,990.
IT'S GOT THE LOOKS
The Sony SRS-XB13 weighs around 255 grams, fits into the palm of your hand, looks adorable yet is sturdy. My only gripe? Sony, in 2021, we need simpler names. I don't know how to recommend this speaker to others without saying "that great small speaker from Sony".
MUSIC ON THE GO
The recent addition to Sony's audio portfolio is this affordable Bluetooth speaker which is portable and waterproof. Now remember, when I say waterproof, it means this speaker will survive if you dunk it in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes but why would you try that?
Instead, use the strap to attach the speaker to a bag and carry it to your next socially-distanced and safe vacation spot. And if you hang it from a height using the strap, you'll be able to modify the sound direction which is a nifty party trick.
Like me, if you have kids in the house who will squeal with excitement when they see the speaker and drop it the next second, worry not. This baby will survive a few falls.
While I am yet to enjoy a decadent, long bath with this speaker by my side, my son loves hopping in his tub jumping to some Baby Shark tunes while splashing water all around. Given that this speaker is waterproof, this activity was safe and engaging for all involved, including the speaker.
A speaker has got to do a lot more than just play great sound. This one has a USB-C port and rubber buttons to play, pause the music. Given how portable it is, I took it to the terrace plenty of times to indulge in a cardio workout or regale my son with some Audible tales. The sound is impressive though not jaw-dropping.
HOW LONG WILL IT LAST?
Battery, battery, battery. This is the real deal-breaker or clincher for me. And at 16 hours on a single charge, this one is a reliable friend.
HOW GOOD IS THE AUDIO?
At under Rs 4,000, I didn't have high expectations. But for everyday use and that rare gathering of people that you may feel brave enough to host now, the SRS-XB13 performs well. If you have a bigger budget, you can buy two of these speakers, connect them using the Stereo Pair function and have a mini-party for one.
I enjoyed listening to multiple tracks from all genres and it did the job. If you're an audio purist, you're probably not looking for a speaker in this budget. For those looking for a portable, useful and well-performing speaker, the Sony SRS-XB13 seems ideal.
The nomenclature of course, leaves much to be desired.