There are a lot of Bluetooth speakers from Sony to choose from, and some of them are big and loud.
The $59.99 Sony SRS-XB13, on the other hand, is small enough to fit in a purse and take with you wherever you go.
It’s waterproof, has a strap that you can take off, and has good volume and bass depth for its size.
It doesn’t have much else, but for this price, that’s to be expected.
In the end, the SRS-XB13 is a good outdoor speaker that will work well for you on your next vacation, summer trip, or camping trip.
Small But Sturdy
The cylindrical SRS-XB13 comes in black, dark blue, light blue, pink, or taupe.
It is about 3.8 inches wide all the way around and weighs about 9 ounces.
The frequency range of the upward-firing 46mm driver is from 20Hz to 20kHz.
The SRS-XB13 has a good amount of bass, but its main strengths are its portability and durability.
The base of the speaker is made of rubber, which is supposed to stop it from moving when there are vibrations.
However, it danced across our desk and wiggled a lot when we played bass-heavy mixes and even some not-so-bass-heavy songs at high volumes.
A passive radiator is built into the bottom half of the speaker to add a bit of volume.
But most of the bass depth here is felt (and seen) more than heard.
There is also a sturdy, sporty strap that can be taken off.
Hanging it from the strap is probably better than putting it on a surface that makes noise.
On the side, there are rubberized buttons for power, pairing with Bluetooth, playing/stopping music, and adjusting the volume.
If you press the play/pause button twice, you can skip forward one track.
If you press it three times, you can go backward.
What Are The Features?
With the speakerphone function, the play/pause button also answers and ends incoming calls.
Next to these buttons is a covered USB-C port for the USB-C-to-USB-A charging cable that comes with the phone.
The SRS-XB13 is completely dustproof and waterproof.
It has an IP67 rating, which means it is completely safe around solids and can be submerged for 30 minutes up to one metre deep.
The Bluetooth signal won’t work well underwater.
But the point is that the SRS-XB13 can get a little dirty.
And can be rinsed off, dunked, or exposed to moderate water pressure without worry.
There is no app, which is not surprising for such a simple speaker.
The SRS-XB13 works with Bluetooth 4.2 and has codecs for AAC and SBC.
Sony says the battery will last about 16 hours, but your results will depend on how loud you play the music.
On songs with a lot of sub-bass, like “Silent Shout” by The Knife, the SRS-XB13 handles the deep low frequencies pretty well.
It comes close to distorting, but never quite does.
But if you put the speaker on a flat surface and play this song at high volumes.
The vibrations from the speaker’s bass and bass are strong enough to make them sound like it is distorted.
So, as was already said, it would be smart to hang the speaker from something so that it doesn’t touch any surfaces that make noise when the volume is turned up.
This vibration effect can also happen on songs with less bass, like “Pyramid Song” by Radiohead.
And we did hear a little bit of distortion on some songs when they were turned up to the max.
The SRS-XB13 can’t recreate subwoofer bass, but it will try to recreate low-mids, which can cause problems if they’re turned up in the mix.
We’re talking about a $60 speaker, so this isn’t even a serious complaint.
No speaker this size or price is going to be great at the bass response, but some do sound less muddy at high volumes.
When not on a resonant surface, a lot of the depth is lost, and this track is a good example.
The speakerphone mic is understandable enough.
Even though the signal isn’t very strong and there’s Bluetooth noise in the mix, callers should still be able to understand you.
Strong and easy to carry
What About The Rivals?
Neither the Sony SRS-XB13 nor its main rival, the $70 JBL Clip 4.
Are mind-blowing speakers that will change the way people listen to music.
Still, they are both fine to take to the pool or camping, and the sound quality is better than you might expect for their size.
You can get better sound in a portable device, but it will cost you more.
Marshall Emberton has the best sound quality for its size if you are willing to spend $150.
The Sony SRS-XB23, on the other hand, costs $100 and is a nice step up from the XB-13 in terms of price and performance.
For much less, we like the $40 JBL Go 3.