Review | Sony XB10 portable Bluetooth speaker

For years, we’ve been wanting to score a Bluetooth speaker that can be played through a 3.5mm socket just in case you’re playing it indoors and a wireless service is not needed. The Sony XB10 has it, and provides even more.

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Design

As mentioned above, the XB10 has the size of a cup and it is arguably the smallest member of Sony’s XB lineup. We like how compact the XB10 is and we were not that surprised that Sony was able to pull it off given the company’s reputation in the entertainment field.

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However, the rubberized coating of this speaker attracts dusts in many instances and cleaning it up needs your utmost patience. On the brighter side though, the coating enables the XB10 to become a water-resistant device that holds out against water splashes.

Additional ornaments of the XB10 are the hook and a hood covering up the 3.5mm socket and the charging port. The hook helps you pin the XB10 on your bag, bicycle, shower room, or on trees when you’re outdoors.

Unfortunately, the XB10 doesn’t have the disco lighting effect that its elder brother XB30 has. The buttons on the lower side might be easy to push, but its inability to light up may give you a hard time when using it in the dark.

Performance

First off, the Sony XB10 is a mono speaker belonging to Sony’s Extra Bass family. It produces a directional sound and a decent bass punch in most of the songs we played. As our main benchmark song for the speakers we review, The Knack’s “My Sharona” has been played to mid-level volume up to the maximum and we were dazzled by XB10′s performance: the guitar strings doing the lead was clear, and the song’s trademark double-bass-to-snare beat sounded perfectly.

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Also, Eagle’s “Hotel California” acoustic rendition in 1994 hit all the marks in our sound test when played in XB10′s mid-level to maximum loudness.

At times, though, the songs distort when the bass was too much for the XB10 to handle in the maximum volume and it was alright. The XB10 covers this up when we used to the speaker in watching dialogue-driven movies (The Hateful Eight, Django Unchained, and Inglorious Basterds) and flicks with heavy sound design (Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Baby Driver, and Hacksaw Ridge).

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One of XB10′s features is its capability to play in stereo when paired to another XB10. We were able to do this by pairing it to our own XB10, and the performance got even better playing in stereo. Additionally, the pairing was made easier by the NFC connection, in which you tap your NFC-enabled devices to the XB10 to establish a link.

In the power department, we enjoyed the XB10 in an eight-hour drive using it as our main source of music and Waze’s navigation voice. Charging it back to full needed just an hour and a half.

Conclusion

With its P2,999 price tag, the Sony XB10 has surely claimed a spot in the best portable Bluetooth speakers chart. Coming in six different colors, the XB10 absolutely deserves to be included in your travel kit.

The Good

  • It comes in six colors
  • Water resistant
  • Extra Bass feature

The Bad

  • Buttons do not light up
  • Rubberized coating attracts dust

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