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Sony SRS-XB100: Great sound in a small package

Sony SRS-XB100 Review
Sony SRS-XB100 Review

The Sony SRS-XB100 is a very portable and affordable Bluetooth speaker, which is an incremental upgrade over the Sony SRS-XB13 , bringing to the table richer bass and better microphone quality while retaining the compact and rugged design of the original, not to mention its spectacular autonomy of 16 hours.

Sony SRS-XB100 Review

The design of the Sony SRS-XB100 is the opposite of innovative, offering only a few modest changes from its predecessors in Sony’s portable line, but there are some interesting new elements. In this sense, the XB13’s hard matte exterior has been replaced by a softer exterior that feels more comfortable in the hands, while the Sony logo has a more minimalist vibe. And like its predecessor, the speaker comes in bold, muted colors – these are black, light grey, blue and orange.

Upon closer inspection, we’ll notice that around the base is a strip of easy-access buttons for playback, volume, power, and pairing. Here we will also find a rubber flap that covers the USB-C charging port, helping the speaker achieve its IP67 weather resistance rating . That equates to top-notch dust resistance and the ability to take a quick dip and come out alive and well.

They say the best perfumes come in small bottles, and with that in mind, the XB100 measures almost 10 centimeters long and 8cm wide . Equally notable is that it weighs just 274 grams, which makes it all the more impressive that it can deliver sound as good as it does. To place the cherry on the cake, it includes a carrying strap to take it with us everywhere, so it is ultra portable.

How’s the sound?

Internally, the Sony SRSXB100B.CE7 integrates an upward-facing 2W driver that is partially visible through the grill’s perforations, as well as a downward-facing passive bass radiator. Together they offer a frequency range of 20 – 20,000 Hz for mono audio. However, it can offer us stereo sound if we get another speaker of the same model and pair them via Bluetooth, but that is not exactly a selling point.

In terms of sound quality, it’s not impressive in the grand scheme of things and it also doesn’t have enough power to be used outdoors or during parties, but as a personal speaker it’s excellent . Going into details, the soundstage it provides is not bad at all. This speaker has to mix stereo content into mono to play it, so we won’t notice a separation between the left and right channels in stereo music.

Thanks to its 360-degree design, the soundstage has great directivity , so we can place the device in the center of the table and get clear sound everywhere. Although yes, we must warn that it can vibrate a little on some surfaces, so be careful with that, as it could distort the sound. Speaking of that last bit, DPS generally thins out the bass enough to avoid distortion, but at maximum volume it’s inevitable that we’ll notice some compression and lose precision.

On the other hand, the clarity with which it reproduces instruments and voices is something worthy of praise, but we can’t help but feel that the bass range is below the quality of everything else.

Still far from perfection

In terms of functions and connectivity, it is a very simple speaker, perhaps more than necessary, as we find it disappointing that Sony has not taken the trouble to cover the shortcomings of the Sony SRS-XB13. In this sense, it lacks any companion app or sound equalization , so there is no way to tune the audio to our liking. It also fails to include compatibility with voice assistants and FM radio. Considering that today we can find speakers for the same price that do include these functions, it is only natural that we deduct some points.

What it does have is a microphone that we can use for hands-free calls , and it is a pleasant surprise that its voice recording quality is decent.

Battery

Finally, the Sony SRSXB100B.CE7 promises up to 16 hours of autonomy, but know that this estimate is with the volume at 50%. At maximum volume we can wait 5 hours, but we still cannot recommend using it in these conditions due to distortion. If we use it with the volume below 50%, we can wait even more than 16 hours.

PROS:

  • Very affordable
  • Voice reproduction is great
  • Completely dust- and water-tight design
  • Good microphone for the price
  • Autonomy of 16 hours
  • Includes strap

CONS:

  • It does not have a companion app or sound equalization
  • The bass leaves something to be desired
  • Does not have WiFi or NFC
  • No FM radio

 

Sony SRSXB100B Specs:

SRSXB100B.CE7
Dimensions 95x76x76mm
Color Orange, blue, gray, black.
Weight 274 grams
Endurance IP67
Belt Yeah
Screen No
Buttons 5
Microphone Yeah
Power 5W
Frequency range 20 – 20000Hz
Number of speakers 1
Technologies to highlight
  • Passive radiator with EXTRA BASS
  • DSP technology
  • Surround Sound
Battery
  • Autonomy: Up to 16 hours
  • Capacity: 500mAh
  • Charging: Via USB-C
Bluetooth Yes, 5.3 with Fast Pair
Memory card slot No
FM Radio No
Wifi No
3.5mm jack No
NFC No
Box contents Sony SRSXB100B.CE7, USB-C Cable, Strap.
Manufacturer site sony.com

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