Perhaps the smallest speaker in Sony’s lineup, the SRS-XB10 is part of the Ultra Bass family, and features a selection of fun colors. They’re IPX5 water-resistant, and feature buttons and ports hidden behind a rubberized surface.
That’s a good idea in theory, but don’t quite work as well in practice, as the contact area for each control seems small relative to what you find on the Muvo 2C, making them less easy to activate. Also, the rubberized surface doesn’t give a premium feel to the speaker, especially when compared with the other speakers.
One thing that definitely stands out is battery life. The speaker has the longest battery life of any speaker in this shootout at 16 hours; most impressive given the small size. In terms of audio, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the speaker generally doesn’t overdo the bass, with good attention to the mids.
For example, on a recording of ‘Live and Let Die’ by Guns N’ Roses, the track is delivered with the energy befitting of a rock song. The piece falls primarily in the mids and lows, suggesting that’s the sweet spot for these speakers. It was further confirmed with ‘Keith Don’t Go’ by Nils Lofgren, as the speaker served up a measured performance with good details in the lower mids.
No surprise then that the speaker did best on ‘Hotel California’ by The Eagles during our formal testing. The speaker provides just enough weight for the lead guitar to stand out from the rest, and just about gives Don Henley’s vocals the necessary separation to carry the track.
It feels like there’s sometimes just a bit too much bass for accuracy, and we could have done with more clarity on the allimportant solo for this piece, but the SRSXB10 certainly put in a lively performance befitting the ‘Extra Bass’ moniker.
The control buttons on this speaker need a larger surface.
The SRS-XB10’s ports are hidden behind a rubber flap.