Earlier this year Sony released a new portable speaker called SRS-X11 which is a small cube with a built in re-chargeable battery that lasts for 12 hours. It has a double-mode and stereo-mode feature which means that if you have two of them you can pair them to listen in stereo or double the sound up. It connects to your device via bluetooth and also got an audio-in jack and hands-free calling function.
I like the pairing feature that means that you can connect two speakers to get stereo sound. Listening to a stereo sound test shows that it works well and it’s up to the user to position the speakers wide enough so that you can hear it well.
The phone calling function feels quite useless to me though; if I want to make a call it is much easier to just go straight through my phone, even if I would be using the speakers during the call. The first time I tried pressing on the phone button nothing happened, but the second time with a long press my phone gives me the option to either open the Google Talk app, and the second time I try the long press it calls the last number I have phoned. None of this makes much sense in functionality!
The volume is also synced between the speakers when they are paired up with each other, which is a great feature. When the battery is low a red light starts blinking at the bottom indicating it needs to be charge, which is very useful.
The speakers are quite easy to use although I had to go into the manual to figure out how to pair the two for stereo sound. Once I’ve got it figured out it is quite easy to get them paired by pressing and long-pressing the add button and pairing button, and then connected to my chosen device.
I really like the small size of them that make them very portable and I can see them being used while traveling, maybe on a camping trip or just during a picnic in the park.
I like the design of the speakers, they are simple cubes with chamfered corners, and I love that I got the purple ones! I like that they don’t have too many buttons or other details on them – it is the simplicity that make them cool. Sound quality The speakers can actually go quite loud, which is a bit surprising considering their small size. Their biggest fall is on the lower frequencies, you can’t really hear anything below 160 Hz, which makes electronic music tracks loose a lot of the kick and bass sounds. They work well in the mid to high frequency range where the sound is quite clear, but sometimes the sound is a bit too ‘tinny’. I think they would work well to normal TV audio for example and music that doesn’t have much bass into it.
I think the Sony SRS-X11 are good value for what you get, they’re a great portable option for when you are on the go or want to bring a decent sound with you. They also look really cool and you can choose between several colours. But if you’re looking for prime sound quality you’ll have to look for something else (and probably bigger) and be ready to spend some more money.