Sony SRS-X11 Portable Mini Bluetooth Speaker: Big sound in a compact package (review)

As a child of the 80s and 90s, I’ve always known Sony to be an industry leader when it comes to sound. It was huge with the Walkman, Discman and to a lesser degree, the Minidisc too. Portable tape players were synonymous with the Walkman, but in more recent years, Sony has taken a backseat to the hundreds of new manufacturers of audio products. That doesn’t mean Sony forgot how to make fantastic audio products, it just means there’s a heck of a lot more competition. I’ve been using two of the Sony SRS-X11 Portable Mini Bluetooth Speaker as a companion to my smartphone, tablet, and laptop for the past several months. The pair of speakers reminds me of just how great Sony is at audio.

Sony’s SRS-X11 speaker is sold individually, but I purchased two knowing this little speaker is better in stereo sound. The pair costs the same as larger sized Bluetooth speakers.

Build and specs SRS-X11

When it comes to build quality, you know you will always get something great from Sony. Whether it’s a PlayStation, television or Bluetooth speaker, Sony knows how to manufacture products with its decades of experience.

The SRS-X11 is a small cube-shaped speaker that has metal grills that protect three sides, while the top, rear, and bottom are covered with a soft matte plastic. There are dual passive radiators that push bass out of the sides, while the front is where most of the sound comes out of. On the top is where you will find the controls for power, answering phone calls, NFC and Bluetooth pairing, as well as +/- for volume and track control. The rear has a micro USB input for charging, 3.5mm audio input, and there’s an “Add” button for pairing to another SRS-X11. There are three LED lights on the bottom of the speaker to indicate Bluetooth pairing and L and R for which speaker is playing on the left or right sides.

The SRS-X11 comes in five different colors – Black, Blue, Pink, Red and White. MSRP comes in at $69.99, but the speaker can frequently be found for less than $50 on sites like Amazon.com. Battery life is rated at 12-hours which is more than enough for most people.

  • Dimensions – 2.5″ x 2.5″ x 2.5″
  • 10 Watts
  • Weight – 7.7 ounces

Usage

For those of you with Android devices, having the ability to pair using NFC is a very nice feature to have. All you have to do is place your smartphone onto the NFC tag of the SRS-X11 and it asks you if you want to pair over Bluetooth. For devices that aren’t Androids, pairing takes place over Bluetooth just like other wireless accessories. Pairing takes no more than a few seconds, and then connecting to another SRS-X11 speaker is just about as simple. All you need to do is hit the “add” button on the back of the Bluetooth paired speaker, and then click the same button on the second SRS-X11 and it pairs instantly.

Having two speakers is better than one as they are much more versatile and offer a bigger soundstage. Two of the SRS-X11s take up the same amount of space that most portable speakers do -the UE Boom 2, LG P7 Flow and Beats Pill are all slightly larger than the pair of Sony cubes. What’s nice about having the pair of X11s is I can leave one in my office and put the other in the kitchen, or I can leave one at home and bring the other with me when I am traveling to save a little space and weight in my backpack.

Separating the speakers into left and right also makes for a much more immersive soundstage when setup at my computer than one single wireless speaker. It definitely makes a big difference when watching movies or tv shows on my iPad Pro too.

The sound quality of Sony speakers, not just the X11 is balanced, detailed and clear. There’s no abundance of bass – they’re tuned to play music the way it was intended. The X11 follows that pattern of Sony sound quality with balanced sound and it even sounds great when playing solo. If you’re into huge bass, the X11 definitely isn’t for you. However, if you’re into balance, sound quality and a huge soundstage (depending on where you place two of the X11s), then the X11s are perfect for you.

Battery life is as advertised. After several months of usage, I have found the 12-hour battery life rating to be a true representation of what the speaker is capable of.

I haven’t come across a single negative quality about the X11 – even the price is right at less than 50. I’d certainly recommend this speaker over any other in its price range.

Summary

The SRS-X11 is just about the perfect portable wireless speaker. It’s small, sounds great, last all day and night and is priced right. If you can’t afford two, one still sounds great and you can always add another at a later time. Having the pair is a much more versatile option than being stuck with one larger Bluetooth speaker too.

The SRS-X11 Portable Bluetooth Mini Speaker is on sale at Amazon.com for $48 at the time of this writing. You can learn more about Sony speakers at Sony.com.

 

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