I have always believed that a tiny speaker such as the S$99 Sony SRS-X11 will sound tiny for sure, and I usually avoid tiny speakers because most of them are f**king pieces of sh**, except for the JBL Clip+! But this time I'm going to be a little bit more adventurous and give you my objective review of this little speaker. Because you guys deserve to know the truth!
The Sony X11 is a palm sized speaker with one driver and a passive radiator. It has USB charging, speakerphone and NFC for conference calls. On the rubberised top sits the NFC sensor, power, speakerphone and volume control buttons, with the pairing lights in the bottom front. Battery life is rated at 12 hours on the website, but it lasted for only 10 hours 11 minutes on bluetooth, playing at a decent 60% volume.
Overall this tiny speaker feels well built and even has that little heft. You can pair one more X11 speaker to it for 2 channel audio in Stereo or Mono. And of course you'll want to know how's the sound quality, right?
When a speaker is this small you'll surely not get much bass out of it. That's for sure. But even so, the speaker does not feel hollow at all! It also has pretty good clarity for its size, and at maximum volume, the audio processor keeps the speaker from distorting too much. It does not have much track separation though and it handles less complicated music or vocals better. Overall, I was frankly quite surprised that it didn't sound like sh** for its size. You won’t be disappointed if you use it for Youtube or light music.
You can wirelessly connect another X11 to make the sound stereo, or just to have music playing in different parts of the room. But I found that this arrangement didn’t work so well when I placed the speakers more than 5 meters apart. The frequent signal drops when I walk around the living room pissed me off. However, in stereo mode, it works really well. When playing music or videos with separate left and right X11s you will get a more spacious soundstage with the vocals focused in the middle. This sounds hard to believe because these speakers are tiny and can’t compare to an actual stereo, but the performance exceeds what I expected!
Although the X11 has a speakerphone function, call quality is quite poor and I ended up switching back to using my phone. Voice quality sounded too soft and has too much distortion. The battery indicator is located at the back so you can’t easily tell how much battery you have left. One issue I’ve discovered is that after playing audio for a while, you’ll hear some white noise in the background. It does not affect music quality but I definitely notice it’s there. It does not have water resistance, which is not a really big factor for me.
The S$99 Sony SRS-X11 is a great palm-sized speaker that has decent audio performance and battery life. I definitely recommend it as a gift or a decent upgrade to your phone or laptop speakers. So far, the Sony X11 and the JBL Clip+ are the only tiny speakers that I can, and will recommend. They’re much better than the other tiny pieces of sh**e that you find at Challenger.
Available in Black, White, Blue, Pink and Red.