Its buttons are painted on and are responsive. They are accompanied with appropriate LED indicators. Sadly, the only quirk the XB10 has is that there is no way of telling the current battery charge level.
It also has the standard pause and play button which can skip to the next song upon pressing it twice. The same buttons also serve as answer and cancellation buttons for incoming calls. Pairing of the bluetooth speakers is also straightforward, as you will just have to hold down the power button to enter pairing mode and set the speakers to be discoverable.
The XB10 has an Add button which allows the user to connect to another XB10 to play the same song or serve as a Left and Right stereo sound. Unlike the other speakers in the line that allows party chain, this speaker can only connect to another XB10. It also has a built-in mic for receiving of calls, but its quality is not up to expectations as recorded voices seems be to rather unclear.
The range of the bluetooth is about 10 meters with line of sight, which is a considerably decent distance for most wireless speakers. Sony did include NFC connectivity built into speakers to simplify the bluetooth pairing process with any NFC enabled smartphone.
The battery life can last up to 16 hours and it takes about 4 hours to charge fully. To save power, the unit also automatically turns off after 15 minutes when not being in use.
The XB10 stands out with its exceptional audio quality, especially in the mid and low frequencies. Most speakers of this size will not have the technical capabilities to have warm sounding low bass, but the XB10 has proven it to be possible. Moreover, despite its size, the XB10 is still able to produce sounds loud enough to fill the whole room. However, depending on the quality of the audio source, some hints of distortions were detected when the volume is set to about 80% and above.
Overall, the XB10 achieves its purposes to be a high quality and rugged portable speaker. Its highlight must be its long battery life and water-resistant properties. It will deliver those jams on the go when you’re in a small room, patio or by the poolside. Even though it somewhat lacks aesthetically when compared to some of the nice finishes and features in the Extra Base Line, its affordable price of S$79.00 and good audio quality makes it a value buy.