Bluetooth speakers come in all sizes, but the new SRS-X11 from Sony is still a bit special in terms of compactness. It is cube-shaped and small enough to fit in your hand with a dimension of 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 inches (61 x 61 x 61 mm). The rounded corners makes it look like a dice, and yes, I actually tried rolling it but the SRS-X11 does not roll very well. Just so you know.
The size and shape is on the other hand also a great assets of the X11, meaning you can take it with you everywhere. It weighs in at 7.6 oz. (215 g) and will easily fit in your jacket pocket or backpack without feeling too heavy. It also comes with a strap to hang the SRS-X11 around your wrist.
Listening to music anywhere without hassle. That is the main purpose for speakers like this, and that is exactly what the SRS-X11 delivers. Connecting the Sony speaker with your mobile phone (or computer with Bluetooth) only takes a few seconds, and is really easy if you have a smartphone or tablet with a NFC chip. All you need to do is to tap your mobile phone against the SRS-X11 and it´s ready to go.
You can connect multiple devices to the Sony, so you do not need to constantly pair it, but you can only play music from one device at any given moment. If you have devices without Bluetooth you can connect these with a 3.5 mm stereo minijack cable.
Sturdy and Robust
If you´re going to carry around the SRS-X11 everywhere it´s good to know that it is strong enough to survive such a mobile lifestyle. The cabinet/housing is made of a combination of metal and a rubber-like plastic, making it both sturdy and durable. The unit we tested was black, but if you want to bring some color into your life, then Sony has four additional colors to choose from (blue, pink, red and white).
On top of the X11 are a series of recessed buttons. Besides a power/pairing button you have two volume buttons (+/-) and a button to take phone calls. The SRS-X11 also has a microphone and can thus double as a speaker phone, which works pretty well.
12 Hours of Music
According to Sony, SRS-X11 uses a 10-watt full-range speaker driver and two passive radiators to increase low frequencies, and the specification claims a frequency response of 20-20.000Hz(!). That may sound impressive in theory, and although the X11 is a really nice Bluetooth speaker, it doesn´t play particularly deep in the bass. Unless Sony has found a way to break some laws of physics you should not expect any miracles using passive radiators in such a small enclosure.
Deep bass rolls off quickly in the mix, but vocals sound surprisingly good. 'Boom Boom Pow' by Black Eyed Peas is an appropriate test track with a juicy beat, electronic sounds and vocals. It all sounds quite alright as long as you don´t turn up the volume too much. If you go really loud, then distortion becomes a problem. If you can keep your finger off that plus button you may be surprised at how loud this dice can go.
True to the promise that Sony is making in the specification list, the SRS-X11 will play music for a long time on a single battery charge -about 12 hours if you´re using a Bluetooth connection. Otherwise the battery will last approximately 7 hours.
There are, of course, limits to what a cube of 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 inches can handle. Regardless of the frequency range the sound is limited by the size and shape and all the sound seems to come from one small point. This is something most compact speaker struggle with.
But the X11 offers you a way to achieve a wider stereo sound. If you have two units of the speaker, you can press the ADD button on the back to form a stereo pair. A LED light at the bottom of the cube tells you what unit is left and right. There, you now have a stereo setup.
Moreover, you also have the option to let both speakers play in mono, which can be useful when you have to place them too far apart and making a stereo signal sound weird.
A stereo set of SRS-X11's sounds so much better - or at least more natural. To really fill a room with a massive wall of sound is obviously out of reach for this speaker, but a X11 on either side of your computer monitor will create quite a nice experience, for example.
Sony's SRS-X11 is, given its size and price point, a good Bluetooth speaker. The battery life of 12 hours is fine - and it´s even more impressive if you take into account how small the thing actually is. We feel that the Sony SRS-X11 is an excellent option for anyone who needs a small and easy to use speaker for the mobile lifestyle.
Two X11's in stereo mode is really the way to go, but it also means you´ll have to buy an extra unit with a total cost of ~$140. At that price you come dangerously close to speakers like the Bose SoundLink Mini, which is larger but also sounds bigger. However, the stereo feeling of a set of X11's is unbeatable at this price.
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- Frequency Response : 20-20,000 Hz
- Power On/Off : LED Operating Indicator with Auto Power OFF
- Output : 10 W (at 10% harmonic distortion)
Inputs and Outputs
- DC-In : 5 V DC, Micro-USB terminal (Charge Only)
- Internal Microphone : Omni-Directional Electret Condenser (200 Hz - 4,000 Hz effective range)
Audio In : Audio In: (3.5 mm stereo minijack)
Electret condenser microphone
- Power Requirements : DC IN 5 V, 1.5 A (Using supplied Micro-USB AC Adaptor connected to AC 100 V - 240 V, 50 Hz/60 Hz power supply)
- Battery Type : Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Battery (Built-In)
- Battery Life (Approx) : Audio Playback: Approx 12-hours (using Bluetooth® connection)
- Battery Charging (Approx) : 4 hours (supply to input in 1.5A)
- Driver Size(s) : Full-range - Approx 45 mm (1-13/16 in.) dia. (x1)
Weights and Measurements
- Dimensions (Approx.) : Approximately 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 inches (61 x 61 x 61 mm (w/h/d))
- Weight (Approx.) : Approximately 7.6 oz. (215 g)
Bluetooth® Technology : Bluetooth® Ver 3.0
Profile Support: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP
- Modulation Mode : FHSS
Transmitting Power : Specification Power Class 2
Line of sight range 30 ft (10 m)
- Wireless Frequency : Bluetooth® 2.4 GHz band (2.4000 - 2.4835 GHz)
- NFC : One-touch Listening with NFC (Near Field Communications)
- Bluetooth® Technology : Bluetooth® Ver 3.0