If you are after a small, outdoor speaker, you can find overwhelming amounts of products in different colors, shapes from various brands.
Today, I will compare Sony’s offering, the SRS-XB10 in this category with the newly released JBL Clip 3.
I have already compared the XB10 with the former model the Clip 2 and now I will check how it can keep up with the new, upgraded JBL Clip 3.
- 100 feet
- 70% volume: 8 hours 50 minutes
- Maximum volume: 5 hours 20 minutes
- IPX7 certification
- It is completely waterproof, it can be submerged into 1-meter-deep water
- It floats on the water
- Durable body
- Long Bluetooth range
- Good battery life
- Integrated carabiner
- Weak lows
- No battery level indicator
- No daisy chain, no JBL Connect+
- 20 feet
- 70% volume: 15 hours
- Maximum volume: 6 hours 30 minutes
- IPX5 certification
- It can be used in rain or as a shower speaker, however, you cannot submerge it into the water.
- Deep, powerful bass
- Strong battery life
- NFC tap-to-pair
- Two devices can be connected together
- Short Bluetooth range
- Muddy treble
- It tends to distort
What makes this comparison even more interesting that they have a very similar price.
You can find the reviews of the speakers here:
Both speakers come in a small box with only a micro USB cable included.
In terms of colors, you can buy the XB10 in 6 different colors, while the Clip 3 is available in 11 different color options.
Both speakers got a rubberized outer coating which gives them a solid and durable feel.
By the XB10, the driver is protected by a metal speaker grille, while the front of the Clip 3 is fully covered by a mesh fabric grille.
From the two, the Clip 3 is the smaller and slimmer device.
The XB10 is heavier and bulkier, so it is not so convenient to carry in a pocket, however, thanks to its shape it fits well into any drink holder slot you can find in cars or backpacks.
Both speakers are well-built and seem to be resistant to scratches and dents, just as you would expect from an outdoor speaker.
By the Sony XB10, the control buttons are located at the side of the speaker and they are completely flat, painted signs on the rubber surface.
In contrast, the Clip 3 got larger and clickier buttons which were moved to the speaker grille.
I prefer the buttons of the Clip 3, they are more convenient to use, it can be hard to find the buttons on the XB10, especially in low light conditions.
Both speakers provide a limited music control capability, so you can pause/play the music or skip a song.
However, it is not possible to jump back to the previously played song or to forward/backward in a song.
They have a built-in microphone, so they can be used as a speakerphone to answer phone calls.
The Clip 3 got an IPX7 certification, which means it is completely waterproof and can be submerged into 1-meter-deep water for 30 minutes.
On top of that, it floats on the water, so you can even drop it all the way in.
In contrast, the Sony XB10 is only splash-proof, so it can be used in rain or you can wash it off, however, it cannot be submerged into water.
So if you are looking for a speaker for water sports or to the beach than the Clip 3 is a better choice.
The Clip 3 got a built-in carabiner, which is really handy when you carry the speaker around.
With it you can easily attach the speaker to your belt or backpack.
This carabiner is a very convenient solution and it highly improves the portability of the speaker.
The XB10 comes with a detachable strap which has a plastic ring at the end.
It is useful to hang the speaker on a hook and in addition, the plastic ring can be used as a stand what you can lay the speaker on and direct the sound towards you for example if you are watching a movie.
From the two, I prefer the carabiner of the Clip 3, I think it is a more versatile attachment option.
How to Setup
The setup was easy by both speakers, however, the XB10 is equipped with an NFC chip, which makes the whole pairing process much easier.
If you have an NFC enabled device, you can just simply touch it to the speaker and they will automatically connect together.
Connectivity, Bluetooth range
Both speakers have an audio jack input port, so they can be also connected with a cable.
In my outdoor test, I measured 20 feet Bluetooth range by the XB10 and 100 feet range by the Clip 3.
So the Clip 3 has a much longer range, the range of the XB10 is quite short, it is below the average.
One benefit of the XB10 over the Clip 3, that if you have two devices, you can connect them together for an amplified or a stereo sound, which is unfortunately not supported by the Clip 3.
One of the most important attributes to compare by these ultra-portable, outdoor speakers is the battery life.
To measure it, I played various types of songs on the speakers at 70% volume and got 15 hours play time by the XB10 and 8 hours 50 minutes by the Clip 3.
Repeating the same test at maximum volume, the XB10 produced 6 hours 30 minutes playtime while the Clip 3 produced 5 hours 20 minutes.
So in terms of battery life the Sony is the winner.
Unfortunately, none of the speakers have a battery level indicator, so you do not know the remaining battery percentage.
JBL Clip 3 vs Sony SRS-XB10 Sound Test
Comparing their sounds, the XB10 has a bigger sound with much better bass production.
Its bass level is definitely above the average in this category.
While it can produce a fuller and richer sound, unfortunately, it is not always clear, it tends to distort a lot.
The Clip 3 has a much clearer overall sound with brighter treble.
The highs and the vocals of the XB10 sounds a bit muddy next to the Clip 3.
I prefer the sound of the Clip 3, because of the nicer trebles and the fewer distortions.
In my tests, the XB10 excelled in terms of battery life and bass production.
Its bass is outstanding and at 70% volume it can play music almost twice longer than the Clip 3, so if these two are important factors for you then the XB10 is the better choice.
However, checking the other attributes, the Clip 3 was the winner.
It is more portable with its slim design, integrated carabiner, and full water protection.
In addition, it has a much longer Bluetooth range and a clearer overall sound.
If you want to know more about the speakers click here for the full reviews:
If you are fine with a heavier and bulkier device then the UE Wonderboom can be a good alternative.
It's got a durable body, which is completely waterproof and a built-in elastic hook which can be used to attach the speaker using a carabiner.
It has a rich full sound with a great bass production.
Another compact but powerful speaker is the Bose SoundLink Micro.
With its rubberized body, elastic strap and IPX7 water protection it is an ideal compact outdoor speaker.
It has an outstanding sound with great bass, however, it is one of the most expensive speakers in this category.
It is worth to take a look at the Anker SoundCore 2 in this price range since it has a long battery life and a better overall sound.