In this article, I will compare two ultra-portable speakers the JBL Go, which is undoubtedly the most popular speaker in the JBL line-up and the Sony SRS-XB10 which is a solid outdoor speaker of the Sony.
- 60 feet
- 70% volume: 6 hours 50 minutes
- Maximum volume: 2 hours 30 minutes
- No water protection
- Good built quality
- Long Bluetooth range
- Weak bass, missing deeper lows
- Short battery life
- 20 feet
- 70% volume: 15 hours
- Maximum volume: 6 hours 30 minutes
- IPX5 certified
- It can be used in rain or as a shower speaker, however, you cannot submerge it into water.
- Deep, powerful bass
- Strong battery life
- NFC tap-to-pair
- Short Bluetooth range
- Muddy treble
- It tends to distort
At the date of this review (03.02.2018), the JBL Go costs around $36, while you could buy the Sony SRS-XB10 for $58.
So the XB10 is the more expensive speaker, let’s see in this JBL Go vs Sony SRS-XB10 full comparison if it’s really worth the higher price tag.
You can find the reviews of the speakers here:
JBL Go vs Sony SRS-XB10 Review Video
In terms of colors, you have various options by both speakers, the XB10 comes in six different colors, while the JBL Go can be bought in eight, so you can easily find a color you like.
The XB10 is the bigger from the two; it looks like a can of soda just it’s a bit shorter.
It was a smart design choice because, in this way it fits well into any drink holder slot of the cars or bags, however, on the other hand, it is not the best friend of the slim notebook bags and the smaller pockets.
The JBL Go has a classic, boxy design and it is one of the smallest speakers on the market, so in terms of portability, the JBL Go is the winner.
Both speakers have a metal speaker grill and a rubberized outer coating; they feel solid and durable.
The XB10 has a detachable strap which can be used to hang the speaker on your bike or to attach it to your backpack.
It is very clever that the plastic ring at the end of the strap can be used as a stand, so you can lay the speaker on it and direct the sound towards you for example if you are watching a movie.
The JBL Go has a loop on the left side, so you can attach a lanyard or a carabiner to the speaker, however none of them are included in the box.
So here I think the Sony’s strap is more useful when you carry the speaker around.
The XB10 got an IPX5 water protection, which means it is splash-proof, so it can be used in rain or as a shower speaker, however you cannot submerge it into the water.
This protection can be useful when you use the speaker outside.
The JBL Go does not have any water protection, so this is a big benefit of the XB10 over the Go.
Connectivity, Bluetooth Range
Both speakers feature an audio jack input port, so can be connected via cable.
In addition, the XB10 has a built-in NFC chip, so it can be easily paired and connected just by touching an NFC enabled device to it.
This makes the initial setup and the pairing process much easier.
In my outdoor test, I have measured around 20 feet Bluetooth range by the Sony XB10 and around 60 feet by the JBL Go.
So the JBL has a much better range, if you want to use the speaker far from the Bluetooth source then the JBL Go is definitely a better choice.
Both speakers have limited music control capabilities, which means you can play/pause the music and skip a song.
However, it’s not possible to jump back to the previously played song or forward/backward in a song.
If you have two XB10s, you can connect them together for an amplified or a stereo sound.
This is not possible with the JBL Go.
Both speakers have a built-in microphone, so they can be used as a speakerphone to answer phone calls.
In my test, when I played various types of songs on the speakers at 70% volume, I measured 6 hours 50 minutes by the JBL Go and 15 hours by the Sony SRS-XB10.
Repeating the same test on full volume I got 2 hours 30 minutes by the Go and 6 hours 30 minutes by the XB10.
So the XB10 has almost three times longer battery life.
It is a disadvantage of both speakers that they do not have battery level indicator, so they cannot tell you the exact remaining battery percentage.
Sony SRS-XB10 vs JBL Go Sound Test
Despite its small size, the JBL Go has a nice clear sound, however, the bass is very weak and the lower frequencies are completely missing.
The XB10 has a much wider sound with punchy bass, actually, it is more powerful and deeper than the bass of the most speakers in this size category.
The sound of JBL Go feels a bit boxy compared to the XB10.
However, one disadvantage of the Sony XB10 that it tends to distort very badly by some songs in the mid and low frequencies.
Overall the JBL Go is a nice little speaker, however, it provides only basic functionalities.
You do not get any water protection, its battery life is only basic and while it has a clear sound the lower frequencies are completely missing.
For the 20 dollars extra price, the XB10 is splash-proof, features an NFC chip, has a built-in strap and a three times longer battery life.
It has a stronger, punchy bass and a wider, richer overall sound.
On the other hand, it has a much shorter Bluetooth range and notable distortions on higher volume levels.
However, taking all things into consideration, the Sony SRS-XB10 is still a more advanced speaker and if your budget allows it’s definitely worth to pay the 20 more bucks.
If you want to know more about the speakers click here for the full reviews: