If you are looking for a small, rugged outdoor speaker both the UE Wonderboom and the Sony SRS-XB10 can be a valid option.
The Wonderboom is the latest ultra-portable speaker in the UE’s portfolio, while the XB10 is the smallest waterproof speaker from the Sony.
Today, I will compare these two speakers to find out which one is the better choice.
- 115 feet
- 70% volume: 6 hours 40 minutes
- Maximum volume: 2 hours
- IP67 certification
- It can be submerged into 1-meter-deep water for 30 minutes
- It is dustproof
- Rugged, sturdy design
- Shockproof, IPX7 water protection
- Big sound with deep lows
- Good Bluetooth range
- Short battery life
- Uncontrolled, boosted bass
- No audio input port
- 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 (08.06.2018) the Wonderboom can be bought for around $70, while you can get the Sony XB10 for around $40.
So the Wonderboom is the more expensive device and the price difference is quite significant.
Both speakers come in a paper box with only a micro USB cable included.
In terms of colors, they provide plenty of choices, you can choose from 11 different colors by the Wonderboom and from 6 colors by the XB10.
You can find the reviews of the speakers here:
Both speakers have a cylindrical shape and the Wonderboom is the bigger and heavier speaker from the two.
While it is relatively easy to carry the XB10 in a larger pocket or carry it attached to your belt, it is not the case with the Wonderboom.
It hardly fits into any pocket and you have to count on a significant weight.
The size of the XB10 is similar to the size of a can of soda, just it is a bit shorter.
It was a really practical design decision from the Sony, since thanks to this, the speaker fits well into any drink holder slots in the cars or bags.
The Wonderboom is slightly taller and much bulkier, it has a similar size as a larger apple.
Both speakers look well-made and durable, something that can withstand the elements.
The XB10 got a full, soft plastic outer coating and a metal speaker grille on the top, while the Wonderboom is covered by a mesh fabric material and has a plastic top and bottom.
The XB10 has five buttons and five indicator LEDs on its side and the Wonderboom has two large volume buttons on the front and two additional buttons on the top.
The buttons are not perfect by both speakers, it is hard to press them by the UE and they are only small, painted signs by the Sony, so it can be cumbersome to use them especially in low-light conditions.
Both speakers feature a dedicated music control button and provide a limited music control capability.
Which means you can pause/play a song by pressing the button and skip a song by double pressing it.
Unlike the Wonderboom, the XB10 has a built-in microphone, so it can be used as a speakerphone to answer phone calls.
This feature comes in handy when you are in a pool or in the shower.
The Wonderboom has a built-in, small, elastic hook on its top which can be used to hang the speaker on something.
It looks sturdy and can work well with a carabiner.
The XB10 comes with a detachable strap what you can use to hang the speaker on your bike or on your belt.
It is a clever design element 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.
From the two, the Wonderboom got the better protection.
It got an IP67 protection which means it is dustproof and completely waterproof, it can be submerged into 1-meter-deep water for 30 minutes.
In contrast, the XB10 is only splash-proof, so it can be used as a shower speaker, however it cannot be submerged into water.
To ensure the water protection, the ports are covered by a waterproof flap by both speakers.
Here I prefer the solution of the Sony, it is easier to open and close and by the Wonderboom the charging port lies too deep in the device, so it is a bit cumbersome to connect the charging cable to it.
Both speakers look durable but according to the manufacturer, the Wonderboom can even survive some accidental drops from up to 5 feet as well.
How to Setup
The setup of the speakers is pretty easy, at the first time both speakers start automatically in pairing mode, so they are immediately discoverable with your phone or your computer.
To make the pairing process even easier, the XB10 got a built-in NFC chip, what is situated under the ‘N’ sign at the side of the speaker.
This means that the NFC enabled devices can be easily paired and connected to the speaker just by touching them to the ‘N’ sign.
Connectivity, Bluetooth range
The Wonderboom does not have an audio input port, so it can be connected only via Bluetooth.
In contrast, the XB10 has an audio jack input port next to the charging port, so it also can be connected via a cable.
In my outdoor test, I measured 20 feet Bluetooth range by the XB10 and 115 feet by the Wonderboom.
So the difference is huge, the Wonderboom has five times longer range.
The range of the XB10 is pretty short compared to other speakers in this category, so if you plan to use the speaker far from your Bluetooth source then the Wonderboom is definitely a better choice.
By both speakers, it is possible to connect together two devices to amplify the sound, however, only the Sony XB10 supports stereo mode as well.
In my test, when I played various types of songs on the speakers at 70% volume I measured 6 hours 40 minutes play time by the Wonderboom and 15 hours by the XB10.
Repeating the same test at maximum volume I got 2 hours by the Wonderboom and 6 hours 30 minutes by the XB10.
So the battery life of the Sony XB10 is much longer, it easily blows the UE Wonderboom out of the water.
The Sony XB10 has a 1.8” mono driver on the top and a passive radiator on the bottom.
The Wonderboom got a more advanced audio setup, it has two drivers and two passive radiators shooting the sound out in different directions.
So the speaker has a 360° omnidirectional sound, you can put it in the middle of the room and you will get similar sound quality everywhere.
Thanks to its bigger size and the more drivers, the Wonderboom has a far superior sound compared to the XB10.
It is around 30% louder and has a much bigger, more detailed overall sound.
The only problem is that its bass is boosted too much and it often overpowers the other frequencies.
Despite its small size the Sony XB10 has a quite powerful bass but unfortunately, it sounds a bit muddy and tends to distort a lot which really deteriorates the listening experience.
Currently, the Wonderboom costs around $30 more but its water protection, the longer Bluetooth range, and the much better sound quality can easily justify this price difference.
It is a more advanced speaker with only one weak spot which is the short battery life.
The XB10 is a more portable device with a significantly longer play time, however, if the sound quality is an important factor for you then the Wonderboom is a much better choice.
If you want to know more about the speakers click here for the full reviews:
If you are looking for a small outdoor speaker, then the Bose SoundLink Micro is a great alternative.
It is a sturdy, little speaker with full water protection and an excellent sound quality.
Its only disadvantage is the quite high price tag and the relatively short battery life.
If you can spend some more bucks and the bigger size is not a problem for you then the JBL Flip 4 is an excellent choice.
It has a longer battery life and a better sound quality.
If you are on a budget, I suggest checking the Anker SoundCore 2 which is only splash-proof but it has a strong battery and a nice balanced sound.