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Sony SRS-T33 compact portable speaker review: Sony SRS-T33 compact portable speaker

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The Good Sleek, ultraportable design; five available colors can be coordinated with Sony's flash MP3 player line; built-in kickstand; inexpensive.

The Bad No AC power option; no integrated volume control; might not be loud enough for some tastes.

The Bottom Line The SRS-T33 speaker is appropriate for budget-conscious travelers who want a way to listen to their tunes in hotel rooms and other small, stereo-less areas.

6.3 Overall

Sony SRS-T33 series

Sony's $40 SRS-T33 compact portable speaker system definitely lives up to its name. This ultraportable audio component couldn't be much more travel-friendly. Measuring 6.7 by 1.7 by 1.2 inches and weighing just TK ounces with its two AAA batteries installed, the speaker's small size isn't its only redeeming design characteristic. The SRS-T33 is available in five color options--pink, blue, silver, Psyc White, and Psyc Black--that can be matched to various Sony flash players. For example, pair up a Psyc White speaker with the Sony NW-E105 in Psyc White or a pink one with the corresponding model.

The Sony SRS-T33 doesn't have any real features to speak of--not even its own volume control, which is a bummer, because it doesn't get very loud. The front of the device is dominated by a pair of 1.5-inch speakers, while an on/off switch and a power LED rest along the top. Flip it over and you'll find the battery compartment, two included AAA batteries, and a flip-out stand that also functions to hold the 1/8-inch cable in place during travel. Unfortunately, you cannot power the speakers via a wall outlet.

In our tests, the SRS-T33 provided surprisingly decent sound, considering its bargain price tag. We had no Sony player on hand, so we used a Creative Zen Micro, which boasts a signal-to-noise ratio of 98dB. There was no noticeable background hiss, and the highs and lows of our tunes came through clearly. Vocals sounded a bit hollow at high volumes, and although bass response was acceptable for speakers of this size, we noticed some distortion--especially in guitar-heavy songs--at the highest volume.

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