Typically Sony's entry-level mini Bluetooth speakers have started at $50. But the SRS-XB01 lists for $35 (£30, AU$50) and sometimes gets discounted to $25. That's pretty inexpensive.
While it's lightweight at 5.4 ounces (154 grams), it manages to avoid feeling cheap. The speaker feels solid enough, with a textured finish and a set of rubberized buttons on top that allow you to play and pause your music, or answer and end calls, and adjust volume. A gasket hides the USB charging port and audio input.
I like its clean, simple design -- it's available in blue, red, black and white - and the fact that it's water resistant with an IPX5 rating. Battery life is rated at 6 hours, which is fairly standard for this type of Bluetooth speaker.
The speaker contains a single driver -- yes, this is a mono speaker -- with a slit for a bass port in the back. While I can't say it sounds much better than a lot of tiny Bluetooth speakers, it does sound decent for its size. It plays just loud enough and has just enough bass to fill a small room, such as an office or dorm. Sony limited its volume to prevent it from distorting: That's a good thing.
Part of Sony's Extra Bass speaker line, the XB01 also has a built-in microphone for hands-free calling and includes a strap for attaching it to backpacks or hanging it from a tree branch, or anything else you choose to attach it to.
You're going to get more bass and bigger sound from a speaker like, which costs more. also delivers fuller sound with more volume for around $30 and the also sounds better. But both those speakers are about twice the size of the Sony.
If you're looking for better sound, I advise you to lean to the Tribit or Oontz, but the Sony is a likable little speaker that seems well designed and sounds decent for the money.