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JBL Cip 4 vs Sony XB13 (2021): Comparing Portable Bluetooth Speakers

This JBL Clip 4 vs Sony SRS-XB13 comparison pits two of the best portable Bluetooth speakers available in the market. That way, you can make a more informed buying decision based on your needs.

Considering their price and size, these two are in direct competition with one another. However, there are a couple of key differences here and there that make them unique, with each one offering a distinct user experience overall.

JBL Cip 4 vs Sony XB13 Comparison Chart

ModelJBL Clip 4Sony SRS-XB13
 JBL Clip 4 - Portable Mini Bluetooth Speaker, Big Audio and Punchy bass, Integrated Carabiner, IP67...Sony SRS-XB13 Extra BASS Wireless Portable Compact Speaker IP67 Waterproof Bluetooth, Black...
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Transducer Size40mm46mm
Frequency Response Range100 Hz to 20 kHz20 Hz to 20 kHz
Supported CodecsSBCSBC, AAC
PortUSB-CUSB-C
Water ResistanceIP67IP67
Battery LifeUp to 10 hoursUp to 16 hours
Bluetooth VersionBluetooth 5.1Bluetooth 4.2
Dimensions3.4″ x 5.3″ x 1.8″ (W x H x D)2.9″ x 3.7″ (W x H)
Weight0.52 lbs0.55 lbs

Design and Build

The JBL Clip 4 feels more rugged than the Sony SRS-XB13.

JBL Clip 4 vs Sony XB13 Design and Build
The JBL Clip 4 (left) uses a carabiner to attach to things, while the Sony SRS-XB13 (right) has a multiway strap.

First off, the Clip 4 is covered mostly with fabric, and it does a better job at preventing scratches than the SRS-XB13 that’s primarily made with plastic. In other words, the latter can get scuffs and the like more easily if you’re not careful. Seeing as it’s meant to be brought along outdoors, that isn’t exactly ideal.

However, Sony’s decision to use a strap to attach its speaker is better than the carabiner that JBL used. That’s because you get more options to secure it in place, which is an important quality for portable speakers.

Elsewhere, both are similar. They have an IP67 water and dust resistance rating and a USB-C port for charging, which can’t be used for audio playback, for the record. Speaking of, there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack on either one too, meaning neither can be used wired.

Audio Quality and Performance

The JBL Clip 4 sounds clearer and more powerful than the Sony SRS-XB13.

JBL Clip 4 vs Sony XB13 Audio Quality and Performance
In terms of raw audio performance, the JBL Clip 4 (left) has the upper hand over the Sony SRS-XB13 (right).

Now volume is another crucial factor for compact speakers, and the Clip 4 beats the SRS-XB13 on that front. It can get a whole lot louder in comparison, and anyone who’s tried playing songs with a small speaker that just lacks power will know how big of a role it plays.

It’s the same story with sound quality as well, as the Clip 4 has more oomph in the bass department and emphasizes mids for vocal clarity, two important qualities for playing music outdoors. However, that doesn’t automatically mean the SRS-XB13 sounds bad. It delivers a decent listening experience with a more neutral sound signature in contrast, but it lacks bass despite its Extra Bass feature.

Unfortunately, neither one has a companion app. That means you can’t tweak their equalizers and adjust their sound to your preferences. Put simply, you’ll have to make do with their factory tuning. There’s also a slight audio delay when watching movies and TV shows, but it’s more or less negligible. Moreover, the two can connect only to one device at a time, so you’ll always have to manually change the source device if you want to make a switch. Compatibility-wise, both work with iOS and Android with no issue whatsoever.

Lastly, the SRS-XB13 supports SBC and AAC codecs, while the Clip 4 only has SBC support, which is a surprise to no one since it’s JBL, after all. The Clip 4 does have a newer Bluetooth 5.1 than the SRS-XB13’s Bluetooth 4.2, so there’s that.

Battery and Other Features

The Sony SRS-XB13 has a better battery life than the JBL Clip 4.

JBL Clip 4 vs Sony XB13 Battery and Other Features
The Sony SRS-XB13 (in photo) can pair with another SRS-XB13 for stereo sound.

On a single charge, the SRS-XB13 can last longer. According to Sony, it’s rated to go up to 16 hours. Meanwhile, the Clip 4 can go up to only 10 hours. Needless to say, a longer battery life is essential for a portable speaker.

Both are pretty lacking in features, though. That’s a bit expected since they’re at the low end of the price spectrum. That said, the SRS-XB13 can connect to another SRS-XB13 for stereo sound, which is a nice touch. On the other hand, the Clip 4 can’t pair with another Clip 4, much less any other JBL speaker.

Verdict

When it comes to compact speakers, the JBL Clip 4 fits the bill better than the Sony SRS-XB13.

Neither one is geared toward audiophiles, but both are decent options for what they’re made for. At the end of the day, we’d recommend the JBL Clip 4 here. That’s because it has all the right stuff any portable Bluetooth speaker should have, including a strong bass and loud volume, a compact form factor, and a sturdy build.

Still, the Sony SRS-XB13 has its advantages. For starters, it has a more flexible “attachability,” for want of a better word. On top of that, it has a longer battery life, as well as the ability to pair with another SRS-XB13 and AAC codec support. However, it just falls a bit short when compared to the Clip 4.

FAQs

📌 Does the JBL Clip 4 have an app?

No, the JBL Clip 4 doesn’t have a companion app, so you can’t adjust its equalizer or something along those lines.

📌 Can you use the JBL Clip 4 wired?

No, the JBL Clip 4’s USB-C port is only for charging. It also doesn’t have an audio jack.

📌 Does the Sony SRS-XB13 have an app?

No, the Sony SRS-XB13 doesn’t have a companion app.

📌 Which is better, the JBL Clip 4 or Sony SRS-XB13?

Arguably, the JBL Clip 4 is the better portable speaker because of its better sound quality and more durable build. However, the Sony SRS-XB13 is easier to attach, and it can also last longer on a single charge.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.