We’re living in an era where Zoom fatigue is a thing. Raise your hands if, like me, you spend hours dealing with calls on the phone, Zoom, Google Meets, Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp and WhatNot (pun intended) on a daily basis. Enter Sony with the SRS-NB10 Wireless Neckband Speaker, a device designed specifically to cater to work from home requirements. Let me wrap my head around this interesting piece of gadgetry (or wrap it around my neck, to be more precise) to figure out what it can do.
The main use case of the SRS-NB10 is handling calls, and it does that quite well. Those who spend hours on calls would be familiar with the discomfort caused by wearing earphones and headphones for long periods, and that’s exactly the pain point the NB10 wishes to address. While the SRS-NB10 doesn’t get extremely loud, it does output crisp audio directed at the wearer’s ears, and thanks to the dual mics, the speech is relayed to the other end well too. The physical keys on the band are quite easy and intuitive to use, and once you know where they are and what they do, you can find and operate them by feel alone. The mic mute toggle is handy, and I find it especially convenient to have at my disposable since I generally tend to pace around in front of my laptop in the midst of calls, instead of sitting down for long durations. On the other hand, sound leakage is an issue, and the SRS-NB10 doesn’t allow for private conversations. The audio quality might be ideal for the wearer due to the speakers being top-firing, but someone sitting alongside or even being in the same room can listen in on to the conversation.
As per Sony, the SRS-NB10 should work well for listening to music as well, but that’s another aspect that does leave one wanting for more. I think the music use case is best served using earphones or headphones… while the SRS-NB10 is definitely more convenient and comfortable, there’s really no bass, and the audio sounds flat. That said, the NB10 neckband speaker can definitely suffice for a bit of casual music listening, and can actually do the job reasonably well for tuning into podcasts. The battery is rated for up to 20 hours, and I’d say the device should be able to last that long. Fast charging is supported, and 10 minutes of juicing uo via USB-C give you about an hour’s worth of usage.
Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5
- Comfortable and lightweight
- Decent audio and mic quality
- Good battery life
- Limited appeal
- Can’t keep conversations private