Speakers and headphones have become two of the most sought-after products among most users. Whether it is to listen to music on public transport, enjoy a podcast while we cook or, practically, any moment of our day to day. Therefore, last July, Sony announced the arrival of a device willing to combine both functions: the SRS-NB10 neckband.
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At ConsumoClaro we have tested these types of speakers for more than 14 days and we will tell you about their strengths and weaknesses. In addition, we explain if this neckband can be useful to you depending on the type of user you are.
What is and design of the neckband
First, and foremost, is to define exactly what the SRS-NB10 is. A neckband, in this case, is a speaker that is placed on our shoulders in such a way that it surrounds our neck – as a result of this its name: neckband–.
So it tries to position itself as a mix of headphones and speakers. On the one hand, because they are designed to be connected to the mobile via Bluetooth; on the other, it prevents us from having headphones stuck in our ear, since it is a loudspeaker.
In the case of the SRS-NB10 we find a very simple and elegant design. It is a black band that has two speakers located under the ears, followed by two plastic supports (hard) that is what falls off our shoulders. In the back area, the one behind the neck, there is a fairly flexible strip of hard rubber.
In the area below we can find the typical buttons to adjust the volume, mute the microphone, turn them off … which work well.
Ease of use
Part of the beauty of these types of speakers is that for those who telecommute, wearing headphones all day can be exhausting. Especially because -depending on the model and shape of our ears- it is usual that after one or two hours of continuous use it begins to hurt or bother us.
The SRS-NB10 tries to alleviate these types of teleworking conditions and, in reality, it succeeds. This device is ideal to wear during the work day from home – we will go into it later because outside this area it is not recommended – and we avoid the inconvenience of smaller headphones to transfer them to the neck.
Although they are much more comfortable than most buds and AirPods type headphones, we will notice their use. In the event that we do not have a particularly thin neck, we will suffer friction when we move our head or move in general. Yes it is true that at first it does not become uncomfortable, but as the hours go by it is more noticeable.
It does not cause friction by its design, but it can bother more than one person.
The “bubble” of sound
The first experience with the SRS-NB10 neckband was something interesting. The speakers are oriented upwards, towards the ears, so if this is the first time we are using them, we may be surprised because a kind of “bubble” of sound is created that creates a somewhat strange sensation.
In a short time, the ear seems to get used to it and then we find an acceptable sound quality. Although it is true that it does not sound bad, for its budget -exceeding 115 euros- we expected speakers with better bass. That is, although the sound is not bad, it is not advisable to use them to view multimedia content – movies, video games, etc. – because we will lose many nuances.
Now, it is designed (telecommuting, according to Sony itself) to be a great alternative to the usual headphones or speakers. Although not for the quality in itself, yes for what it contributes to comfort.
Another negative aspect of the SRS-NB10 is that, as they are speakers directed towards the ears, there is no type of acoustic isolation. And for this, mainly, outside of teleworking or our home is not advisable.
It can be very useful while doing household chores such as cooking, cleaning, tidying up, etc. and while we telecommute, but as soon as we leave silent spaces, they lose usefulness. There is no type of barrier and it does not have a very high maximum volume, so if there is little noise, it may be difficult to hear the speakers.
And how does it affect the people around us? The reality is that little. As it does not have much power and is aimed at the ears of the person who wears it, it is rare that it bothers those of us who live together. Of course, if he is very close to us, he will obviously hear it. It causes that we cannot use them in shared workspaces (office, coworking, etc).
Conclusions: are they worth it or not?
The SRS-NB10 neckband is a very interesting device that, a priori, provides a comfortable way of teleworking. For example, for telephone calls it is ideal, since the microphone has a good quality and the speakers do not sneak into the call.
It is also practically the only really useful alternative for those who find headphones annoying or uncomfortable. Whether they are ear buds or headband buds.
Of course, it is a product that, from ConsumoClaro, we believe is not practical for most users. First of all, we are faced with an expensive device: its usual price is around 150 euros. This is already an important barrier to entry, especially if we take into account the quality of the speakers, since for less money we find alternatives with better sound.
Second, because if we live in a house where noise is common, the power provided by the SRS-NB10 may not be enough for day-to-day life.
In short, we are facing an interesting product that does nothing really bad: it has an acceptable sound, it is very comfortable and we avoid the typical discomfort of standard headphones. What weighs the most is its price.
Due to the budget, there are equally comfortable options -such as light headband headphones- and with a higher sound quality than that presented by the SRS-NB10.
* ConsumptionClaro’s team of journalists and experts rigorously and independently recommend products and services to our readers. Every time you buy through some links added to this text, eldiario.es receives a commission.
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