Sony SRS-NB10 Review: Getting it right, on the neck

by -1,016 views


A quirky audio device with some convincing strengths and definite weaknesses.


  • Quirky but comfortable pattern
  • Decent microphone quality
  • Long bombardment life


  • Average sound quality
  • Design isn’t adjustable
  • Impossible to listen completely privately


  • U.k.
    RRP: £135
  • Europe
    RRP: €150

Fundamental Features

  • Touch on controls
    Mute microphone with a tap on the neckband

  • Splash proof design
    Rated at IPX4 to resist splashes of water

  • Bombardment life
    Tin can final all-day with 20 hour battery


The field of sound hardware is generally a conservative one when information technology comes to the question of pattern. Between open and airtight backs, wired and wireless earbuds and on or over-ear headphones the general
of the things I use to listen to music hasn’t changed very much in the past few years.

Enter the Sony SRS-NB10, one of the latest attempts by the veteran Japanese manufacturer to differentiate itself from the competition. This quirky client doesn’t sit down anywhere near the ears (opposite to received wisdom) only instead rests on the shoulders, while still providing a private listening experience.

But is there enough mileage in this new form factor to make the NB10 a production worth considering, and moreover does the execution do it justice?


  • Light design
  • Comfortable to wear for long periods
  • Synthetic from soft matte plastic

At that place is little else on the marketplace quite similar the Sony SRS-NB10. Synthetic of a soft finish, matte plastic, it sits effectually the cervix, resting on the shoulders, resembling for all the world a small toilet seat cover. At 113g information technology is somewhat substantial in the hand, only on the cervix feels next to weightless. Indeed, it is disconcertingly like shooting fish in a barrel to forget yous are wearing it.

The intent behind the blueprint is simple. As Piece of work from Home continues to expand as an pick for an increasingly large portion of the workforce nationally, more and more people are teleconferencing as an integral part of their daily routine. For some, this can mean upwards of twenty hours a week on calls with headphones in their ears.

That is a lot of strain to place on the average ear and raises the potential for irritation of the ear canal, particularly when using ‘normal’ buds. Enter the NB10, which avoids this situation past sitting on the shoulders and using directed speakers to aim sound at the ears.

Everything in the preceding paragraph will likely decide whether you think this is a proficient idea or not, and the design certainly proved to be divisive when introduced to others. Some hailed it as the best thing since sliced bread, others aren’t then convinced.

If yous are someone who does spend a lot of time each day on calls, the divergence in comfort compared to in-ear buds is palpable. Information technology is much easier to but keep going and going, as there is no irritation, rut, or discomfort to contend with.

A disadvantage of the blueprint is clear all the same, sound leakage. If y’all utilise the NB10 with someone else in the room, they’ll exist able to hear every word and/or note of your piece of work routine. As such the potential utility for those who share a home-working space, or work in an open office, is macerated considerably. This is actually a product for those who work solo.

Sony SRS-NB10 touch controls

From a pure design perspective, the band doesn’t quite await worth the price of admission. It is grey and easy to forget, but this is an advantage on calls. Working with a multitude of different calls in differing situations, no one was able to see the audio accessory or comment on information technology. This is a product that is definitely suited, from a pure looks’ perspective, for office use.

Some other positive is the employ of hardware buttons. The volume controls, power push and Bluetooth connection Ire all easy to find and actuate by experience lone and responded quickly when used. There’due south no gestures or bear upon controls to content and wrestle with, which is merely a good thing hither.

The jury will be out for quite some fourth dimension on whether the likes of the SRS-NB10 will evidence to be a striking with the wider public (tricky proper name aside), only for a certain subset of users it will be a lifesaver.


  • Two beam-forming microphones
  • Upwards firing positional speakers
  • Multi-betoken Bluetooth connection with ii devices

Across its shape, the NB10 has one further peculiarity to its name, that beingness a general lack of ‘assail’ in its marketing. In that location are no great claims regarding its sound or microphone quality, which is either a good or a bad affair depending on your perspective.

That isn’t to say that information technology doesn’t come with a bevy of features in tow that need to be discussed, indeed quite the reverse is truthful. The first point worthy of discussion are the microphones, for there are ii and these are described as ‘beam forming’.

Sony SRS-NB10 on desk

What this should mean is that the device will pick up the direction your voice is heading from and recoup commitment appropriately, and then that listeners on the other side receive a clear indicate. Whether this included tech made a difference or not is difficult to discern with any great accuracy, callers across multiple calls on laptops, smartphones and an iPad commented that I came through clearly. This is an essential for a device marketed every bit good for briefing calls, so this is a big win for Sony on that front end.

Bluetooth connectivity was too rock-solid working through walls and in areas with lots of other signals to debate with. The ring does accept the power to connect to two separate devices at one time via multi-indicate, though I constitute this a petty fiddly to work reliably. That may be a complexity of Windows x’s slightly fraught relationship with Bluetooth, the nature of the multi-signal tech used means that i device can exist used for voice and some other for sound. There’s none of the seamless switching available on more than expensive options.

Sony SRS-NB10 design

As might exist expected on the device, its speakers are aimed at the ears, with the audio coming from backside them. It is marketed every bit something which tin can be used at home and in the office, but given the amount of sound bleed I experienced, only the former is realistic. If you lot work past yourself in the office, or indeed at home, the NB10 makes an excellent companion, only co-workers and co-homeworkers will soon find cause for complaint.

Lastly, the device is IPX4-certified, meaning information technology volition be able to have a low-cal splashing of h2o and keep on going, which is a pleasant extra and adds a needed layer of durability. Battery life is claimed at xx hours, and in full general I found this to exist accurate. The device charges via USB-C and a cable is included in the box.

Sound quality

  • On-device audio controls
  • Supports AAC and SBC
  • Bluetooth 5.ane

Much of the SRS-NB10’due south appeal lies in its course factor and convenience, and this is reflected in its marketing. Near every characteristic mentioned details comfort and convenience, the audio quality is dealt with as an afterthought.

This, unfortunately, shows in the device itself. Information technology isn’t to say that the sound coming from the NB10 isn’t skillful, simply that it isn’t versatile. As it is a device primed for both content and vocalism calls, it has something of a sonic balance to strike. And to go on that balance, it has generally invested in treble at the expense of bass.

Which is to say, that this device has nigh no bass of which to speak. No matter the music genre, in that location is no rumble or energy there. While information technology might non matter so much for fans of classical music or spoken word, it leaves the sound profile of the NB10 a little thin.

Sony SRS-NB10 on shoulders

Not that this matters much on calls, where voices came through conspicuously. On some devices I did experience a small outcome with phone call volume, as before this may be a quirk of Windows 10 rather than a error with the NB10.

So, if yous work from home, solo, the sound quality of the NB10 will likely be expert enough by and large. Indeed, for working in general information technology is sufficient. But for those who would like to listen to music while working, or who are looking for a hybrid device to cover both times of piece of work and leisure, defended options will be a amend investment.

Latest deals

Should y’all buy it?

You lot piece of work from home
If you desire to protect your ears from being overworked, and then the SRS-NB10 is a smart culling

You work in a space with others
The very nature of the speaker’s design ways anyone nearby volition be able to hear your music and call conferences

Final Thoughts

The Sony NB10 is a product unlike about annihilation else on the marketplace at the moment. Its unique blueprint allows for comfortable utilise over extended periods of time with none of the irritation and issues typically plant when using conventional earbuds.

For this reason lone, it volition be a valued companion for those who work regularly at domicile. With a solid pair of microphones onboard, information technology is peculiarly good for video conferencing and calls.

Merely for those who piece of work with others at abode and/or in open offices, the sound drain will annoy others. Moreover, the complete lack of whatsoever kind of bass limits the potential for the ring to work Ill as a medium for listening to music.

If y’all work from home and dislike wearing earbuds for long periods, the NB10 might Sick be a lifesaver, but for the rest there are amend defended options available for vocalization calls and for content consumption.

How we test

We test every headphones we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. Nosotros use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we discover. We never, always, accept coin to review a product.

Notice out more nearly how nosotros examination in our ethics policy.

Tested with real world use

Tested over the course of several days

Yous might like…


Can I use these speakers with a computer?

Yep, if you connect the NB10 via a Bluetooth connectedness.

Full specs




IP rating

Battery Hours

Fast Charging

Size (Dimensions)



Release Date

Model Number

Audio Resolution


Frequency Range

Headphone Blazon

Sony SRS-NB10







191 ten 185 ten 49 MM

113 G





White, Black

xx 20000 – Hz



Posted by: