If you love a fantastic weekend escape, you must definitely have a portable Bluetooth speaker with you. The audio market is overwhelmed with a wide assortment of options, across brands and price section. Sony lately introduced three new offerings to its EXTRA BASS series and today, we are going to be testing the SRS-XB40, which is the most powerful of these.

16,990, let us see how well it works.

Sony SRS-XB40 design and attributes
The XB40 is a bit on the bigger side for a mobile speaker plus it’s also fairly heavy at approximately 1.5kg. It seems and feels quite rocky and the soft rubberized lining all around gives it a premium texture. The speaker is designed to be placed horizontally but you can equally well use it standing upright, though there are not any rubber feet on the side like you will find on the bottom.

The excess BASS button engages the device’s dual passive radiators to get more bass, and also the exact same button may also be used for enabling or disabling the lights. The power button also enables you to pair the speaker with your Bluetooth device, in the event you it does not support NFC. The XB40 can operate with up to 3 simultaneous connections.

There is a flap on the back of the speaker which shields the vents from moisture. Here, we’ve got an aux-in interface, USB interface, DC-in interface (9.5V) for charging, and a reset button. The USB port may be used to control your own personal electronic devices.

In the front, there is a metallic mesh grille protecting the drivers. We’ve got two full-range 61mm drivers to get stereo audio, and a passive radiator facing forwards. The next radiator is put in the back, and may be observed through a similar metallic net. The SRS-XB40 includes three kinds of lighting – an RGB line that runs across the borders of the mesh grille, speaker lights, along with a strobe for each driver. The pattern of these lights may be controlled via the Sony Music Centre program.

The SRS-XB40 supports Bluetooth 4.2 and streaming codecs like SBC, AAC and LDAC. You’re going to need a compatible Xperia device but it’s also currently baked into Android Oreo so compatibility will get wider. When attached to some LDAC capable phone like the Google Pixel, the SRS-XB40 automatically employs the finest available codec. The drivers can take care of a frequency assortment of 20Hz to 20,000Hz.

The SRS-XB40 is IPX5 rated therefore it could withstand light splashes of water. In the box, you receive just an AC power adapter. The device is officially only available in black in India, but you will find far more color options in different countries.

With an impressive list of features and specifications, it’s time to learn how well this translates into real performance. The XB40 does not create an omnidirectional noise, which requires some getting used too at first. This means that positioning is quite important, as you can not just leave it everywhere in the area and expect it to sound great. It functions better when it’s facing you and put on exactly the exact same airplane as your ears or higher. Setting it up is simple with NFC or normal Bluetooth pairing. The light display kicks in when the music begins playing, and changes depending on the rhythm and beats.

Sony’s Music Center program adds additional features and functionality to the speaker. It is missing one critical characteristic, which is a display of speaker’s battery life status. The iOS program is slightly better designed. On the main display of this program, you are able to pair more of Sony’s EXTRA BASS speakers (up to 10), switch to the auxiliary inputsignal, or play tunes which are on your device.

There is also an additional program named Fiestable, which you are able to download. This permits you to include DJ-like effects to the current music monitor and modify the color of this RGB light strip. Additionally, there are gesture-based actions for controlling music playback and adding DJ effects, but honestly, this only feels really gimmicky. The amount of the after-effects is almost twice as loudly as the music track, which makes them incredibly jarring and irritating.

The SRS-XB40 can become really loud which makes it great for outside parties. Enabling the excess BASS feature surprisingly does not muddy the noise as we had been expecting. In actuality, with all the radiators firing too, the soundstage gets a bit wider and you also get some more thump, even at lower volume levels. We utilized a Samsung Galaxy S8+ for nearly all of our evaluations, which included using FLAC files and flows from Apple Music.

FLAC files did seem better within a wired connection, with a noticeable improvement in clarity. The speaker’s actual specialisation is of class is bass-heavy monitors and it manages these quite well. The double satellite drivers guarantee mid-range and high notes aren’t lost one of the bass, which is frequently true with speakers tuned for reduced frequencies.

With LDAC and high quality music files, the SRS-XB40 did justice to more delicate tracks, like the unplugged version of Only When I wake from the Corrs. Notes in the violin were well defined and separated by background instruments.

Pressing the call button once brings up Google Assistant or even Siri, depending upon your paired device. Voice calls are managed nicely and the microphone is fairly sensitive in in picking up your voice even if you’re away from your speaker.

Battery life is rated at 24 hours and while we could not test out that in one go, the speaker easily lasted us about a week, with an average of 2-3 hours of music being played every day, which is extremely excellent. After the battery is low, the volume level is restricted to approximately 20 percent and you continue getting a prompt to control the device if you attempt to increase the quantity. Charging the battery to its entire capacity takes approximately 4 hours.

The calibration of the battery on the unit was a bit away, likely due to it being an older evaluation unit, and we’d sometimes get the low battery warning even in 50 percent. You can not control the speaker on the move with a mobile charger or possibly a typical Micro-USB phone charger, even as you need to use the beefier one which comes with it.

Verdict
The Sony SRS-XB40 provides powerful sound for your price, and if you shop online, you will find it selling for as little as Rs. 13,340. It isn’t as compact as most portable speakers, however given that the quantity output, size of their drivers and battery life, it appears like there is a specific market for it. The speaker manages most genres of music quite well and it’s nice to find that it’s water resistant. On the other hand, the DJ attributes feel a bit gimmicky.

In general, if you’re looking for a powerful Bluetooth speaker with great battery life, then the Sony SRS-XB40 is a fantastic choice.

16,990

Advantage

  • Loud and powerful
  • IPX5 water resistant
  • Light impacts are enjoyable
  • Rugged construction
  • Really good battery life

 

Disadvantages

  • A bit heavy and bulky
  • Just DC input for charging

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