SONY GTK-XB60

Design & Construction

You have probably attended your friend's party. They have got speakers, decently sized ones that play loud but not as loud as to fill up huge open spaces. Well, the Sony GTK-XB60 may have just saved you from that embarrassment. The GTK-XB60 is Sony's new high power speaker that replaces the older GTK-XB5. Taking similar design cues from its predecessor, the speaker now has a more rounded design. The speaker measures 264 x 552 x 272mm and weighs an hefty 8 kg. Textured plastics surround the whole speaker with rubber pads at the bottom and right side of the speaker, while metallic grilles cover the front of the speaker. It is vital to note that the speaker grilles does flex a little when pressed, hence I advise not to press on intentionally. Under the speaker grilles are dual strobe lights, dual speaker lights and multi-coloured line lights, all customisable via the Sony Music Center App, available for download via the App Store and Play Store, The GTK-XB60 can be laid horizontally or vertically depending on your liking. All the controls are at the top of the speaker. There is (In Clockwise Direction); the Stamina button, the function button, LED indicators, the NFC tag, the Phone/Tablet Slot, the ADD button, the W.Party Chain Button, the EXTRA BASS button, the Volume buttons, the Mic. the Play/Pause button and the Power button, The speaker will go into pairing mode when you switch it on each time. The Stamina button is a new addition to the GTK-XB60, it allows users to put the speaker into power-saving mode to lengthen its battery life. While the function button allows users to cycle through the different modes of playback such as Bluetooth, USB & Audio-In. The ADD button and W.Party Chain buttons allows for pairing with other Sony EXTRA BASS speakers. Long-press the W.Party Chain button will allow users to turn off the LED lights. The Play/Pause button also act as a button to answer/end an incoming call with a single press. When playing music, press once to play/pause, press twice to skip to the next song and press thrice to go back to the previous song. It also comes with in-built handles on the top and bottom which makes it easy to carry around. At the back, you will find the (From Left-Right): AC Input, Party Chain Button, USB-Out, Mic Input, Mic Volume Level Knob, RCA Audio-Out and RCA Audio-In. 


Sound Quality

The sound reproduction of the GTK-XB60 is what you can expect from a speaker this size. One thing for sure, it pumps out tunes really loud without distortion. At 10% volume, it can fill a medium-sized room. The bass response lives up to its EXTRA BASS name. You will literally feel the furniture around it vibrating to the bass. It hits deep and so much more than its competitors. Highs sound bright and are not too sharp to listen to. Mids are very clear but small details and instruments do get drown out due to the punchness of the bass. Unlike the older GTK-XB5, this model never distorts even if its played at maximum volume. Plugging it into the wall outlet instantly gives the speaker an audio boost in clarity and loudness. Adding other speakers like the SRS-XB20, SRS-XB30, SRS-XB40, another GTK-XB60 or GTK-XB90 is also possible if you need louder sound. However, do note that at each time only 10 EXTRA BASS speaker of the aforementioned models can be connected together. Using the in-app equalizer really enhanced the sound quite a bit. There are presets like EDM, Hip-Hop, R&B, Pop, Rock, Country, Jazz, Salsa & Flat. You can also choose to customise your own to your liking! Call quality is average, the caller on the other end managed to hear me but said that the background noises were rather prominent, hence I need to raise my voice slightly or move closer to the speakerphone to make a call. 

Connectivity & Portability

Bluetooth and NFC is offered with LDAC and DSEE support. As you may have expected, a RCA audio-in port is offered for wired usage. Its battery life peaks at a maximum of 14 hrs with the lights off and at volume level 17. At maximum volume with the light off, the speaker lasts 3.5 hours and 5 hours in stamina mode. It is no concern but I want to also point out that the speaker's battery does heat up during usage. The speaker does charge with a specfic cord so might want to remember to bring it if you are going to your friend's house for an overnight party. The modes of LED lights can be changed to your liking from the Music Center App to fit different occassions. Rave & Hot modes are more suited for fast-paced EDM tracks while Chill & Cool modes allows for slower-paced genres like jazz or classical. Random Flash Off allows the strobe lights to be switched off but speaker and line lights to remain on. While other Calm light options allows for specific colour lights. Fiestable, on the other hand, allows DJ effects and changing of colours of lights after choosing your illumination option. Overall, the app experience is perfect after you managed to connect it to the speaker for the first time. If you face any connectivity issues with connection, uninstall the Music Center App first and re-install, it should work fine thereafter as I have troubleshoot it out myself. 

PROS

  • Durable Construction

  • Loud, Boomy Sound

  • Modern Design

  • A Range Of Colours

  • NFC Enabled

  • Stereo Pairing

  • Wireless Party Chain

  • Mic Input & Volume Control For Karaoke

  • Phone/Tablet Slot

  • USB Play & Charge Out

  • Customisable LED Lights

  • Rechargable Battery

  • Carrying Handles

CONS

  • Not Water-Resistant

  • No 360° Sound

The Bottom Line

The GTK-XB60 is a contender if you are looking to get a louder and bassier speaker for your next party. With a bright sound signature and a tough construction. it will live up to your expectations and certainly worth its affordable price point. A range of colours will also suit every type and gender of users.

WE RATE IT!

9.5/10

Other Notable Competitors

JBL BOOMBOX
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