SONY SRS-XB20

Design & Construction

The SRS-XB40 is Sony's ultra portable EXTRA BASS Bluetooth speaker. Taking the same design cues from the older SRS-XB2, the speaker measures approximately 198 mm x 68 mm x 69 mm and weighs 590g. Silicone surround the whole speaker with rubber pads at the bottom and a metallic grille cover the front and rear of the speaker. It is a relief to know that the speaker grilles does not flex when pressed. Around the speaker grilles, there are bright single-coloured line lights, customisable via the Sony Music Center App, available for download via the App Store and Play Store, All the controls are at the top of the speaker. There is (From Left To Right): the EXTRA BASS button, the call button, the Play/Pause button, the ADD button, the NFC tag, the Volume buttons and the Power button, The ADD button and Vol+ button allows for pairing with other Sony EXTRA BASS speakers. Long-press the EXTRA BASS 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. A single press on the Call button will bring up Google Assistant/SIri and a long-press will tell you the battery life remaining. At the rear left and under the flap, you will find the (From Right-Left): Audio-In Port, the Reset button and the Micro-USB port. There is also another passive radiator at the back of the speaker to push out more bass when near a wall. Before I forget, the speaker is IPX5 certified water-resistant but it isn't water-proof or dust-proof.


Sound Quality

The sound reproduction of the SRS-XB20 is what you can expect from a speaker of this size. At 75% volume, it can fill a mid-sized room. The bass response lives up to its EXTRA BASS name. It hits deep and are comparable to competitors of similar size. Highs sound bright and are not too sharp to listen to. Mids are very clear but small details do get drown out a bit due to the punchiness of the bass. However, the soundstage is very wide but left and right channel separation are still not too distinct. Adding other speakers like another SRS-XB20, SRS-XB30, SRS-XB40 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 3.5mm audio-in port is offered for wired usage. Its battery life peaks at a maximum of 12 hrs. The speaker does charge with  the standard Micro-USB cable. The modes of LED lights can be changed to your liking from the Music Center App to fit different occassions. Rave and Strobe modes is more suited for fast-paced EDM tracks while Chill modes allows for slower-paced genres like jazz or classical. 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

  • Boomy Sound Signature With Clarity

  • Rugged & Rounded Design

  • A Range Of Colours

  • NFC Enabled

  • Stereo Pairing

  • Wireless Party Chain

  • Long Battery Life

  • LED Lights

CONS

  • Not Water-Proof & Dust-proof

  • No Muiti-coloured Lights

  • No 360° Sound

The Bottom Line

The SRS-XB20 is one speaker you to consider if you are looking to upgrade a your small portable speaker. With a bright and boomy sound signature and durable build. it is suitable for personal enjoyment and life on-the-go. A range of colours will also suit every type and gender of users.

WE RATE IT!

9.5/10

Other Notable Competitors

BEATS PILL+
JBL FLIP 4
UE WONDERBOOM
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