SONY SRS-XB31

Design & Construction

The SRS-XB31 is the upgrade to the SRS-XB30 from last year. Taking on a totally different design, the speaker now measures approximately 231mm x 87mm x 81mm and weighs 890g. Durable mesh material surround the whole speaker with rubber pads at the bottom of the speaker. The speaker still feature dual strobe lights and line lights, all 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 NFC tag, the Play/Pause button, Bluetooth indicator, Volume buttons and the Power button, The Play/Pause button also act as a button to answer/end an incoming call. At the rear and under the flap, you will find the (From Left-Right): USB-Out port, Battery Button, WPC button (Wireless Party Chain), ADD button, Charging Port, Micro-USB port, Reset button and Audio-In Port. A short press on the Batt button will let the speaker notify you of the battery life and a long press will turn off the LED lights on the speaker. the USB-out port allows the speaker to acts as a powerbank for your devices should you need power. The speaker is IP67 certified water-proof, salt-water-proof, dust-proof, and rust-proof. The Sony SRS-XB31 also past the drop test from 1.22m on plywood of 5cm thickness conforming to MIL-STD 810 F Method 516.5-Shock, revealing its drop-proof capabilities. Sony also added a new feature called Party Booster where users can tap either the sides or front of the speaker to make 'party-noises'. I doubt the usefulness of that feature, but it keeps the party going when people get carried away.


Sound Quality

The sound reproduction of the SRS-XB40 is what you can expect from a large-sized speaker. At 60% volume, it can fill a mid-sized room. The bass response lives up to its EXTRA BASS name. It hits deep and much more than 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 punchness of the bass. In Live Sound Mode, the soundstage is wider and channel separation are more distinct, however, you do lose some bass-boost. Adding other speakers like the SRS-XB21, SRS-XB31, SRS-XB41 is also possible if you need louder sound. At each time, 100 EXTRA BASS speakers 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 24 hrs. The speaker does charge with a specific AC adapator so might want to remember to bring it if you are travelling. A new addition of a Micro-USB port will also enable you to charge the speaker if you ever forget to bring the AC adaptor, but obviously charging will take a much longer time. 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; being able to detect the speaker as soon as it is connected.

PROS

  • Durable Construction

  • Loud, Boomy Sound

  • Rugged, Modern Design

  • A Range Of Colours

  • Water-proof

  • Drop-resistant

  • NFC Enabled

  • Stereo Pairing

  • Wireless Party Chain

  • Long Battery Life

  • USB Charge Out

  • Customisable LED Lights

CONS

  • No 360° Sound

The Bottom Line

The SRS-XB31 is an ideal speaker if you are looking for a speaker that is both portable and life-proof. With a bright and boomy sound signature and a extraordinary battery life. it is suitable for small parties 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

JBL PULSE 3
UE BOOM 2
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