Sony SRS-XB33: A Bluetooth Speaker Worth The Money? (Answered!) – UpAndRunningPodcast

Sony is among the most acknowledged know-how firms worldwide, and it’s not troublesome to see why. Renowned for distinctive, excessive-high quality devices, Sony constantly units the benchmark for a lot of improvements like clever speaker programs, noise cancellation know-how, and a lot extra.

Alongside different premium manufacturers like Bose or B&O, Sony ranks among the many international leaders of audio know-how with many merchandise to supply. 

The Sony SRS-XB33 Extra Bass is a conveyable wi-fi speaker designed to offer you premium audio on the go. But is that this speaker the messiah of sound we’ve been anticipating?

I don’t assume so.

Read on to search out out why this speaker is nice and the explanation you are able to do higher. 

Sony SRS-XB33

The Sony SRS-XB33 isn’t a lot to have a look at, however beneath that exterior lies a strong Bluetooth speaker with fancy LED lighting and a great deal of energy for steady music playback.

The frequency is surprisingly low, and I felt it did disappoint generally, however it’s no large deal for a conveyable Bluetooth speaker that prices round $150. However, the style is within the pudding, and the sound might let down audiophiles. 

Specifications

  • Release date: May 11, 2020
  • Price: $148
  • ASIN: B086D4JNGM 
  • Weight: 2.42 kilos
  • Waterproof: Yes

Design

  • Portable
  • Robust and Sturdy
  • Waterproof, dustproof, rustproof, and shockproof

The Sony SRS-XB33 weighs barely over 2.2lbs, however the ingenious design makes it straightforward to hold nearly anyplace. It doesn’t look misplaced within the residence, however maybe extra importantly, the speaker is sturdy sufficient to put by the pool or get together grounds. 

Crucially, it’s waterproof, dustproof, rustproof, even immune to saltwater! The wi-fi speaker is shockproof as much as 3.9ft/1.2m and can work nicely even in essentially the most opposed situations.

I believe the indestructible high quality of the Sony SRS-XB33 is due to its strong design. It feels sturdy sufficient though it doesn’t look any totally different than another transportable speaker in the marketplace. 

Some of its controls embrace the ability button, Bluetooth, quantity buttons, and Live Sound. 

The Live Sound characteristic offers your music that additional enhance, though it drains the battery at a faster fee. It was onerous for me to search out the buttons on my late-evening stroll, however the symbols are embossed on the floor, making it simpler to make use of the controls in the dead of night. 

All of this is able to matter if the audio high quality had been unbelievable, however the Sony SRS-XB33 lacks in that division. Don’t get me flawed; it does the job however not in addition to a few of its inexpensive opponents.

Unlike different Bluetooth audio system, you’ll must press down on the play/pause/name button twice, whilst you’ll must hit the identical button 3 times to skip the observe backward. 

I’ll admit it’s a bit arms-on, however it helps that there’s a normal USB port for recharging your smartphone whereas listening to your audio. 

This characteristic is fairly useful, particularly within the nice outdoor when you will have a low battery and must make an emergency name. The SRS-XB33 additionally has a USB-C port for charging the system, together with buttons that can assist you monitor your battery ranges.

The Sony SRS-XB33 is available in 4 totally different colours, together with Black, Cream, Red, and Blue.

Shape

The SRS-XB33 has a barely off-heart form that may be bothersome for music lovers who like a symmetrical design. However, Sony claims this design distributes the burden and helps to widen the soundstage and improve readability.

Connectivity

  • Pair as much as 100 appropriate Bluetooth audio system 
  • App help

Its options shine brightest as a celebration piece however lack the extra nuanced options that make it a necessary residence accent like voice assistant help and microphone. 

For me, this isn’t a problem as a result of Sony’s intention for this system is to be the lifetime of the get together. In addition, the speaker has intensive help, and also you’ll want two separate apps to extract one of the best efficiency out of your Sony SRS-XB33. 

The first app takes care of important capabilities like quantity and connectivity, whereas the opposite app lets you play with the LED lights with the liberty to sync with the music tempo. 

Neither app is important for its operation, and you’ll play your music simply high quality with out utilizing both app. I wish to fiddle with the sound, and Sony offers me the free reign to tweak the EQ.

Sony additionally will get high marks for in-app help. Firstly, if you happen to obtain the Sony Music Center, you get the power to replace the speaker. 

Apart from the music enjoying choices it covers, you additionally get Fiestable, a reasonably feisty characteristic that controls the lighting and provides you that DJ impact you’ll be able to solely discover on the membership scene.

I’ve to say the lights are fairly spectacular particularly contemplating the system measurement, with the 2 eye-like circles within the speaker and vertical traces flashing in time with the beat. 

Battery Life

  • Up to 24 hours playback time

Sony claims the XB33 lasts 24 hours on a single cost. But this shouldn’t be taken as gospel fact. I used it repeatedly solely to search out that the battery drops quickly with the sunshine show or quantity turned up. 

The battery life is determined by the state of affairs, however I reckon it will possibly final an excellent 12 hours. I’d suggest guaranteeing the speaker has a full cost or ideally plugged in for events, however it would nonetheless serve you nicely if you happen to resolve to go tenting for just a few days and use a decrease quantity.

Sound Quality

  • Big Bold Bass
  • An wonderful Party accent
  • Treble might be clearer

As anticipated from a celebration speaker, the bass is deep and highly effective, courtesy of the twin passive radiators and the famend Extra Bass. Live Sound makes use of digital sign processor (DSP) know-how and goals to duplicate 3-D encompass sound and does it nicely. 

The Sony SRS-XB33 does an honest job of offering clear sounds at greater volumes; nonetheless, I’d like a bit extra oomph within the trebles.

Listening carefully to the bass virtually feels misplaced when enjoying classical music or different calmer instrumental sounds, particularly with the quantity turned up. 

The speaker additionally options the X-Balanced Speaker Unit recent from the lab and designed to scale back distortion whereas delivering a punchier bass.

Extra Bass goals to spice up low-frequency sound, whereas Stamina Mode helps you preserve your battery by limiting the quantity enter.

The Sony SRS-XBR33 can do the job, however it doesn’t stand out from the pack. The speaker is constructed to get the get together going, however it lacks the refined refinement and readability craved by lovers of genuine sound.

Pros and Cons SRS-XB33

Pros

  • Loud sound
  • Durable
  • Portable
  • Excellent battery life
  • IP67 score climate-proof design
  • Amazing controllable lighting
  • Intuitive EQ is controllable by an app
  • Bluetooth 5.0 with SBC, AAC, and LDAC codec

Cons

  • AptX codec unavailable
  • Smart assistant unavailable
  • Distortion at excessive ranges 
  • Mediocre sound

Alternatives

Ultimate Ears Hyperboom

The UE Hyperboom might value greater than the Sony SRS-XB33, however the distinction in high quality is just like the chasm between heaven and earth. The Hyperboom options built-in precision subwoofers that ship a deep bass the XB33 can’t hope to match.

JBL Charge 4

Another choice is the JBL Charge 4, a much better choice within the worth, high quality, and sound division. The Charge 4 delivers extra dynamic sound and pristine readability for cheaper. I favor the Charge 4.

Sonos Move

A few years in the past, Sonos entered the house audio market, taking over one of the best with their multi-room system and has repeatedly redefined the audio expertise. The Sonos Move is an unbelievable standalone speaker with over 10 hours of battery life. 

At six kilos, it’s the lightest speaker on the checklist and the loudest. It is the closest factor to perfection, appropriate for any state of affairs, whether or not out of doors tenting or poolside celebration.  

Conclusion

The SRS-XB33 is a wi-fi speaker that struggles to reside as much as its title. While it offers you what you’d anticipate, the XB33 lacks the ability to match its physique. The bass is deep and resonant however turns into fuzzy and distorted at excessive ranges. 

The speaker is nicely made, has a wonderful construct, and is sturdy, however for all that it’s, the XB33 lacks the dynamic sound you’d discover in Bose, Sonos, or JBL merchandise of the identical worth vary. 

The Sony SRS-XB33 has a characteristic referred to as ClearAudio+ that helps the speaker adapt the soundstage to the music, but the sound high quality at out of doors occasions seems somewhat wishy-washy.

If I had been to explain this product in a single phrase, it’d be “underwhelming.”

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