Sony SRS-XB32 Speaker – Introduction
If you love thump, you will surely love the Sony Extra Bass speaker and headphone series. The name indicates precisely what the company is aiming for with sound, and the SRS-XB32 fulfills its mission well: there is the pretty severe bass response. Whether extra or not, is a matter of taste. And here is the kicker: the SRS-XB32 is waterproof. Its degree of protection IP67 not only means that it is dust-proof, but it can also withstand up to 3 feet of water in any immersion.
If you do not have a sound system installed in your garden or are looking for a more compact option that you can take with you, we suggest you check out Sony’s SRS-XB32 Portable Bluetooth Speaker. The handy gadget is a wide-range portable speaker that offers a three-dimensional listening experience with its additional bass modes and live sound. It also features a multicolored strobe light and fun flashing lights that will keep pace with your music. In other words, it’s a party in your pocket.
Sony SRS-XB32 Speaker – Design
Weighing about 0.9 kg (2 pounds), the SRS-XB32 has weight and weight. It’s not the kind of the speaker that you can slip into your pocket, but it’s light enough to be placed in a bag and go anywhere from there. Better, however, with an IP67 protection rating, it is almost officially waterproof because it can withstand submersion up to one meter of water (clear water, notice, no salt for this thing). Rain, splashing water and occasional rinsing will not silence it either. This is not new in this range, but it reinforces the idea that this speaker is at home.
The rubberized frame includes four distinct feet underneath, as well as a range of buttons at the top, all in the traditional style of the XB line. These include play/pause, volume increase and decrease, power, and a separate setting called Live, which is essentially the bass boost function of the speaker. There are more connections at the back, including a micro USB port for charging the speaker, a USB port for charging the other devices and the Aux input. Besides, Sony has put dedicated buttons to turn off the lights, add other XB32 speakers via WPC or add one to create a stereo left / right coupling via the Add button.
Sony SRS-XB32 Speaker – Sound
You are probably the most interested in the sound quality of the Sony SRS-XB32. If you like bass, it will certainly not disappoint you. Treble and midrange are bright, and bass has style (more about it in one second). Streaming music from Apple Music and Pandora sounded good, but the speaker tends to overemphasize low frequencies and may sound “muddy” at a time, especially when the “Extra Bass” feature is turned on.
There’s a dedicated “Live” button on the top of the speaker for the “Live Sound” function (this function was somewhat hidden in last year’s model). When the LED above the button is “white,” the service is enabled. Sony says the “Live Sound” feature will provide a more realistic 3D experience with “festival vibrations.”
Well, I’m not sure about the vibes of the festival, but what I discovered is that it’s keeping the bass of the “Extra Bass” mode while increasing the volume and improving some midrange. It sounds perfect, and I prefer it to the Extra Bass feature alone, so I’m glad they added a dedicated button.
Sony SRS-XB32 Speaker – Bass
Like many speakers in its class, the SRS-XB32 is focused on bass. The sound signature, regardless of the mode, always differs from this side of the audio spectrum. This includes some of the new technologies put out by Sony, such as the Digital Signal Processor (DSP), for example. When we played Between the Sheets of Isley Brothers, the bass was thick, although we were pleasantly surprised by the full sound of the mediums.
Often, single speakers of this size struggle to maintain a positive balance, but the XB32 did well with its default sound signature. Sony claims that the DSP is there to not only boost performance but also prevent the speaker from dropping proverbially on an audio cliff. It is ideal for playing music outdoors, especially near the pool or the beach, where it is already loud.
We were not so impressed by the built-in microphone for phone calls or voice assistants. Recording ourselves was easy enough, but the callers never seemed clear, and playing voice recordings proved that the receiver was unclear. Sony is certainly not the only one to make poor Bluetooth speaker mics, but we were hoping better.
Sony SRS-XB32 Speaker – Battery
Regarding the battery life, Sony says that the XB32 can reach 24 hours, but we never really reached this figure in our tests. The only way we could get close was to turn off the lights, keep the volume at around 50% and play the sound via Aux-In rather than via Bluetooth. Not precisely the realistic settings for daily reading.
With mixed usage patterns, we get about 15 hours per load, which is not so wrong with this more extensive program. You can check the battery status in the Sony Music Center app by pressing the “BATT” button under the flip. Strangely, unlike many Bluetooth speakers, the battery status does not appear in the iOS status bar.
Sony SRS-XB32 Speaker – Conclusion
All in all, the Sony SRS-XB32 delivers quality sound and great light. If you already have the model from last year (the XB31), there is no reason to upgrade, because the changes seem only aesthetic. It was hard not to like the SRS-XB32 for what it is. As a portable Bluetooth speaker with a rugged frame and powerful drivers, it is a versatile reading option for indoor and outdoor environments.
LED lights, Party Booster, and application settings are like cherries on the top to stand out from the competition. If you have two to pair in stereo, we think you have a good kit. There is also no stereo pairing compatibility between the XB32 and the XB31, although you can link the two models together to play a non-stereo (“Wireless Party Change”) sound.